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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

  Long time friend, Anita Lazenby Westmoreland, of Forth Worth, Texas, called last week to give me her credit card number to renew her subscription.
    She said, “I could have just written a check and mailed it, but really wanted to visit and catch up.” I was so glad she did. As we talked we realized that we’ve been friends over 50 years. I used to laugh each time our late country correspondent, Mrs. Irene Pruitt,  commented that she had known someone over 50 years—now I know what she means.
  Anita and Brother Rance are almost the same age and will hit the big “70” the last of this month. Rance celebrates on the 28th and Nita says he’ll hit this milestone two days before her.
  It was good to hear about what  husband, Jan, and their daughters, Melissa and Kathryn are doing. Told her what Jim was involved in and also about the few friends left here. Over the 50 years, we’ve lost many of them.
  Her father, the late Claud Lazenby, was our pastor at Camp Ground shortly before Jim was born. Bro. Claud had been a contractor before God called him into the ministry and could build just about anything. He built the cribs in our nursery and built an extra long one for Jim, knowing Ed was 6’6”. As we were cleaning out the old office a few weeks ago we uncovered this crib (it was given to us when a new nursery was built a few years before the church burned).
  Nita also brought many Blue Mountain friends home with her during her years as a student there. One of them was Linda Bebout, who  met, fell in love with, and married Vallian Sam Wilbourn. Linda and I became best friends and remained so for the rest of her life—still miss her.
  Ed always enjoyed Anita’s visits—she was a super pianist—so when she was home he could sing things that his regular accompanist could not play. Also, her friends always sat in our choir and made us sound great. Linda, who had a beautiful soprano voice, was a permanent member of the choir for several years before she and Sam moved away.
  Nita hopes to get to Mississippi for a visit later this summer. Sure hope she can—I’m looking forward to a longer visit. She still has some family members left in Panola County.
  Steve and Walt are making progress on the storage building. Roof, windows, and doors are in and they’ve begun to put up the Hardie Board. Won’t be long until I can begin filling it up. It looks big now, but I’m sure when I start putting all the junk in it’s going to shrink fast.
  When I left for Mom’s Thursday night it looked like it would pour any minute. Arrived with no rain having fallen.  
  Then on Friday it came a tremendous thunder storm, but still no rain fell. Talked to Brother Rance in Oxford and they were getting floods. At Moms we got just a few drops and were really hoping for some moisture—the garden is really dry.
  When I got home Sunday morning I found that it had rained a lot at the house. Steve and Walt were unable to work on Friday. Got to find those fellows some inside jobs.
  Had a note from friends, Mary and Sonny Milstead of Picayune. Mary included Peggy Whiteside’s Cabbage Casserole recipe and said that she had made it and it was delicious. It is an excellent dish and all of us, who have cooked it, highly recommend it.
  She also sent an article on George and Ann Cook DeCoux’s yard. Ann is a sister to David Fly’s wife, Maybelle. The article shows pictures of a fountain (an antique pump) in the garden, the base of which is made from a mold of a Louisiana sugar kettle and an antique bird bath.
    George is pictured with a camellia from one of the many bushes in the garden in the old Handsboro section of Gulfport. Another picture shows an old tank that was once used for hydroponic farming, which is one of the unique elements of the garden. They grow many shrubs, flowers and vegetables. The garden also includes a gazebo and a swing, which is a favorite place. The article is really interesting and I do appreciate Mary sharing it. If any of you want to read it in its entirety, I’ll be glad to share it.
  For all you newcomers, Mary is Larry House’s sister and Sonny is a brother of Faye Ross.
  We remembered by-gone Fourth of July holidays as we were talking Sunday afternoon. They were much more interesting than this holiday will be.
  For many years we had a big barbecue at the Cole Farm. For the first one, a whole hog was cooked over a pit—took all night. Then the meat had to cool and be chopped. A whole hog is a lot of meat. We ate barbecue for most of the year—think it took a new freezer to store it. This was after feeding more than 50 folks. Also had an abundance of baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw and desserts.
  They’ll probably buy a Boston butt from one of the fire department fundraisers for this year. These are very good, but not half as much fun. Ed always enjoy this outing, even though he didn’t have a clue about cooking. He just liked the fellowship.
  We had a very good patriotic service Sunday morning. Sung all verses of the patriotic hymns in our book and Bro. Lynn Jones brought a very timely sermon. This was followed by the Lord’s Supper.
  Was so sorry to hear of the passing of Wilbur Todd. Always enjoyed visiting with him—he was a very interesting man.
  He and Virginia lived in the Valley for a number of years. After her death he moved to Oxford and then later went to live in Traceway Manor in Tupelo. It had been a while since I’d seen him or even talked to him on the phone. However, I often got little notes from him. He wrote beautiful letters, an art that is fast disappearing. I’ll miss hearing from him and my sympathy is extended to the family.
  Jane Henry Crow was just in and we tried to remember where June has gone. Didn’t succeed, but we both know it has, since this is July 1.
  Thursday will be the 4th and I do hope everyone has a happy, fun filled day with family and friends.

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