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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

Early Friday morning I went to Panola County, picked up Jimmie, and we headed for Jackson. We spent Friday and Saturday in the TBZH Print Shop at the Mississippi Ag and Forestry Museum with T. J. Ray from Oxford and Mary Sue and Bennett Anderson from Olive Branch.

    With the strong prediction of snow (possibly heavy) we were all a bit apprehensive about our return trip late Saturday. Everyone except me kept a close check on what was happening in their areas, via cell phones. Learned Saturday morning that indeed lots of the white stuff had fallen. Later in the day, however, the report was that it had mostly melted and we could travel home safely.

  Brother Bo, who works for MDOT, says that he’s getting too old for these emergencies. He says his body just won’t take 27-hour days as it did just a few years ago. He doesn’t like snow anymore—I never did.

  A Mississippi yard sale was scheduled for Saturday and it sounded like a great event. However, with the inclement weather, the activity was cut drastically.

  We had gone down to open the shop for visitors for this and also for a clean-up time. Our entire crew had not been down since Harvest Fest in early November – in that length of time the shop gets very dusty, and filled with cobwebs. Also some equipment had been moved in, so many areas needed to be rearranged and every inch of it was in need of being swept and dusted.

    Museum staff was enlisted for moving the heavy stuff, we all pitched in to get the smaller items in place, and Mary Sue and Jimmie swept and dusted. They stirred up so much dust that we all wound up with bronical discomfort—had to open the doors even though it was very chilly outside.

  While they carried on with the cleaning, I put a form on the press, inked it up, and began to print—an advantage to being one of the more experienced of this group. Bennett, the senior member, and the most knowledgable, got out of the bad stuff by repairing and operating the Ludlow and Linotype.

  Jimmie and I went to Brother Terry’s home in Brandon for the night. Found him and his little dog, Buddy, in rare good form. It was the first time we’d seen him since we left him in the hospital, following surgery a couple of months ago. He looks great and says he’s feeling good. He took us out for dinner and we had a very enjoyable time.

    I heard some very funny family stories, that I’d missed through the years. The funniest happened at (or after)  Terry’s 40th birthday party.

    I stated, “Well, it’s no wonder I don’t know about this because I was not there.”  

    Jimmie replies, “Oh, you were there you just went home before the main attraction began.”

    So I continued, “I was at your 50th celebration, but not the 40th.”

    Terry insisted, “No Sis, it was the 40th, I didn’t have a 50th.”     

    Of course Ed and I had to go home early, the party was on a Saturday night and we had to be home for church early Sunday morning. Well, it sounds like we missed a very entertaining affair—at least it was in the retelling. Both Jimmie and Terry laughed until tears came down their cheeks and my sides hurt the next morning from the merriment.

  Back at the house, we watched the weather news until bedtime. Awoke to only a dusting of snow in Brandon, but the morning report was that heavy accumulations were in Arkansas, Tennessee and Northern Mississippi.

  Jimmie let Bill sleep late before calling and the Andersons didn’t wake their children until later. When they did call they found that indeed lots of snow was on the ground, but it was melting rapidly. In church Sunday morning, the report was maybe a couple of inches in the Valley. You’d never have know it when I arrived home late Saturday afternoon—saw a few patches in the very shady areas.

  Saturday we had two young people from the Jackson area, who were interested in learning how to print using the hot metal method. This is very exciting for us, since they would be able to open the shop on a more regular basis. It’s a long way from northern Mississippi and with the gas prices we just can’t get down very often.

  I didn’t get to help very much with this training program, as I was in the Main Auditorium taking in the “Selling at Farmers Markets” Seminar. This was so interesting.

  Donna West, who was at the registration table says she reads my column each week. She is employed by the state extension service and helps with the big MS Farmers Market, located on High Street in Jackson. This is a fabulous operation and open for use to all Mississippi certified growers. Booth spaces rent for $10 per day and can be used by multiple growers.

  Keynote Speaker Don Wambles, with the Alabama Farmers Markets Association, gave an excellent address, showed a very informative video and then answered many questions. Alabama has so many markets that he is employed by the Association and not the State Extension Department, as our experts are.

  John Campbell, Manager, Mississippi Farmers Market, gave the welcome and explained the State Certification Program. Purvie Green, MS Dept. of Agriculture, gave information on the Farmers Market Nutrition Programs.  

  I’d planned to write an in depth article on Farmers Markets, which I believe would be of interest to our present growers and also might entice others to join the program. which needs to be expanded in our area. Yalobusha County (WV Main St. Market) is the newest Farmers Market  in the State, located in Magnolia Park. There is a market in Lafayette County  (Mid-Town in Oxford), located in the Mid-Town Shopping Plaza.

  I admitted to having crashed their party, expressed my appreciation for being a guest, and gave some information on how to get free publicity—a subject I know a little about. Mr. Wambles was so gracious, explaining that they appreciated local newspapers, and seemed so glad that I was present. Jimmie asked questions about the nutrition program, which were answered and seemed to be appreciated. We were invited to join the group for lunch, but had to get back to the shop to feed our own folks and get on with the job we’d were there to do.

    Stopped for gas in Winona—we were in the van and it will not make a round trip on one tank. We’d been in the warm car, with the sun shinning on us, so an advertisement in the window for ice cream looked very enticing. Jimmie says, “While I pump, get us a couple of cones.” “Well,” I says, “Mommie if you will give some money I will!” I went to Jackson without my purse—no money, no credit cards. Found it’s a great way not to have to spend your own money.

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