As usual, I let Jim’s birthday slip up on me. Remembered it a couple of weeks ago and then on Thursday it dawned that his special day was coming up Saturday—6:10 a.m. to be exact. It was off to the Post Office to get one of their Priority Mail Bags—these things really work. I stuffed in a couple of shirts (Jim can always use new shirts), enclosed a cute card (found one that read, “You don’t look a day over—turn the page—the hill!
Our little boy is beginning to show his age—hair is receding a bit and a few gray ones are springing up, and he’s got a little spare tire around the middle. Put my package into the capable hands of our postal folks about noon on Thursday and it arrived on time.
Never celebrate a Jim birthday that I don’t remember all the folks who had a hand in getting him into the world safely. The late Mrs. Blackwood, who was so patient and kind, and Ed took care of me through most of the night. Dr. Spears was at the hospital delivering one of the Forsyth children. He did arrive to complete the task, although I think Mrs. Blackwood and Ed would have made it fine. Everyone (including Jim), except me, looked like they’d had a rough night—guess they took really good care of me. Jim was, I think, the last baby delivered in Dr. Spear’s Clinic. Told the prayer meeting group last week that Ed could have been a doctor—stating, “Why even most doctors don’t deliver their own babies.” Ed didn’t, but he was there all night, and probably could have, had it been necessary.
Jim called and reported a happy 44th—wish I could have been there. Maybe next year!
I answered the phone and took care of customers Thursday and Friday, while David and Jack worked diligently on the upcoming Founder’s Day Special Section. Mel was home under the weather. This special event will be held Saturday, April 19th, just a little over a week away. It promises to be a very exciting day, with lots of wonderful events, entertainment, delicious food and really great visiting. The day will begin with a run/walk and conclude with a beautiful fireworks display.
Make plans to take it all in—think you’ll be glad you did.
FUM Church, under the leadership of Lucia Holloway, is beautifying their grounds in preparation for this event. Last weekend several of the men and some young people began the work. Then on Monday Joanna Patton, owner of The Garden District, located at the intersection of Highways 315 and 6, came over to complete the planting. She stopped by for a short visit with me. Our friendship goes back to the day she was born (her mom and I were very good friends). She’s always called me Aunt Betty and I consider her my oldest niece. Actually she’s Brother-in-law Bill’s niece. The Coles and the Kilgores have been friends for a long time and when Jimmie and Bill married we really became a family. Was great to see Joanna. Jimmie and I have to pay her a visit this weekend—the barrels in front of the old Herald Building really need help.
Another welcomed visitor in the office Monday was Larry Wright. He brought in a picture of the four Wright Brothers (Danny, Dean, Gearrell and himself), along with Jerry Daum. It is so cute. The picture is in conjunction with Jerry’s sister’s (Peggy’s) book. I read the book, but was not told who the friends in the book represented. Larry says the book is fiction, based loosely on facts. Larry says there was a gully, but it was not nearly as scary as the one in the book—and we all know of the possibility of flooding in our area. The quick sand he says he doesn’t remember. Get a copy of the book and read it—think you enjoy. They’re available at Turnage Drug Store.
Larry and I also discussed the tremendous growth in Mississippi—just south of the Memphis area. His wife is a school teacher and he reports that the schools are having a time keeping up with this growth. Also, it’s difficult to know where you are with the tremendous growth all these cities are running into each other. I know this from one of the last visits Jimmie and I made to the airport. We missed our turn and were not aware of it until we were about to enter Olive Branch. Memphis and Olive Branch have grown together.
Larry retired from the ICRR several years ago. He reports that he has done lots of volunteer work, served on many committees, and been involved with the CofC, Economic Development and other organizations. Sounds like his retirement hasn’t left him idle. Was so good to visit with him and to catch up on the Wright Family.
Monday night’s attendance was excellent at the CofC Banquet. This was a miracle, with all the conflicts—a ballgame, school board meeting, Community Band rehearsal and others. Entertainment by the Sharecroppers was super, Mayor Bill Norris’ report was very enlightening, and the speaker for the evening, MDA Chairman Gray Swoope, was motivating. The Chamber made an excellent choice for the recipient of the Braswell Hatcher Award in Jack Gurner, Sr. He’s always been a behind-the-scenes person, who has contributed tremendously to the welfare of Water Valley. Jack, let me add my sincere congratulations and appreciation for all you’ve done for us through the years.
Bill gave so many impressive facts and figures. If you missed the banquet, read David’s story—he took notes I didn’t.
Also in David’s story you’ll find much of the info presented by Mr. Swoope. Was discussing his address with Jim this morning and passed on one very interesting point Mr. Swoope made in pointing out the assets of Mississippi. This one is dear to Jim’s heart—the Blues Trail in our Mississippi Delta. Jim says, “Yes, and Charleston Native Morgan Freeman is helping to promote this in a tremendous way.”
MDA had charge of administering the funds that came into the state for Katrina clean-up and restoration. This money was just a little under the State’s budget for the year and they had to administer this program, while still continuing with their Economic Development projects, which included some big ones, Toyota among them. All were successful and Mississippi’s Katrina operation was handled in an excellent manner.
The food, prepared by Glenda Gordon and her Country Club Staff, was excellent. The WV Cheerleaders did a great job of serving it promptly and keeping everyone’s tea glasses filled. Decorations, as always, were very attractive. We do appreciate all the work CofC Manager Bonnie Cox, the board members, and all others who assists, put into these annual banquets.
Outgoing President Joe Newman was a great MC and we welcome new President Ron Hart, whom I’m sure will lead the Chamber in a successful year.
Rain and high winds played havoc with the blooming trees in our area over the weekend, but the wisteria still looks great. We can’t complain though, we didn’t suffer many downed trees and very little power outage, if any. Report from Brother Terry in Brandon was there was serious damage in the Jackson Area. Our Yalobusha Association Disaster Team was in this area for a couple of days on Monday and Tuesday. We appreciate these men and women helping to care for folks in these disaster situations. Valley resident do know how important this is and how much it is appreciated.