First of all I have never written an editorial on anything in my life, I do admire the folks that do and have the guts to write and publish what they believe in.
I am the daughter-in-law of Gordon and Idilene Pirkle. I am married to their eldest son, Lawton.
As many of you have read in articles that have been published on Gordon Pirkle he always states he has four children: Lawton, Frankie, Hayley and Gordon, Jr.
Well the truth is, Gordon became my husband's "Daddy" when he was 3 (years old) and Frankie was 18 months.
Gordon married my mother-in-law and took her boys to raise as his own.
Gordon and Idilene had two children together, Hayley and Gordon Jr.
I can tell you that Hayley surprised her Daddy on his 60th birthday with a party, she asked her brother, Lawton to say the blessing. His blessing started like this: "Dear Lord, thank you for sending my Daddy to my Mama and me and Frankie and thank you for my sister and brother."
If that's not true love for a "Daddy" I don't know what is.
I wanted to tell you this, to let everyone know that Gordon Pirkle did not just start giving to the community 20 years ago, he's been giving to our family for the past 52 years.
I also know that most of you probably don't even know my husband. He's a lot like his Daddy. He's quiet, reserved and loves to tinker. The same with Gordon, he's quiet, until you get to know him and then he will talk your head off.He's reserved and not quick to give any kind of negative responses, he also loves to tinker with Thunder Road, telling the history of Dawson County and how he loves the county and its history, even if it is moonshining, truth is truth.
I also would like to tell everyone of some of the things that most folks don't even know he does. Most people just assume that he only does it for them. He does not like to be the center of attention or take credit for anything.
He will not like me telling all his secrets, but I do believe that folks need to hear them and "remember." I'm sure I'll miss some, I've only been married to his wonderful son for 33 years, so I'm sure I don't know everything.
He has fed the entire fourth grade for the past 25 years, he would close down the Pool Room so that the fourth graders could have the entire facility for themselves, the children could order hamburgers, hotdogs, fresh cut fries and a soda. He also would put all the games on no charge so they could play until their hearts content. In the beginning he could do it all in one day. Now it takes weeks to get all the fourth graders through the Pool Room.
I can't name all the organizations that he has given to, but I do know he's bought ads in almost every program ever printed. He's donated food for all the organizations to sell as fundraisers.
He sponsored the Moss Egg Hunt for years, hiding eggs himself and providing the drinks and other goodies so the children of Dawsonville and surrounding counties could have a great Easter.
We attend a local church and on Friday nights of Bible School, he provided the commencement meals to everyone, free of charge.
Gordon grew up going to camp meeting and about seven years ago, he was finally able to purchase a tent, there is a cleaning on the Saturday before camp meeting starts, he feeds all the workers. Then on the Monday night of camp meeting he fed the entire campground.
He understands that sometimes free food will make folks come out and then stay and hopefully hear the gospel preached.
When someone passes away in Dawson County, if you happen to go into the kitchen at Bearden's Funeral Home you will normally see a huge platter of food that was cooked at the Pool Room, a lot of times Gordon does not know the family, he's just a giving person.
I know he has hired many a young person at the Pool Room so they could make a little money while they were still in school. Most of them call him Papa, he treats them as well as he treats his own grandchildren.
From what I've heard, folks always seem to stop by the Pool Room when they are having a bad day and a free cup of coffee is always available.
If anyone has ever hit on hard times and gone into the Pool Room and tells Gordon they are hungry, they are not hungry for long.
We as his family have seen him leave or arrive late at our family functions because he's so involved with the KARE for Kids foundation. Working tirelessly to make sure that the children of Dawson County get Christmas gifts as he believes that all children are gifts from God.
Gordon was always so proud of Dawson County because more times than not, Dawson County gave to the Rhubarb Jones charity, which collected pennies to help cure Leukemia.
Gordon has brought countless celebrities to Dawson County and given them personal tours, just to name a few: Larry the Cable Guy, one of the band members from AC/DC, ESPN has come several times to learn more about Dawson County and its rich history and who better to tell the story than Gordon.
My father-in-law and mother-in-law are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but who is?
I can't quote the Bible verse, but it goes something like this "He who is without sin, cast the first stone." I can't cast stones and neither should anyone else.
Gordon and Idilene Pirkle are some of the finest folks I know.
God Bless our family.