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Street Talk

Downtown Gets Heritage Once Over

By Mickey Howley

Last winter was hard on three not so young guys. Eddie Ray, Don Simoneaux, and myself all went through a sequence of injury, pain, surgery, and rehabilitation. Eddie’s shoulder just wore out, I think, from too much fishing. Don landed on his shoulder while slipping and diving into the Sprint Mart concrete one icy day, and I had a sudden stop using my collarbone as a brake while sledding a Swiss Alp. We all had skeletal chassis parts that were worn out or really busted up. All of us had surgery in Oxford requiring plenty of stitches, scars, plates, screws, cutting, and all that sort of bloody stuff.  I think there was a point in time when we were all on the same drugs. Not as fun as you might think. And all of us did our therapy at Cornerstone Rehabil-itation right here in Water Valley.

It is a not so funny thing about the shoulder that when it is damaged and even after it is surgically repaired that muscles will atrophy, cartilage creaks and binds, tendons contract, the whole mechanism just locks up and a whole quarter of your body becomes a semi-useless appendage. To undo this post-surgical situation is not an easy thing. Physical therapists Jennifer McGav-ock and Drew Bright twist, torque, bend, stretch, shock, chill, heat, pump, and reach. On you, not them. They do a fantastic and complicated job of bringing busted bodies back to a full range of motion, all the while cheerfully oblivious to your shrieks of pain. Just kidding on that last part. But in the last months that I have been going there, I have seen the entire spectrum of the community being healed in their therapy room. Patients from six to ninety four years old; people hurt from simple wear and tear to on the job situations to car accidents to sports injuries and, like in my case, plain stupidity. And Jennifer and Drew fix them all.

Eddie, Don, and I will tell you the best part of this whole process, if injuries can have a “best”, it is having Cornerstone in downtown Water Valley.

Which brings me to the building that houses Cornerstone Reha-bilitation. Steve Thompson renovated this building more than a decade ago, converting a classic, but time worn commercial building into a facility that has eight apartments, offices, an art school, a gym, and the rehabilitation center business. It is a terrific example of an adaptive re-use of a historic building and an asset many towns way larger than us wish they had. Had Water Valley been a Main Street town years ago, I believe this building would have easily won a state award like the BTC Building received this year. It is a real credit to Steve and Theresa to have had this vision of what could be and to summon the moxie to carry it out and possess the stamina to keep it going.

David Preziosi of Mississippi Heritage Trust was in town this week doing prep work for Water Valley’s application for National Register of Historic Places district status. This status will give downtown its due respect and help those in the future with vision, moxie, and stamina keep the downtown healing going.

This Friday July 30th from 6 to 10 pm is the grand opening of the Studio B side of Defining Moments Photography at 205 N Main Street. Dresses by Julia Ray, art, accessories, and jewelry are some of things Leigh and Shelly will have. Stop and see what they have been up to and check out how they have transformed that office space into a hip boutique.

The Farmers Market is still going on. As fresh as you can get every Wednesday afternoon from 3 to 6 and Saturday morning from 8 to 11.

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