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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

 After the football game last Friday night in Ruleville, the Travis York family, as they were leaving, discovered that a child’s jacket had been left in the stadium. The jacket is navy blue, with an Ole Miss logo. If it belongs to your child or grandchild, you may claim it at the Herald office.


  A welcomed guest in the Herald office last Wednesday was James Person. James came in and asked if I knew where I was.

    “Certainly,” I replied. “I’m at 416 Main Street, Water Valley.”

    “Well,” he continued, “Do you know where you were yesterday?”

    Told him I was at the office, except when I made my usual trip to Oxford to pick up inserts. Then he wanted to know my route. Told him I went up Central, to 7, then to 7 and 9 into Oxford. He had me, because it’s not 9 that runs into Oxford, but 9-W.         James explained that 9 goes from Bruce to Pontotoc, which I knew, and that 9-W splits off and runs through Paris into Oxford, except he thinks it stops where 7 intersects and that from there into Oxford is dubbed Highway 7.

    Who knows, I’ve always just said 9 and 7. At any rate we had an enjoyable visit and I thank him for trying to improve my traveling knowledge—need all the help I can get. James also pointed out an error in a front page headline. I didn’t make the error but it’s my duty, as proof reader, to get it corrected before it gets into print. Only one letter was in error, but oh what a difference one incorrect character makes. The word read changes and it should have read charges. David later confessed that he changed the headline after I had read it.


  I went over to Bill’s and Jimmie’s after work Thursday. We enjoyed supper, got ready to go to the Mississippi Ag Museum early Friday morning and then just visited. For the first time in several years, we did not have bridge on the night before this trip. I talked to Connie Hawkins last night. She is the hostess for bridge, which is being played this Thursday, and she says, “We didn’t play last week because we had to skip a week because everyone, including you, had something else to do.         Mystery solved.

    Do hope to play this week. Connie and Ham have remodeled and added on to their home, since I’ve been able to play when she was hosting. I’m looking forward to seeing what they did–their house was already beautiful.

  Sister-in-law Carolyn joined us for the trip to the print shop. She and Jimmie could only stay until about two on Friday afternoon. They had to go on to Magee, pick up great-niece Grace, and take her to Panola county for a visit. While they were there, though, we got our money’s worth out of them.

    Jimmie ran the press while I made-up other jobs and did lots of cutting. Carolyn helped Mary Sue Anderson entertain our school children guests and give out the packets to teachers. We had lots of young visitors on Friday and some were so cute. One little boy asked, “You all work so hard, do you ever get a break?”

    We told him that we did if there was no one coming in, or sometimes we just took one. He says, “I think you need a break – take one.” Carolyn had not seen much of the museum, so in the next lull, we took the break that young man had given us. We showed her some of the main building, the old house, the blacksmiths, cotton gin, sawmill, and general store. We found things we wanted to buy, but none of us had brought a cent.

    They made a list and shortly before I came home on Saturday, I gave Bennett my press clean-up chore and I went shopping. I told him that I usually cleaned up my own dirty press, but because of our limited time, I’d let him do it. Great excuse, wasn’t it? The Anderson’s second son and his wife, Terry and Lucy Anderson, were visiting with us Saturday and Terry came over and whispered, “Don’t feel bad about making Dad wash your press, Mom and I did it all the time.”

     Bennett always offers to wash up when Jimmie is the last one running this press, but she usually does it. Arriving back at her house, I told her what I done and she says, “Just wait, when we go back to the shop, I’m going to say, ‘Bennett, I heard you washed Betty’s press and I expect you to wash mine when I finish today’.”

    We always pick at each other. T. J. says he just comes to ruffle my feathers and some of the jobs he gives me to do, makes me almost believe this.  

  We had the largest crowds we every had on a Saturday. Many church groups came through, along with some sizable family gatherings. One mother and I were talking and she says, we’re all here because our daughter came with her school group on Tuesday. She came home and says, “We’re all going back to the museum on Saturday and so here we are.”

    She had her parents, grands, siblings, and even some aunts, uncles and cousins. The mother said she was so glad the daughter had brought them, because they’d driven by the gates so many times and just never stopped. She told us that they’d all be back, because the daughter was right, “You can’t see it all in one day.”

  A large group from Woodland Hills came to visit on Saturday and I was so busy that I really could not take the time I wanted to spend with them. They all reported a great time and Bro. Ken says he did not expect to be impressed with my print shop, but that the linotype was phenomenal. He’s right – it is. Of course the children like T. J.’s, Jimmie ‘s and my presses, the cutter, and Mary Sue’s hand-outs better – they can understand them.

  Jimmie, Carolyn and I did slip off several times to see the old cotton gin run. That thing would run for two or three minutes and then would work on it. However, even with this, they were able to gin three bales of cotton. We saw the second bale tied out. Jimmie and I grew up in a gin like this one, along with several upgrades following it.

    Our dad was a ginner for most of his life and many times he worked through supper and into the night. We’d take him food and he’d let us play on the bales of cotton, in the cotton filled trailers on the gin yard, and even let us take turns running the overflow sucker.         This was fun, because we were so light it would just sling us around—was a pretty good ride. The old gin did bring back many happy memories, since dad died over 49 years ago. He also was a sawer at a sawmill in his early years and I could still remember that. I was always frightened by this occupation though, I was afraid my dad was going to fall into that huge blade that just zipped right through the huge logs.

  We never got down to the molasses making, but here again we’ve had hands-on experience and it’s great to see these old operations come to life.

      If you missed Harvest Fest this year, make plans to attend next year—it’s always the second weekend in November.


  I was so glad to hear that the Blue Devils won again They’ll meet Winona for the second time this year. The game, beginning at 7, will be played at home Friday night. Hope to see you there.

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