Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

    Sympathy is extended to the family of long-time friend Bill White, who died last Tuesday morning. Bill was one of the folks I met on my initial visit to the Valley, over 52 years ago. At that time the Herald had a charge account at White’s Service Station – the one taken away by the ‘84 tornado – and if Ed needed gas, he’d go by, fill up and charge it to his Dad.

    Bill usually pumped the gas and while this was being done we visited. He was a delightful man, always full of humor, and always had that little twinkle in his eye. His son, Tommy, also has that sense of humor and that twinkle in his eyes. John probably has, also, but I don’t see him very often.

    It was so good to see Pam and John, their children and grands; also Bill’s daughters, Becky and Ginger, whom I had not seen in years; Pam’s sister, Sandra Wilson; other family and friends at visitation Wednesday night. Tommy and I were discussing life after death, and we agreed that we knew where Bill was and that we’d soon go to meet him, Tommy’s mother, Jeanette, Ed, Ludie, and all the other family and friends who’ve gone on before. It will be a happy reunion day. Bill looked so good—I though he just might sit up and say, “Well, here’s ole Eddy.” He always called Ed and me, Bed and Eddy.

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    Jimmie and I hosted Bridge Thursday night and it was the first time I’d played in a long time. I was surprised at how rusty I’d gotten. My cards were the same and I was the low scorer, however one of my partners got the prize (hostesses don’t usually play and if we do we don’t take any of the honors—like I wanted that one!) We had two visitors, Mom’s friend, Teddy Benner, who had not played in years, did very well, and Natalie Ferrell (last name’s gone out the window) were welcomed additions. Had they not joined us, we’d have had to postpone, because only six club members were able to play—others were not ill (we’re thankful) but just had more exciting things to do. Jimmie had made good food and the visiting was most enjoyable—great to catch up on what everyone had been doing.

    I’d taken a copy of the Herald and it was passed around. Jack’s snake picture was most interesting to all. Then they started relating Panola County snake stories. Karen and Ken Lewis’ grandson (I think he’s 3) had gone into their garage, and little brother, who is a toddler, was following him. The older says, “No, don’t come out here, there’s a snake.” The little one kept coming, so he pushed him back into the house and the youngster started crying. Mom and Dad came and began to scold big brother for pushing his sibling.     He explained there was a snake, to which parents surmised that he was trying to get out of trouble, but decided to explore his story and found not one, but two snakes inside an enclosed garage. I’m sure he then got a big hug. Next story was one that involves a former Vallian and his wife, who is the daughter of one of my Crowder School classmates, Yvonne Cannon Brown. Many of you know her because you visited her greenhouse in years past. A neighbor of Jennifer and Bubba Karr (son of the late Betty Fern Karr) saw a snake on their carport.

    Jennifer was on the phone with the wife when the snake was spotted, so she was told to send Bubba over to help find it. Well, Jennifer, who is not afraid of anything (much like her mother) came and guess who found and killed the snake. Report goes that Jennifer cut him into little pieces with lopping shears. The men didn’t have a chance.

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    Brother Rance continued the snake saga at Mom’s on Saturday. He was mowing his yard, when the mower began to shake. Thought he hit something and knocked the blade out of balance, but upon turning the mower over found a snake wrapped around the blade. It was non-poisonous and he got it out.

    Snakes must be very plentiful this year, as I see several that have been killed on the Pope/Water Valley each time I cross.

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    Along with lots of other area citizens, I lost power late Friday afternoon. Felt for electric department crews who braved the storms, which were powerful, to get service restored. Mine was so bad that they had to wait for daylight. They had to rebuild my entire service, but had me up and running on Saturday. We do have a tremendous department and I appreciate the fine work that Joe Newman and his staff do. We rarely have a power outage for more than a few minutes and even in catastrophes like the weekend we’re up and running in hours or at most a day. They are good.

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    Mom’s power was also out, but she has a gas stove with eyes that burn even without electricity—oven doesn’t, but that’s okay. I know how to make stovetop fried cornbread.

    Jimmie, Bo and I had picked about 15 gallons of plums Friday and they needed to be cooked, juiced and put into the freezer. I did half on Saturday afternoon and it was a hot job. Mom’s kitchen has no ventilation and it got hotter and hotter. My hair was dripping—wetter than if I’d just stepped out of the shower. Jimmie had washed Mom’s and when I took her a glass of water, I leaned over and put it on her table, guessed my sweat dripped on her.

    She reached up, touched my hair and exclaimed, “Your hair is wetter than mine and you’ve not been in the shower!” I should have lost a few pounds before the power came on about 3:30. We’d gotten use to being in the dark, so lights didn’t matter, but the AC was certainly a welcomed relief. We forget how spoiled we’ve gotten.

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    Barbara Warren and her sister had planned a trip to El Paso to pick up grandson, Will, who’d gone home with his sister, Courtney, a couple of weeks ago. Well, Barbara was on the organ bench Sunday morning, so I just assumed the trip had been called off. Went up to find out what had happened and the explanation was that they’d gone on Monday and were back on Wednesday—Will wanted to come home. Told her that I wasn’t going to west Texas with her, because I’d have to call Jim and get him to stand on the side of I-10 so I could wave at him. With that trip time frame, there not even be time for a hug. In the early days Ed and I use to say we’re were going for a hug. When we drove we only had five days, which was way too short, but Barbara made it in three. Jim was not home last week, and I’m glad because I’d have called and gotten him lined up to take them out to dinner and for sight-seeing. He, Celeste, and Martha were in Houston, participating in a clinic and giving a recital. Haven’t heard from him (phone rang yesterday and Jack says it was Jim’s number). He must have been in a no service zone and as yet has not called me back. I’m anxious to hear how the week went — know it was great, but just enjoy a first-hand account.

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    Sunday is Father’s Day and in our family all the senior fathers are gone. We just have to celebrate with brothers and brothers-in-law and they are all great fathers. Hope all dads have a wonderful day.

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