By Betty Shearer
Was about to begin the column when word reached us of the death of Jimmy McCay. He was one of the managers listed on the Junior High Blue Devils roster in last week’s edition. I think Jimmy was the third son from the top of the late Mary Helen and Dorsey McCay. Bro. McCay was pastor of North Main Methodist Church during the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. All the McCay boys were good athletes and fine boys. Ed and I were often in the McCay home during our early married life and it was always a joy to visit. Sympathy is extended to the family. I’m sure we’ll have an obituary next week.
Watched some late night TV over the weekend and was amazed to learn that it was the 40th anniversary of Butch Cassidy and The Sun Dance Kid. I’ve enjoyed Paul Newman’s movies through the years, except for this one. I just can not get interested in it. However, it’s hard to believe it’s been around for 40 years. I did catch a couple of great old westerns. One was John Wayne in Chism, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary. This one I’d missed through the years. Watching it Thursday night, I was falling asleep, even though it was a great film. Finally just gave up, turned the TV off and went to bed. Next day, when I stopped for lunch, I turned it back on and would you believe the movie picked up at almost the exact spot I’d left it the night before. Needless to say, housework was delayed for awhile.
Jimmie came on Saturday and we took down VBS decorations in the sanctuary and down the halls. She also took the train, which belongs to Pope Baptist Church. Thought we’d have a heat stroke loading the thing—probably would have if Michael Redwine had not happened along to lend a hand.
She had to hurry back to help with cooking for the big July birthday celebration in the Cole family. While baking, she also included a carmel cake for Rance, who was turning 66 on July 28. When he called her, as is his usual greeting, he says, “What are you doing?” She explained that she was baking birthday cakes and that she had cooked him one. He asked, “What kind?” Now his least favorite flavor is chocolate, so she answered, “It’s a big beautiful chocolate cake!”
I can’t repeat his reply. The only thing that would have made it better would have been for her to have told him that she’d put a couple of onions in the batter. No matter what I cook, his first question is “Does it have onions?” I always answer, “Of course, a couple or so”—even if it cornbread, biscuit, cake, or pie. It was a good cake—he did share a bit with us.
The family was falling apart this weekend. Jimmie broke a toe, Bo lost the hearing in one ear, making him a bit wobbly, so it was up to Rance and me to do most of the cooking. He cooked fresh purple hull peas, and I baked a ham, grilled some fresh squash, and cooked new potatoes. Jimmie had sliced a cantaloupe and Bo did manage to stand up long enough to cook us some cornbread and slice tomatoes.
After lunch, Rance and I cut off, cooked and got about four dozen ears of corn into the freezer. Then I had to hose down the kitchen. It is good corn, though, well worth the trouble.
Don’t know how we have so many armadillos left. On both Saturday and Sunday I saw one dead on the road about every two to three miles. Did not see any deer. However, there are lots of deer out there, many of them very young. Friday afternoon, out the back windows, I watched a doe and her fawns grazing in the yard. They are so cute, but can be deadly if you hit one with your vehicle.
We’re coming into the biggest weekend of the year in the Valley. Weatherwise—temps look great, but precipitation is iffy. We may have to dodge some rain, or even some thunderstorms. Remember the ‘84 Carnival—on the heels of the tornado—when all day long the downpours came and then out came the sun. People were out in droves when the rain would stop—don’t know where they went when it was raining. Stan Crow and I were in the Lions booth all day long.
We’d gotten smart and assigned time slots that year. Well, we took the first—Ed had to be there for the Run/Walk and Stan just was a great volunteer. Until well into the day no other helpers came in—they all thought the Carnival had been cancelled due to rain.
Don’t think the Carnival has ever been totally cancelled due to weather. One year, early on in its resurrection, Jim, Ed and I were somewhere in the south of Mississippi for a band camp or clinic. As soon as the Friday program was completed, we headed home in high gear—sun was shinning where we were. The further north we came, the worse the clouds looked. Then came the rain—bucket’s full.
When we finally arrived in the Valley, there was not sign of activity in the Park, the Lions Building was dark, so it was up to the Davises to see what was going on. Seems that the Lions had just cancelled their Friday night barbecue and there was no way a street dance could have been held—there was a couple of inches of water on Central Street and in the Bank of Water Valley’s parking lot. Betty fed us and we visited for awhile, then went home for a good night’s rest.
Next morning dawned bright and beautiful, run/walk was gotten in, vendors opened up and the Lions sold barbecue and hamburgers all day long—best I can remember we had great sales that year.
So come on out, even if it is a little wet.
One event that we have now, that was not in place in the years I’m remembering, is the Town and Country Garden Club’s Music Festival. That’s inside a very comfortable, air-conditioned auditorium, so if all else fails we can all enjoy this. The lineup of talent looks great this year. The evening begins at 7 p.m. with a concert by The Sharecroppers. This is a tremendous group of musicians—only thing that would make them better would be if they still had that six-six saxophone player in the band.
Carnival programs are on sale. Have some on the front counter and they are available at many other businesses in town and at the Chamber Office. This year they feature city and county officials back through the years—this is very interesting history.
The Chamber also has for sale their Christmas ornaments and t-shirts. My new t-shirt is displayed on the counter, so if you’re by check it out—think you’re going to want one.
The weekend includes many class and family reunions—just a whole lot of fun all weekend. Included in this issue is a complete guide to Watermelon Carnival Weekend. Be sure to visit the advertisers who provided this for your information.