By Betty Shearer
Delivering papers to the stores last Wednesday morning was most enjoyable. Everyone was in a holiday spirit. Papers were heavy, but I got lots of help getting them into the stores, making the chore much lighter. I do appreciate all my helpers each week.
Had very few returns and one person commented, “Bad news sure does sell lots of papers!” Thought about that and I know it’s true, but it makes me sad. Wonder why we’d rather read bad news than good?
Had a most welcomed visitor to the office Wednesday afternoon. Ron Browning, who owned and operated Browning Funeral Home for many years in the Valley, dropped by. Ron now lives in Destin, Florida. We had to catch up on the lives of our children. Ron’s daughter, Cinda, is married and has a one-and-a-half year-old daughter. She and her family live in the Huntsville, Alabama Area.
When the Brownings were in the Valley, Cinda often delivered the obit sheets, payment checks, etc. and she was so cute. She was not quite tall enough to see over the counter, so she‘d stand on her tip toes to talk to us. Seems like it was just yesterday. Ron asked if there was news about Jim that I’d not reported in the column. Told him there was not—as Ed used to say, “I tell everything I know.” We did reminisce about the days Jim’s spent hanging around the funeral home. He was not interested in the business, but he did love Ron’s vintage car (a Mercedes, as best I remember).
Told Ron that I think one of the few things Jim has never forgiven me for was that I would not let him drive that car. When Jim started watching Ron care for the car, he was too young for a driver’s license. When he finally did get legal to drive, Ron told him he could take his car on a date sometime.
Well I said, “No way!” Ron answered, “Betty, the car is insured.” Maybe so, I thought, but I know how traumatic it is to get a scratch on your beloved vehicle, so the answer continued to be, “No way.” Ron smiles and says, “I still have the car.” Told Jim and he said, “Guess I’ll have to visit Ron in Florida, without you, and finally get to drive that car.” He was joking, I think.
We do have some wonderful memories of all the folks who have passed through the Valley and our lives. It was such a pleasure to see Ron again and hope it will not be ten or more years (that what we decided the last interval had been) before our next visit. He extends greetings to all the Valley friends.
Wednesday night I, along with many other area residents, attended the Compassion Ministries sponsored Community-wide Thanksgiving Service, held in Springdale Family Worship Center. Rev. Harold Sprayberry, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, brought the message, and he’s an excellent preacher. After we were welcomed by Bro. Keith Davis, pastor of Springdale, Bro. James Edwards, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, read the scripture and gave the opening prayer. The musical part of the program was under the direction of Adonai Church with Bro. Roger Howell who sang and was the pianist.
Bro. Raymond Aven, Director of Compassion Ministries, explained that the offering would be used to help defray the expenses of the Thanksgiving meal on Thursday and gave the offertory prayer. Bro. Eugene Howell, Minister of Senior Adults at Adonai, pronounced the benediction. This service is always enjoyable, affording us opportunities to worship with brothers and sisters in Christ.
Got up early Thanksgiving morning and went over to Mom’s. Had thought I’d just put the turkey into the oven and then watch the parade. Usually, we eat late in the afternoon, when the boys return from their deer hunt. This year though, both had terrible colds and wanted lunch at the appointed hour. I was only about thirty minutes late, but I did miss the last hour of my parade. Didn’t make much difference though, the parade was not as good as in the past. They spent more time on entertainment than they did on showing the balloons, floats, bands, etc. and these are what I wanted to see.
In addition to family members we had one special guest at lunch. Sister-in-law Carolyn’s nephew, Joey, who had just returned form his second tour in Iraq, was down from his newly assigned post at Fort Campbell Kentucky. Joey has been visiting Mississippi since he was a child, so he seems like part of our family.
Sunday morning Bro. Ken asked for a show of hands of all who had shopped on Black Friday. Couldn’t raise mine. For the first time in many years, Jimmie and I did not fight the crowds for those after Thanksgiving bargains. We do enjoy a good shopping spree, but Bill called to tell us not to go to Oxford, reporting that you could not even get off I-55 onto Highway 6. He also advised us not to go to Memphis, stating that the traffic was terrible both ways on the interstate, so we just stayed home. She cleaned at her house and I did the same at mine—we got Mom’s on Saturday. Jim called on her cell, wanting to know where we were shopping. Jimmie says it scared her when she saw his number on that phone.
His answer was “I don’t know why it should, you two are always out bright and early on this shopping day.” He then called me at home. Reported that Celeste’s band had done well in their Thanksgiving Day parad,e and after she got home they enjoyed a not-so-traditional Thanksgiving meal—shrimp. Wanted to know what we’d had and it was strictly traditional—turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, orange salad, cranberry sauce, pecan and lemon pie.
With Thanksgiving over, we now have to get serious about Christmas. Housecleaning must be completed, decorations gotten up, shopping and cooking done. We also have to get ready for the Christmas Edition of the Herald.
Before any of this though, we have the Water Valley Christmas Parade coming up Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. Parade Chairman J. C. Womble reports that it promised to be an excellent one, so get out and enjoy the parade and then some bargains that local merchants are offering. You don’t even have to cook lunch. The Tri-Lake Fairground Association, sponsor of the parade, will have a concession stand next to the Downtown Bandstand. They serve delicious hamburgers and hot dogs. If this does not suit your fancy, our many excellent restaurants and cafes will be open. Hope to see you in the Valley on Saturday.
Christmas music will also kick off this Sunday. Woodland Hills Cantata will be presented at 10:30 Sunday morning and, even with me as a member of the choir, it’s a beautiful program of music. Everyone is invited.
Then on Sunday evening, beginning at 6 p.m., First Baptist Sanctuary Choir will present their Cantata. I know it will be wonderful—it always is. I plan to cut our services to attend this. There are other opportunities for worship on this date and many more up until Christmas day—check the paper for times and places. Worship of the Christ Child is the reason for the season.