By Betty Shearer
Over the past week the news in our area, and around the world, has been some of the best and some of the worst.
Last Wednesday the outbreak of tornadoes in the south were horrendous, with deaths in our area and some extensive damage. In other parts of the state, and in Alabama, Tennessee and George, the property damage and loss of lives was much worse. As I watched the Tuscaloosa coverage, it brought back memories of the 1984 tornado.
I know how bad this was and to think that what we experienced covered 80 miles—I could not comprehend this tremendous devastation. This morning (Tuesday) the report was that it was the worst tornado week in history, with more than 300 in the week and more than 200 on Wednesday.
It was very gratifying though to hear the hardened world newscasters complimentary comments on the generous and caring for others that they saw in the south. They were amazed that the shelters were there, but not many were needed because family, friends and even complete strangers were taking in the homeless.
Everyone was being fed, and other needs were being met. I’m happy to live in an area that is loving, caring and generous with their time and resources.
The best news of the week was the death of Osama Bin Laden, after more than 10 years of searching for him, following his claim of the instigation of 9/11. It was also gratifying to see credit being given to former President George W. Bush, very subtly with the caption, “Defining Moment” used.
I’m sure this will not completely stop the movement Bin Laden headed, but everyone of these radicals that we no longer have to deal with is a definite plus—and to get the leader is very impressive. Our special forces, Navy Seals and intelligence personnel are the best and we do appreciate them. The group directly responsible for the death was Navy Seal Unit 6, reported to be the elite of the elite.
A long time subscriber called this morning to remind me that we had a former Navy Seal (Crip Tyler) living in Water Valley. I think we’ve had more Vallains who were Seals.
I left work Thursday and went immediately to stay with Mom for three days. She had fallen Tuesday night during the storm. Her lights went out and in the dark she just missed her bed and landed in the floor. We were so happy that nothing was broken – she’s just bruised and sore, but will be fine. I went to help her up and down during the night, but found that she didn’t need me. However, I stayed anyway. Cooked for her and the family, started to clear out her back bedroom (may compete this chore by end of the year if I stay focused).
I filled up the garbage can, loaded my van and Jimmie’s car and found about a five foot square of floor space. Think I’m going to have to buy a storage building to completely un-clutter this room.
On Friday morning I got up before four to watch the wedding of Prince Williams and his bride, Kate Middleton. It was a beautiful ceremony, so simple, yet elegant. And the vows and other readings were perfect – it’s a wedding I’d liked to have had. Don’t think I could have afforded the price tag, but they could and it was worth it because so many folks got to enjoy it. They do seem like a young couple in love, which does not often happen in many royal weddings.
The music was amazing, as were the decorations, dresses and hats. I didn’t put on my hat – just watched in my pjs.
On the news this morning they showed William going back to work. That part Ed and I got right – we were married on Thursday afternoon and returned to work on Monday morning, after a honeymoon at Spring Lake (Wall Doxey State Park).
The Community Band presented a great concert Sunday afternoon in the Civic Auditorium. Unfort-unately, not many Vallians came out to hear it. It’s a shame that these tremendous musicians spend all the time they do practicing and then get dressed and present this wonderful program of music and the citizens of this area are too lazy to come out and hear it. If you don’t start supporting this valuable asset, we’re likely to loose it. Next concert I’ve suggested that 100 of us sell six tickets each and we’ll fill that auditorium. If you want to help do this just see me and I’ll put your name on the list.
I especially enjoyed hearing the medley from Fiddler On The Roof and the tribute to the fallen heroes. We all went home huming one of the Dizney tunes. Mine was “Just A Spoonful of Sugar” – that was what got Jim to take his medicine for several years.
It was good to see so many friends at this event and to meet new ones. Ramona Bernard’s, parents, Ralph and Barbara Bernard, were with her and it was so good to meet them and welcome them to the Valley. I’m looking forward to seeing more of these folks.
Enjoyed visiting with Carol Sartain Shields after the concert. I was surprised to learn that her husband, Penny, has been battling the aftermath of a ruptured appendicts. He’s been hospitalized for 17 days and is slowly recovering, for which we’re grateful. Had not even heard this – Alice, Johnny and Frances have not kept me in the news loop. Penny, I do now have you on my prayer list, and I’m just trusting that you will improve each day and soon be good as new.
A very exciting announcement was the selection of new band director, Keith Morgan, who has been a member of the band for several years. I know Keith will do a great job.
At Woodland Hills Sunday night we had very welcomed guests. Former pastor (our first) Bryan Able, and his new bride, Mary Lee, surprised us. As always, after service I was running my mouth, when I heard an unmistakable voice, I went to investigate. It was so good to see them and hear some of Bro. Able’s stories. He has a very keen sense of humor (translates to he’s a certifiable nut). My favorite of the night was his escapades on the Natchez Trace.
Recently he was on his way to a funeral and was running late. Says he came up behind a long string of vehicles going very slowly, so he decides he has to pass them. At the front he finds a patrolman, who pulls him over. The officer asked, “Do you often pass a string of cars on the Trace?”
Bryan answered, “Only when they’re moving very slowly, being led by a patrolman.” He was let go with a warning and admonished to drive the speed limit to his destination. Bro. Able says, “I did because he turned around and followed me all the way and yes I was a little late to the funeral.” Bro. Able further explained that several weeks later he was again traveling the Trace when the same patrolman came up behind him, turned on his blue lights, then passed him with a salute. He knows he’s being watched.
It was so good to see him so happy and to meet his wife.
There are many exciting events coming up this weekend.
On Thursday night the “Catch of the Day” Program will be held at North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitors Center at Enid. This will feature a cooking contest. It will also include a program of music by the Palmer Home for Children’s choir; a program by Joe Mac Hudspeth, renowned wild-life photographer; a fish dinner;and more. The cost of the dinner will be $7.
The World’s Largest Crappie Festival will be held in the Downtown Park in Water Valley on Saturday. There will be food, arts and crafts, games and music throughout the day. This is sponsored by The Main Street Association.
The first Music in the Park was to be held Friday night. Presenting this program was to have been The Sharecrop-pers, but due to unavoidable circumstances, this program has been canceled.
I always enjoy The Sharecroppers, as I know many of you do, so hopefully this can be rescheduled at a later date.
Sunday will also be Mother’s Day and I wish all mother’s a “Happy Mother’s Day.”