“What is the title of the thing?” QHS senior Scottie asks. Then he answers his own question, “You should probably title it what you said the other day,” He wraps his hands around his head. “What did you say?” He looks up. “It’s a papaw thing.”
It does seem that the grandchild of Mert is a lot like the guy in the above picture, and that man is the Papaw he ran to instead of the Christmas presents, which were glistening and waiting in the other corner of the room when he was three years old. Papaw is the man who works on golf carts with Scottie every day, and the reason Scottie explains, “I have well over 1,000 records, albums, 45s, because I grew up with them listening to that music.”
That’s also most likely the reason Scottie plays the trumpet and definitely the reason he is now the co-owner of twenty-two golf carts, a homemade record player, and an antique jukebox.
“Papaw bought his first golf cart from a neighbor of his. He got it working and then I wanted to learn how they work. He bought a couple of more that didn’t work and he taught me and we started experimenting and learning more. It’s always been papaw. We have the same first name.” Scottie has his papaw’s signature tattooed on his left arm. “You don’t go in the living room, and you don’t sit there. But when I was growing up there was a grandfather clock in there and that was our thing. We would wind that clock.”
Scottie points at the light above the batteries, “I did all the wiring in this building. I grew up hearing stories from when he grew up because he was born in Maine on August 22nd of 1935. He didn’t have running water till he was a senior in high school. He was doing homework under a kerosene lamp and now he is using a smartphone and has a Facebook account. His grandpa was a blacksmith. He made his own root beer, and he’d cool it in the creek that ran under his house.”
Papaw is the reason that Scottie feels confident he will one day hold a degree which declares him an electrical engineer. First, he will commute to Meridian Community College, and then he will transfer to State. Meridian is paid through academic scholarships, and for two more years, he will be able to live with his mom and dad and study with his papaw.
And volunteer in a community where he hopes to live one day and where he already has ninety-two service hours.
“I’m just really involved with the chamber because daddy introduced me to Jim and Ann Potuk when I was in the 7th grade. I started doing the wilderness festival, super bowl, and the river run that they do. I help with their annual banquet, and I am part of Historic Clarke County. I do it to help the community. Everyone should do more.”
This Quiz Bowl team, Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club, National Honor Society, and Big Blue Crew member says, “I’m doing it for my mother and grandmother. My mom was here (Quitman High School). I had to do the work. She is where I get my work ethic.”
Scottie’s work ethic will ensure that he takes care of his schoolwork, and his “papaw’s schooling” and economics class has already helped him win first place in agribusiness in FBLA’s district competition this year. What does the champ have to say about his success in high school?
“I don’t turn anything down. If I think I can do it, I can do it. When I get into something I’m really interested in, I’m going to dig down and really go for it.”