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Bright & Brief

June 4, 1989

ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) _ The secretary of the Calhoun County Historical Society did a double take as he entered City Hall on his way to a meeting. There, among 100 years worth of portraits of Anniston mayors, was a face he’d seen before.

It took Robert Lindley and city officials a while to sort out why a picture of the Rev. Charles W. Freeland, rector of the Church of St. Michael and All Saints, was hanging there. The rector was identified as T.H. Hopkins, mayor from 1881-85.

Lindley said he recognized Freeland while at city hall earlier this year from pictures hanging at the Episcopal church.

Freeland ″kind of has that look of someone who would be in charge or important,″ Lindley said explaining how the mistake could happen.

When Lindley notified city officials, they noticed the man in the picture has a cross on a chain around his neck. ″And if you look real close, you can see the clerical collar,″ he said.

Jim Johnson, of Lance Johnson Studios, who painted the former mayors’ portraits from old photographs, said a mislabled, old print of Freeland’s picture must have gotten mixed up with those of the mayors.

Years ago, Johnson’s father bought Russell Bros., Anniston’s first portrait photographers, he said, and that apparently was the source of Freeland’s picture.

Freeland’s portrait was removed last week from pictorial association with the mayors, and the congregation of St. Michael’s is interested in getting it back, Abby Ulrey, church office administrator, said.

Meanwhile, Johnson is attempting to locate a print of Hopkins for a new portrait to fill the empty wall space.

But city employees will miss the familiar face of Freeland, a.k.a. Hopkins, personnel clerk Marguerite Bright said.

″He looked like someone you’d want for an ancestor,″ she said.

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COVINGTON, La. (AP) - Depending on how you look at it, it took Dorothy Terry either 57 years or 12 days to earn her high school diploma.

Mrs. Terry, who left school at the age of 13 and will turn 70 next month, needed only six weeks of study - two days a week - to get her General Educational Development diploma.

″I don’t know why I let so many years go by,″ the Covington resident told her fellow graduates during a ceremony last week. ″We all have the same reasons, more or less: busy, no time.

″Suddenly I felt a thirst for knowledge. The opportunity was all around me, and all I had to do was go for it.″

In 1932, Mrs. Terry dropped out of school in New Orleans to learn how to sew. Four years later she was married, and dreams about resuming her education were forgotten.

″We never had the things they have now: washers, dryers, dishwashers,″ she said. ″When I got married that was the end of my life. Once you get married your life is over. You can’t go to school any anymore. I had to raise four children.″

Now a great-grandmother, she works at a day-care center. And she plans to stay in school, studying music and computer science at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

″It keeps you from getting older. As long as you use this,″ she said, tapping her forehead, ″you keep it moving. You find when you read and do math ... it keeps you younger.″

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KINGS MILLS, Ohio (AP) - A man who says he holds the world record for rides on a single roller coaster has taken his 8,000th trip on the Racer at the Kings Island amusement park.

Don Helbig, 26, of Cincinnati threw his hands high as he went up and down on the ride. ″The thrill keeps getting better, and I don’t plan to stop until I hit 10,000,″ he said Friday.

Helbig, who manages a sporting goods store in suburban Cincinnati, said he hopes to reach his goal in 1990.

He took his 7,000th ride on the Racer in August 1987. Kings Island officials say an organization called the American Coaster Enthusiasts has verified that Helbig’s ride total on the Racer is a record for riding one attraction.

He began riding on the roller coaster in 1981 while he was seasonally employed by the Cincinnati Reds. He stepped up his ride pace during a strike by major-league baseball players that year which gave him more free time.

In 1982, one train of the Racer was turned around to operate in the backward direction. Helbig says he has ridden the coaster 4,800 times in the forward direction and 3,200 times backward. He took his 8,000th ride facing forward.

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