Skip to content

Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

 Classmate Dorothy Jean Wiggs Hardin and her husband, Orvill, of California came by the office for a visit on Thursday. Orvill had been interested in touring the Casey Jones Museum, so at our reunion I told him to come on over. He did and stated that he enjoyed it very much. He said he could have spent a lots more time with Jack Gurner, Sr., telling me what I already knew, that Jack was one of the most knowledgeable railroad people he’d every talked to.

    I had to tell him that Jack was not the railroader in his family, that it was his brother, the late Bruce Gurner. Even though Jack never worked for the ICRR he still knows more about the business than most folks do. We do have a nice railroad museum and a fine curator.

  They stayed at the Herald office for an hour or so, and we got in some great one-on-one visiting. I caught up on their children’s lives and, of course, I had to brag on Jim a little.

  In last week’s Herald I’d related one of Dorothy Jean’s stories. After she read it she says, “I have to have copies of this.” Sent her away with several, which she was going to distribute to other classmates. One was going straight to Yvonne Can-non Brown, her partner in crime, in the related story. We both figured we’d get hurt for telling this, but agreed that it was worth it.

    Dorothy Jean, who looks like the picture of health,  had to have a pace maker last year. She says it’s working fine and has not slowed her down—only death will do that.


  Played bridge Thursday night – first time in several weeks. It was my time to host, which was an easy job this time – Jimmie did all the work. With several members unable to attend, we both wound up playing. First table found me getting my usual hands—1 to 7 points.

    I was advised that I’d better shape up since at the second table Jimmie was to be my partner. I got much better hands and actually played without assistance from anyone. Then, at the third table, I continued to get good hands and was playing with one of the best players in the club (Amy Stone Florence) – she’s been playing for years. However, she got hands that I usually get, but we still did alright. If she had gotten any cards, our score would have been phenomenal. At the end of play I was tied for high score—great feeling.


  Friday morning, before coming home, Jimmie and I went out and picked the apples on Bill’s tree that we could reach. I peeled apples most of the day, putting nine big bags in the freezer, making about two quarts of applesauce, and then a couple of fresh apple cakes. If I hadn’t eaten so many I’d have a couple more quarts and maybe less of a tummy ache.

    After eating all the green apples, I sampled the applesauce. (I’m not a fan of this stuff) The homemade was good and I ate a big bowl. Then I made the cakes and this is probably my favorite cake. I like them hot and when they came out of the oven I ate about a third of one. Needless to say I gained a few pounds over the weekend.

  Bill also likes this cake – a lot – so I sent him the cake left from Saturday lunch. Left instructions for him to pick the apples out of our reach. He did, and I picked them up Sunday afternoon. Got a message that he was just about out of cake – translates make more.


  After bridge Thursday night, Bill, Jimmie and I were discussing their oldest grand, Harris’ birthday, which was celebrated on the 23rd. His wish for a birthday present was to go skeet hunting.

  In the Cole, Shearer, and Kilgore families we have a multitude of important dates in July. Oldest niece, Nita Kilgore Robinson, was 48 years old on the 9th, Mother Shearer (Dolly) would have been 100 on the 21st, Daddy Shearer (Big Ed) would have been 105 on the 20th, Celeste and Jim’s 17th anniversary was on the  22nd, Harris’ 13th birthday was on the 23rd; then Jim Cole’s birthday was on the 27th, Brother Rance’s on the 28th, and Bill’s father’s (the late Eugene Cole) was on the 29th. In earlier days we’d start celebrating on the 4th and continue all month.


  I ran into Jean Craven in the parking lot at Larson’s Saturday morning. As we were talking, Cecil Ford pulled in and asked if we couldn’t find a cooler place to visit. Jean told her we were trying to get warm.

  Jean was telling me that her granddaughter, Jackie, (Kitti’s daughter) had gotten married and that she was going to send us a picture and a write up of the wedding. I’m looking forward to this.

  Ed and I always claimed Kitti as our child. (Jean and Jack just had to share her).Kitti worked for us for several years and we also spent lots of time together when were were not at the office.

  On our 15th wedding anniversary Kitti and Wanda Cook treated us to dinner at the restaurant out on 315, Stan Crow provided a wedding cake and babysat Jim for the night. Do have some great memories. I still miss Kitti’s keeping me up to date on all that goes on in the Valley. She lived in Jackson and Atlanta for many years, but would often call and say, “I know you’ve not heard this and then she’d go into a story that was true (no gossip), but that living on Main Street in the Valley, we had not heard.”

    She was a great news source. In high school and then in college when she was home she’d take Ed’s camera and make his sports pictures. She was an excellent sports photographer and Ed really appreciated the break from running up and down the football sidelines.


  Robert Montgomery was in Wednesday with some hot and mild chow chow, so we had a pot of peas for lunch on Sunday. That stuff is so good. Thanks, Agnes and Robert. Robert is still playing golf and I always enjoy hearing his golfing stories. Golfing looks like so much fun, but when I hear of all the shoulders, knees and backs that have to be repaired because of enjoying this game, I think I just keep on watching  others as they have all the fun.


  Watching TV last week I heard one man running for the senate make a statement that I certainly agree with. Don’t remember the state or his name, but do remember that he is a medical doctor.         He stated that he made a lot of money, spent a lot of money, but had sense enough to stop spending when the money ran out. He said that he thought the United States needed to do the same, and if elected he’d try to see that this happens.

  On this same theme there was a letter to the editor in a recent Panolian. The writer stated that he had at one time in his life been a drunken sailor. He said he resented the United States’ spending being compared to spending like a drunken sailor. Said that as a drunken sailor he knew to quit spending when the money ran out.

Leave a Comment