By Charles Cooper
Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week.
This week I got a card and a hand written note from Nannette Lipscomb-Ware. All of you know how much I appreciate anyone taking the time to write in these days of emails and text messages. Nannette and I had some classes together even though she was a grade behind me. I believe that I took her to a birthday party once.
I saw her and Jimmy one year at the Watermelon carnival and we really caught up on old times. The first time I remember Jimmy was when he worked at the Peoples Wholesale right after World War II. Her older brother, Jimmy Lipscomb, started back to high school after serving in the Navy, but unfortunately he died in a car crash September, 1946.
Her oldest brother, Clif-ton Allen, married Jeanette Snider who was in my graduation class and I saw them at some of our class reunions.
Her mother and my mother were friends and Mrs. Lipscomb’s brother, Carlton Pass, retired from the Navy and started the first State Farm agency in Water Valley. State Farm was unknown at that time and he had no office in the beginning. He had stick on signs on his car and he sold to people on the street. That eventually led to a thriving agency where I bought my first car insurance policy. Sixty years later I’m still with State Farm.
As I’ve written so many times before, everyone in the Valley had some connection to the Railroad. Mr. Clifton Lipscomb and my dad were both engineers and friends. As a matter of fact I ran into Mr. and Mrs. Lipscomb in the Piccadilly cafeteria several years ago and even though Mr. Lipscomb was in his nineties, he was still very much alert.
Back in the old days if you wanted to find an off duty railroad man, you started at Arthur Walker’s barber shop and if he wasn’t there he was probably at Martin Boyd-ston’s drug store. This particular time, Mr. Lipscomb and Mr. Walker were talking and someone mentioned Sam Addington’s antique store next door to the Presbyterian church. Mr. Lipscomb said, ”If Sam ever moved all that junk out the walls would cave in.”
After starting this column, I’ve wished so many times that Mr. Walker was sill alive. He was a treasure house of every thing that went on in the Valley for over 70 years. He came to town when his father was called to preach at the First Baptist church, went to World War II. He came back and married Gladys Sissell, and went into business with Ernest Berry. Their shop was better than a radio station for the up-to-date news. He directed the First Baptist choir and sang solos for many years. While Gladys, who was a Methodist, for over 50 years played organ and piano at the First Methodist church.
We had so many colorful people back then and it’s a shame we couldn’t have recorded some of their experiences.
Nannette, thank you for your compliment about the column and as you can see input such as yours has kept this column going for 12 years. I am grateful to all of you who have contributed to its success.
Remember all of our veterans who have made it possible for us to enjoy the lives we have today.
My email address is email@example.com or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, TN 38101.