By Betty Shearer
Spent the Fourth weekend in Jackson at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum.
Went over to Jimmie’s and Bill’s Thursday night, got up early Friday, and Jimmie took me out to Bill’s shop, which is right off I-55, to meet Mary Jo and Bennett Anderson of Olive Branch. We met T. J. Ray of Oxford, who had gone down on Wednesday, and we all ran the print shop for a couple of days.
We were amazed at the lack of traffic on this usually busy holiday period—practically no RVs, very few travel trailers, boats, or jet skis. This trend started on the Pope/Water Valley Road Thursday and continued all the way to and from Jackson. Usually the big RVs are traveling in groups and they are seen often—anytime you are on the road and especially on holiday weekends. I only remember seeing one on the entire trip. The price of gas does seem to be making a difference in our lifestyles.
On Friday we enjoyed lots of visitors in the print shop.
One special visitor was Chris Goodwin, son of Cheryl and Kenny Goodwin. He visited for an hour or so and we all enjoyed hearing about his life in Jackson. Chris and I go back to his childhood days. When his father was still a coach and the family lived in the coaches house (located where the present administrative office building is now) the Goodwin children would come over to visit with Ludie.
Her room was the last room in the junior high building and I sometimes would be there visiting (sometimes even pretending to take a lesson) and I enjoyed those children so much.
Chris works with the Department of Archives. His family was with him, but they were busy elsewhere when he came for the visit. As with all the young folks who have passed through my life, I had trouble with Chris having grown up to be this distinguished man, with children of his own.
We also met Ruth and Sam Cole, long-time friends of Dot and Sam Knox. I delivered their greetings and Dot told me a lot more about the Coles. They seemed to be great folks and Dot affirmed my judgment of them.
Sister Jimmie, who usually runs the press we use for printing most of the material we give away, had family functions over the weekend and did not accompany us. I ran the press for a time and then was needed elsewhere, so Mary Jo was elevated from greeter to pressman and greeter. She did a fine job.
I am usually the make-up person. T. J. had a job he wanted justified and locked up, so I accomplished this. Then we needed some type set on the Lud-Low. This is the typesetter that was never in the Herald Office—we were not affluent enough to own one. I started by setting the type and then getting either Bennett or T. J. to cast my lines.
Bennett was working on our broken Lynotype and I hated to keep bothering him. T. J. was busy with our visitors and I was having to wait until he had a break. This was taking way too much of my time, so I decided to bite-the-bullet and learn to cast my own lines. Now I’m usually not this skiddish about a new job, but the first time I’d tried my hand at the Lud-Low I broke it.
Bennett showed me how and it looked simple and straight forward enough, so I cast my first line. All went well. Then the next few lines were also very successful. About the fifth or sixth cast though, the thing went wild. I just knew I’d really done it in this time. Bennett and T. J. had forgotten to warn me that this machine occasionally acts up, but that its behavior is non-destructive—they don’t know what causes this action, but they have learned to stop it.
Got into my pjs and had settled down to watch a little TV, when I heard what I though was thunder. Peeped out the window and found that I had a perfect view of the fireworks display over on Ross Barnett Reservior. Icing was added to my great Fourth weekend—I do like fireworks. Usually it is not worth finding a parking spot and walking to a viewing spot. Sure was great to have a four story vantage point, which was far enough away to muffle much of the sound. Got back to the Coles about five Saturday and found a freezer of ice cream—perfect conclusion for a most enjoyable weekend. Mary Jo and Bennett ate ice cream and then it was back to Olive Branch. I also departed shortly—had to get home, water plants, study Sunday school Lesson and find clothes to wear Sunday morning.
Went for a short visit with Mom after church.The rest of the crew had put together a fine dinner, which included fresh corn and blackberry cobbler. The Anderson had brought us the berries and they were delicious.
Fourth has come and gone, now it’s on to Watermelon Carnival, then opening of school and finally the Labor Day Weekend and Summer is over. Has been a short spring and summer, hasn’t it?