By Betty Shearer
I always look forward to getting to visit with out-of-town friends during Watermelon Carnival weekend. One of the first to stop by this year was long-time friend D. C. Morgan, and this year he had his son, David, with him, whom I’d never met. It was so good to catch up with the happenings in this family. David lives in Texas and is a minister and also a school administrator. D. C. and his wife, Ada, still live in Schertz, Texas.
Ada was unable to attend this year because her family reunion was also scheduled for last weekend. We did miss seeing her, but know she had a great time with her family.
In on Thursday was the youngest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Edwards, Lynn, and her husband from Georgia. I reminded Lynn that her father created all the floral decorations for Ed’s and my wedding.
Then later he was in the antique business in a couple of Buck’s buildings next door to us. Most lunch hours I’d visit with him to see what he had new. I bought several very nice pieces that are still being used. Lynn said that it had been 14 years since she’d been to the Valley and I don’t think I got to see her then – probably been about 20 years since our paths had crossed.
The auditorium was almost filled to capacity Thursday night for the Town and Country Garden Club sponsored Music Festival.
Kicking off the evening’s entertainment were the Sharecroppers, with featured soloist, Joyce Gibbs. She has an excellent voice and her father, Dr. Larry Tyler joined her on several numbers – they were an excellent duet.
Jessey Higdon, as always, gave a fine vocal performance, and you just can’t beat this band. Didn’t get down to talk to any of them Thursday night, but did see Jessey at the run/walk Saturday morning. Also got to visit with Sam, Jr. and Sherry for a while. Since he’s retired our paths rarely cross.
Opening the main part of this program was a solo trumpet (Michael Crow) rendition of the National Anthem and Dr. Rayford Edgar presented the colors.
After the welcome by Club President Mary Lucia Holloway, she presented the third Luella Fair Community Enrich-ment Award to Dot Trusty. They could not have selected a more deserving recipient and Dot looked so beautiful.
Little Allen Tribble of Coffeeville was so cute. This four-year-old can steal a show. Also on the program was LaTonya Herron, who has a tremendous voice. I finally got to hear the Fiddlin Rooster Band and they are very good.
The Ashmore brothers have been favorites since I first heard them and then added to these two were Barron Caulfield and Brad Sartor, to form a barbershop quartette. It was tremendous. There was ample excellent music. Then I enjoyed a repeat performance of a skit from the WVHS spring production of, Almost Maine, and was once again amazed at the talents of these young people.
Bro. Erik Fearing was Master of Ceremonies and closed the program with the patriotic song, “I’m Proud to be an American.” He did a great job in both roles.
Friday Mel and I enjoyed lunch at Rounder’s Pizza and got to see John Wright, who was here for the Carnival. I also spoke to Jack and Judy Sartain’s daughter, Jill, whom I had not seen in several years.
The rain that we received Friday afternoon really cooled our temp and made for a great time of visiting in the park Friday night. I found the Perkins/Davis clan and as always it was fun to be included in this group. All four of the Perkins children were here, Johnny and his wife, Ruth, now live here, as of course do Betty and Al. Van and his wife, Linda, came in from Brandon, and Martha was here from Jackson. John and Traci Alverez, along with Katie and Jackson, were in from Cleveland; Kelli and Chad Moore with their children, Hunter and Grayson, are local. Van had a daughter, son-in-law and some grands here, and I’m sure there were more.
Braden Gray’s band played for the Renasant Street Dance and they are very good. Didn’t get to see his parents and I really was looking forward to a visit with former postmaster, Gary, and his wife, Ann.
I love fireworks and the show put on by Mechanics Bank – it was the best. It was so well executed and the duration was unbelievable. The rain earlier in the day alleviated the fear of a fire. We do appreciate Mechanics providing this beautiful exhibition for us.
I Saw so many people Friday night I would not start to mention each one.
About ten we all decided to call it a night and as I was packing up my chair, along came brother-in-law Tom Shearer. He’d called Thursday night to say he was probably coming, but I had given up on him.
