By Charles Cooper
Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week. I had already emailed last week’s column when I learned of the death of Danny Ross Ingram and Hazel Pack and I offer my condolences to both families.
While I didn’t know Danny Ross personally, I did know his Dad and his Mother taught me at Camp Ground. They were both fine people. Hazel lived across the street from us when we moved back to Water Valley after World War II and she and her husband, Buddy Peacock, were living with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Peacock.
They were all daily visitors in our home, as the Boyd Street residents were like one big family at that time. She was only 18, but she had a maturity and caring nature beyond her years and I consider her a great lady that I’m proud to have known.
On a happier note, I saw the announcement of Frances Stewart’s 90th birthday. Frances, I offer you congratulations on reaching that milestone.
A few years ago I had the honor of speaking at the Yalobusha Historical Society and this lady came up to me and said, “I’m Frances Stewart and I want you to know what a great friend to me your mother was, particularly when we shared the same car pool to Grenada during WWII.”
She and L.C. had just gotten married when he went into the Army and she knew that he was in the Italian campaign that had been a long, bloody affair.
When she hadn’t heard from him for some time she would be depressed and she said that Mother was her shoulder to lean on who would keep telling her “Frances he’s going to make it back to you,” – and he did.
Since that time Frances and I have talked on the phone and she’s sent me information about L.C. and his distinguished record as Water Valley mayor. I had never met him until several years ago when I drove into a service station in White-haven . A man was putting gas into his car, which had Yalobusha plates. I asked him if by chance he was from Water Valley, and he said, “Yes, I’m L.C. Stewart.”
We had a long conversation and he was the type individual when after a few minutes I felt I’d known him forever. I’m only sorry I didn’t know him earlier. Frances, I consider you a dear friend and I hope we’re both around when you reach 100.
Many of you have told me over the last 12 years how much this column has meant to you but I want all of you to know just how much it has meant to me. I’ve been able to renew old friendships and make so many new ones and even though many of you I’ve never met face to face, you’ve become my friends and I love you all.
Jack, as usual, was able to dig out a picture that fit in with the history of the Peoples Wholesale and even though it was long gone, it still gave everyone an idea of the scope of the operation, and I really appreciate it.
Mr. Shelton, and I’m sorry I don’t know his first name, but one of his sons, Ernest, and I went to school together at Camp Ground, worked at Peoples Wholesale during the war and when I think of others, I’ll include them.
Well friends, I’ve probably outdone myself rambling all over the place this week, but by now you’re accustomed to it so keep reading and writing either at my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org or writing me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, TN 38101 and have a great week.