One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for February 15, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
My wife and I make it a habit to try to get to First Presbyterian Church in Lumberton NC every Sunday for the 8:30AM service which features the Praise Band and a more contemporary service. One of the treats attending that early morning worship is I get to hear the robust laughs of a friend of mine David Walker.
David is one of those individuals with a laugh that is both infectious and easy to trigger. If I ever became a professional comedian I want an audience full of David Walkers. David is also a very good man who has been very kind and gracious to not only me but my family. When our youngest son Mack took up golf David was very generous in providing him a ton of golf balls. You will never meet him when he is not upbeat and positive. I believe that his positive attitude served him well in business and made him a success.
David and his wife Dale have been fixtures in the Lumberton community since 1970’s when his work with John Deere brought him here. He was recently married upon his arrival with one small child and another on the way. He was looking to find a way to stay in Lumberton and Furman Biggs Jr. helped him by taking him in with Kay & Company. He started in 1975 and over time was able to purchase the business. He sold it to BB&T in 1999.
David is a graduate of the University of Georgia and a staunch supporter and fan of all things Georgia Bulldogs. I love to talk with him on Sundays in the fall about the results from that Saturday SEC football games. After college he joined Navy and was involved in air intelligence. He had some neat experience and spent additional time in the naval reserves.
During his time at the University of Georgia he became acquainted with one of the most unusual men in college football. He knows Sonny Seiler who is the man behind the family that raises one of the top mascots in college athletics “Uga”. Uga is the only live mascot ever invited to the Heisman Trophy presentation. It was for good reason because Herschel Walker was that year’s winner.
Sonny Seiler was in law school in 1956 and has just recently got married to his bride Cecelia who has since died. Cecelia had one of her friends give her an English Bulldog puppy as a wedding gift. According to Sonny in 1956 before the first home game of the season they took the dog to the Sigma Chi fraternity house. David Walker and Sonny are both Sigma Chi brothers.
Cecelia had dressed the dog in a red child’s t-shirt and sewn a big G on the front of the shirt. Well as Sonny tells it “after a few ice teas we are convinced to bring the dog to the game”. After that appearance the dog is asked to be the University of Georgia mascot. A dog doesn’t live forever but the mascot does and Georgia is now on Uga IX. One of the most famous moments in Uga history was in 1996 when Uga V lunged and attempted to bite an Auburn Football player named Robert Baker. Maybe Uga was a pretty good judge of character because in 2013 Baker was sent to prison for distributing heroin.
There is a great piece on Uga and Sonny at the link below. This video aired on the CBS program called Sunday Morning back in November 2014.
The Friend-DAVID WALKER
Depicted in picture below
(l-r) Hairy Dog-David Walker-Russ in Doghouse-John Seiler-Sonny Seiler all at Sanford Stadium 2011. Note on Russ-After the death of Uga VII, his five-year-old half-brother, Russ, was selected as interim mascot. He served in that capacity during 2011 season.
David sharing thoughts on Sonny Seiler
Sonny is an institution at Georgia. He and his son Charles have been so important to a great tradition at my alma mater UGA. Sonny has been in three movies including The Legend of Bagger Vance and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. He lives in Savannah, GA and is an attorney.
His office in Savannah was the set in the movie Cape Fear starring Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck.
Sonny is particular about the names that his dogs receive and sometimes if they aren’t up to Uga standards he will not bestow the Uga name on them.
In 2011 David got a great gift from his son Keenan to be on the sideline of a Georgia Football game. At that game he spent time with Sonny and his family. He also got to hang out in front of Uga doghouse.