Getting ready for the 4th of July
By By LYDIA GRIMES Feature Reporter
The Fourth of July is just around the corner and the folks in East Brewton are busy getting everything ready for everyone to have a good time. The committee has been working hard to line up the food, selling ducks and seeing that the fireworks have been taken care of.
The committee is made up of Mike and Mary Jean Goolsby, Steve and Sherry Dunaway, Joey and Gwynn Shell, Danny Howard, Mayor Terry Clark, Donny and Ava Crutchfield, Todd and Linda Williamson and Mike and Pam Driskell.
Mike Goolsby is the subject of this year's profile. He lives in East Brewton and works at Sherwin-Williams in Brewton.
The committee begins to prepare for the celebration about six months before July. It takes quite a bit of planning to get everything ready for the big date.
Joey Shell sees that the card games and horseshoes are set up which begins earlier in the day. The fun begins at 9 a.m. with a spades tournament followed by bingo at 1 p.m. at the East Brewton Civic Center. Late in the afternoon things will really start to pop when people begin to arrive at Fort Crawford Park to get a good place to watch the fireworks. At 5 p.m. there will be a horseshoe tournament and the entertainment will begin. Hamburgers and hot dogs will go on the grill and drinks will be put on ice.
The duck race will begin a 6 p.m. and folks will gather to see the little fellows deposited up stream to begin their run down Murder Creek. This year may be a bit calmer than last year when the use of jet-skis were called for when the creek was running fast and high. The ducks will make their run and be gathered up past the finish line to wait until next year's race. Don't be surprised if one gets away and winds up down on the Conecuh River someplace. If that happens, someone will get a big surprise.
Ducks are still on sale at the East Brewton City Hall for $5 each. The money made from the sale of the ducks goes to pay the expense of the fireworks that will come later that night. The sale of all balloons, trinkets and food also goes to pay for the "party" and donations from local businesses in East Brewton and Brewton contribute to the expense.
The expense of the fireworks is rather large and experts have to be brought in to handle them to be as safe as possible. An independent handler will take care of setting them up and then setting them off at the right time, around 10 p.m.
Goolsby will be ready when the time comes to set up the grill and get started cooking.
Goolsby estimates that there will be several thousand people there, mostly local people. Those that do not make it to the park have several places where they gather to watch the fireworks. The park in downtown Brewton is a favorite place to gather and there are several vantage points in East Brewton for those who don't go to the park.
Mike Goolsby is a born and raised resident of East Brewton. He was born there, the son of Griffin and Frances Goolsby. He has two brothers and one sister and he graduated from W.S. Neal High School in 1968. He attended Jefferson Davis Junior College for two years and planned to transfer to Auburn University. But as it often happens, he got married instead. He got a job at St. Regis and worked there for about a year until he happened to see an ad about Sherwin-Willams needing help. His father was a carpenter and painter and he happened to have done quite a bit of it too. He was qualified for the job at Sherwin-Williams. He got a job there as assistant manager and about 18 months later he became the manager in 1976. He and his wife, Mary Jean, have two children, Scot Goolsby(27) and Ashley Goolsby McInnish (25). Scot teaches and coaches at Charles Henderson High School in Pike County. Ashley lives in Auburn and is also a sixth grade teacher while her husband, Danny, will soon graduate from Auburn University with a degree in accounting.
Goolsby's wife works in the library at W.S. Neal Middle School and they attend East Brewton Baptist Church. He has on the Escambia School Board and has been for the past five years, three years as chairman. He serves on the East Brewton Water and Sewer Board. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club and has served as president.
He loves to hunt, fish, play golf and work in his woodworking shop.
He has the perfect job at Sherwin-Williams as he loves to build and paint. He also has a garden out back of his house but time doesn't permit him much time to work there. He has a coin collection, not the valuable kind but those he likes.