Sandersville Scene Olympic Gold Medals - Page 29

put our children around people that would be of good influence .”
From a very young age , Sonny says , noting it ’ s still something jokingly talked about , if they went to the mall on a Sunday afternoon he could always find Wright sitting on a bench somewhere .
At 10 years old , Wright would sit and talk with older people .
“ I ’ d walk up and wonder what was going on ,” says Sonny . “ I ’ d say something like , ‘ Wright , you ready to go , and he would say , yeah .’”
One such occasion involved a woman in her mid- ‘ 70s .
“ As he was standing up to say goodbye to the woman , Wright says , ‘ I hope your daughter gets to feeling better ,’” says Sonny .
Barksdale ’ s dad says his son was engaged with people much older than he was at a very early age .
“ He ’ s always been concerned about other people ’ s problems , and I think that ’ s what makes him so good at what he does as a prosecutor ,” says Sonny .
When it comes to his job , it ’ s not strictly all about punishment — it ’ s about recognizing there ’ s a problem .
“ He believes if punishment is due , then that ’ s the right we ’ re going , but if there ’ s another route to go , then that ’ s what we ’ re going to do ,” says Sonny about Wright . “ We ’ re here to solve a problem and not just have tunnel vision .”
Sonny says his son comes from a long line of people , who are not necessarily the most intelligent , but they have always been fortunate enough to stay in what he describes as the trenches .
“ We ’ ve always been a people who have stuck it out ,” says Sonny , noting that he and other family members had some difficult times over the years but they have never given up . “ This is who we are and this is what we do .”
He said he and his wife had always tried to instill in their son and daughter that they would both face difficult times in their lives , just like others .
“[ Wright is ] going to have hard times , and my daughter is going to have hard times ,” says Sonny . “ But it ’ s important that they stay the course . We ’ ve raised both of them to be who they are , and to understand who they are in order to maintain themselves .”
Sonny recalls the days when Wright played high school and a little college basketball .
“ He was not the most talented player on the court , but he was not the guy you wanted defending you all night either , because he would wear you out ,” recalls Sonny . “ He comes from good people and he ’ s a good person himself .”
Sonny credits his wife of 37 years with raising their son and daughter . The couple met while students at the University of Georgia where Sonny was majoring in agricultural economics . Brownie , meanwhile , who is originally from Johnson City , Tenn ., earned her degree in early childhood development .
“ She was a stay-at-home mom and there were times through Wright ’ s education and our daughter , Mary Elizabeth , that there would be a problem ,” says Sonny . “ She would push , push and push to make sure that they got what they needed .”
Wright said growing up in Washington County was special to him in many ways .