Swine Time evokes memories

Published 6:12 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Every year, the fine people of  the Climax Community Club and the small town of Climax do an outstanding job hosting their annual Swine Time Festival.

Thirty-seven years ago, I had the pleasure of breaking the story that Climax was going to start hosting a festival called “Swine Time,” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year.

Through the years I have had the honor of attending and covering all 36 Swine Times and I have thoroughly enjoyed each.

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I commend Climax Community Club president Phillip Dodson, vice president David “Butch” Mosely and Climax Mayor Charles Hadsock for putting on another first-class event.

My memories of Swine Times past are many, ranging from competitive hog calling and chitterling-eating competitions to Swine Time run competitors being spurred on by a loud oink or two, as they ran by the late Mr. Earl Hester’s Climax hog farm.

Swine Time and other small town festivals are great because they keep the great spirit of small communities alive.

Prior to the festivals, they were bound together by their community schools.

For many years Climax, Attapulgus and other small Decatur County communities had schools which gave them a lot of community pride.

There were many strong basketball rivalries among those schools.

For a few years on the Friday night of Swine Time weekend, some of those rivalries were renewed.

Former players from Climax, Attapulgus and West Bainbridge High Schools were brought back to play alumni games against each other at the old Climax High School Gymnasium.

While the games were very competitive, there were many sore muscles and bones following the game.

I joked that I would have liked to have been running a Bengay concession stand, after those games.

The rivalries were still very intense. I distinctly remember talking to Climax and Attapulgus fans who preferred to stand up, rather than fill an empty seat on the opposite side.

While the festival is held today on the spacious Swine Time grounds, for several years when it first began it was held on the Climax school grounds.

I hope I’m able to attend and cover many more Swine Time Festivals and gather many more fond memories in the coming years.

The good citizens of Climax are as fine a people as you will find anywhere. They always make visitors feel welcome.

In conclusion, I would just like to thank my many Climax friends for all the great Swine Time hospitality they have provided me with through the years and congratulate them on another extremely-successful Swine Time Festival.