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‘Best Dressed’ Title Shared By Gentlemen

by Charles Cooper

Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week.

If any of you have emailed me and didn’t get a reply, it’s because my computer was damaged during the storm. Part of the time it was working and sometimes it conked out. The insurance company has finally settled with me and my first order of business will be to replace my computer and fax.

My columns may not have been up to my usual standards, but bear with me. Don’t email me until I know we’re off and running. I’ll give you my P.O. Box and phone number at the end of the column. So, let me hear from you.   

People have told me at one time my dad was considered the best-dressed man in Water Valley, but all I remember was how he was always particular about his appearance. After he moved away, there is no doubt that Bob Halliwell and Hamric Henry shared that title jointly. I was privileged to be friends to both of them.

Bob was a slight built individual, impeccably dressed and was what would truly be called a southern gentleman. The men’s store he ran was originally owned by Henry Scott and after he died, Bob owned the business. He had his name in gold leaf lettering on the front windows, but the tile front above the door still read H. P. Scott.  

The furnishings in his store were the best in Water Valley and everything was unconditionally guaranteed. I remember once I purchased a pair of shoes from him and one developed a small tear on the side. When I showed Bob, he said “Give them to me and pick out another pair.”

Hamric told me that Bob had told him that when he died, he wanted him to dress him as he said Ham was the only one who could put a proper knot in his tie. Ham said he honored that request. Like Bob, Hamric was a true southern gentleman and we were friends for over 50 years.

He was always “dressed to the nines” as they used to say. He’s probably the only man in Water Valley to wear a dress shirt and tie when he was cutting his yard. After he sold his business, he ran for Mayor and was elected and did a great job, particularly during the tornado of 1984, as many storm victims can attest.

One thing he loved to do for years was go get a cup of coffee at the Blackmur Cafe and after it closed at Turnage Drug Store. I would always visit with him when I was in the Valley and the first thing he would say was, “Let’s go get a cup of coffee.” The last time I visited him I said “Ham, lets go get a cup of coffee”and we did. He visited Mother many times over the years and she loved him dearly. I always told him how much those visits meant to her.

Hopefully, I’ll be back on schedule next week and I’ll let you know, so let me hear from you. My mailing address is P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, TN 38101 or phone me at 870-636-2503 and have a great week.

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