Archived Story

It’s a Wonderful Life in Alexander City

Published 12:24pm Friday, December 28, 2012

Shirley Penton hosted her annual Christmas party last Thursday evening at her Ann Edwards home. Eighty guests visited and viewed her home as they sipped cider and coffee and nibbled on an assortment of heavy hors d’oeuvres. With a beautifully decorated tree in every Santa-dripped room, Penton’s home is truly one of the most festive homes in Alexander City during the holidays. Perhaps she will invite you next year.

Local dentist and cult movie star George Hardy also hosted a Christmas shindig last Thursday evening in his Glynmere home for about 75 friends, neighbors and family. Live music encouraged Christmas cheer and even Hardy’s mother, Mary Ann Hardy, tickled the ivories. Guests contributed hors d’oeuvres and the wine and cocktails flowed. Hardy also set up a paint station in his garage for guests to explore their creative sides.

Whitney Clanton celebrated her 28th birthday with her now annual Dirty Santa Dubbed party at Paul’s Point on Lake Martin. Clanton was dressed as a Candy Coated Rainbow Unicorn (and yes, she wore candy), and her guests arrived in wild Christmas attire with various degrees of flair. For example, Jessica and Ryan Sanford came as the bad guys from Home Alone. If you do not think Jessica makes a mean Joe Pesci, then think again! Blake Shaffer embodied Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation, and there were many shades of Ugly Christmas Sweaters, tights and head gear.

A bonfire on the beach was enjoyed and a delightful BBQ spread was offered, along with dips and munchies. Two rounds of Dirty Santa were played and hilarity ensued. I walked away with a pack of glitter and some Mardi Gras beads.

Also spotted: Janet Price, Chase Clanton, Jennifer Hayes, Wes Young, John Howell, Deidra Baird, Bess Granger, Jay Martin, Jackson Lilly, Ali Sanford, Brittany Stegall, George Stegall, Lindsay Hardy, Jennifer Bolt, Hayden Gunn, and Brittin Eustis.

I do hope Alex City and Lake Martin residents had a very Merry Christmas. One of my favorite moments of the season consisted of watching It’s a Wonderful Life with John and staying in my PJs until 3 p.m.

IWL is a movie that should be viewed year round. Who doesn’t feel unimportant at times, and who doesn’t forget to appreciate the small details that make life worthwhile? Who hasn’t stood at the proverbial edge of that bridge and thought ‘I cannot do it one more day’? We all fall short, have our regrets and disappoint each other over and over again. Still, we unknowingly contribute to each other and our communities in vital and positive ways on a daily basis.

After an evening with his guardian angel, George Bailey’s neighbors show up and shower him with money – it brings a tear to my eye because it reminds me of everyone affected by this modern day recession. And Bedford Falls reminds me of Alex City.  And it makes me think: perhaps if we all pull together in 2013, we can really make some big changes around here.

See ya next year!

Howell works as an advertising representative for Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., in addition to writing this column. Contact Howell at to keep her In the Loop of events.