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Out On The Mudline

Not Really Lost Just A Bit Misplaced

By W. P. Sissell

Camp Ground Basketball

I did not realize it at the time but my sister, Ruth, and I were in our last years of attendance at Camp Ground School. In those seventh and eighth grades I was an avid basketball fan. Our teams, especially our high school girl’s team were winning just about every game they played. Our bus driver was Mr. Henry Henderson who had gotten one of the first steel bodied buses in the county and that bus, because of its greater safety, was being used for the athletic team’s travel. Two years later the Sylva Rena School burned and Dad had acquired the Cottoner place which was in the Sylva Rena District. Mom and Dad sent us to Water Valley School.

Now, as I’ve said before, our family and the McCain family had been connected for many years. Mr. Henderson was married to one of the McCain daughters and lived close to the others in the Tindall School area. One afternoon as we rode home on the bus and I was in my usual seat just behind Mr. Henderson. I remarked to Mr. Henderson that I wished that I could see the game that night. Mr. Henderson answered, “You can, if Miss Sadie and Mr. Reuel okay it. You just tell them that I will take care of you and be ready when I come by at about six o’clock.’” That was the beginning of many trips to see that championship team play and it was the one that I remember the most.

Lost in Panola County

Everything went as planned by Mr. Henderson and me.  Mother and Dad said okay and I was ready when he came by with the teams on board. I think that I was approved by the coaches as the mascot for the team. We went down and across Robinson’s Mill Crossing—Crossed Bynum Creek—Up Peter Brown Hill—took the left at Shuford School and soon were at the Gym in Courtland a part of the Courtland Agricultural High School.

I don’t remember the outcome of the games, but I think the girls won for they won most of their games that year. The return trip was something else. I do not know for sure where we deviated from the correct route. That area of Panola County is just full of roads. Somewhere we got on the road that we did not want to get on. Later in the night we came to a sign that read Oxford city limits.  

Mr. Henderson turned right somewhere along that road and went south (this was long before the day of Hwy. 315).  Somewhere in that trip we came by where Kelly Tidwell lived as a boy. We passed McCollough’s Store, followed along the base of Bynum Ridge—where my Dad told me there were big rocks with Yankee soldier’s names carved—and suddenly we were at Robinson’s Mill Crossing. Mr. Henderson, now recognizing where he was, had to turn right and go almost to Peter Brown’s Hill to take a Lakey boy home then back across Robinson’s Crossing and over McFarland Ridge to get me home.

Today I know most of those roads and if I don’t I can always ask Lee Rowsey but then I was just a little boy having fun.

Hopefully, we’re going to have a great, rainless, week. Do have a great week. Thank you for your interest. You can reach me most of the time at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606, or 662-563-9879.

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