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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

  My attention has been directed to an issue I’m very passionate about—the Water Valley High School Band, or rather the lack of it. I missed the scrimmage game against Vardaman  on the home field, and the games against Bruce, again on the home field, and Coffeeville, only nine miles to the south.

    It seems that the band has not made an appearance at any of these games, either in the stands or on the field.

  There is a good possibility that the Blue Devils will go to the state play-offs and I just can’t imagine sending a winning team to Jackson without the support of a superior Band.

  I’ve been around for over 50 years and, until 2003, I rarely missed a game. In my days of following football and the band, as the team began practicing for the upcoming season, so did the band. Come opening game night the band was ready with a show that would have made a “superior” at state band contest.

    I’m told that the band students today don’t even know what it is to compete at the state level in Jackson. They’re missing an education, as well as life-long friendships with other musicians in the state. I know the student talent is here, I’m questioning the leadership – the band director’s ability or dedication. The students cannot be the band they should be without capable, dedicated leadership.

    This takes many hours of hard work—I know because I’ve been there in the early morning hours and then until the wee hours, getting former bands to the superior stage. Now I was not the director, can’t even read a note of music, but I was there to help in any capacity I could. The band director was there longer hours than I was.

    That volunteer spirit of many band parents and band supporters is still here, if it were just utilized. I know it is because I’m told by parents, former band students, and just concerned citizens – they are willing to help. However the lead has to be by the band director. I urge everyone concerned about this issue to contact the band director, school administrators, and your school board members – let’s put pressure on everyone to come through with a band that we can be proud of.


  Sara Nell Trusty Champion called last Wednesday to tell me that Elvis was still in the building. Somehow in the cutline for the Town and Country Garden Club’s new officers Champion got left off. I just knew that I’d done it—who else knew her as Trusty. Well, it wasn’t me, but never-the-less we apologize for the error and, yes, she still is the wife of Elvis Champion and they’re a happy couple.


  While delivering the papers Wednesday morning I found Smith Murphey, candidate for Circuit Court Judge, 17th Judicial District, Sub. Dist. 2, Position 1, out at Dunn’s Country Store (Sylva Rena Grocery).He was eating breakfast with the breakfast club that meets there each week. Smith gave me a pocket size football schedule that contained both the Water Valley Blue Devils and the Coffeeville Pirates games—it sure comes in handy.

    He sent word to David that he had permission to place this in the Herald, but only if he did it in it’s entirety. Of course he was joking, since it contained his campaign logo. I’m enjoying having it on my keyboard though, because when someone calls for info on an upcoming game, I don’t have to search back through the paper—I just check my copy board. Thanks Smith, and it was great visiting with you.


  Another school related item that come my way was a list of items that will give cash to the school for their box tops. Each top collected earns the school 10c. Julie Ingram brought this by.

    If you have access to the Internet you may access the complete list at boxtops4 If you need a copy of this list, I’ll share mine if you come by the office or I’m sure the school or Julie will supply one.

    In this time of tight budgets, this could supply lots of extra cash for necessities that might not be available other wise. If you collect the box tops you may take them to the school or you may drop them by the Herald Office and I’ll get them to the school.


  Didn’t get to play bridge Thursday night—just had to much to do. Jimmie says she was high scorer and they played at Amy Stone Florence’s new home (actually it’s her old home). She and Tommy have moved into the former home of her parents, the late Dr. and Mrs. (Joy) John Stone.  I really wanted to play, visit with everyone, see the house and enjoy Amy’s great food. Maybe next time.


  While traveling home from Mom’s late Saturday afternoon, I saw a deer, just leaping along the high bank on the far side of the Pope/WV Road. It kept popping up out of the kudzo and somehow I just knew that eventually it was going to come down from that bank and cross in front of me. In preparation for this, I slowed down (there were no on coming vehicles and no one behind me—a miracle). Sure enough, after about a mile, here comes my deer, and without slowing it went right in front of me. If I’d been travelling at normal speed, it would have been disastrous – God does indeed take care of us. That’s the first deer I’ve seen on that road in a long time. With hunting season approaching, though, I’m sure the number will pick up.

  Jim called last night—it was just beginning to get dark. While we were talking, I was at the kitchen window, and strolling through the yard was my resident doe. She was followed by two tiny little fawns, with their spots. Then another very small deer came into view and I’m sure it was her spring fawn. Poor little thing was being pushed out of its home – replaced.


  For all of you who ask each week, Mom is fine. We had a great time visiting, eating, and watching golf.


  Congratulations to the Blue Devils on their decisive win against cross-county rivals, the Coffeeville Pirates. It’s so good to have that championship back in the Valley. Mark Anthony gave me a synopsis of the game and he also had great pictures. We do appreciate his work, along Reid Bankston and Bobby Murphrey’s help with sports reporting. They’re a great team. Best of luck to the Devils as they meet another long-time arch rival, the Calhoun City Wildcats, Friday night. This game will be played in Calhoun City.


  Please be careful if you travel this Labor Day weekend. Buckle those seat belts, don’t use that phone while driving, and certainly don’t drink and drive. I’m sure both the highways and the lakes will be crowded. If operating, or riding in, a boat, safety is also needed—everyone wear those life preservers.  Have a happy and safe holiday.

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