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Fala Day History - as told by Herschal Hill


Ray and Olwyn Hawkins moved to Gay, Georgia in the early 1980’s.  Ray enjoyed exploring and soon discovered FDR’s Little White House in Warm Springs.  They visited often and formed friendships with the members of the Little White House staff, in particular Mary Thrash.  Ray saw a great chance to start something for the pet owners of The Scottish Terrier Club of Atlanta and approached the Little White House staff about a celebration of FDR’s beloved Scottie; Fala.  The idea blossomed and was presented to Carl Williams, the club president at the time and was enthusiastically embraced by club members.  Carl asked Herschal Hill to organize the event and it was decided to introduce the Scottish Terrier to the public. 


The first celebration was held on September 15, 1984 and consisted of three parts: a fun match hosted and judged by Keith Bates, an obedience demonstration hosted by Bert Tryon and then a time for the public to mingle with the Scotties.  The Little White House also showed a great 10 minute movie of Fala.  We held this event on the terrace of the old museum and the day was perfect for the 20 Scotties who participated.  We were there for about 2 hours.


The next year we also met at the old museum but on the other side. Among the visitors were a group of children from the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation.  Herschal remembers one young boy who was being pushed in a wheel chair.  As he approached the Hill’s and their Scottie; Mandy, his eyes were huge.  When asked if he’d like to pet Mandy, he eagerly shook his head.  It was a very moving moment when he carefully reached his little hand out and petted Mandy’s head.  That wonderful smile made everything OK. From this humble beginning the event has continued to grow and grow. 


We were surprised at the 1988 Fala Day when we were on TV.  We soon outgrew the area around the old museum and moved to the parking lot where it was held for several years.  Beginning in 2010, it was graciously hosted by the people of Warm Springs. In 2014 we returned the event to the Little White house to the delight of everyone at the Little White House and in our club. The event has grown from the original 2 hours to a full day of activities and always includes some past attendees, as well as new attendees and participants.  This year promises to be another wonderful celebration of Fala and of all things Scottie. Who would have thought that it would have grown from such humble beginnings to such a major event?  We are delighted to offer this event to share our love for our breed. We look forward to seeing you!

Herschal Hill, Past President, Life Time  Honorary member 

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