Reflections

Water Valley Vets Of All Eras Saluted On Veteran’s Day

By Charles Cooper

Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week. Since the constraints of space kept me from including all of the connections to Battery “A” last week, I thought I’d include them this week. 

Also I noticed that “Dutch” Walson’s last named was omitted last week and I wanted to correct that. Pete Green was the father of Ted and Tom.  

Clint Morgan was the father of Sam, Nettie Mae, Charles Luther, Maxyne and D.C. Blu Clark, who was Nannie Badley’s first cousin, was fire chief for many years. Lem Jones was the father of David and Baxter.  

Frank Gardner was the father of a long time reader and contributor, Gloria Gardner. Tommy Dalton and T.D. Sizemore, long time railroad men. Felix Bagguley, father of Teresa Edgar and brother-in-law of Curtis Pass. Milton Burk, father of Kenneth and Jody and whose widow, Miss Dovie is still going strong at over a hundred. Griff Hardy father of Julia Thompson. George Hudson father of Charles and Martha.  

Less Johnson, whose sons Less and Jackson went to school with me at Camp Ground.  Hollis Tutor father of Atlas Earl.  These are the ones I knew and for many years they held a reunion each Veteran’s day. I would like to dedicate these two columns in memory of these and all others who served in that war and the ones that followed including the one we’re in now.

Do any of you remember when West Side Grocery, forerunner of Larson’s, delivered groceries to your house?  Fly’s grocery, People’s Wholesale and Brandon Jones did the same.  Turnage Drug Store and Trusty, later French’s also delivered.  Turnage and Lowe’s even had curb service.  

The oldest drug store still in operation was Knox which became Martin Boydston’s.  Mr. Brick Knox went into business in the 1880s and Martin Boydston started working for him as a teenager. When bad health and old age forced Mr. Brick to retire, he sold the business to Martin.  

Turnage Drug Store holds the distinction of being run by the same family for 104 years, with the fourth generation operating it today. Sam Addington ran an antique store about where Sartain’s is now located, and I remember Mr. Lipscomb, a railroad engineer remarking that the walls would probably collapse if Sam moved all of his junk out.      

Sam was ahead of the curve as antique stores only came to be popular in later years. Sam was also a veterinarian and some joked that Sam would give an animal something and say that if that didn’t kill her, he’d try something else.

In all fairness, he was probably as good as any vet around in those days. I remember that Mr. Reed and his Vocational Ag students would go around the country and dehorn cows.  

When I was taking Vocational Ag, we only vaccinated dogs, but as usual, I digress, so back to the stores.

Bob Halliwell had a first class men’s store next door to Lowe’s drug store. He didn’t stock suits, but he could measure a customer for a tailor made suit and it would be a perfect fit.       

The store was originally owned by Henry Scott and Bob got it after Mr. Scott died. The sign above the door still read H.P. Scott although Bob had his name in gold letters on the front window.  He and Hamric Henry and my dad were at one time called the three best dressed men in Water Valley. Hamric told me that Bob once told him that he wanted him to be sure and dress him when he died as Hamric was the only one who knew the way he wanted the knot in his tie. Hamric told me he honored his request.

Bob epitomized what we call a southern gentleman. I bought a pair of shoes from him once and detected a snag on the side late after I had worn them.  I showed them to Bob and he told me to select another pair at no cost. That personal touch seems to be a thing of the past these days and I miss it. I plan to attend the Veteran’s day ceremony and I hope to see many of you there. My email address is charlescooper3616@sbcglobal.net or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 38101 and have a great week.

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