Reflections

WV Was Second In the State For Electricity

   Hello everyone, hope you are having a good week.  On Memorial Day I was fortunate to get to attend the ceremonies at the Veteran’s memorial.  It was a good turn out with Mayor Bill Norris, VFW Commander Joe Gross, and Representative Tommy Reynolds speaking.  

    Old friend, Jim Allen gave the invocation and dismissal and I was able to meet several old friends including Wade Doolin, Curtis Berry, Dr. Edgar, Pat Bynum, and Bobby Poteete.       Wade told me that I was in error in my barbershop column when I said that Arthur Walker’s shop was the only one in town with a bath tub for their customers.  He said that in Claude Terry’s shop, in the back behind his wife’s beauty shop, was a shower. This service cost 75 cents, including towel and soap.  

    I’ve always said that if I make a mistake some of you out there will correct me and for that, I’m grateful. I know you’re reading the column.  

    Later I visited briefly with Ernie Aune, Rodney Childress,  and Crip and Geannie Tyler. In all it was a very pleasant morning.  

    I also got to talk on the phone with Cinthanyrd.  I hadn’t heard from her in a long time, and I had knew that she had been in the hospital.  She said she is doing better and we agreed to stay in touch.  I believe that Cathy sent me the first letter not long after I started this column.  

    She has been a loyal reader and a welcome contributor and a valued friend – hang in there Cathy.  Jim Peacock and I drove up to Oxford and had lunch at Captain D’s and we ran into Jerry Daum who along with his wife was eating.  Jerry is another friend that I have met since writing this column.  

    I had known his older brother racy, at Camp Ground.  Going back to Wade Doolin, he told me that at one time there was a public shower at the old Power Plant free to anyone.  It might interest young people todayt o learn that Water Valley was the second city in Mississippi to be electrified—Meridian was first.  

    When I was young I can remember the churning of those diesel generators. I remember people talking about when Jasper Barron’s father had a pool hall on Main Street.  Wade told me it was on the west side of Main and I had always thought it was about where Shields shoe shop was located.  

    I saw in the Memphis paper that “Smiles” Allen had passed away.  I would see him at the mall in recent years and we would talk about how he once rode the school bus to Camp Ground.  He was married to Joyce Stewart who preceded him in death.  

    The Stewarts lived on top of the Boyd Street hill just above Jim Peacock’s family.  Sonny would sometimes walk to the movies with Jim and I when we were teenagers.  

    Mr. Stewart worked with Watson Hunt and Lloyd Davenport in their mules and horse business.  I was glad to see eight World War II veterans at the Memorial Day ceremony.  They are dying out at the rate of over a thousand a day and there are less than 20 World War I veterans left.  

    When you see those frail, old men standing there and you cannot help but think about how they were once young and strong. They beat what was the strongest military forces in the world at that time.  They were farmers, factory workers, high school graduates –  most had never been away from home before.  

    I am so proud to be an American and I know those old men and millions just like them made it possible for us to enjoy the good life we have today.  I know I’ve skipped around more than usual this week, but it seems that all through the column I think of something else I want to add so bear with me.  

    My email address is charlescooper3616@sbcglobal.net  or write to me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, TN 38101 and be assured that your input is greatly appreciated.  Have a great week.

Leave a Comment