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Me and Myles: Two old newspaper guys had good times together


Myles Robert Godfrey and I were in diapers the first time we met. I think Myles had soiled his, but I didn’t say anything. After all, he was just a month-old. I was a year old.

It was inevitable that Myles and I would see a lot of each other over the years. Our daddies both worked for the railroad, so our families got together to eat and talk and laugh. Belle Godfrey, Myles’ mother, loved to laugh. She got her energy from laughter—and Luzianne coffee with chicory, guaranteed to keep you awake for two days.
Heyward, the father, called me “Nothing.” You had to be something to be called “Nothing” by Heyward.

Myles had an older brother, Johnny, who died in 2015, and a younger sister, Malinda, who eventually migrated west after marrying a Texan.

Myles was always protective of his little sister. I remember going with him to pick up a former boyfriend of Malinda’s who wouldn’t leave her alone after they broke up. He was a muscular football player; Myles and I weighed about 250 pounds—together. But the guy wasn’t taking any chances. He pulled out a pistol as he rode in the back seat of Myles’ car. Fortunately, no shots were fired, and Myles had his say.

We had good times at the Godfrey home. Myles didn’t like staying away from home, so I spent the night with him. I could sleep anywhere, even under the six quilts Belle piled onto our bed, pinning us down for the winter night. Hardy plants froze to death in that bedroom, but Myles and I survived.

Myles would invite me and other teenaged guys to come to his basement to play spin-the-bottle with some of Malinda’s good-looking girlfriends. We also played post office. If those games don’t mean anything to you, let me say this: They were a lot more fun than Monopoly.

In one class in high school, Myles and I swapped names. I would answer to Myles Godfrey and he would to Philip Hudgins. I got his grades, he got mine. Eventually, we swapped back.

Like me and my brother, Myles got into the newspaper business at an early age and eventually started his own weekly paper in Winder, Ga. His quirky sense of humor paid off.

While other organizations were sponsoring 5k runs, Myles’ newspaper hosted an Un-Run. It was a 10,000mm event; that’s about 33 feet. If anyone broke a sweat, he or she was disqualified. The last person to the line won.

Concerned about overexertion, Myles had a doctor and nurse standing by.

As Myles aged, a debilitating disease gradually stole his ability to walk. But he didn’t complain. He continued to work at home, composing newspaper ads for a friend until his hands would no longer work.

I told some of his funny stories at his celebration of life a few days ago. If he had been there, he would have smiled, knowing full well there was a lot I just couldn’t tell.