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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer


    Janice Dollahite, on her way between a visit to J. Clayton’s  and J’s on Main, slipped into the Herald office for a visit. I have known Janice since she was a teenager. She was in the band and went on to become a band director for many years, then worked for other companies before returning to the Valley in retirement.
    She’s now a member of the Community Band. The Dollahites were members of Camp Ground Church. Her mother was the nursery supervisor for many years (during Jim’s nursery years) and was excellent with children—he’s a better adult because of early years with Mrs. Dollahite (I’m sure Janice also turned out better because of her mother’s guidance). Jim acted like a little angel when Mrs. Dollahite was tending him, but if Ed and I took over he usually became a bad little boy.
     Janice says she enjoys wood crafts and she also learned to quilt, embroider, and other great stuff which keeps her busy in retirement. I got none of that, even though my mom and dad had all those skills—didn’t rub off on me. We also reminisced about Mr. Dollahite’s grist mill and that wonderful cornmeal he made. A backward look was fun, you’ll have to come again, Janice.
    As she was leaving, Barbara Brown came in. She was looking for J’s on Main, but since she was in we enjoyed a great visit. We were next door neighbors for many years. A few times, when I had somewhere important to go, she’d fix my hair in the middle of the night—that’s above and beyond even for a good friend.
    For a time we were also members of Camp Ground. Caught up on her children and grands. I do see Mike and Dexter occasionally, but we’re always too busy to stop and visit, so it takes Mom to find out what’s going on in the Brown family. She had pillows she was matching and I think she found the right piece. It was good to see you Barbara, stop in again.
    It is nice having Jonathan next door—we get to see lots of folks as they come and go. Also get to see lots of his cute items as they go out the door.
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     Got to Mom’s in time for stew and biscuits (Bo had cooked) Thursday night. I was tired so just became a couch potato and TV junkie. Smokey and the Bandit was on, so I watched it and realized that I’d never seen parts of this movie. Then the second of this series came on and I’d never seen the beginning of it. A few minutes into this movie it sounded like something was coming through the side of the house. It appeared to hit the dining room wall, and I thought the swing on the porch had been slammed against the wall by wind.
    Opened the door and there was no wind and the swing was in place. Looked all over and found nothing moved. My theory then was that a deer had run into the wall. I settled back into my comfortable place, began watching the moving again. Near midnight I got to the spot where I’d come in on early viewings, so I went to bed.
    About a half-hour later I began hearing what sounded like a number of dirt moving machines. This went on into the wee hours of the morning.
     Bright and early Friday morning Bo was up to tell me that the old oak tree on the corner of our driveway had fallen. For several years I’ve though that thing was going to fall on me as I came or went. When the wind was high I’d stop, look at all the limbs and then quickly dart under it. I was so thankful that none of us were passing when the thing fell.
    It was six feet plus in diameter and stretched across Kilgore Drive, the railroad, and then the main street. It had been perched way up on that bluff, overlooking the driveway, for probably a 100 or more years. We’ve been driving under it over 43 years. Place sure does look different without it.
    Now I just have to worry about my Sycamore and Jimmie’s and Bill’s Oak falling on me. At their house I sleep on the end of the house away from this tree, but after seeing the territory that one covered, I know I’m not safe even there.
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    Friday Bo and Jimmie went to Memphis for Bo’s eye doctor appointment. They usually don’t get home until dark, but Friday they made record time and were back before three, and that included a bit of Christmas shopping.
    Ginny and Rance came over early Saturday morning so Jimmie and I could get in some shopping. We did shop hard all day long and bought exactly two gifts. I did get a new outfit—Ed’s gift to me. Yes, even after nine years, he still buys me a present each year. Things have not changed—even when he was living I picked out my gifts.
    With all this shopping we were starved so it was off to The Olive Garden for soup and salad—our favorite lunch in Memphis. At three in the afternoon we still had to wait for over 30 minutes. This was very entertaining however. Now I’m overweight, but most of these folks entering and exiting were just plain fat and their outfits did nothing to improve their looks.
    Most of them were wearing dresses or pant suits that were at least two sizes too small. One had on a bright purple dress made of ruffles (from neckline to hem), two sizes too small that was several inches above her knees. Jimmie commented, “Did she even look in a mirror before she came out today?” The man next to us just rolled. I’m surprised that we aren’t in a law suit.
    We shopped several of the major department stores and bought nothing. Jimmie says we’re going to have to cut up our shopping card. Clothes are so ugly, shoes are even worse and purses are not only ugly, they’re way over priced. I’m glad I have a closet of clothes that are still in good repair. They may be outdated, but they look a lot better than anything on the racks today.
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    Sunday we presented our Christmas Cantata and it went very well.
    It was so good to have visitors. Especially enjoyed the Mathis girls (Shirley Jones, Dean Callahan and her husband, Bob, and Jerelene Harris). Their sister, Clemmie Callahand, who has a fine alto voice, is a member of the choir. Shirley, Dean and Bob, are more former Camp Ground members. Dean also is an excellent alto and we all sang together at Camp Ground. It was so good to see all of them.
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     We were without phone service Monday—lightening struck a main cable. We ran on David’s cell and it’s amazing the technology we have.
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    I’m looking forward to the Community Band’s Christmas Concert tonight. I do enjoy Christmas music and also always enjoy performances by the Community Band.

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