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Carol Perkins: Being in the right place at the right time

It's a remarkable story about a thrift store owner Terry Bright in Columbia, Tara Clemons of Edmonton, and the unraveling of a story which sets the record straight on the Wilson family of merchants in Edmonton, KY, and more, about good people who make South Central Kentucky such a great place to live.
Next earlier Carol Perkins article: Book Review: A Girl Named Connie

By Carol Perkins

Being in the right place at the right time doesn't happen often, but the event that I have to tell is no short of the aligning of the right people at the right times. As I wrote last week, Connie Wilson and I have written and published her life's story, and this past week hit the PR trail (sounds important) to promote it.

The afternoon after being on MidDay, I received a phone call from a guy who introduced himself and said, "Let me start at the beginning and explain why I'm calling."


He owns a thrift store in Columbia and told of being at a yard sale in Campbellsville where he saw a garbage bag on the ground. "I had to look inside, of course, and most of what I found were papers, but inside one of these pieces was a bowl. The lady told me she was throwing all that stuff away and said I could have the bowl." I was intrigued.

When he got home he noticed the bowl had the name "Willie Wilson" on the side and "Edmonton, Kentucky." After doing some research online, he realized that this was indeed an antique and finding the owner would be a special. Therefore, he set out to do just that.

He was once again at a yard sale and by chance, met a Metcalfe County lady, so he asked her if she knew any Wilsons in Edmonton. She knew a family, but there was no Willie in this family, but they told her about another Wilson family. It was Connie's dad, Bill Wilson.

Tara (Clemmons) then remembered hearing her mother-in-law just the night before at a baseball game talking about our book, and she remembered it was about a "Wilson." She thought, "Could there be a connection?" (Tara married a local boy so she didn't know Connie.)

Right there at the yard sale, she started to call her mother-in-law to get my cell number when her son Jaylen said, "I have her number." (He used to work at my screenprinting shop). That is how a man named Terry Bright from Columbia made contact with me, and we set up a time when he would come to meet Connie and bring her this bowl.

First of all, Tara went the extra mile to help Terry find the owner of this bowl. How many people would have simply said, "I don't know that person" and left it at that? Then how many people would have gone to such lengths to find the owner of this bowl that dates back to the 20's? Not many.

Willie Wilson was Connie's grandfather. He owned a dry goods store in Edmonton, but when he died in his forties, his wife sold the store. Then when his only son, Bill Wilson, grew up, he opened Wilson's Dry Goods but not in the same location as his father's.

Many people wrongly assume Bill Wilson carried on with his father's store, but that was not the case. Bill was only a boy.

Connie will meet Terry after this article goes to press, and she will take home her grandfather's bowl.

She will meet former students, classmates, locals who remember her, and strangers who want to know more.

This process has been such a blessing and one thing she has learned for sure, "You can come home again."

As a matter of fact, home never is far away and people like Terry Wright and Tara Clemmons make living in what she calls "the country" a special place to be.

Carol Perkins is a regular weekly ColumbiaMagazine.com columnist and a co-host with Susan Chambers on the very popular The "Susan & Carol, Unscripted" show, live. FM 99.1 radio each Tuesday Morning at 10amCT.


This story was posted on 2016-05-26 05:57:34
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