Sunday, December 5, 2010


An American Patriot

Maryan Harris is a patriot. Who else would stuff her stomach with bananas and several quarts of water to qualify to serve her country? It is in her blood, Maryan descends from Hardy Smith of the Revolution and Andrew Pickens, her 4th great-grandfather and South Carolina militia leader, who was the model for Mel Gibson's character in The Patriot. She wanted to serve, but admittedly Maryan joined the Women Accepted for Volunteer Service Emergency Service (W.A.V.E.S) just for the adventure of it.

Maryan Harley Smith was born in 1918. She graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, joining her mother, Annie Pickens Simons Smith, and her grandmother, Mary Pickens Simons as alumnae of the world's first chartered women's college. The oldest daughter of Charles Manly Smith, Maryan obtained her Master's Degree in Social Science Work from the University of Louisville.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Maryan Smith was already serving her country as a teacher in Thomasville, Georgia. After the shock of that day began to wane, Maryan made the decision to join the WAVES. "I had heard about the service organizations for women and I thought I would like to join the WAVES," Harris recalled. She traveled from Greenwood to Columbia to take the entrance examination. "That morning I was a little bit under weight, so I ate lots of bananas and drank lots of water to try to raise my weight a little bit," Harris fondly recalled. She reached her goal, but couldn't stretch her under regulation height enough to meet the requirements. "But they accepted me anyway when they saw I was healthy," Maryan recalled.

It was in the spring of 1943 when Maryan Smith first took her physical and written examinations. At the time of her induction on June 5, 1943, Maryan was sent to Smith College in North Hampton, Massachusetts for four weeks of basic training. "That was a wonderful experience. I had never been in the Northeast. North Hampton was a beautiful old town. We marched everywhere we went. They had a wonderful restaurant that was well known for its delicious food. That's where we had our meals. We had to march from the college to the restaurant every time we ate. The food was wonderful. I really enjoyed that," Smith fondly recollected.

Despite the strenuous requirements of basic training, Smith enjoyed her first days in the WAVES. "We had to learn to keep our rooms in "apple pie" order. I remember mitering the beds. I would bruise my knuckles trying to get the cover tight enough to bounce a dime. They would come around and inspect the room with white gloves. If they found anything wrong, you got a demerit," she reminisced. One trivial incident was still firm in her mind. Maryan recalled the time her unit had an inspection. The inspecting officer said, "There is an article adrift". "We looked everywhere and finally found one little bobby pin in one corner of the room. I guess that was the "article adrift," Maryan recalled.

Maryan and her fellow WAVES studied everything from military history to anything pertaining to the Navy and surface craft. Although she was not trained in communication, Maryan was sent to Miami for her tour of duty in communications. Assigned to the 7th Naval District, Maryan had the very interesting duty of coding and decoding messages. Never able to get used to the graveyard shift of midnight to morning, Maryan stayed awake by drinking gallons of coffee.

"We sent messages to and from the surface ships. The PT boats and destroyer escorts came into Miami to get their supplies. One of Maryan's most memorable moments of her tour of duty came when she and other WAVES took a ride out to the island to watch the filming of the movie, They Were Expendable. "It was about the PT boats and their mission during the war. Robert Taylor and John Wayne were in the movie. That was a lot of fun. I was in that group. I got to see John Wayne and Robert Taylor do their thing," remembered the former Lieutenant Junior Grade. "I never did meet them personally; they didn't want to get that close to the public. On one occasion they took us aboard a destroyer and showed us all around. That was interesting," Mrs. Harris said.

Maryan would often pinch herself and say, "Is this really me?" as she enjoyed the subtropical life of tall palms and blue water in Miami and Coral Gables, where she had the chance to room with her sister Dorothy "Dottie," also a Wesleyan graduate. Life in South Florida was not all fun. She managed to dodge a hurricane, but had to eat all too much spam her sister Dottie had stocked up on in case disaster struck her apartment.

