by Charles Cooper
Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week. As I had mentioned, I had the honor of addressing the Yalobusha County Historical Society last Thursday in Coffeeville. I not only got to visit with old friends, but made some new ones. Jim Peacock, Jim Oakley, and Jim Allen along with Jimmy Person and Jimmie Pinnix all sat on the same row and they joked about all the Jims there. It was great to see Jim Oakley out as he has recently been in the hospital.
Jimmie Pinnix writes in the bi-monthly Oxford So and So and I’ve read his articles before but had never had the pleasure of meeting him. He gave me two books that he has published about growing up in Choctaw County and they are interesting. He is only about a year older than me so I could identify with some of the things that happened in his life. He had the advantage of having brothers and sisters, whereas I was an only child. He worked for station WNAG in Grenada in the fifties and I had a country group in the days when they still had live bands and we knew some of the same people. He also was in the insurance business so we had a common ground there. I had talked to Opal Wright, who I had met once, and Betty Miller who I hadn’t met and they were both so gracious and made me feel right at home. Hugh Bell Maguire, who I had known at singing conventions, and I had a conversation about how Calhoun county singings have declined over the years.
My topic was “Entertainment Back Then” and I got a lot of audience feed back and they reminded me of things I had failed to mention. They served a buffet after the program and it was great. They asked me why the Herald didn’t publish the minutes of the meetings as they once did, and as I really didn’t know, I speculated that it might be due to the constraints of space. This lady came up to me and introduced herself as Frances Stewart, widow of L. C. Stewart who had been Mayor of Water Valley. She was the daughter of Cliff Terrell and she told me how she and Mother were such good friends during WW11 when they both rode in a car pool to Grenada to work in the shell plant. It actually was an old school bus with a homemade body and no heater driven by Boy Trealoar. She said that Mother would always try to keep her upbeat when she hadn’t received a letter from L.C. who was in combat zones in Europe.
She has given me material for a profile of L.C. which will be in a future column. Before I went to the meeting I had the pleasure of calling on Chester Joyner who had asked me for a couple of years to write about his WW11 experiences. He and Mrs. Joyner were such great people that I felt I had known them for years. Their three year old grandson, Logan was a delight as only an active three year old can be. Mr. Chester is eighty-five years old and related his experiences with such clarity and in such a calm manner that all I could do was listen and make sure that my tape recorder was working. I won’t even attempt to put anything down this week as I feel that it will take more than one column to tell his story. He was in five major campaigns and some skirmishes, received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Silver Star, and the ETO medal. It was a humbling experience just listening to him and I’m sure when I get it all assembled, you’ll feel the same way. Jamie and Nicole are touring England and Scotland and I’m sure that they’ll have a lot of interesting pictures and stories when they get back. My only regret is that I didn’t give them what information I had about the area that Great-grandfather left one hundred and sixty years ago. If he calls, I’m still going to tell him.
My information is that the Badley/Baddley’s came from the pottery town of Fenton in Staffordshire County. Looking it up on the internet, it is still a pottery center with plants operating there. That’s all for this week so let me hear from you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 38101 and have a great Thanksgiving.