By Charles Cooper
Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week.
Someone asked me recently why I didn’t include more about Water Valley in the column. I checked back and over the last 12 years there have been no columns that didn’t have at least some reference to the Valley, but I’ll check each one more carefully in the future.
The original premise of the column was more or less personal recollections of my family so my children and grandchildren would know about their heritage. How-ever, much to my surprise, starting with Cathy Ward Jim Allen and Winfred McCain and many others writing and emailing ideas, it soon became what it is today.
I’m so grateful for everyone, because it has become a labor of love each week and as long as I can come up with ideas that interest you, I plan to continue. Even though I was born, raised and graduated from school here, I have learned things about the Valley that I didn’t know before. I’ve also gotten to know so many people and renewed old friendships that, even though some of you I’ve never meet, I consider all of you my friends.
It has been my privilege to interview some genuine war heroes such as Wade Doolin, Chester Joyner, Crip Tyler and Dudley Kelley. In the process I gained insight into World War II (WWII) that I never had even though I grew up during that time.
I had never heard it from someone who went through it.
Now you long time readers know that I usually change course because I try to write as if I were talking to you. Someone recently asked me my age and I answered it this way, “I’m older than some but not as old as others.”
Congratulations to J. Clayton Peacock and old friend Joe Lowe for your thoughtful letters to the editor recently and even though you wrote about different subjects, each said what needed to be said.
Looking through my files the other day I came across the pictures that Jack found of the children that worked in the Cotton mill and I wondered if any of you are still living and if so let me hear from you. This also applies to any of you that worked in the stave mill. My good friend, Chester Joyner, had planned to tell me about his years there but unfortunately he passed away before he could.
Veteran’s day will soon be here and I hope to make it as I missed it last year. I remember as a small child seeing the last two Confederate veterans in this area, my great grandfather, Jim Spears, and Larry Carr’s great grandfather. I knew so many of the World War I veterans including my dad and my uncles and now they are all gone and the WWII veterans are nearly all gone as well.
Be sure to vote as that’s the only way we will be able to turn the country around. Well I’ve probably rambled more than usual this week but you’re all used to it so let me hear from you. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or write me at P. O. Box 613189 Memphis, TN 38101 and have a great week.