Still wanting adventures, Maryan asked for a transfer to California. Instead, she was sent to the nation's capital for the last ten months of her tour of duty. Although she didn't enjoy Washington as much as Miami, Maryan enjoyed her time there as well.

Life in the WAVES wasn't everything to Maryan. Before the war, she met John Joseph Harris, Jr., who was stationed at Spence Field in Moultrie, a few miles distant from Thomasville. Ironically, Harris was assigned to the 121st Georgia Infantry, which was established in Dublin in 1919 and was composed of many soldiers from Laurens County and around the state of Georgia. While Maryan was stationed in Miami, the couple got to see each other on several occasions before he shipped out to the European Theater in 1944.

Eleven months after the end of the war in Europe, John and Maryan joined hands in marriage. "If I had not met John and wanted to get married, I would have stayed in the service." Maryan was officially discharged about a month after their marriage.

Washington held fond memories for Maryan. "When I was in Washington, they declared VJ Day and everyone poured out of the offices and everybody went downtown singing, waving flags and hugging each other whether you knew them or not. We were all so happy the war was over," she fondly recollected. The Harrises moved to Dublin after John's retirement as a defense analyst. They had one son, John K. Harris.

Maryan Smith Harris went back to serving her community. As a volunteer for the Laurens County Historical Society, and a long time member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and her beloved Christ Episcopal Church, Maryan continued to help others.

On this Veteran's Day, remember those who have served our country in war and peace. And, remember those who still serve, the true American patriots.

This article was based on an interview with Mrs. Harris by Mac Fowler ten years ago.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Howard makes a name for herself with shot put

@ Macon Telegraph

There aren’t many shot put competitors in Georgia as good as Sarah Howard.

She is currently the top-ranked high school shot putter in the state, and she is No. 13 in the nation. And after her sophomore year at Trinity Christian, she already has the second longest throw in Georgia high school history, private and public school included.

In this year’s GISA state meet, she won the shot put by 10 feet, breaking the GISA state record by 4 feet, and added the discus title. For that, Howard has been named The Telegraph’s All-Middle Georgia Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

Much of Howard’s success can go right back to her family.

“My dad threw the shot in high school and then in college at the University of Georgia,” said Howard, who also has the highest GPA in Trinity’s sophomore class. “I can remember picking up the shot put when I was 5 or 6, and it seemed like a fun thing to do. As I got older, I tried most of the other sports, but I wasn’t real good at any of them. I seemed to always go back to shot putting and as I got older, I kept getting better.

“I really enjoy it now, because it is a great way to get to spend a lot of time with my dad. He is fun to hang out with and has been a great coach for me. He knows when to push me and he knows when to ease off.”

Howard has been training hard all summer, trying to get stronger. She recently finished second at the New Balance National High School Meet and will travel to Singapore at the end of the month as part of the American team in the Youth Olympics.

“I went to Italy last year for the Youth Olympics and didn’t do that well, but I feel like I am way ahead of where I was last year,” she said. “I feel like I know what to expect this year, and it won’t be so overwhelming to me. I just want to continue to gain experience and enjoy myself, and if I can do that, I think I will perform well. I have put in the time in the weight room and working on my technique, so I feel pretty good about the trip.”

With two more years of high school, Howard really hasn’t thought much of where she will go to college but does hope to continue throwing the shot put on that level.

“It’s something that I really like to do, and I would like to see how good I can get,” she said. “I know that I have a long way to go, but I definitely hope to continue throwing in college. I am usually pretty focused on my training, but it is great to have someone like my dad around that knows the kind of training I need to be the best.”

Friday, April 2, 2010


Making the Right Call

From her very first dribble, Sally loved the game of basketball. And now, some forty plus years later, she has seen millions of dribbles, most of the time making sure that none of them were of the double kind. Today, it is Sally's job to find, train and assign the right people to be in the right position to make the right call all of the time.

