Singin’ for Dear ‘Ol Suwannee

Dick Grillo, ACV sr. director of church and community relations holding two awards in recognition of his songwriting talent

Dick Grillo, ACV’s Sr. Director of Church and Community Relations was honored recently for his talent in songwriting. He learned that the second Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest was to be held in August, in which finalists performed their songs live at the Salty Snapper in Valdosta, GA. He entered a song he had written in February 1999 for “Treasures of the Suwannee.” It was a musical drama that depicted the history of ACV and Dowling Park, which was performed both in 1999 and again for ACV’s Centennial anniversary in 2013.

The song Dick chose to enter was “Dear ‘Ol Suwannee,” because it talks about not only the Suwannee River, but also about ACV. (See the lyrics below.)

Not surprisingly, Dick was chosen as a finalist and performed Dear ‘Ol Suwannee at the contest. As he performed, his cheering section expressed their excitement. Dick went on to win Best Folk/Country Song and Best Song from Inside the Suwannee River Basin. Congratulations on your achievements, Dick! Thank you for sharing your musical talents with not only ACV, but with the community as well.

Congratulations to Dick for this well-deserved honor.


Dear ‘Ol Suwannee

Suwannee River flows so gently ‘round the river bend –

And the people gathered ‘round her treat her as a friend.


Down in dear ol’ Suwannee County flows a river, oh so wide

And the people gathered ‘round her speak of her with grace and pride.


If you lived along the river, there’s a sound you’d hear – and how!

It’s the sound of that ‘ol Steamboat known to all as “Suwannee Belle.”


In the county seat of Live Oak stands the “Union Depot Line.”

And the trains that whistled through her carried people far and wide.


Once the “Loping Gopher” lumbered from that Union Depot Line

And it made its way from Live Oak to that Dowling Park reside.


All along the Suwannee River miles of secret treasure lie.

And the children who grew up there found the secrets by ‘n by.


On the river stood a small sawmill, now it shelters young and old.

And the Advent Christian Village carries on a truth foretold.


Suwannee River flows so gently ‘round the river bend –

And the people gathered ‘round her treat her as a friend.

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