Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

    Set 67 biographies of the about 80 Water Valley 2009 graduates on Wednesday and Thursday. A bright spot in these bios was that almost all of these seniors do plan to continue their education and I hope they avail themselves of all the knowledge that is there for them and also all the extras that a college experience offers —these are so valuable in a well rounded life. Congratulation to each of you seniors.

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    We had a graduate in the family this year. Niece Misty, daughter of Carolyn and Bo, received her Master’s in Education from the University of Mississippi on Saturday. Jimmie, Rance and Ginny attended and I stayed with Mom. We’re all proud of Misty—she worked hard for this degree, going to school, while teaching full time.

    I Intended to get up early so I could load the van, grocery shop and take in some of the Market Fest, before my trip to Mom’s in time to feed her lunch. Waking at six, I found it black as midnight, with lightening, thunder and heavy rain falling. Thought, I’m not getting out of bed because I’m sure the Market Fest has been cancelled and I’m not driving to Courtland in this wind and rain. Went back to sleep and woke about 9:30, jumped up, slipped though the shower, dressed hurriedly, and when I went out the door the sun had come out.

    Going through town I was amazed to see the crowds there. Thought Market Fest was probably almost over for the morning, so didn’t stop. Found out from Lucia Holloway that I’d really missed a great event. She says that the arts and crafts were excellent and really well priced, and that the food was all delicious. Came back home early Saturday, thinking I’d take in the fireworks display.

    Well, here comes the rain again. I did come on into town, as I needed a couple things at Larson’s and as I got out of the van, the heavens opened up—It really poured. When I got home, I found the electricity off. This is rare in the Valley. I studied my Sunday school lesson, then lighted candles as it got darker, and finally made my bed by braille. I’d washed sheets earlier that morning, but just left them in the dryer. Lights came on shortly before eight and I watched a bit of TV, pressed clothes for Sunday, and baked the ham for Sunday lunch. Lights were off again sometime in the night, but were on in time to make church.

    Mother had a great day, with five of her six chicks (as she calls us) present. Only missing was Brother Terry of Brandon. Doesn’t matter who’s missing, she’ll say, “Well if (name of missing child) were here I’m have all six of you at the table. Even as bad as we’ve been through the years, I do think she still loves us.

    Jim called in the afternoon to wish MamMaw, Sissie, Carolyn and me a happy Mother’s Day. Got his Mother’s Day package on Monday and his always amazing card showed a penguin floating on a piece of ice, a distant separation from the rest of the flock, and it read, “Long distance relationships are difficult.” They are, but thank goodness for Ma Bell.

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    Monday brought back fond memories of 39 years ago. The first Kilgore-side-of-the-family-nephew, William Cole, arrived on this date. That day also was also the day after Mother’s Day. William is an one of those people who make this world a better place and also livens it up. He’s always been a mischievous, energetic person, one that’s always a delight to be around.

    He’s been a great son, a wonderful husband and father, and a nephew I’ve really enjoyed. Can’t leave out the other nephew, Michael Cole, who came along just four years and four days later. Also a wonderful young man, Michael is more laid back, quite spoken, and smarter than William, but he doesn’t provide the spice-of-life that William does. Love them both—they’ve been more like second and third sons than nephews. Happy Birthday to you both! Can’t believe your 39 and 35 years old.

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    Monday night was a very memorable night for me.

    The Water Valley Community Band presented its Spring Concert and it was an outstanding program of music. All band members are/or could be professionals. I’m think there are seven or eight band directors in the rooster and several more who were/or have credentials to serve in that capacity.

    With all this talent and great music though, there was for me an even more exciting presentation on this program. The Water Valley Arts Council has created an award for excellence in the arts, which will be presented at intervals to outstanding artists, musicians, ect. in the Valley.

    The award was named for Ed—The Ed Shearer, III  Award for Excellence. The first presentation of this award was made at the band concert and the recipient was long-time Water Valley High School Band Director Stanley Crow.

    Explaining the award were Ramona Bernard and Bill Warren, co-directors of the Arts Council. They covered Ed’s life and accomplishments so fully and it made me so happy to realize that others knew this amazing man I had the privilege of spending almost 47 years with (45 and half married and almost a year and a half dating). The award went to Stan, whom I’ve had a really unusual relationship with though over 35 years. We’ve always been great friends, he has been as close as a brother, often I referred to him as my oldest son, and even on one occasion I was dubbed his wife (that was long before Becky).

    Through the years, if I’ve needed him he’s always been there. He’s spent a many a night keeping me company or guarding me (and sometimes Jim) if I was frightened when Ed had to be away from home. The Arts Council could not have made a better choice to receive this award.

    Stan was an outstanding leader of the band program in Water Valley for 28 years, he’s also helped with music in First Baptist Church, and has been the shaker and mover in the Community Band. This is just the tip of the iceberg for what he’s meant to music and other community activities in the Valley. Presenting the award was David Hopple, member of the Arts Council, Assistant WV Band Director, member of the Community Band, and Stan’s friend.

    In accepting the award, Stan made some very touching remarks about Ed and I treasure them. The two of them also had a unique friendship—both loved young people, both were very dedicated to musical education, they loved and respected each other and I think they both loved me—in different ways of course.     Think you can tell these men are two of my favorite folks and I do appreciate the Arts Council for honoring them.

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