Sally Smalley Bell, daughter of Dr. Derrell and Nell Smalley, was born and grew up in Dublin, Georgia. "I loved basketball from day one," Sally said as she thought of the days when she began playing when she was in the fifth grade. "Back then, we played half court, three guards and three forwards, but during my senior year we went to a rover system - two players played full court," Sally remembered.

As he was to millions of other kids back in the 1960s, Pete Maravich was Sally's idol on the court. "I was just totally in awe of his skills. He was so far ahead of his time. It was just amazing to me," said Sally would often hop in her car and drive to Atlanta to catch a glimpse of her hero.

Before she graduated from Dublin High School in 1971, Sally played in the band and performed on the sidelines during half time shows as a majorette. She was captain in her senior year. Her father was a well known and respected veterinarian, a founder of Smalley's Animal Hospital. Her mother's paintings were truly works of art and can still found in places around Dublin.

After Sally graduated from the University of Georgia, she took a job with the Habersham County Recreation Department, doing whatever job she was called upon to do. "One night we had no refs, so I had to call the game," Sally remembered. The coach started screaming at her. His objections, Sally admitted, were probably right. After all, it was her first time as a real referee. And, as anyone whoever slipped on one of those zebra shirts and blew a whistle can tell you, officiating a basketball game is no easy task.

"I went over to the coach and said, 'We may not be right, but you are not going to yell at us. Either sit down and shut up, or leave," Sally ordered. There wasn't another peep from the coach that night. The next day, Sally discovered that the coach, Cecil Huff, who was chewing her out was actually the head of the local high school officials association. Sally had made a good first impression. For, on that day, her career as a basketball referee began. "He called me and asked me to join and I became the first female referee in the Georgia Mountain Officials Association," Bell fondly remembered. The two became mentor and student and very close friends.

Sally even married a referee. Her husband Jack Bell, a Gainesville attorney has been officiating at the high school and college level for several decades. In fact, they met for the first time when they called a basketball game together. "Jack didn't have two words to say to me at that game," Sally told a reporter for Referee magazine. "Jack is basically a shy guy and I was nervous as heck," Sally laughed. But Jack saw something in Sally and asked their mutual friend Cecil Huff for a return assignment. They were married a year or so later.

Determined to succeed, Sally attended every officiating camp she could. "That put me in the loop," Sally said. Assignors in attendance began to notice Sally. How couldn't they notice, she was often the only female on the court. To catch the attention of college coaches, Sally worked AAU summer tournaments. That's when the exposure led to recommendations and then to assignments.

In the early days, Sally worked as many as six to eight games a week. "I just couldn't think of anything I'd rather do," she said. "I became consumed by it. By the end of her seventh year as an official, Sally had climbed the ladder from rec. ball to Division I.

Sally's first big break came in 1984 when she was assigned to call the National Junior College tournaments. She was called back for the next two years.

All the years of hard work and dedication paid off in 1989 when Sally was chosen to officiate the NCAA Division 1 Final Four tournaments. It would be the first of fifteen assignments to the high point of women's collegiate basketball. Only twice (1991-1992) in seventeen years (1989-2005) did Bell not get the assignment for the highly heralded tournament.

Although she didn't make the final four in 1991, Sally Bell received the penultimate honor of being named the Naismith Female Official of the Year. During her first decade and a half, Sally had called games in major conferences such as the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Big East.

Reporter Rick Woelfel wrote of Sally, "She is unobtrusive on the court, but somehow she always manages to be in the right place at the right time. What she lacks in pure athleticism, she makes up for with court sense and hustle. In a very real sense, she reads and feels the game, bending with it like a rooted tree in the wind."

Former officiating partner and NBA official Dee Kantner agrees, "When I talk to prospective female officials, I tell them you don't have to be that perfect athlete. Look at Sally Bell, she looks like a housewife out there." Kantner adds, "Her game management skills are subtle. She has a subtle calming presence." Fellow WNBA official Bonita Spence admired Bell's willingness to thank her partners for making calls they saw in her zone while many officials often chastize the partners for calling a play outside of their area.

