2012-10-24 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

Joy is gone, but not forgotten
by Terry Toole

Getting older each day is a blessing in most ways and sad in a few others.

When my first wife and I came back home from Atlanta (one of the great blessings of my life), we found that there were not too many young couples living in Colquitt. Although we knew, and had known the few that lived here, we hadn't been around them recently. It didn't take us too long to bond. Joy and Anne Tully were one of those couples.

Now I have been close to the Tully family about as far back as I go. Miss Annie (Granny) Tully never failed to remind me that she was there at Dr. Baughn's office on December 21, 1935, when I came into this world. Granny Tully was Joy's mama. She was one of my good friends, and just as quick to get on to me when I did wrong.

I was raised two doors back of Tully's Service Station where you could always find Joy's daddy, Mr. J.W., usually in a serious game of checkers. If he didn't have anyone else to play checkers with him, he would allow us to play with him. I never beat him. As I remember it, the checkers were bottle caps from 5ยข Cokes. You'd had to be a friend to be invited to play checkers at Tully’s.

Back to Joy, who was rightly named. He was six years older than "ye scribe," so I always looked up to him, but we were near enough in age to be friends, and later in life very good friends.

Joy was a fun-loving man that enjoyed people. I never knew him to get too political, but he could have won any office in the county. Joy knew everyone in the county, and anyone who might ride into Tully's Service Station. He would have made a great newspaper man. He knew how to ask questions and remember what he was told. He was a good people person.

Don't know if you have noticed, but Miller County people have a tendency to use nicknames.

Joy always called me "Doc." I went to school intending to become a doctor. After a year or so of premed courses, I discovered that I didn't have sense enough to pass those courses, or money enough to go, so I became a Western Auto man for over 30 years, and a paperboy for the past 33 years. I always called Joy "Babe," for what reason I do not know.

We had lots of good times together with our families, who are very close.

You could say we have been good friends with three generations of Tullys, and still are with those who are left.

Joy lost Anne to cancer several years ago. She was the mother of Craig and Cille. Craig is like one of our own as is Cille, who married into my favorite son-in-law's family.

Joy was a lucky man to find another good wife, Joyce, over in Alapaha. He almost wore out a good Corvette before he got her.

I never knew why, but I drove their Corvette home from their marriage.

Joy wanted to see Kelsi married and Matthew graduate from Georgia. He wanted to see one more Georgia game. Sometimes we get better.

You really don't know a person until you go to the beach with four other couples with all their young children, and they are all in the same house for a week. You don't know a person until you attend Georgia football games in Athens between the Hedges together. You don't know a person until you celebrate birthdays together for well over 50 years. You don't know a person until you go fishing and frog gigging and fry the frog legs at four in the morning at our house. We did all that together, and much, much more. I wouldn't ride motorcycles with Joy, which he loved to do.

Joy was a good son, husband, father and grandfather, a hard-working man that didn't ask those he worked to do anything that he wouldn't do. He died a Christian, which is the best things that he did. He was tight with his money except with his family.

It will be different on the Colquitt square with Joy not there.

As I was leaving the burial, a young man on a pickup truck asked who died. I told him Joy Tully.

All he could say was, "Ah, no. He was a good man." He was that.

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