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Reflections

Thursday Marks Son’s Birthday, Trip For Daughter

By Charles Cooper

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a good week. Jim Peacock reminded me of another part of the Mill saga so bear with me and I’ll mention it this week.      Cornish had his mill at the curve in what is now Jones Street, just below the curve where my house at 1209 Jones is now. Claude Strange had a handle mill that produced plow handles.  Jim’s dad, Cleve, worked for Claude during the depression for fifty cents a day firing two steam boilers from dawn to dark.      Jim’s mother would bring him his lunch each day.  Time finally caught up with Claude after World War II when everybody was buying tractors and the mule drawn plow was fast fading into history.  While I was working at Newman-Gardner we got  a call to go up to Claude’s house where he had come in for lunch and sat down in his chair and died.   

Not many years later the ax handle business went the same way and another part of our history vanished.  In last week’s column I mentioned my plans to go to the Webster county singing convention in Eudora and I went with Bobby and Dot Barnett and J. B. Petre.  

Steve Pruett, also the President of the Mississippi State Singing Convention, was in charge and although the crowd was rather small it was a good day.  In addition to Bobby Barnett there were two other past presidents of the state convention, Sonny Williams and Jeff Hardy.  

Jeff and I are good  friends and he is probably the best gospel piano player in the State of Mississippi.  I hadn’t seen a book since last September, but fortunately I haven’t forgotten how to read music so I made it okay.  

My friend, Marty Phillips, had the best book published by his Jeffress -Phillips and it was used more than the other three that were there.  

The Mississippi Convention will be held in the Community center in Ackerman on the third Saturday in August.

On Thursday Jamie will be 29 and it doesn’t seem possible how time has slipped away.  Also on Thursday Elizabeth and five band members from West Memphis, along with members from bands all over Arkansas, will leave for Honolulu. They  will give a concert on the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.  

All of you have heard me mention Gloria Gardner over the years as she was one of my earliest correspondents after I started the column.  She is the grand-daughter of Will Gardner who along with her father, Frank Gardner, Uncle Cap and O.V. Newman started the Newman-Gardner funeral home.      She had written me about her brother, Bill, being in a nursing home and I was informed by her care-giver that he had passed away a week ago.  Gloria is confined to a nursing home after a stroke but still manages to send me a hand-written note from time to time.      

If any of you would like to send a card since she has no other living relatives, her address is (Gloria Gardner c/o Maplewood Health Care, 100 Cherrywood place, Room 111-B Jackson, TN 38305 and I’m sure she would appreciate it as she always talked about living and graduating from high school in Water Valley.  

I have never met her face to face, but feel that I know here from her many letters over the years.  I always get a little emotional about the Fourth which is Friday and I hope nobody ever forgets what that day means.  

We complain about the heat when we are away from the air conditioner but those men met for weeks in stifling heat and humidity to come up with the beginning of our country.  In 235 years we have created a country that is the envy of the world and have accomplished more than all the governments combined that came before us.  

It has never come cheap when we think of the millions of men who have worn the uniform and many who made the ultimate sacrifice.  I must confess that I am not tolerant of these malcontents who demonstrate even though I recognize their right to do so.  

    I realized that I have come close to being political, but there are times that I just have to express my feelings.  I talked to old friend, Jim Allen. and heard that Jim Oakley isn’t doing so well – I hope that he will be better soon.  

Jim and Mother were good friends, and I’ve come to know and call him friend in recent years and wish him the best.  Let me hear form you as your input is always appreciated.  My email address is:

charlescooper3616@sbcglobal,net or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 38101 and have a great week and a great fourth.

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