Sunday, April 16, 2006

Town Escapes Threat to Privacy

A Genealogue Exclusive [What's That?]
Kentucky privacy advocates are breathing a sigh of relief with news that 97-year-old Georgia Callaway passed away in her sleep Friday night.

Callaway was the unofficial town historian of Binford, Kentucky. She knew everyone in town, and never forgot a birthday. That's what had people like Andy Thurlow worried.

"She was a ticking time bomb," says Thurlow, a member of Americans for Absolute Anonymity and a neighbor of Callaway. "She knew my home address, my date of birth, and my mother's maiden name. I'm sorry she had to die, but c'mon . . .  Better that than have her give away my identity to some Nigerian con artist."

Thurlow's fears were not unfounded. In 1987, Callaway wrote a newspaper column on Binford's early history which revealed the illegitimacy of the town's founder, Azariah Binford. The townsfolk were shaken by that revelation, and realized for the first time that Georgia Callaway held the keys to their personal and financial ruin.

"Georgia was a lovely old gal," says Mitzie Waller, who runs the local beauty salon. "But she knew way too much. Nowadays you can't be too careful with personal information like that."

The citizens of Binford all agree that Mrs. Callaway's passing was a sorrowful event, but it was also a blessing—especially for Andy Thurlow.

"I'm just glad the Lord took her when He did. Better Him than me."


Is Georgia alive or dead in that photograph?



Very much alive. You can tell by the pearl necklace, which--I neglected to mention--was stolen off her dead body by an Azariah Binford descendant bent on revenge.

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