Perhaps one of the most exciting tournaments came in 1996, when Sally traveled a short distance from home to officiate the games of the 1996 Summer Olympics. She had been to the 1989 Junior World Championships in Spain and the 1990 World Championships in Malaysia and the 1994 Goodwill Games in Russia, but nothing can compare to being an official in the greatest of all amateur basketball games.

Always wanting people to remember that Sally Bell was a good referee, Sally left the game while she on top of her game. Today, Sally serves as supervisor of officials for the Sunbelt, Southland, and SWAC conferences. Her goal is to see the successes of the officials whom she supervises.

In looking back over her career on the court, the biggest difference from when she started until today is the athletic abilities of the players. Sally sees the ability to communicate between partners, coaches, players and supervisors as the biggest challenge.

When she is not working, Sally can be found near a golf course or planning her next trip to golf's Ryder Cup tournament. She hasn't missed a single one since 1997.

So, during the madness of March, let's all salute Sally Smalley Bell for a career well done.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Who was the first to do something? The answer to that frequently asked question is often difficult to answer. Some firsts are documented while others are the subject of legend and speculation.

For centuries, women were systematically excluded from history books and newspaper articles.

So, during this month of March, the National Women's History Month Project is seeking to write women back into history.

Women's History Month had its origin in 1979 when a Sonoma County School District began a week of celebrating the contributions of women to the history of America. In 1981, the United States Congress adopted a resolution proclaiming National Women's History Week. The week long celebration was expanded to include the entire month of March in 1987.

Here is my list of fifty female firsts by Laurens County Women. I let you know about these women to honor them and all women who have contributed to their communities. They are in no particular order, except they are roughly chronological.

1. Unity Register was the first woman to get married in Laurens County. She married Matthew Smith on Feburary 19, 1809.

2. Averilla Albritton, Rachel Allen and Mary Barlow were the first three women to have their wills probated in the Inferior Court of Laurens County, all on March 10, 1823.

3. Isabella Hamilton Blackshear was the first woman to enter Wesleyan College in Macon in 1836. Wesleyan was the first college in the world to offer degrees to women.

4. Eugenia Tucker Cochran Fitzgerald was the first president of the Adelphean Society at Wesleyan College. The society became Alpha Delta Pi and is the oldest women's sorority in the world.

5. Elizabeth Cummings Harrington was one of the first black female dentists in Alabama.

6. Dr. Annie Yarborough was one of the first, if not the first, black female dentists in the State of Georgia. She began her practice in 1911.

7. Piccola Prescott was named the first female postal carrier in the county in 1918.

8. Pearl Cummings Davis was the first black female pharmacist in Laurens County and one of the first in Georgia.

9. Maggie New was the first woman to register to vote in 1920.

10. Mrs. W. H. Beall was the first female mayor of a Laurens County town. Mrs. Beall was elected Mayor of Brewton in 1921.

11. Mrs. M.E. Brantley, Mrs. M.F. Beall, Mrs. F.A. Brantley, Mrs. C.G. Moye and Mrs. H.B. Sutton joined Mrs. W. H. Beall in winning elections as the first five women to serve on the council of a Laurens County town.

12. Mrs. Annie Anderson in 1922 was named as Judge of the Juvenile Court of Laurens County, Georgia, making Judge Anderson the first female judge in the state's history.

13. Mary Rachel Jordan, in 1924, was credited as the first woman to vote in a county election.

14. Kathleen Duggan Smith graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 1924. Mrs. Duggan was the first Laurens County woman to practice law.

15. Opal Glenn Rife was named as the pastor of the First Church of the Nazerene in Dublin, making Rev. Rife the first female minister in the county.

