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Out On The Mudline

Otuckalofa Storm Displaced Students To Other Schools

By W.P. Sissell

A Reminder

Several days ago I had a call from Mrs. Collier who gave me the proper date for that tornado that I spent, in the school bus, in the grease rack section of my uncle Earl’s SisCro filling station.  This was the earlier version of the storm that hit the Otuckalofa community a few minutes later.  Although the storm passed Water Valley by, it created havoc in the Otuckalofa area.  The date was March 16,  1942 at around four in the afternoon (by the time the school busses ran).

Mrs. Collier said that she barely got into the storm shelter, holding her baby, before the storm hit.  When they got out of the shelter all they had was gone—all the clothing they had was what they were wearing.  They lost everything.  

In trying  to pinpoint their farm location  I asked about “Hawkins Crossing.” Her reply was that she knew exactly where “Hawkins Crossing” is but their farm was not quite that far out.  

That event was the thing that moved most of the students from Otuckalofa to other schools (Water Valley and Jeff Davis). Mrs. Collier served as a nurse in several hospitals of our area. She is now a resident of the Nursing Home in Water Valley. I feel sure that many of you know her.

Another Storm Another State

Several weeks ago I told you about being in somewhat of a blizzard on our way to Clinton, Arkansas.  That snow storm was a minor one covering only a small area.

Last week I ran out of one of the nutrients that I get from the doctor in Clinton.  In this case we call the doctor’s office (Dr. Warren) and the nutrients are shipped, usually that day. Nannette, trying the number several times, was told that the number had been discontinued or transferred. After a few minutes, I dialed again.  After a seemingly long time I got a construction company office answering machine asking me to leave a message.  I asked that they call back.  We were told that Clinton had some storm damage but were not prepared for what we learned a few minutes later.  

The Call Back

In a few minutes Nannette was talking to Dr. Warren’s receptionist.  I do not know whether she ever told Nannette where she was but she definitely was not in the office.  Dr. Warren’s office is no more.  A branch storm did hit Clinton, Arkansas and  one of the places demolished was Dr. Warren’s office, completely.  The young lady said that only the slab (the floor) was still there.  This was a very solid looking brick building.  Across the street   from the office a metal building housed a boat factory—I wonder what happened there.  Oh yes, we got the nutrients two days later.  


One day last week, Wednesday I believe, we had a call from Mary and Bob Samuels  friends who recently moved to Beebe, Arkansas.  They were on their way back to Oxford to attend to some business.  We met them at the Cracker Barrel in town for lunch and a short visit.  While there, Dr. and Mrs. Edgar, long time friends, walked in.  

Thank you for the many encouragements you extend.  Our wish for you is a week full of joy.  

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

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