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Out On The Mudline

Yocona Swimming Hole Was A Starter For Many

By W. P. Sissell

A Hectic Week

The “second week” of this past week started sometime around “supper” time on Wednesday, with the ringing of the phone.  The caller was our niece, at the point of incoherence, from Fairfield, the rest home in Batesville.  She thought it was Thursday morning and because her hand was numb she thought she had suffered a stroke.  Because of the time element we thought that our best procedure would be to go to the Oxford Emergency Room.  

In about an hour we were in the emergency waiting room.  We sat and talked. Sat and read all the posted triage rules.  If you’ve been there you know that every minute is an eternity. Finally, from the door of the “inner sanctum” comes the call, “Mrs. Hall” and we do our best to hurry our patient over to the waiting triage nurse.   Mrs. Hall is assigned to a room and very soon the nurse assigned to that room appears and begins her patient examination.  She is the beginning of a stream of people who drop in for one or another reason, their way of finding out what the problem is with Mrs. Hall.  

One of the people who came by was to be her escort to have an X-ray made.  The X-ray man and I had to wait outside while the patient was prepared for the trip.  When I noticed his name tag I asked where he was from.  The name was York and I have some kin around Coffeeville with that name. He denied kinship with the Coffeeville Yorks but claimed kinship with many Hall’s around Batesville and asked about Mrs. Hall.  I assured him that her name came from up in the New York Hudson River area.   

In talking to Mr. York it seemed that he had lived in many areas. I asked where he came from originally.  He returned my question with a question ,  “Do you know where Rowsey Ridge is?”  Of course you know that my answer was yes. He went on to tell me that his dad was Dero York and his older brother was named Dero.  At about this time he was called to take the patient to X-ray and we didn’t have time for further conversation.  

I do wonder about that name for several years ago Nannette and I went on a bus tour of the Northeast.  A fellow traveler on that trip was Dr. Dero, a professor of Weed Science at Mississippi State University.  He gave me a formula for cleaning up my fences. It saved us many dollars here on our pastures.  

Not A Stranger

I suppose that I should tell you that it is now Saturday of that same week and Nannette is on her way to bring Mrs. Hall back to Fairfield.  

We attended the monthly meeting of the Panola County Genealogical Society (Pan-Gen’s) Thursday night. This was our annual picnic meeting, usually held at one of the old churches of the county. This meeting was at Terza, very close to our home.    One of my long time Panola County friends, R. F. Rowsey and wife Lillian, were   there.  R. F. told me that he was born in his grandfather’s house on Rowsey’s Ridge.  When I asked him about Mr. York, after a few minutes hesitation, he said “Yes, I know who you’re talking about.  That’s one of Dero York’s boys.”  Almost at the same time Conner Vick, who was sitting with us, affirmed R F.’s answer. Conner grew up in the same area.  They were amazed, when I recounted all the places Mr. York had lived while in the service.  

Many of you will remember R. F. Rowsey as being the son of Frank Rowsey, the owner of Frankie Rowsey’s store.  As R. F. and I talked he remarked, “Bill, I believe we learned to swim in the same swimming hole on Yocona.  As I thought about that I had to agree for although we went to that deep water hole in the river from the south side it would be at about the same distance down the river from the Austin Levee (supposed to be the eastern end of Enid’s permanent pool) as his father’s store. R. F. taught (Math I think) at Jeff Davis and coached basketball when he first got out of college.  He’s retired now, from teaching, not working. He spent many years teaching at Pope school.  

Almost every time we see  one another he remarks about his thoughts about our farmstead out on the Mud Line. When he mentions that barn and the silos I think of the time we spent there—it was a work place for us seven days a week.  Would you believe that each cow was fed an exact amount according to the milk she was producing? Only the hay and ensilage were fed in like amounts to each animal.  

Thank you for the many compliments.  Our wish for you is a great week. You can reach me most of the time at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606, 662-563-9879 or

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