2002 death of sister prompts family biography
Dwain Penn's sister, Georgie Dianne Penn Terry, died on April 17, 2002, at the age of 57, the tragic victim of Alzheimer's. Married for 33 years, Dianne did not have any children to help perpetuate her legacy as a dear soul who touched the hearts of those who knew her.
Having successfully published several books, Penn decided that he should take on the responsibility to write a heartwarming story about his sister, whom he considered to be his second mama. The story would be a testament for the family and the many attributes of goodness which combined to fulfill the old and familiar adage that it is indeed 'a wonderful life.'
Penn used family photographs to order his thoughts and create great runs of prose which were only the centerpiece of the 1,000 words of proverbial worth. The wealth of memory that Penn retained was combined with stories from other relatives and friends, including Dianne's husband, James Pat Terry, siblings Dave Penn and Donna P. Barnes, a paternal aunt, Mantie P. Hill, a maternal aunt Laura C. Burkett, and paternal great aunt, Louise D. Anthony.
Prior to a final edit and publishing, Penn sent a rough draft copy of the book to Pat, Dave and Donna, asking them to make historical corrections to the manuscript. During this process, Dave called and left a message on his brother's machine: "I can't finish my work on this book because I can't stop laughing!" And then recently (spring 2008), after reading the book again during a business trip, Dave Penn called to say, "I got tickled, strangled myself and almost died in my hotel room."
"Nothing less than excellent!"
Max Holliman, Thomaston, GA
"I am so interested in it."
Charlene Hill Stallings, Macon, GA
"You're such a good writer."
Bonnie Smith, Thomaston, GA
"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this wonderful book."
Elma Hardage, Yatesville GA
"It's great. I'm proud of it."
Mantie P. Hill, Yatesville, GA
"It was a very sweet book."
Louise C. Davis, Ooltewah, TN
"I started reading it when I got it and I couldn't put it down. A wonderful book. I really enjoyed it. You are an excellent author."
Joyce P. Smith, Griffin, GA
"Dwain doesn't hold anything back."
J.D. Dickens, Thomaston, GA
"It was so good, I started reading it again when I finished it."
Doris Watson, Barnesville, GA
(Dwain's high school English teacher)
“What a Memorial for Dianne. As I was reading I found myself feeling every emotion I could describe. I’ll always remember the wonderful times we shared with all the Penn family. This book will always have a special place in my library. Hopefully, my children and future generations will get the chance to read and also get to know A Girl Named Georgie, and get to love her as we all did.” “I believe I cried as much as I laughed.”
Bentley Cox, Forsyth, Georgia
228 pages (indexed) $15
($5 of each book sold will be donated to Alzheimer's care, safety or research)
One of the most famous tricks that occurred when Louise was doing housework in Grace's absence involved washing dishes. Louise was at the sink washing the dishes and she would hand the clean dishes to David to dry. After drying, he would give them to Dianne to put away. But instead of putting them in the cupboard, Dianne would slip around behind Louise and when she turned to give David a clean dish, Dianne would slip her clean dish into the sink.
This performance went on for about an hour, resulting in Louise beginning to complain about having so many dishes to wash. David had to bite his lip to keep from giggling and it never occurred to him until years later that he was a victim of that trick, too, as he had to dry all of those dishes that Louise washed over and over.