Metter GA—It was a grand morning for a funeral, if such things can be said. It was warm, not too cool, with a touch of wind. Spring was evident, revealing God’s plan of renewal. It was the kind of day my good friend would spend when not working, fishing with grandkids, or playing a round of golf with his buddies at the Metter Country Club.
Hundreds of Candler County citizens turned out to pay their respects to “Mr. Metter,” whose passing on Friday left such a tremendous void in many community projects and endeavors. To the many who were there, it had to feel like they had lost someone that might never be replaced, the end of an era if you will. Candler County had lost one of its favorite sons. And I had lost a close, close friend.
George C. “Carvy” Snell was as fine a man as you can find in these parts. Having deep ties to Candler County, he loved his place and his people with a passion. The preacher called him a “beacon to all” in his efforts to promote Candler County. I know he would have liked that moniker.
We first met Carvy and his mother, Mrs. Virginia Snell, in the mid-1970s, when they started a new newspaper in Metter. Both went into this newspaper business seeking to be the very best in small town journalism. What happen elsewhere really didn’t matter to them, it was what happened in Metter and Candler County that counted. That principle served them well and a short time later they purchased the older paper, The Metter Advertiser. Together, they combined the two newspapers into a single weekly award-winning newspaper. I never remember a year when The Advertiser didn’t come home from the yearly Georgia Press Convention with a handful of “Better Newspaper Awards” for newspaper excellence.
Each Wednesday morning, for the better part of 25 years, Carvy would bring his paper to Swainsboro to be printed. It was more than just printing day for us. We enjoyed talking about our communities, different newspaper and advertising ideas, comparing local politics, and talked high school sports of all kind. Two newspaper men with a cup of coffee and a Coke can be a dangerous thing. We both came away each week with a sense of renewed commitment to our efforts.
Carvy was an avid supporter of everything good in Candler County. He was a huge supporter of the local Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Authority, He served as chairman of his town’s major community event, “Another Bloomin’ Festival.” He was more of a “behind-the-scenes” fellow in later years, incorporating a town-wide flea market and auction. The event now is a premier regional event with over 15,000 in attendance.
Carvy and I often traveled to Georgia Press Association board meetings across the state. He was elected president of the Association in 2000, just a year after I sold The Forest-Blade. That summer, he summoned me to the annual convention of the Georgia Press Association where he presented me with the first “honorary member award” for the association. Coming from him, it was perhaps the finest honor I’ve ever received.
The preacher used one word to describe Carvy, and it was “love.” He could not have chosen better. He loved his family, his friends, his church, his community, the many organizations he supported, the list goes on and on. He made me a better journalist and a better person. He was the kind of person we should all emulate. He truly made a difference in his community and will be sorely missed!
Bill Rogers Jr.
Former Editor & Publisher