16. Mrs. Frank Lawson, a political activist, was the first woman to be named vice-chairman of a Democratic Congressional District Committee in Georgia in 1927.

17. Mrs. J.E. Perry, it was said, was the first woman in the United States to have a haircut while flying in an airplane. Mrs. Perry's feat was accomplished in 1927 while flying upside down.

18. Henrietta Stanley Dull published Southern Cooking, long considered the bible of southern cookbooks. The first book written by a Laurens County woman was first published in 1928. The cookbook is still being sold in stores today.

19. In 1933, Aretha Miller Smith, at the age of 19, became the youngest female lawyer in the history of Georgia.

20. That same year, Jessie Baldwin was named as the first female clerk of the Dublin District of the Southern District of the Federal Court.

21. Elizabeth Garrett Page was selected as the first female member of the Dublin City Board of Education in 1933.

22. Charlotte Hightower Harrell became the first female court reporter in the state.

23. Maryan Smith Harris was the first local female to join the Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service, the W.A.V.E.S., in World War II.

24. Madge Hilbun Methvin was the first Laurens County woman to publish a newspaper, the Vienna News.

25. Cherry Waldrep Clements was the first woman in the history of the University of Georgia to earn a master's degree in Math Education.

This week, I conclude my list of fifty female firsts for Laurens County women. There will be more firsts. Just recently, Carol Porter of Dublin, announced her intentions to become the first female Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. In this new world with the limitations formerly placed on women lifted, the skies are the limits. So, during this Women's National History Month, let us take time to remember the outstanding accomplishments of the women of our community.

26. Ruth Gordon, a health nurse for Laurens County, was the first woman to join Post No. 17 of the American Legion in Dublin. Gordon, who joined the post in 1942, served as a nurse during World War I.

27. Meanwhile Alta Mae Hammock and Brancy Horne were the first Laurens County women to join the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps, the W.A.A.C.s, in World War II.

28. Bessye P. Deveraux was named as the first woman in the Charleston Shipyards to earn an Outstanding Workmanship Award, one awarded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

29. In 1940, Mrs. W.O. "Annie" Prescott was appointed as the first female Justice of the Peace in Laurens County. Mrs. Prescott, who succeeded her husband, was charged with hearing cases within the jurisdiction of the Buckeye Militia District.

30. Selina Burch, a graduate of Dublin High School, became a leading advocate for telephone workers and one of the first female Union leaders in the Southeast.

31. The 1951 Cedar Grove girls' basketball team was the first Laurens County women's team to capture a state championship.

32. In 1955, Mrs. Guy V. Cochran and Betty Lovett Yeomans were the first women selected to the jury pool. Later that same year, Mrs. Duncan Weatherall was the first woman to serve on a trial jury.

33. Also in 1955, Mrs. Ruby D. Young, known as a "pistol packing mama," served as the first woman bailiff.

34. Rubye Jackson, a Laurens County native, was the first female assistant attorney general in Georgia.

35. Dr. Annella Brown became the first Laurens County woman to practice medicine and was the first female board certified surgeon in the Northeastern United States.

36. Henrietta Bidgood earned the title of the first Laurens County woman to be elected to a county office when she was elected County Treasurer.

37. Dr. Eleanor Ison-Franklin became the first woman, either black or white, to head the medical department of a major university, Howard University, in the early 1970s.

38. Sarah Hadden, of Rentz, was appointed by Judge R.I. Stephens as the first female Laurens County jury commissioner in the 1950s. Mrs. Hadden was one of the first female commissioners in the state.

39. In December 1968, Lela Warnock replaced her late husband, Dewey Warnock, as the first and only female county commissioner in Laurens County's history.

40. Eugenia Rawls, the first female Laurens Countian to appear on broadway, television and movies, was honored as the first American actress to play the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. Rawls was also the first Laurens County woman to appear on Broadway and television.

