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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

    Since relating my snake story in the column a few weeks ago I’ve heard many snake stories that put mine in the shade. Columnist Bill Sissell called to tell me about a type of moccasin found in their area that is very aggressive, as I am told all moccasins are.

    This one has the very large body as their readily recognized cousins, but it has a small head. Mr. Bill reported that one of their pest control inspectors, while under his home in a very confined area, encountered one of these reptiles. Mr. Bill says his pest control man found that he could maneuver in an extremely confined space very rapidly when the situation demanded. He escaped unharmed. Mr. Bill says he has a product, provided by the pest company, called “Snake Away” that works. He’s going to share, so maybe I’ll be able to use my front door again.     

    However, having to use the laundry room entrance has had a plus side. I had to clear the junk out to make a path to the door and now I’m about to scrub the floor. If you have to look at it you clean it up—in another week or so I may have a spanking clean laundry. No, that’s too much to expect—just a clear path is a miracle.

  Bro. Ken related a story which occurred on the Mission Field while they were in Africa. After a meeting Daughter Amanda ran down the path in front of him, Shelley and others who had been in attendance. Said he almost had a heart attack, seeing Amanda cross over a cobra. His testimony was that God does protect.

  After hearing many more of these horrifying stories, I’ve concluded that my chicken snake isn’t worth all my panic. But I’m still going to be on the lookout for him.

  Also have heard lots of lizard stories and even got a great letter, which I’ll share. This come from Ruth Upchurch of CR 227, WV. It reads:

  “Dear Betty,

  “I was interested in your lizard story. I also have a lizard story—more than one—but I’ll just tell you one of them.

  “When my husband (Bill) was on the Ag Faulty at the University of Missouri he was asked to join a group of faculty members and go to India for almost two years and help establish an Agricultural College in an existing university. So he, I, and our two children (ages 11 and 13) went to India—a wonderful experience for us.

  “We had lizards in our house there all the time. They stayed on the upper walls and the ceiling and ate mosquitoes. I never saw one on the floor or lower walls.

  “But, that’s not my lizard story. One morning before I go up (Bill was not at home, as he was in New Delhi) I heard something in my closet and saw a tail disappear among the shoes on the floor. I ran and got our two male servants. They came in and said, “It’s a Cobra”. It wasn’t a Cobra, but a 31-inch long Monitor Lizard. It came out of the closet and one of the men killed it with a hockey stick and they had roasted lizard that day.

  “How did it get in there? Our bedroom was next to a bathroom. Bathrooms in India have doors to the outside so that servants can come in and clean the bathroom without going in the rest of the house. So I’m sure it came in the outside door when it was opened.

  “We had other incidents that added to our animal stories. Once I went in our bathroom (we had three!) and in the commode was a lizard. I swished him out and he went up to the ceiling and dropped back in. I swished him out again. I checked later and in the commode was a big bullfrog. My son’s comment: ‘It must be swim club night!’

  “So you see, your lizard in your house brought back these memories. We were in India in the late 1960’s, but the memories stay with us.”

  Thanks for sharing this with us Ruth. We all got a little trip to India thorough your memories. With all those lizards I think your memory is as close to India as I want to travel.


  With the passing of Happy Hayles I lost another wonderful friend—well at least for a season. I know I’ll meet him in heaven, because Happy and I discussed this just a few weeks ago.

  I use to smile in disbelief at the regular references of the late Irene Pruitt to having known someone for over 50 years. I now understand this statement completely.

  I’ve actually known Mary Alice, Happy, Butch and Alice Faye for over 50 years. When Ed and I married they lived in the house on the corner of Hwy. 315 and Camp Ground Road. Continued to live there until after we moved out on our hill, which made us neighbors. The only house between us and them in those days was Mary Alice’s parents, the Dickeys. I When passing, if Happy was in the yard or shop, Ed almost always pulled in to discuss something with him, or just to visit. Usually it was a vehicle problem (We drove junkers in those days). They’d talk awhile and then Happy would say, “Little Ed pull it in here and let’s take a look.” Ed would pop the hood, Happy would adjust a little bit, and the problem was solved. We never got a bill. The Hayles later built the house across 315 and just to the west of us. He was a wonderful man and a true friend, as were all the Hayles. Adding to this friendship bond we’ve been church family all these years first at Camp Ground and now at Woodland Hills. Sympathy is extended to all the family—I will miss him too.

  After the funeral we all gathered at Woodland Hills and it was so good to visit with George Hayles (son of the late Tim and Sarah Ruth Hayles) and his wife, Jennifer. When Ed and I married, Tim, Sarah Ruth, and George lived on Herring Street, just a rock’s throw from us.

  Also got to visit with members of the Chittom Family (they were on the corner of Herring and Clay, just across the street from the Shearers). Butch Chittom married Faye  and youngest Chittom daughter, Denise was only a year younger than Tommy Shearer and She, Marjorie Dell Mayo and Tommy were “The Three Musketeers”. Was so good to see her. Found out she’s retired from Fed-Ex—she looks great and is not old enough to retire. It was also good to visit with Happy’s brother, Lee, from Illinois. He was in the printing business, but did fine printing. He is also an avid photographer and reminded me of his visit to our shop following his parents 50th wedding anniversary. Everyone shot film back then (digital had not been heard of) and we had the only dark room in the Valley. After the celebration, Mr. Lee and Ed developed and printed his pictures.


  Hope all you fathers had a great day Sunday. I usually get a Father’s Day call from Jim, but he had company and I’m sure was so busy he didn’t get to it. Doesn’t matter, I know I’m loved as both mother and father.     We did sing Jim’s favorite song (or at least it’s the song he’ll sing at the drop of a hat) Sunday, but not Ed’s. Ed’s favorite was “Amazing Grace”, my Dad’s was “Rock of Ages”, and Jim’s is “Sweet Hour of Prayer” or at least that what I think it is.

  In the immediate family we only have four fathers left—Brothers Terry, Bo, Don, and Brother-in-law Bill. Well Bill got a gift—I’m sure the others did also. Bill got a special gift. He lost his beloved dog, Gus (actually all our beloved dog) last week. Grandsons Harris and Ian decided that a perfect Father’s Day gift would be a new dog.     

    Bill says, “I just want a dog dog.” Gus was a registered Border Collie and all their previous dogs had been registered animals. Bill says Ian hopped out of the pickup and announced, “Grandpa Bill we have a present for you!” Bill asked what, but before Ian could answer, Harris jumped out with the new dog in tow, announcing, “We got you what you wanted, a dog-dog, named Dazey.” Jimmie says she’s so ugly she cute, but that she is definitely a loveable dog-dog. I can’t wait to see her.


  Tommy Latham was in a few minutes ago with a poster (on our window) and an announcement of the upcoming presentation of Panola Playhouse’s The Wizard of Oz.  This is being directed by Tom Latham and stars Jordan Raney as Dorothy. The dates are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 26-28, at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, June 29, at 2:30 p.m.     

    Performances will be in the Playhouse on Main Street at Sardis. Tickets are $5 for students, $7 for seniors, and $10 for adults. To reserve tickets call (662) 487-3975 or log onto


  We have just received a report of a found dog. A Golden Retriever was found in the area of the Shell Station on Hwy. 7 By-Pass and 315. If this is your dog, contact the Herald at 473-1473.

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