We’re just real excited that the last routing, created by the U.S. Postal Service, seems to be improving our mail service.
Son Jim is my quality control person. He reports that his last three papers arrived on Monday, following publication. That’s up from a delivery of two, three and four weeks late.
We’ve also had numerous calls telling us that they’re so happy to be getting the paper in a more timely manner. Received this e-mail from subscriber Ron Pass in Prattville, Alabama. Ron had written several times about his tardy papers, so I’m so happy he’s finally getting them on time.
His note reads: “Wow, Betty! I don’t know what y’all did to the Post Office, what you pay them, or the deal you worked out, but you did GOOD! Last week, I got the July 26 issue on July 28, and I got the Aug 2 issue today, Aug 3. That is a quick delivery, almost faster than getting it on the Internet. In the past, the paper usually came a week or so later. Thanks for the improvement.”
We’re glad it’s working, Ron, and thank you for writing.
I was almost too tired to take in the Carnival—could have easily just been a couch potato all weekend. However I’m glad I made the effort. The Watermelon Music Festival, sponsored T&C Garden Club was excellent. I really enjoyed Jack’s Railroad DVD.
The Sharecroppers gave maybe their best ever performance. As always, Jennifer Sartain Dean was great, and a new group, “Big Yank” was very good. Only problem with them was the instruments overpowered Joe Gurner’s vocals and I really wanted to hear him sing and to hear the words to his original compositions.
Keith Stevens, as always, was a very professional MC and I always enjoy his corny jokes. T&C could not find a better person for the introduction of the Carnival Queen and her Court than Pat Ray, and her “Watermelon, Watermelon” has become a classic. All the royalty looked so pretty and handsome and the cheerleaders are to be very good this year—award winners again I’m sure.
Congratulations to Teresia Edgar, recipient of the first Luella Fair Community Enrichment Award. A better choice could not have been found. The Award was introduced by Dot Terry and presented by Luella’s daughters, Becky Fair Terry, Anne Fair Pender and Harriet Fair Dodd.
Jessie Gurner, President of T&C, gave a warm welcome to the Musical Festival, Joe Newman, President of CofC, welcomed all to the weekend events, and Katie Dickey, Miss Casey Jones, made sure everyone knew they were invited to view the Casey Jones Museum. All these folks are very good spokespersons.
After work Friday, I ran home, showered and then went to the Park for the opening ceremonies. Missy Davis Kitchens sang the National Anthem, WM Queen Margaret Black and her Court was presented, and then the festivities began. The square dancers performed on the tennis court and then “Class Reunion” provided music for dancing or listening at the Renasant Bank sponsored Street Dance. Friday night is the best time for visiting and eating. I sat with the Perkins/Davis Clan and it was so good to see all of them. All four children, Martha, Johnny, Van and Betty were present, along with most spouses, grands and great-grands. Many out-of-town guests and Vallians came by for a visit. It was good to see the former Eva Mitchell and her husband. I was introduced to him, but the noise level was so high I didn’t really hear his name, but did enjoy visiting with him. Eva looked great—didn’t look much older than when she graduated high school.
It was so hot that we all went home much earlier than usual. Another shower and then it was bedtime. Three showers in one day, and I needed a few more—at that rate I’ll wash myself away.
Jimmie came by Saturday morning and, after we delivered her cakes to the Depot, it was off to the park. We looked at many of the booths, then gathered with many others at the gazebo to take in the “Loose Gravel” performance. Vocalist and front for this group is Braden Gray, youngest son of former Post Master Gary Gray. He’s an excellent vocalist and the musicians were very professional. Several people stated, “They’re great, how did we get them?” I was glad to know the group and be able to explain how they came to be in the Valley. Everyone I talked to really enjoyed their music. I’m sure we’re going to hear more from Braden and this band.
We then visited the Garden District’s Booth (Bill’s Sister Margaret and his Niece Joanna Patton were there. Joanna owns the Garden District.) They reported that sales were good. Most of the vendors seemed to be selling—that’s great. After a little more looking we did our shopping. Jimmie purchased a “Big” clock (without the works) from a dealer out of Sardis. I have his card at home, but can’t remember the name. I’ve talked to several more people, who also bought items from them. I wanted an easel, a gate, and several other things, but just didn’t think I could carry them to our vehicle. We got an address to their home and hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll get up to Sardis.
Picked up chicken-on-a-sticks for lunch, went home and ate them in the cool. Then I showered and dressed again and went to the Band Reunion at the Depot. Jimmie went home—she’s had enough heat and humidity.
It was so good to see former band members and several parents—we had a great time visiting. First to greet me was one of my favorite kids, Larry Schmitz. I tell him he looks just like he did in HS and his reply, “Yea, except for an extra hundred pounds!” Well since I’ve gained about that much I don’t notice weight.
Spent time with another of my favorites, Alan Berry. Caught up on his family and career.
Our first child, Bea Bryan, was there and it was good to see her. I had trouble with the ages of most of those kids, but not so with Bea. She was born in August after Ed and I married. Her mom, the late Esther Bryan, was to sing at our wedding, but Bea acted up and kept Esther in bed that weekend. She looks great, actually looks about 20 years younger than what I know she is.
Many band members came by and I can’t remember all of them, but did enjoy seeing Lee Ann Todd, Benji and Joe Gurner, Glenn Bryan, Bea Riggs, Terrell McClaflin and her Mom, Virginia, and the list could just go on and on, but I’m told I have to bring this thing to an end. We do have to get out a paper this week, complete with election returns.
As I came in this morning it looked like voting at the National Guard Armory was already heavy. I usually vote last thing in the day—tell everyone that they wouldn’t know when to close the polls if I didn’t rush in to vote at the last minute. After the polls close it will be off to the park to get the returns as they come in.
We’ve had a really nice election year—everyone has been very congenial when they’ve been around me. And I think they have been at all times. One day we had several candidates for the sheriff’s race in at the same time and they all said they had no problem with each other—they just thought they were the best person for the job. Well, if you don’t think that, you have no business in the race.
I just hope we all get out to vote and the person that God wants in each office is elected. If so, our county will be in good hands.
Lost another great friend this week. Jim Kinkennon was another Vallian, who for many years picked up his paper each Thursday morning. I hadn’t seen him often for a time now and I had missed him. Sympathy is extended to Hazel, Linda and the entire family.
Received word a little while ago that another wonderful friend, Mr. John Herod, is in serious condition. He is a patient in Room 241, Baptist Memorial Hospital—North Mississippi at Oxford. We wish him a speedy recovery.
School began this morning. Saw all the yellow buses as I came to work. Here’s hoping we have a great school year. You’ll find a list of school personnel and a schedule for the year elsewhere in this issue.