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Out on the Mudline

W. P. Sissell

Week’s Activities Include Fundraising For Library

No More Driving

In the years of our retirement, Nannette and I have occupied our time with several activities.  

For a number of years I picked up and delivered school buses for a friend who operates a bus sales business in Batesville (Magnolia Sales, Inc., now located in the Pope area).  For me this was somewhat of a  “fun-thing,”  a lot like the time I spent as a summer Ranger on Enid Reservoir (maybe one should back up to get that pay check).  

Nannette accompanied me on several of those trips when only one bus was coming back. We picked up buses in locations over most of the southeast and at one time I could direct you to most of the school bus shops in Mississippi. Do you know that one must drive by five oil wells to get to one of those bus shops?  Failing health for one of my close friends, along with our ages, brought that activity to an end.  

Other Involvements

At this juncture we were persuaded to join a couple of active clubs of Batesville and Panola County; The Friends of the Batesville Library and the Pan-Gens (Panola County Genealogy Society). The persuading factor in selecting these was a lady named Norma Riser along with Emily Allen, both long time friends, after we moved to the Batesville area.  

Mrs. Riser, who was born and grew up in the Batesville area (Ptocowa to be exact) was the person whom, when she found out that I had connections with the old Water Valley swimming pool, exclaimed, “Oh, we got to go there every year and swim when they held  the Watermelon Carnival. How beautiful the water was in that pool.”  

Reintroduced to a

Forgotten Trick

Mrs. Allen’s first husband was  a veterinarian, Dr. Pattridge. Dr. Pattridge thoroughly embarrassed me when I asked him if he had facilities to  handle a 1,500 pound bull.  His return question was, “Bill, do you have a lariat?”  I learned the use of the “flank throw” on a large animal when I was a young boy. Dr. Pattridge and I became good friends. I taught the children of both  families.   

Mrs. Riser and Mrs. Allen  had been instrumental in the organizing of these clubs. A few years ago, when one of our neighbors was elected to the public office where one of the duties was to appoint the County Representative to the Regional Library Board, Nannette, a retired librarian,  was asked to represent Panola County on the board.  

I’m about to forget to tell you about one added factor in our library interest.  Our State of Mississippi librarian is one of my former Chemistry students, a graduate of South Panola High School, Sharman Bridges Smith, one of my son-in-law’s, sister.

Interesting People

Our past week was spent contacting businesses to give them the opportunity to contribute to the support of our library. Most of the businesses have “No Soliciting” signs posted.  

We introduced ourselves as “non readers.”  We, the two of us, have talked at length about how well we were received. We were thanked repeatedly for taking the time to do this work. In fact, in the coming year, we intend to do an invitation  letter for our paper so that we can truly give everyone an opportunity to support this community service. All these funds are used to supplement regular funding.      

We met many interesting people and I will just belabor you with one. As we walked into one of the stores (Factory Outlet Mall)  a young man greeted us.  Now I collect accents and this young man definitely did not have any “suthen drawl.” As soon as I could wedge the question into the conversation, I asked him about the accent.

The young man grew up in the upper Oklahoma/Kansas border area.  He was trained and had managed a store in Kansas close to Wichita. When that store was closed he was called and asked if he would like to come to Batesville, Mississippi.  That young man was familiar with the area where my folks settled in upper Kansas.  

Our library club has two fund-raisers per year—the other is a used book sale in the fall.  Year before last, after Katrina, our School District took all our overrun of books to the Gulf Coast school systems for rebuilding the lost libraries there.  Now we have a store in Batesville, Mary’s Go Round, that takes our overrun each year.  It has been an interesting week—we met many old friends and had a lot of interesting visits.  

We’ve gotten a, much needed, rain, 1.33 inches last night and it looks as though there is more on the way.  Our wish for you is a great week.  You can reach me almost anytime at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606, or 662-563-9879.

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