By Betty Shearer
Watched coverage of the hurricanes last night (Monday) and again this morning. It was great to see that the damage, even as bad as it is, was much less than it could have been. I’m sure the residents of New Orleans breathed a sigh of relief as their levies held, even with the water splashing over.
My main concern, with this storm two categories less than predicted, is when the next storm comes it may be even worse than expected and the people choose to stay. We do tend to get complacient when things go well – even just once.
Many residents rode this one out and I’m certainly happy that it worked out for them—they could have lost their lives. Structural damage was pretty substantial, but reports were that all could be repaired in a short period of time.
We were involved with a couple of first hand storm situations. Sister-in-law Jenny’s (Brother Rance’s wife) had her sister and husband, Evelyn and Nick, come from Gulfport to spend some time with them while the storm raged. They report that they are too old to ride out hurricanes. They lost their home during Kartina and stated that if the house went with Goustav they would not rebuild on the coast—they were going to find higher ground. As much as we’d like to have them near us, we’re glad they had no problems.
Other report was from Niece Nita’s husband, who works for Kroger in Pearl. He says that they sold $89,000 worth of gas in a short time. His job became traffic control, getting the vehicles into and out of their parking lot safely, during the crisis. I think he prefers his inside job.
As I crossed the Interstate several times over the weekend, it was bumper to bumper traffic. Now I know that some of this was headed to Ole Miss for the Saturday game, but still there were many folks as far north as Batesville, looking for places to stay during the hurricane. The report Saturday was that all motels and designated shelters were filled in the Batesville Area and many were going as far as Memphis.
Friday I went over to Batesville to help some more with the move of Delta Uniform from Marks into its new site on Highway 6 in Batesville. Jimmie and I cleaned windows—I now know why so many folks state that they do not do windows. I don’t do windows either, you can look at mine and know this is a fact. After completing the window washing, we tackled the job of cleaning all hanging racks and some of the bins. Then the merchandise came in. We unloaded the trucks and trailers, just dumping the boxes in the floor. Decisions from the bosses had to be made as to where to place same, before we could begin hanging and arranging.
My station was with Mom on Saturday, so I missed the second unloading. The stacks of boxes created by this were mind boggling.
Fed Mom lunch, washed dishes and clothes, then tackles three bushels of apples fetched in by Brothers Bo and Rance. They wanted them put in the freezer to bake pies and other goodies this winter. I competed about three-fourths of a bushel before it was time to dress for the evening.
The Kilgore Family had been invited to attend the Saturday Night event of the Perkins Reunion. This Perkins family is out of Marks (late Sister-in-law Janell Pearson’s—Brother Terry’s wife—mother’s family). They are a great bunch of folks and we had a wonderful time. Terry had cooked barbecue and the ladies had provided the trimmings. It was held at Janell’s sister’s and her husband’s recreation home. Jane and Noel’s home is located on Riverview Road, which is along the old river just down from Sardis Lake. Their home backs up to the river and they have a boathouse and a swing that is right down on the water. We sat on the back porch watched the boats go by and the fish jump. It was so relaxing. Told Jane that when I needed to unwind I was coming to sit on her porch.
When we arrived we were greeted by Jane and Nell’s youngest brother, Mike, who lives in Kentucky. He exclaimed, “I’m so glad to see you folks at a gathering other than a funeral!” We all realized that this was true—we’ve been together several times in the past few years and each time it was for a funeral. Mrs. Pearson died a few years ago, shortly before Ed’s death their brother, Charles, died and then Nell.
Mrs. Pearson’s sister, Ruby, now 90, was the life of the party even though she is suffering slightly from mental failing. Bo, Carolyn and I arrived early, but the rest of the Kilgore gang came in late, as usual, and Aunt Ruby says, “Are we related to all these folks?” Jane says, “I didn’t even try to explain the Kilgores, just told her that yes we are.” I wouldn’t try to explain the Kilgores eithers and if I had been Aunt Ruby I think when that gang appeared I’d have vacated the place.
One of the favorite topics of the night was, of course, food. Most of them had been to Paula Deen’s new restaurant and they all report it very good. They also know all the good places in Batesville, Oxford and surrounding areas. I have a list of “must tries”.
Friday, Jimmie and I walked down a couple of buildings from Michael’s to the BP Station. Found a limited buffet that was delicious and very generous with servings. I ate meatballs, lima beans, potato salad and cornbread and it was all great. Had enough for a second meal. Jimmie got fried chicken and potatoes, topped off with peach cobbler. She ordered a small serving of cobbler and there was enough for both of us, with some left over. Her remark, “I’m glad I didn’t order a large!”
Usually on Saturday afternoon I cook a big dinner for Sunday. With the apples, all I did was cook a cake and a pot of peas, thinking, “Oh well, only a few family members will be here for lunch so we can just eat whatever. Found out that Evelyn and Nick were coming in, so I told Bo to cook food and I’d go home and do the same.” We made a decent showing, but not what we usually put on the table for company.
After lunch Sunday, we all went to help some more with the move. The boys were busy getting shelving in place in the back shop, while Jimmie, Ruff and I helped Manager Gary put things on the racks up front.
First chore was to get all the boots and shoes sorted and sized. Little Ruff was helping with this. He’d gather the brands into piles and from there I’d separate into different styles and then put them in order according to size. Jimmie was arranging them. Found one box empty and accused Ruff of stealing the boots. He looked at that box and then at his little feet. Says, “Aunt Betty I wear a one and that’s an 11, oh well, guess I can use them as a house!” You get nothing on Ruff—he such a smart little boy that he has a ready come-back for anything. After we completed the shoe project, we were put in charge of hanging what seemed liked thousands of pants and shirts. This completed, Ruff thought the flat dollie would make for some fun joy riding. First Jimmie was his power, then it became my turn. We made several trips around the shop and then it as on to another “project”. Ruff can keep you busy. We’d had one bench assembled for several days, but there was another still in the box. He knew what was in there and was determined to get it ready for use. All the men were busy and kept putting him off. He says, “Think we can put that bench together?” Well I’m up for anything, so I says, “Sure if we can find the right tools.” Ruff found me a broken slot head screwdriver and a phillip. Opened the box and discovered that it took a hex driver. Didn’t stop him, he unpacked the entire contents and we found that the company had included the hex to use in assembly. Took us awhile, even with the assisance of Jimmie, to get the thing together, but we made it. Ruff says, “Another project completed”, and he was off to find something else to keep us busy. If they’d made Ruff the boss, the move would have been completed in short order.
Missed the football game and everything else that went on in the Valley this weekend, even Sunday night church services.
The reply around the Herald on Labor Day as to what we did is that we do exactly what the day dictates, “Labor”.