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Long-time resident keeping busy
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Louise Strickland stays busy whether it's through her membership in Covington social clubs or keeping pet rabbits for her grandchildren.

Last year, Strickland retired from a long tenure as a Covington poll worker.

"I started during the Nixon years and at the time everybody voted at the old courthouse," Strickland said, "so it's grown a lot because I think we've added two other precincts now."

She said many people do not realize the painstaking preparation and work that poll workers must complete.

 Balancing the vote sheets at the end of the night so the number from the machines matches the number who signed in always made her anxious, yet excited.

"You always hold your breath until you get that straight."

She said the largest turn out for an election she ever saw was when Ronald Reagan was first elected president.

According to Strickland, poll workers also can ensure a pleasant or horrible experience for voters. She recalled a time in DeKalb County when she waited in line four hours to cast her ballot because workers had not organized well.

Strickland, born in Gwinnett County, moved to Newton County with her husband in the early 1960s and she immediately joined the Covington Garden Club and Covington Woman's Club.

She served as treasurer of the garden club for 40 years.

Strickland said she grows zinnias, azaleas, rhododendrons and a couple of orchids at her home.

She currently serves as treasurer of the Covington Woman's Club and has done so for 40 years.

Strickland is also a member of First Presbyterian Church of Covington.

She said living in Covington is wonderful for many reasons, but mostly for the atmosphere of her historic downtown Covington neighborhood and the people.

"Everybody here is so nice," Strickland said, "and Covington has a small town feeling even though it's not a small town anymore."