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Remembrances and Thanksgiving:

by George Hightower,
life-long friend

It is my privilege and honor, on this occasion to talk about Phin Calhoun, as a boyhood friend

 One of our first ventures was to build and sell bird houses to our generous neighbors.  We obtained scrap wood from my father’s box factory and built bird houses from Phin’s design, in his mother’s tool shed under their garage.  This was scotchman Phin’s successful venture, until our list of buying neighbors ran out.

 Phin’s next interest was scouting, in Troup #1 Buckhead.  Its meetings were held in a WWI army barracks building, located in the side yard of the old Peachtree Presbyterian Church, under the great leadership of our Scout Masters, Mr. John Waytt and Mr. Murphy.  Phin led many of the Buckhead boys to join and become active scouts.  He worked hard in his role as a Scout leader, becoming our senior Patrol Leader and gained the coveted rank of Eagle Scout -- the top rank in Scouting.  The story of obtaining his bike merit badge is well worth telling, to show his determination to finish a job once started.

He and I started riding our bikes at daylight from his home on Andrews Drive and as we turned at deadman’s curve to head out Peachtree Road for Duluth, Georgia, my bike seat clamp broke.  Due to Phin’s patience and skill, we jury-rigged the seat back in place and started the 25 miles, mostly dirt road, ride to Duluth.  We were back home by sundown, truly tired.

The next day we reported to the scout headquarters of our accomplishment and were asked if we had mailed a post card, signed by the post master.  We stated that we had not done so and were then told the trip did not count and we would have to repeat and send the signed postcard for credit.

We were very disappointed. In about a week, Phin called me and said he was ready to go again. But would like to change the scenery and bike to Stone Mountain this time.  I agreed and the next morning at daylight, we rode our bikes on the back roads to Stone Mountain, mailed the signed cards, returned by sundown and received our merit badges.

This was an early example of his energy and determination to succeed.  While Phin continued on to become an Eagle Scout, Lawson and I were side tracked by making cut-downs on old Model-T Fords.

After graduating from Peachtree Heights Grammar School, Phin went to the Episcopal High School, in Virginia, where he did well and graduated.  During his four years at the University of Georgia, he became a Chi Phi, then he and a few other classmates organized a small band and played regularly at fraternity and high school dances around Athens until he graduated and went on to medical school.  Just another example of his varied interests and talents in which he was boon productive and successful.

 I know many of you feel as I do, that Phin’s gentle touch, with our lives, as he passed our way, has made us better human beings.   May God rest his soul.  Thanks.

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