The celebrations began on July 18, 2007 with a proclamation by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. I suppose this was the part of the retirement ritual that I dreaded the most, because I knew it would be televised. Even though I have been a public figure all my adult life, I hate being on public display. Go figure.
I knew I would be emotional and worried about getting through my speech. Luckily, I had my two favorite girls with me for moral support and to furnish the tissue. That would be my niece Brittany (pictured in the yellow shirt) and my daughter India (pictured in the blue dress).
The Commissioners all had wonderful things to say about me. I managed to get through my speech, and at the end of it all, Chairman John Eaves declared it O.V. Brantley day in Fulton County, GA!
The good thing about this public display is that I heard from many old acquaintances who watched it on televison or their computers.