Closed the shop last Wednesday morning for an hour or so (something I rarely do) to attend the funeral of long-time friend, Charles “Buster” Jaudon. Charles and Jim were classmates and were friends from early days. They were both in the band, both excellent musicians. Charles for several years endeavored to teach Jim to play bass—think that was more of a task than he expected, since Jim was a tuba player. They did have lots of fun together, though, and we always enjoyed having Charles in our home. Charles was a hugger, as am I, so as I looked at his picture during the service, I could just feel one of those wonderfully warm hugs.
My favorite Charles story though, happened one night as we were unloading the buses, having returned from a football game or some other band trip. I was holding band director Stanley Crow’s paddle—can’t remember why. Charles came by and, kidding, says, “Want to give me a lick?” “Sure,” I reply. “Bend over, I’m sure you done something this day to deserve at least one!” Well he bent over and I gave him a whack—it was a lot harder than either Charles or I expected—Mr. Crow’s paddle was lethal. We had a good laugh, but Charles never volunteered for another lick from me. We did love him, will miss him, and extend our sympathy to his parents, Margie and Billy Pilcher, and the entire family.
After prayer meeting Wednesday night I made desserts for our trip to the museum, Sunday lunch, and our meal following the first in our September revival series Sunday night. I turned out a lot of calories and surprisingly it was all edible—didn’t burn a thing. Did bake the cheesecake about fifteen minutes too long, but I don’t think you can ruin one of those things no matter what you do to them. I’ve undercooked them, overcooked them, left out ingredients, etc. and they’re still always eaten. They’re just about the most fail-proof dessert around—only problem is that neither Bill nor I like cheesecake.
Played bridge Thursday night in the home of Sarah and Richard Russo at Batesville. Sarah is an attorney and Richard is the coach at North Delta. They have a little 7-month-old daughter, Gabriella, whom I’d not seen. I have missed many bridge nights over the past several months, and just had not been in the Russo home since Gabreilla was born. The Russos are friends of Vallian Billy Blount and his wife. We enjoyed a salad meal and they were all delicious, topped off by the best cheesecake I’ve ever eaten—blueberry, which was Ed’s favorite. I resumed my normal spot on the winning circuit—low score. Prizes were some of the cutest pumpkins I’ve every seen.
After bridge, Jimmie and I went home, got into bed early, so we could rise and shine for an early departure to the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, where we enjoyed a couple of days of fun and work. We joined Mary Sue and Bennett Anderson of Olive Branch and T. J. Ray from Oxford, who had gone down on Thursday.
Arrived to find them all hard at work, cleaning and rearranging the equipment in the museum’s print shop. I got Jimmie’s press up and running—we needed hand-outs and Christmas Cards for upcoming Pumpkin Picking, Halloween, and Harvest Festival. During these events we have thousands of children and adults though the shop.
We were already set for any Celtic Festival visitors—had them an Irish Blessing printed. To our dismay, this year’s event was not very well attended and the events were not as elaborate as in past years. I didn’t see a single bagpipe, no kilts, and no parade. With the temperature so hot, maybe all these events were held at night, after we’d left our post.
Bennett had his Ludlow and Linotype up and running, T. J. had a form on his press, Jimmie was printing on hers, I was cutting, sawing, making up forms, throwing in type and putting up spacing, Mary Sue was in charge of greeting, dusting and sweeping. We were busy little bees.
Doyle Goodwin of Brandon dropped by for a visit. He’s a brother to Stella Stewart, Betty Sigler, Brenda Kay Goodwin and the late Jewel Burk. Doyle keeps the museum up and running and one of his duties is tending the little garden that’s grown out back of the print shop. This year Doyle is growing what he’s dubbed a “Texas Butterbean.” He shared one for me to bring back to the Valley—says, “The Valley needs to see a real bean!” Well the sample is on my front counter and I’ve already explained what it is and how I came to have it several times. The plant was about eight feet high, growing on a Christmas tree shaped trellis, with the beans hanging almost like tree ornaments—it was beautiful. Doyle says he cooked some of the shelled beans and that they taste more like boiled peanuts, but were edible and pretty good if you like boiled peanuts. I told him to let some dry for seed, I’d like to plant one or two. If you would like to see this unusual vegetable, come by the office and thanks, Doyle, for sharing it. As always, we enjoyed visiting with Doyle.
We stayed at our usual B&B (Brother Terry’s home in Brandon). He and niece Nita took us out for supper at Logan’s Steak House and food was great. Arrived back in Pope, just in time for me to scoot on home and finish cooking for Sunday night. Brother Bo had prepared Sunday lunch for Mom’s table and he did a great job.
Revival services began Sunday night at Woodland Hills. Speaker for the night was long-time friend, Rev. Daniel Hathorne. First time I heard Bro. Daniel was shortly after he arrived on the field as pastor of First Baptist in Coffeeville. He was speaker for the fall session of Yalobusha Baptist Association, which was held at Camp Ground. Being chair of the social committee, I, along with several other members of the committee were in the kitchen getting ready to serve following the meeting. We finished early and slipped into the ante-room by the pulpit. Heard a wonderful sermon and I’m here to attest that his preaching has only gotten better. During the time of fellowship I caught up a little on his, wife Christie’s and the twins’ lives. Can you believe that the girls are now thirteen. Bro. Dan is now pastor of Bruce First Baptist. We did enjoy the service and appreciate him coming to be with us.
Leading the music was another long-time friend, Linda Williams. Linda was minister of music at Bethel for many years and then after Ed’s death was our music leader for a couple of years. She is such a delightful person and a great musician. We always enjoy Linda visiting with us. Linda’s vocation now is a teaching R.N. in the Northwest School of Nursing. Was hoping that her parents, Bootsie and Robert of Memphis, would be able to come Sunday night. Also thought that Mary Sue and Bennett might join them. The Williamses and Andersons have been members of the same church for many years. Maybe Linda will visit us again soon and they can all come—we hope so.
This week we’re looking forward to hearing Bro. Roger Howell, pastor of Adonai Church, preach. Bro. Howell, his wife, Donna, and three of their children visited with us Sunday night and it was so good to have them.
Got up early this morning to watch some of the 9-11 coverage. It’s hard to believe that it was six years ago on a Tuesday morning that this happened.
I remember that Ed had showered first and was watching the news while I dressed. He called and when I came out of the bathroom, saw the TV, I really could not believe my eyes. We sat on the side of the bed, holding hands, just watching for a couple of hours—was the first, and probably the only time, the office did not open on time on a Tuesday morning. As I sat on that same bed this morning, my memories were bittersweet. I thought, “That event was so horrible and I’d not want the nation to go through it again, but I could feel Ed’s hand holding mine and I certainly would like to go back to that.” Many interesting sidebars were played out this morning, but as I was watching they never showed the tapes of the actual events—which I expected to see every few minutes all during this day. Sympathy is extended to the many who lost loved ones on 9-11 and appreciation is expressed to those who so capably took charge and led this nation through this tragedy. Hopefully, we’ll never have to experience anything like it again.