We visited for awhile and then I got to meet his friends. I had not seen Tommy since Gail died and it was good to see him looking so well. He, Melanie Gail, and the grands were supposed to come back on Saturday, but never found them – guess it was to hot.
Saturday morning I got to the park in time to hear the run/walk winners announ-ced. Was good to see Sara Russo, who had run, her husband our coach, Richard Russo, and the children. Also from the Batesville area were long-time friend, Lillian Rowsey. I missed seeing her husband, the late R. F. Rowsey. Daughter Angela participated in the run/walk.
From the run/walk I went to the Lions Building for pancakes. Ran into Lion Rick Neeley, also a member of Woodland Hills, outside and got to meet his mother, Shirley Bishop, and her husband, Doug, who were visiting from Horn Lake (I think). Rick has a tremendous voice and I’ve been trying to get him to sing a solo for several months. He told me that his Mom was the one with the voice, so I invited her to come sing for us and to sing a duet with her son.
Ate at the table with Jimmy Berry (his wife Shirley was selling programs and ornaments) and Walt Hardy. Rick came on in and sat with us, when he was not busy helping serve. Ernie’s pancakes, as always, were delicious.
Visited with D. C. again and also saw Charles Cooper, but never got to speak to him—he was busy visiting. Spoke to several other out of town folks.
Then it was on to Odie’s Car Show, which I always enjoy. Caught up with Brother Bo, Carolyn and Misty, and Bo told me all about all the vintage cars and trucks. He knows them because family members have owned similar vehicles to most of them—himself having been the owner of many of them. Bo had a good job, didn’t marry until later in life, so he could afford to buy lots of new cars.
As Bo, Carolyn and Misty were leaving Brother Rance and Ginny came in, we all visited awhile, and then did the car circuit again.
Stopped by the office to cool off a bit and drink some water. I intended to stay a short time in the park—hear who grew the biggest melons, who bought them, and who won the Lions TV. Did all this and also got to visit with one of the Harris twins, some of my favorite kids.
Then I started making my way out of the park and just found more and more folks to visit with. Got to register at the Home Depot Booth, with a promise from Mickey Hall to deliver the grill if I won. Knew that wasn’t going to happen, but it’s always fun to hug and deal with Mickey.
Next person I found was one I had not seen in many years. Marshall Brown and his wife from Ashland were in a booth with their pottery, which was beautiful. Marshall and I reminisced about so many Vallians we’ve known and loved and he told me where all his family is now located. For you new comers Marshall is a brother to Bonnie Parsons, cousin to Dale Ashmore, and many other folks in the Valley. It was so good to see Marshall and to meet his wife.
Just found more and more folks as I went around the booths and it was good to visit with each one. Final visit was with Jimmy Holloway. Jimmy put his arm around me as I was leaving and I looked around to see who had caught me. He says, “Betty, it’s so good to see you under better circumstances than our last visit.” It sure was. last time I saw Jimmy, he was helping me out of my totaled van in May of 2010. I was sure glad to see him that day and was happy to see him Saturday.
After leaving the carnival I went down to Larson’s to shop. Thought I’d save making a trip Sunday morning, before going to church. Knew Mom had to have at least bread and milk. When I entered the store Mark was peeping over the office wall and greeted me. He says, “Are you O.K.?” Told him I was just hot and he says, “you are to hot, let me get you some water.” I answered, “Thanks, but I’m fine.” He didn’t listen and caught up with me in the produce department with water which I realized I really did need. Isn’t it great to live in a small town where we’re so well cared for. Thanks, Mark.
We ate left over barbecue Sunday for lunch. Jimmie cooked peas, Bo cooked lima beans and Carolyn made potato salad. Rance was supposed to make cole slaw, but I wound up doing it after I got to Mom’s. We all had plenty to eat, but no dessert.
We’ll make up for that this weekend, since it’s Mom’s birthday and the party is Saturday. She is 97 today (Monday, August 8). We’re expecting members of both the Hubbard and Kilgore families to be present.