Betty’s Week

  New postal routing for out-of-state papers seems to have improved the delivery schedule greatly. Jim’s was my check paper  and he received his on Monday, the 23rd, after having received his last two papers one and two weeks late—both the 5th and 12th arrived on the 19th.  In addition to having Jim verify that paper delivery is much improved, we’ve had several calls from other out-of-state subscribers. We do appreciate the USPS improving our service.

  Postmaster Sherman also went above and beyond, helping me learn to fill out the new postal report. We do have a great Post Office Staff in the Valley and all of them are deeply appreciated.

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  After I got the weekend postal bill paid, I was off to Panola County for a weekend of School Class Reunions.

  I’d placed an order for barbecue at Sylva Rena Grocery, with pick-up time set for Noon on Thursday (when we thought we’d be out for lunch). This was not to be. We were so busy, helping candidates with their advertisements for this week’s paper that we just had to skip lunch. About two Ms. Sarah called to make sure it was Thursday that I wanted my barbecue. Told her it was and I’d be out in a little while. When I arrived a couple of hours later, Owner John met me with, “Well you took so long and we were hungry so we just ate your barbecue!” “Alright,” I said, “but you’d better come up with something for me to feed all those hungry folks I have coming.” With a big grin he comes back with, “Got bologna and livercheese.” “O.K., bologna will do—we grew up country, so it will probably be a treat!” He laughed and them came out with my barbecue, which everyone raved about. It was delicious and I enjoyed the humor in getting it.

  Several members of the Crowder High School Class of ‘55 gathered Friday night at the Cole House. More would have attended, but the weather was terrible.

  Jimmie and I had cooked and cleaned earlier in the day and our schedule was to shower and dress around four thirty, then I was going to start the grill at five. Well the monster electrical storm we had pushed those times back considerably. She had gotten dressed earlier, so she was O.K. Finally at almost six I braved the lightning strikes for a very quick shower. Jumped out, put on my capris, my garden shoes and Jimmie’s gardening shirt (very attractive). Had not even brushed my hair or put on any make-up. Turned on the grill and guests started arriving—I was a beautiful hostess. We apologized for food being late, but no one seemed to care. They didn’t even comment on my fine attire. Bill arrived and I left him with the grill, while I got into my clean shirt and ran a brush through my hair—never did put on any make-up.

  We got ice-cream made, beans and hamburgers cooked, without loosing power—a minor miracle. Didn’t even have to eat by candlelight.

  Reminiscing and catching up on current news was great. I heard several stories that I’d either forgotten or had never heard.

  One that was priceless happened during rehearsal of our Senior Play. I know I was there because I helped direct the thing, but I sure don’t remember the story. James Rotenberry (cousin of Billy, Cliff, Sue True, and others in our area) told it. He says that everyone got thirsty and they knew the drink box was in the hall. Unfortunately the cast was locked in the auditorium. However, above the locked door was a transom, which was unlocked. Picking the smallest member of the group (Dorothy Jean Wiggs Hardin, who was also present Friday), they put her through the transom and she dropped down into the hall. She reported opening the door from the hall side. Now none of this makes any sense to me, but it was their story. I always thought those auditorium doors were locked (deadbolts) with a key, and even if not they should have allowed opening from the auditorium side, with the hall side requiring the key. Story goes on that someone had a straw and a bottle opener. Now we’re talking old flat water cooled Coke machine. They opened all the bottles in the machine, sucked the cola out through the straw, leaving empty bottles. Next morning they said Superintendent M. T. Purdue was scratching his head, trying to figure out how all the drink bottles were emptied, while still in the machine.

  We (no they) were really foolish teenagers. If that door had not opened from the hall side Dorothy Jean would have spent the weekend in that hallway—there’s no way she would ever have gotten back through that transom without a boost and I can assure you that none of that bunch would have called Mr. Pardue to report that she was in the school.

  Another story involved this same group. Seems they stole (or borrowed) a couple of geese from one of the local ministers. After getting them into James’ pickup, they didn’t know what to do with them, so they rode around checking teachers’ vehicles to find one unlocked. Finally found Sweet Miss Dean’s car open and shared the geese with her. I don’t know if they waited to get her expression when she found her present—probably did. I was not in on that one.

  Our Friday Night Party broke up near Midnight and I could fill a book with all the great material that fell into my plate during the evening—and the wild members of this class are dead.

  Saturday night there was a combined reunion of the CHS Classes of ‘55, ‘56 and ‘57. Our class had 13 members present, the class of ‘56 about the same, but the Class of ‘57 (Brother Terry’s Class)  had some 25 or more attending. It was so good to see all the folks from the other two classes—we were all like one big happy family.

  One story that came out of this night did involve me and I sure don’t remember it. They’re either making all this stuff up or my long-term memory is really bad.

  During all 12 years of school at CHS, each morning we had a short assembly program (much like our Baptist Sunday School Openings now). Scripture was read, prayer was said and announcements for the day were given. Then on Friday we had what we called chapel and its time span was a full activity period. There was a devotional, some congregational singing and often a special, then an assigned class would do a short skit. Report was that during my second grade year I was featured in one of our skits. They say I was pushing a wheelbarrow, with the fattest boy in our class  ( I was very tiny in those days. I’m sure my size got me my part and not my acting) and my line was, “I’m so sorry I let Jr. get so big!”  There was more to our play, but that’s all anyone remembered—I must have stolen the show.

  This gathering was at PawPaw’s Restaurant in Batesville. They took excellent care of us and the food was delicious.

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  Lost three special friends and a son and grandson of other friends this week.

  Harry Ross, husband of Fay Milstead Ross, who was our linotype operator for many years, was a very dear man. Harry was soft spoken and always smiled. He will be missed by me and all his many friends. Sympathy is extended to Fay, Son Scott, his wife Donna, and their children Katherine, and Stephen, Daughter Jill, her husband Jason Sharp, and their children, Harley, Carson and Collin, and all his family.

  Mary Murphree was always a delight to visit with. She was often in the office, along with Son Bobby and Grandson Devon. Mary was involved in so many activities in the Valley. We will all miss her and sympathy is extended to Bobby, Devon and her entire family.

  Still do not have an obituary on Bill Johnson, but received report of his death Monday. Bill and Ed played together for many years and I always enjoyed visiting with him and listening to his music. He will be missed by all of us and we extend sympathy to his family.

  Ernie Aune for a long time kept me up-to-date on Grandson Mike’s condition. However I had not heard from Mike in some time and was shocked when his obit came to my desk yesterday. From Grandfather Ernie’s reports, I know we lost a fine young person with the death of Mike and sympathy is extended to Cindy and Eddie, Ernestine and Ernie and the entire family.

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  If we survive next week, the Herald Staff should live to be a hundred. Next week’s paper will be the final paper prior to the election and also the Watermelon Carnival. Then after we complete the paper we get to attend all the Carnival activities—if we can stay awake. Should be a great week—busy and interesting.

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