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Out On The Mudline

Width Of Country Can’t Keep Family Apart

By W. P. Sissell

Yes, there’s a lot more to the story.  The first summer I was home after my service-time, my parents, along with sister Ruth, and Aunt Myra and Uncle Ray took a long trip (through Kansas) to the west coast to visit the California kin.  All the double first cousins got together again.  I just picked up a letter from my grandmother’s sister, Ida, that I have in my files. The tone of the letter again reminded me of how close these people were before the family split to the opposite sides of the country.  Aunt Ida was consoling mother and dad over the loss of my brother.  Most of the cousins showed up at my mother and father’s golden wedding celebration.  

The next summer, the summer after I met Nannette, I made the same trip, without the side trip through Kansas.  On the return trip I visited Grand Canyon for the first time.  Nannette often wears a small silver bracelet with turquoise trim that I bought for her at the Canyon gift shop.  

A Wondering Friend

When I got home, one of my close friends asked me when I was going to quit dating Nannette because he wanted to date her.    I did not hesitate long to give him a firm and definite “not soon.”  Although the two of us had talked about marriage, we decided that we really wanted to finish our college work  first.  

At school several of my friends were married.  One of my early roommates married that summer.  They were doing okay, although they were not as well off as I was.  They had no transportation.  Lee hitch-hiked home every weekend.  How well I remember him telling us that after we let him out at Grenada he got stranded at Tila-ta-boo.  They got married that summer and found a house in Starkville.

As I have said several of my classmates were already married.  I realized that several of them had married young women teaching in the school back home.  This realization, along with the fact that Nannette would be graduating as a teacher—I think she already had a job when she graduated –  began to change my mind.

Miss Nettie Lou Says Yes

We spent a hot Sunday afternoon with a bunch of Nannette’s Sunday School class at Spring Lake.  Nannette says that as we were saying goodbye, I asked her what she thought about our getting married.  She quickly told me that she didn’t know whether she could leave Taylor Creek (they swam all the time).  I promised her a swimming pool.  She told me that I would have to talk to her folks—including Maude, her baby sitter.  I was sure her brother Russell would be on my side.  I foresaw no trouble with her Dad, but I was a little scared of Miss Nettie Lou.  She always said that I waited until she was bedridden after surgery to ask for her daughter—but she did say yes.  

The Date

Our wedding that took place in the summer of 1947, August 17, to be exact.  One of those three girls that the boys had dates with, Myrleen Oaks, was Nannette’s maid of honor.  

We’ve been on a date every since—61 years.  That answered my friend’s question (never).  Incidentally, her first teaching job was to be at Camp Ground.  On a Sunday, shortly after our announcement, the Baptist preacher at Taylor, the Reverend J. E. Tramel, who was also principal of the Locke Station School in Panola County, stopped by after services to ask if Nannette would like to teach with him at Locke Station.  He said that he heard that the Sissells now owned a place at Crowder and we would be moving there.  Nannette resigned the job at Camp Ground and accepted the position at Locke Station.  

We hope that you have a great week—we know that we are because we know that someone is still looking after us. Thank you for all the encouraging remarks.

You can reach me most of the time at 23541 Hwy 6, Batesville, MS 38606, 662-563-9879 or

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