41. Anne Lovett was the first woman to obtain a PhD degree in Chemistry from Georgia Tech.

42. Sharon Tucker, a graduate of Dublin's Oconee High School, graduated as the first black female graduate of the University of Georgia Law School in 1974.

43. The Rev. Irene Tos, who served a term as pastor of Pinehill Methodist Church, was the first female minister of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

44. Tina Price Cochran, a two-sport all state high school and college player at the University of Georgia where she set many records, was one of the first women chosen in the first women's professional basketball league draft in 1978. Mrs. Cochran was recently cited by Bulldog historian Dan McGill as the best female two-sport star in Georgia history.

45. Probate Court Judge Helen W. Harper was the first woman to be elected as a judge in the history of the county in 1980.

46. Barbara Sanders Thomas, a graduate of Oconee High School, rose in the ranks of CBS radio to become the company's first female African-American vice-president.

47. In 1988, Sydney Kyzer Morton was chosen as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, making Mrs. Morton the first woman in the county to attend a major national party convention.

48. The 1997 Dublin High School softball team was the first Dublin female team to win a state championship.

49. Gen. Belinda H. Pinckney attended both Oconee High School and Dublin High School, before graduating from East Laurens High School. This thirty three plus year veteran of the United States Army is currently head of the Army's Diversity Task Force and is one of the highest ranking female African American generals in the history of our country's armed forces.

50. Soffie Thigpen, a Laurens County native, in November 2004 became the highest ranking female officer in the Georgia State Patrol.

And, here's a few more.

Kathy Beall Sweat was the first female member of the Dublin-Laurens Development Authority. Mrs. Sweat served with Willie Paulk, the first female Chamber of Commerce Director.

Geva Alexander was the first female president of the Chamber of Commerce and the first female director of the Downtown Development Authority.

Kathy Hogan Henderson was the first female law enforcement officer in Dublin and Laurens County.

Jane Meeks Christian was the first female to wear the uniform of the East Dublin Police Department.

Ellie Wilson Washington was the first black female telephone operator for Souther Bell Telephone Co. in Dublin, beginning work in 1968. Mrs. Washington, of Millville Church Community, worked long distance, local, directory assistance, Cama operator, etc. She also worked as a CWA Union Representative for local Southern Bell and was the first black to work there.

Shirley Willis was the first woman to serve on the Board of Directors for the Progressive Rural Telephone Co-op. The Co-op serves the telephone, cable television and Internet access needs of the smaller cities and communities surrounding Dublin. Mrs. Willis, a representative for Dudley, completed the term of her husband, Tommy Willis, after he passed away in 1986. She has continued to be elected by the members of the Co-op to serve in that position.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Mary McCluskey always knew she wanted to be a nurse, even if it meant she had to do things that girls shouldn't have to do. From those very first afternoons she spent volunteering at the East Tennessee Public Health Office, Mary knew she wanted to help people. In September of 1933, Mary began her nursing studies at Erlanger Hospital Nursing School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

She took great consolation in comforting patients with warm baths, extra blankets, fresh sheets, and hot water bottles. Surgery was a challenge - no room for error. The hospital was very poor in those days. Remember, it was in the middle of the Depression. Mary and the other student nurses spent their free time making bandages and folding gauze. The nurses even made their own cotton balls and saline solutions. Rubber gloves were patched and IV needles were sharpened. The most dreaded chore was the preparation of plaster of paris casts. Mary and the other nurses enjoyed the hospital nursery the most. The Emergency Room was the most exciting, especially on the weekends. The worst part of the hospital, other than the sickness, was the Operating Room Supervisor, who was extremely tough on the student nurses. In her first year of school, Mary was allowed eleven dollars a month to spend for non necessities. Every morning the nurses stood inspection, just like in the military.

