I’ll begin this column with the most important item of the week (my opinion).
Last night former WVHS Band Director, now private instructor, E. B. Kirkpatrick called to share with me that James Wright was the only male four-year member of the 2007 Lions All-State Band. There are three female 4-year members.
Ed began teaching James in the fifth or sixth grade and very soon James was so good that he’d out-grown Ed. Ed then asked Kirk to take over James’ instruction, which he did, and James has just gotten better and better. Ed didn’t even live to see James make Lions Band in the ninth grade, but he and I knew he would do it. As we were talking last night, Kirk remarked, “Ed would have been so proud.” He’s right of course. Ed was proud of every accomplishment of each student he ever had, and they were many. James is the ultimate, though—the only four-year member he ever helped, with the exception of his own son.
This year the Lions Convention will be in Chicago and that brings back fond memories for the Shearers. Son Jim’s freshman year the convention was in Chicago. Jim later went to Montreal, Phoenix, and Atlanta. One of the international trips the band failed to make because of unrest in the area.
James got to go to China, Boston, and now Chicago and his fourth destination I’ve forgotten.
We do congratulate James on his fine accomplishments, also Kirk, Ed, parents, Elizabeth and Ben, siblings, Andy and Little Ben, his school band directors, and others who’ve had a part in his life. I’m sure proud our paths crossed—he’s always been a joy to just be around and certainly to listen to as he played his trumpet.
James doesn’t plan a career in music, but I’m sure he’ll continue to play all his life—maybe in a community band, as he’s done in the Valley since it was formed, or maybe even in an orchestra. Many members of some prestigious orchestras are not career musicians.
Now, we’re anxiously awaiting the announcement that Mississippi has again been named the Number One Lions Band—I’m sure this is going to happen.
It still amazes me that traveling the Pope/Water Valley Road from 315 all the way to Pope there is at present no legal place to pass—double yellow lines all the way. Now having crossed this road for fifty years, I know that there are several spots that you can pass safely and I (and all veterans of this highway) know where they are. However, those who are visitors don’t have a clue. This causes many to get impatient and pass in unsafe places—I’ve seen it happen many times over the past few weeks. I think it’s time to get out there and re-stripe that road before someone gets killed.
With much help from J. C. Womble, the flowers in front of the office are still surviving. Jimmie does appreciate his efforts, as do I, and many others. We get compliments every day and we all appreciate them. The T&C GC pots on Main Street are also beautiful and we do appreciate all the hard work these ladies do each year.
This has been an especially difficult year, with almost no rain. I’m sure it takes untold hours and many, many gallons of water for T&C to keep their pots in good shape, since we spend 30 minutes, or so each day on ours. Then I go home and I have another hour or so. At home though at least I have a hose. I don’t know why we didn’t put an outside faucet in the alley—may have to do that yet.
I’ve had suggestions that we put pots on our pedestals over the one-story area of our building. Would be pretty, but we closed up our access to this area and I don’t think I want to climb a ladder to water flowers. Maybe if we ever open that window up—would like to replace it with French doors—we’ll beautify on that patio.
Jimmie cooked the first squash out of our (I haven’t even seen it) garden for Sunday lunch. She, Bo, Carolyn, and Rance were chefs for the weekend. I didn’t get to Mom’s until time to eat Sunday. They did a great job and I really enjoyed all that food. We had tons of veggies, salads, along with roast. There was no dessert, though, so Rance got out the butter and preserves to go with Bo’s hot biscuits. I eat my sweets middle of the afternoon, but was so lazy that I never got up to cook Mom a cobbler. She and Teddy will have to survive on fruit this week.
Guess since I’m writing Betty’s Week in reverse order, I’ll now tell you about Thursday night.
Betty Davis called to tell me that she, Al, Becky and Stan were going out for supper and asked if I wanted to go. As Ludie always said, “If the wheel rolls, I want to go.” Went and we had a great time. Wound up at Western Sizzlin in Batesville and joining our group was Kay McCulley. She was on her way home, having been at work in Memphis. We had a great visit, discussed everyone and everything happening in the Valley.
A Band Reunion is being planned for Watermelon Carnival Weekend for the years 1969-1998. These are the years that Stan and Becky were Band Directors. I’m excited, because I was involved with the program most of these years and Jim was in the Band from 1974 though 1981. He’s hoping to attend. It will be so great, seeing all the former band members and their families. More info can be found on this happening elsewhere in the paper and I’m sure more will be coming over the next few weeks.