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Debbie — By Tommy Purser

When I first moved to Hazlehurst in 1973, a beautiful, accomplished young girl caught my eye. She was Kathy Fales, daughter of
Bill and Weta Fales of Fales Furniture Store on Hinson Street.
She was 17 years old, deeply involved in the Georgia 4-H program and, in fact, was the state president of Georgia 4-H. She was also the featured twirler for the Jeff Davis High School band and she put on a dazzling show during halftimes of the JDHS football games.
I thought she was gorgeous and I was not alone in that assessment.
I had an employee at that time who had been in Hazlehurst for a number of years, and she knew well the Fales family and their two daughters.
“You think she’s pretty,” she said to me about Kathy. “She has an older sister that makes her look like an ugly duckling.”
I couldn’t image.
Some time later, I met Kathy’s older sister, Debbie. I don’t think for a minute that she made Kathy look like an ugly duckling. But, oh my, what a beautiful young woman she was — and is today.
Both Kathy and Debbie had inherited the beauty genes of the every-smiling Bill Fales and his wife Weta, who was not only a beautiful lady but also one of the sweetest folks I’ve ever met.
Kathy and Debbie are both a lot older today than they were when I first met them more than 50 years ago. But, they are still two of the most beautiful ladies I know.
Most folks in Hazlehurst know that that older sister, Debbie, inherited a down side of her mother and, for some time now, she has struggled, as her mother struggled before her, to breathe.
I don’t know enough about her medical struggles to talk knowlegeably about her situation. But I do know that she is hospitalized in the Mayo Clinic (I think) in Jacksonville recovering from the lung transplant procedure that was necessary to save her life.
It was necessary to save her for her sister, Kathy, and for her three sons, Cole, Vince and Garrett. I stop by regularly at Fales Furniture to check on Debbie’s progress with Cole, who now runs Fales Furniture established years ago by his grandparents.
I also stop by regularly at Googes, Inc., which Garrett now owns and operates, to check on Debbie’s progress.
Cole and Garrett tell me their beloved mother is doing marvelously well. Her new lungs are breathing — literally — new life into her frail body.
I can’t remember if it was Cole or Garrett who told me this, but one of them told me he is so looking forward to the day his mother comes home, looks around at the home she and her late husband Calvin made for themselves many years ago. A home in which they raised their sons and entertained their grandchildren.
It will be a wonderful day for Debbie. And for Cole, Vince and Garrett. I so wish I could be there.
We do, indeed, worship a wonderful God.

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