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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

    We miss Mel, as I know many of you do. She thanks you for your prayers and concern. Mel seems to be improving slowly and hopefully she will be back at her desk in the near future.
    Thanks, also, to all of you who have told me you want your Christmas greeting ad as you’ve come into the office for other reasons or just seen me on the street. Each one says, “Run my ad—I’ll save you a phone call.” This is a big time saver and we do need that extra time right now.
    I missed my first every Christmas parade Satur-day (I think). I was Mom’s only caretaker that day. Started way back in 1957. Those early parades were fabulous—today’s are very good. In the early days Ed and I often attended the Memphis parades and someimes those in Jackson. Water Valley’s put them in the shade. We’d have 10 to 12 professional quality floats, several marching bands, and many other units. Many of the floats were constructed and decorated by by Junior Auxilary and their families. Clay Ashford was a very young man in those days, but he does remember all the exciting things that happened with those floats, and even the castrophes.
    My favorite story from him is about a float made by his mother and other JAs. It was built in the National Guard Armory. They made sure it was not too tall, but forgot to measure for width. The thing was about six inches over width. Didn’t realize this until it was time to pull it out into the line-up.         Nothing to do but pull it through and hope for the best. It came through, but did do some damage. This was quickly patched up and it rolled down Main Street and none of us every realized there had been a problem. I didn’t know it until he told me the story a few years ago and I probably was only a few feet from it.
    We finally ran out of leadership for the parade and it was discontinued for a few years.
    The first one in the start up period contained county and city heavy equipment and the fire trucks, all decorated, with their riders being cheerleaders and other young titled ladies, Scouts, city and county dignataries, ect. The streets were lined and everyone had a great time. You’d have thought it was the best parade every.
    Through the years we’ve enjoyed wonderful weather, inclement weather, and some very frigid temps for parade day or in the early years, night.
    The coldest parade I remember was about 20 degrees and Lane True, who was marching with the band, almost froze. He did suffer severe hypotherma.
    Saturday was a perfect day and I know everyone enjoyed the outing. The report I got was that it was a great parade.
  Another one of my favorite events was also held Saturday morning and, of course, I  had to miss it.
    Woodland Hills has for several years given out candy canes on Main Street early on Christmas parade day. It’s so much fun to see the expressions  on the faces of the recipients when we tell them we don’t want their money. The smiles and their thanks are wonderful. However, many insist on giving us a donation (which we never take)—the generosity of Vallians never ceases to amaze me. We do live in a wonderful little town.
    My cute story from Mom’s this week comes from Brother Bo.
    I’ve told you about our problem with squirrels taking all the pecans. Well this escalated over the weekend. There was a strong wind one night and Bo got out early and beat the squirrels to a few pecans. He said he probably covered the bottom of a five gallon bucket. Left it under the tree and went in for breakfast. Came back out and his bucket had maybe a dozen nuts left—the squirrels apparently thought he was helping with their winter food supply. I asked him if they left him a “thank-you” note.
    We’ve had a very sad week in the Valley. When I arrived home Sunday morning there was a message on my machine telling me of the death of Linda Ingram. Linda was a teenager when I got to the Valley and I’ve always enjoyed seeing and visiting with her through the years.         For many years, she; her sister, Julia; Cecil Ford and Mary Lucia Holloway walked in the morning and often they would pass the Heard office just as I was getting to work.
    Got in a quick “Hello” and if anything interesting was going on they’d stop to tell me about it. Also enjoyed watching husband, Danny Ross, grow up, then the children, Julie and Ross, and now the grands. A wonderful family, whom I know will miss her so much, as will we all. Sympathy is extend to all the Fite and Ingram families.
    I was so sorry to hear of the death of Mrs. Guy Reedy. She was such a lady and I always enjoyed visiting with her and Bro. Guy. Sympathy is extended to her children, grands, and siblings. I know that they will all miss her so much, as will First Baptist Church and all of us in the Valley.
    At Woodland Hills we lost a pillar of the church. Lela Mae McMinn has been counted among my good friends for so many years that I can’t even remember when the friendship started. I taught Pam and Judy in the junior department of Sunday School, and Ray and Joy in the young married class. Got to know Clay at the bakery and he, like the rest of these children, is a delight.
    I also remember Martin fondly—Ed and I saw him shortly befoe his death. We were in a restaurant in Batesville and Martin, Lela Mae, the late Happy Hayles and Mary Alice were there– It was the weekend before Martin’s surgery and, of course, his death.
    We were leaving to visit Jim, so never saw him again. All of these folks have been great losses to me. Lela Mae has always been on the social committe with me and she did so much, I’ll miss her there. However the greatest miss will be her hug and a kiss on the cheek each time our paths crossed. She was a wonderful person and sympathy is extended to her entire family.
    Just had another obit put on my desk—another person I’ve known for many years. She was just a teenager when we met and Jim was a little boy, so you know it’s been a long friendship. Nancy Miller Graham, youngest sister of Becky Crow, had fought a battle with cancer for many years. She was one of the bravest people I’ve every known. Even battling cancer she managed to raise her two children, work and keep house. Sympathy is extended to Becky, Stan and the entire family.
    There were many other obituaries this week and sympathy is extended to all these families.
    We again heard messages from Hal Clark on Sunday and that preacher just gets better and better. Do love him and am so glad God is using him in such a great way.
    This coming Sunday the choir will present our Christmas Cantata duing the 10:30 morning worship hour.
    Everyone is invited to attend this. This will be the only service of the day.

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