Mary passed her Nurses Board examination. She was assigned as Supervisor of the Colored Wards at Erlanger Hospital. Her salary skyrocketed to sixty dollars a month. Mary joined the American Red Cross as a Red Cross Nurse. While with the Red Cross, she was assigned to Camp Forest to aid Mississippi flood victims. She earned eight dollars for a twelve hour day. Mary was looking for a "place to land." After working for a summer at the Philadelphia Graduate Hospital, she landed at Peerless Woolen Mills in Rossville, Georgia. It was in Rossville where she met her future husband, Roy McCluskey.

As the United States became more involved in World War II, Mary decided that she wanted to be an Army Nurse. She left home in September of 1942 for Stark, Florida. Roy joined the Navy. Mary spent 26 months at Camp Blanding in Florida. It was the 2nd largest infantry training camp in the United States. She volunteered for duty in a field hospital overseas, but never got the chance to go. Mary was assigned to surgery and then to the Chief Nurse's Office. As a day supervisor, Mary had charge of thirty-two hundred beds. The beds were arranged in two rows of sixteen hundred each. The rows were so long one could not see from one end to another.

When her boss, Col. Maley, was transferred to the China, Burma, India Theater of operations, Mary and a friend were invited to go along with her. Mary was sent to Brigham City, Utah, where she trained in the 172nd General Hospital. From Utah, Mary was flown to Bermuda. The conditions aboard the plane were very uncomfortable. Mary spent a few days in Casablanca, North Africa, before arriving in Karachi, India in December of 1944.

Mary's assigned hospital was in a desert. When anyone went outside, they had to wear sunglasses and head scarves. One night Mary was invited to go jackal hunting with two male officers. Mary's job was to shine the light. The trio didn't kill any jackals that night. They did kill a dog, a rabbit, and a vulture. The two men chased a poor pregnant cat, but Mary turned off the light, refusing to let the trigger happy officers shoot it.

While off duty, Mary and the nurses enjoyed shopping in the Indian shops. She met many officers of the famed "Merrill's Marauders," who were building "The Burma Road." The food wasn't that good - certainly not like her mamma's. In February of 1945, she was transferred to New Delhi. She never forgot the sight of the Taj Mahal in the Indian moonlight. In April of 1945, Mary and her fellow nurses participated in a memorial service for Franklin D. Roosevelt. As the end of the war drew nearer, the action became more intense. Twenty nurses were killed in a plane crash.

By April of 1945, the nurses were moving closer to China. After a stop in Calcutta, the nurses found that there was no hospital as they were told. To their disappointment, the nurses were put on detached service. It seemed that the commanding general had taken materials which had been intended to be used to construct a hospital. The general built a palatial home for himself, much to the dismay of the physicians and nurses.

With the aid of General Chenault's "Flying Tigers," the medical crews began building a hospital on their own. Chinese women and children made bricks out of clay and straw. Despite it being the rainy season, they worked all day to get the hospital built as soon as possible. Life in the hospital was getting better. One night, while dancing to music, Mary heard the announcement that the war with Japan was over. "Everyone stood still. We were unable to believe our ears. Then everyone started screaming and crying. We kissed like it was New Year's Eve," Mary wrote. The male officers ran to retrieve bottles of liquor, which had been secreted away in anticipation of the end of the war. After a short celebration, the medical crews were evacuated back to Shanghai.

Mary and the other nurses took advantage of their liberty and went into Shanghai to go shopping. Mary did a little Christmas shopping. She even bought her wedding dress. Mary left China in November of 1945. On December 6, 1945, nearly four years to the day after the beginning of the war, Mary saw the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. After a short stay in Des Moines, Iowa, Mary returned to Chattanooga, just in time for Christmas. She had been all the way around the world in the service of her country. Mary had a Merry Christmas that year, grateful for all her blessings. On January 3, 1946, Mary and Roy were married. Roy and Mary moved to Dublin when Roy came to work with J.P. Stephens and Company. Mary wrote of her experiences in a book that she called "We Have Come A Long Way." Her story, like that of every nurse, is a story of untiring and devoted service to their community and their country.