Well, we’ve run right through April and into May (today, Tuesday, is the 1st) and I completely let two very important April dates slip by without a mention.
First was April 12, when the old volume number on the Herald rolled around to 119. We have begun the 120th year of this paper’s covering events in the Valley. Another important aspect of this, for me at least, is that the Shearer name has been connected with this publication for more than half of those years.
Daddy was owner and Editor/Publisher from 1942 until 1977; Ed took over July 1, 1977 and continued through 2003; and, I’m still here—sweeping floors, etc. for almost 49 years. It’s been fun most of the time. I hope to be around many more years, assisting this young staff that has come to take over, and whom I think is doing an excellent job.
Second was the 50th anniversary of Ed and my first date. That was on the 19th. Fifty years and it seems like last week. We went to the old Lake Drive-In between Batesville and Sardis. Saw a double feature, one of which I have no idea of the title and the other was “Between Heaven and Hell”, which I watched only a few years ago on TV and found that it was a pretty good film.
Didn’t see either of them that night—we talked non-stop. He did hold my hand. Back at home we sat on the front porch and continued to talk until after mid-night. Said good night on the steps—me standing on the bottom step, with him on the ground. He hugged me and then kissed me on the cheek and that was the beginning of one of the world’s greatest romances. I do have some wonderful memories.
Jimmie and I hosted Bridge Thursday night. This was a special event, because former Pope Baptist Pastor Jimmy Bryant and his wife, Esther, were vacationing out on Enid Lake. Esther was a member of the club when they were at Pople and when she comes to town we always play. We were expecting Wanda and Tom Underwood to visit, but Wanda was in an automobile accident on Wednesday. Thought at first she had a broken neck, but after further examination found that she was only baddly bunged up. However, she was so sore that she just couldn’t ride. Wanda reported that even her finger nails hurt. She is also a former member of this group—during the years that Tom was Manager of TVEPA in Batesville.
Both Esther and Wanda liven up these bridge nights. We certainly enjoyed being with Esther and Bro. Jimmy again, and were so sorry that Wanda and Tom couldn’t come.
It’s always great to spend time at Bill’s and Jimmie’s. Bill brings me up to date on world, national, state, local, and family news. He also reports on the latest books he’s read. It’s like getting a thumb nail dose of Ed’s info. I told a friend a day or two ago that as long as Ed was alive I was a pretty smart woman, but since his death I’ve really slipped on the knowledge scale.
Ed would always read and listen to everything and then feed it to me, already disgested. I kept up with everything and with very little effort. You know it takes time to read newspapers, periodicals, good books, watch TV news, etc., and there are simply not enough hours in the day for me to get this done. So, if you know anything you think I need to, help Bill keep me informed.
Came back early Friday morning, and as usual saw an abundance of wildlife on the Pope/Water Valley Road. Also saw some cute little puppies that had been abandoned. Folks, don’t do this. If you don’t want these little animals, try to find them a good home. We’ll run an ad in the paper to help you place them. Also, if you don’t want offspring, have your animals neutered.
Enjoyed the Relay for Life Events Friday night. Jonnie Mayo, Co-Chairs Travis Clement and Glenda Gordon, and the entire committee did an excellent job in organizing this affair. Jeannie Clement was the Honorary Chair of the 2007 Relay. She and Travis led the first lap of Relay and as names of the survivors were read I was surprised at how many of these people I knew. I was amazed at how many I’d forgotten that had fought the battle with cancer and won—many of them don’t look like they’ver ever been sick a day in their lives. Isn’t that wonderful?
The entertainment was great. Was so good to hear Jessie Higdon and his band again. He’s a tremendous musician—had the talent to make the big time, but just didn’t get the breaks. Next on the program was Ronnie Mills and his group and they were also excellent. The church groups—First Christian, O’Tuck, and Bayson Chapel—were all very good. Elvis is always a crowd pleaser.
All the food smelled and looked great. All I consumed was my third of a funnel cake. Charlotte, David and I shared this and it was delicious.
The Luminaria Ceremony, which is the highlight of the night, is always very moving. Jonnie conducted this, with Bobby Murphree reading the names of those honored and memorialized. The memorials really brought names from the past. I began remembering many who had survived cancer and then lost their lives to other illnesses.
One vivid memory was Daddy Shearer, who had cancer when Jim was a child, but died from heart problems. Most, including me, tend to forget that he was a cancer survivor—and there are many more Vallians, who over the years also won their cancer battles. Daddy was the only Shearer who battled cancer. However, it’s a different story in my family. My father, grandfather, sister-in-law, many aunts, uncles, and cousins have lost their lives to this disease. Do have a few, who have battled and won.
We appreciate the hard work that goes into this event each year. The money raised will help continute the fight against cancer. Perhaps, with all the research we one day will be able to put the effort for a cure into another cause—with cancer a disease of the past. Won’t that be wonderful? It happened with polio and could certainly happen with cancer. I’m praying, hoping and waiting for a vaccine.
Went home about 10:00 and had intended to get up and go back to the Sport’s Complex to see the conclusion of Relay. However, I didn’t set my alarm and woke up about 6:30—to late. Next year maybe I’ll do better.
The Kilgore Sisters were in concert at Woodland Hills Saturday night and it was so good to hear them again. They’re second cousins and many years ago Ed invited them to sing at Camp Ground. That was the last time I’ve heard them. They do sing at Cossar Park occasionally and at many churches in the area, but my schedule has just prevented me from attening one of these. I did enjoy the music and also getting to visit with these ladies again. We all have fond memories of sitting around their Mom’s and my Mom’s table. All of us do like to eat and talk. The talent came from their mother’s side of the family, though—it’s not a Kilgore thing. They also have another relative in the Valley. Lan Smith’s mother, Betty Kilgore Hughes, sings alto with the group and she also does most of the talking. Betty is the same age as Bill and Jimmie and was a classmate of Bill’s.
Understand that the musical presented in Coffeeville First Baptist Saturday and Sunday nights was great. This is an effort of the combined choirs of Coffeeville FB, Coffeeville First United Methodist, and Water Valley FB. There will be a performance of this musical in WV First Baptist Wednesday night, beginning at 6:45. I plan to attend and I’m sure you will enjoy it if you come out.
The Water Valley Community Band’s Spring Concert will be held Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m., on the Downtown Bandstand. Program of music sounds exciting. Band Director Stanley Crow says, “Bring your lawn chairs and come on out and enjoy some great music.”
This group of musicians puts in lots of long rehearsal hours and we really need to support them—if you do you’ll have a great time and hear some wonderful music.
Graduation time is almost here amd we’re working on our Graduation Section. If we fail to contact you, and would like an ad in this section, just call. We’ll fix you up. Grads we urge you to fill out your bio sheets and get them turned in. You family and friends will enjoy seeing your picture and hearing about your accomplishments thoughout your school years.