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Out On The Mudline

Real American Red Cross Girls Served Snacks

By W. P. Sissell

As Nannette and I ate our evening meal, the television was filled with the news of the bomb denotation at the Russian airport. What is this world coming to? A couple of friends flew into that airport not many months ago. The young lady of the couple is like a daughter to us. We got her into Northwest almost a month late from another school (because of her grades).

If you checked back to the early 1940s you will find that before the end of the summer some of our class members, my class of 1943, were in the service. Some were on active duty in the South Pacific. A later friend survived three island invasions.

I was deferred from the first induction after registration until the crops were gathered. My father was bedridden for three months and the board allowed my deferment until the crops were gathered.

I went in as an Army Specialized trainee probably to attend a college or university somewhere in the states. I had elected to go to Auburn because of the vet school there. All that was not destined, because of the events taking place in the South Pacific and Europe. All these changing operations were not a part of the daily news broadcasts. In talking to my brother, Reuel, on the phone I simply said, “I’m going to a part of the world where you haven’t visited.” He knew where I was headed.

A Recent Conversation

A week or so ago I had a caller who said that he had been stationed quite a while at, or near, Karlsrhue, Germany, the city where I was last stationed. At the time most of my original outfit, the 673rd Field Artillery Battalion, were together although we were now the 751st. I cannot find my notes on the conversation. Sir, if you please, will you call again? I do apologize for losing these notes. A contributing factor is that I’m in the middle of doing our income taxes and have papers scattered all over the room.

I was informed that some area around Karlsrhue was made into a campsite. At the time I was there, we were running a traffic stop on the railroad. Our quarters were immediately behind the club, as I will describe later. We had taken over the major part of a hotel. We could sleep about 4,000. Of course this was our army style with probably four to a room.

We had one cafe in the railroad station and another in the hotel. We could feed the 4,000.

Across the street to the front we had a “full blown” night club with a dance floor and a German band. I vividly remember leaving the club (Don Starkey and my quarters were just across the hall from the supply rooms). A little further down the hall there was a large meeting room which now was occupied by a Red Cross snack bar. The waitresses were real American Red Cross girls. I wonder how much of that set-up is still in use. All this set-up was at or very near the railroad station. Most of the trains passing through were coming from or going to the Alps which we could see in the distance, when it was clear.

You know, I never saw a TV camera in all the time I was in training or at any of the little towns which we took over. I note the article which is in last week’s Herald concerning the jail. When and if one of my dad’s hands got drunk and was taken to jail, he was left there until Dad took the milk to town Monday morning. I think the classic remark was made by A. G. Morgan, who was our human back-hoe. He loved to use a spade, wish he had been in my gun section. When he got in the truck to ride home he said, “Law’ Mr. Reuel, when I got up this morning I thought those bars were on a cow and tried to milk them.” He never got picked up again.

I do hope that you’re looking forward to a great new year and many more. Nannette has come through her foot surgery real well, although things will not be back to normal here until she is completely rid of that enormous boot she’s wearing most of the time on that left foot. The doctor says that she must wear it for six weeks.

JACKSON – Water Valley will be one of the stops in February on Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley’s “Connecting Rural North Mississippi” tour.

The series of public meetings will highlight the wireless phone coverage needs of rural communities in North Mississippi. Presley has invited representatives from the wireless industry to attend the public meetings to hear directly from customers who have little or no wireless service in their area.

The first meeting will be Thursday night, Jan. 27 in Harmontown (Lafayette County ) and the second will be in Kossuth (Alcorn County ) on Thursday, Feb. 3, with more community visits planned for the coming weeks including the stop in Water Valley.

During the “Connecting Rural North Mississippi” tour, Commissioner Presley will be visiting the top areas which were identified in the “Zap the Gap” surveys his office sought from the public, designed to identify areas with little or no service. Over 1,800 individual surveys from North Mississippi residents have been filed with the Public Service Commission regarding poor wireless service through the program.

“Rural communities in Mississippi deserve good wireless service as much as metropolitan areas.” Presley said. “I want to draw the attention of the wireless industry to the issues in rural communities to make sure they know the problems the people are facing and make sure something is being done to fix it.”

“Wireless service is as important to rural families today as roads and running water was fifty years ago.  Rural communities and counties should not be left out of expansions of service and coverage, that’s why I want to bring representatives of these companies to the places that are having the most problems.” Presley added.

Residents wishing to submit complaints are encouraged to visit the PSC’s website at and click the tab for “Zap the Gap” for more information.  “Zap the Gap” was begun by Presley in 2009 as an outreach effort for wireless phone customers.

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