Skip to content

Out On The Mudline

Flags At Half-Mast In Remembrance Of Japanese Attack On Pearl Harbor

 by W. P. Sissell

That Day

How many of you knew why all American flags were supposed  (I use supposed advisedly for I have a VFW calendar  above my desk) to fly  at half mast last Friday until sunset ? If you scored on that, think about this. How many remember the car that came home to Water Valley—stayed parked close to the bottom of Market Street Hill—with many bullet holes garnered from strafing by “unknown” enemy planes (they had a big red ball on the underside of their wings)?  Yes, it was Pearl Harbor Day.  It was Sunday that year for our family was gathered for Sunday dinner when the President interrupted all radio broadcasts with his declaration of war message.  

I had an interesting conversation with Wallace Crumby recently and it’s a surety that both of us know about the several wars that have occurred in our lifetime and both know that if you’re there, there is no such thing as limited war.  Wallace posed the question—and you answer for yourself—“Bill, do you think the folks today would turn out like we did?”  One of my classmates was a casualty before our class graduated!

Our youngsters are out there on our behalf again—please support them.

The Dentist 1940

This has been a particularly busy week.  Yesterday, Thursday, was extra so for I took part in a church luncheon and then a VFW dinner—close to the second best steak (the best will forever be the one in Namour, Belgium, February 1946, price $.45, on my way home from Germany) I have ever eaten.  We’ll wind up with lunch at the church Sunday morning.

Someone at the church luncheon, Thursday, asked what I’d been doing.  I told her that I spent most of the morning in the dentist’s office. Her immediate reply was, “Well I hope it was not like some I endured while growing up.”  I assured her that it was not but asked where she grew up—the response was Water Valley.  I hesitated but finally asked of  whom she was speaking.  She did not hesitate but immediately said, “Dr. Stacy.”  Many years ago, the late  forties, the good doctor told me to go somewhere else if I wanted the tooth deadened before filling.  That I did, although he was our family dentist and his wife was my mother’s something cousin.   

The Dentist 2007

Most of the years after I got out of college Dr. Marshall Meacham was our dentist.  Actually, I think the only time I visited a dentist while in the service was at a field hospital in Germany.  

This was an experience within itself. Although I seldom eat candy,

I was eating a Baby Ruth candy bar. On a peanut, in that bar, I broke one of my teeth.  The standard  procedure at the field dental facility called for two people at a time to attend on an appointment.  

We soon found out about the reason. My good friend, Don Starkey, filled that need because he needed a filling repaired.  The dental machinery’s power was supplied by one or the other attendees.

Don rode the bike while the Doctor drilled on me and vice-versa.   

I did not eat a Baby Ruth for many years.  

A Good Penny Shows Up

On that Thursday morning appointment I was greeted          in Doctor Hodge’s office, our present dentist, by a young lady from Water Valley. I call her Hawkins Crossing’s Lisa (she approved that name).  Lisa had worked for several months at another office  and filled a vacancy on Dr. Hodge’s  staff  recently.

We were  glad to see her.

After the cleaning procedure the technician told me that she believed I had a cracked filling.  Next she showed me one of the modern miracles of medicine which I’d never seen.  She approached my mouth with what looked like a toothbrush handle with a glowing light on the brush end.

After holding the light over the tooth she directed me to look at the television up in the corner of the room.  On that screen there was a color image of my tooth. With the tooth enlarged about thirty-two times the  crack was very evident (the tooth had been catching food but we could not find the cause). Dr. Hodge anesthetized the gum before inserting the needle—I hardly felt anything.

We’ve already sent most of our Christmas best wishes but we certainly want to send those best wishes to all of you, and a happy, happy New Year. Thank you, each and every one of you.

You can reach me most of the time at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606, 662-563-9879, or

Leave a Comment