Former Water Valley resident D. Mitchell Cox, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. D. C. Cox, had a speaking role in the 1964 cult-classic film, “Strait Jacket” with Joan Crawford.
Cox, who had never acted in his life, played a psychiatrist who visited Crawford’s character, Lucy Harbin, after her return from the “institution” in which she had spent the last 20 years…for murdering her husband.
In the Sept. 12, 1963, Herald, Cox was quoted as saying that it was not only his first movie, but it would also be his last. He got the role as a friend of star and fellow Pepsi board member Joan Crawford, who was widow of Pepsi president and CEO Alfred Steele. One critic commented that more Pepsi products were placed in the film than most people could consume in a lifetime.
In the movie, Lucy arrived home one evening to find her husband with another woman. With her oversized jewelry jangling like jingle bells, said one reviewer, she sneaks up on the couple and hacks them to death with an ax. This was considered unacceptable and gets her committed.
After Lucy gets out two decades later – looking very much like she did when she went in – Cox, as the doctor, visits and upsets her with his pointed questions. He later comments to Lucy’s daughter, “Sanity’s a relative term.”
A relatively short time later Lucy is shown hacking his head off. By this time everyone has lost count of the number of folks who have been axed. In the end it turns out that Lucy’s daughter, wearing a Lucy mask, is the actual killer.
Strait-Jacket is considered producer/director William Castle’s serious attempt at an “A” picture. But, his warped sense of humor shows from time to time. For example, when the studio logo appears at the end of the picture, Columbia’s Lady Liberty is missing her head.
• 5 years ago, Sept. 18, 2008 – One year after it began operation, Water Valley Poultry, LLC was processing an average of 55,000 chickens a day.
Ten years after the 911 emergency number system was started in the county, 911 Coordinator Frank Hyde said that not all residents had posted their number and some of the older numbers had become unreadable.
Billy Humphreys was hired as the city’s new Zoning and Floodplain Administrator/Building Inspector.
Mayor Bill Norris reported that he was home and on the mend following heart surgery.
• 10 years ago, Sept. 18, 2003 – A Water Valley couple, Jan and Roland Thomas Winters, were arrested and charged with the death of 29 animals in their care at the Water Gardens, Etc., a pet and lawn/garden supply store.
Joe Smith and his horse, “I’m A Smooth Coosa,” recently placed third in the Palomino World Competition.
The Blue Devils were defeated by Lafayette, 14-9.
Alex Stratton was promoted to Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps.
• 20 years ago, Sept. 16, 1993 – The Blue Devils defeated Coffeeville, 27-0, improving their record to 3-0.
New Beta Club officers were Heather Horan, president; Jinny Fachman, vice-president; Sholunda Rucker, treasurer; and Stacey Avant, secretary.
The Herald carried a full-page story on the Honduras Mission trip undertaking by a team of 43 area people under the leadership of Binnie Turnage.
• 30 years ago, Sept. 22, 1983 – The county received a $140,000 grant for repairs to the two Yalobusha County courthouses.
Wilbur Herring was appointed a district chairman for the Ducks Unlimited organization and would serve the counties of Yalobusha, Desoto, Marshall, Lafayette, Tate and Panola. County officers appointed included Steve King, chairman of the Yalobusha Chapter and Dr. Fred McCullar, chairman of the Yalobusha Sponsor Event.
Don and Lucia Holloway donated a large amount of material to the Blackmur Memorial Library to be used in the new “Mississippi Room.”
The Blue Devils took a 31-0 licking from the Senatobia Warriors.
• 40 years ago, Sept. 20, 1973 – The Blue Devils defeated Coldwater, 34-6, and the Junior High Devils opened their season with a 6-0 win over Coffeeville.
Dr. Joe Walker was honored by his office staff on the occasion of his second anniversary of practice in Water Valley.
Thomas N. Bell was employed by the Water Valley Consolidated Schools as a drug education specialist and Mrs. Nancy S. Kimbrough was hired for the same task by Coffeeville Schools.
• 50 years ago, Sept. 19, 1963 – Water Valley fans packed the stands at Sardis as the Blue Devils defeated North Panola, 40-0. And, the Junior High Devils trampled over the Grenada Wildcats, 20-0.
The local 4-H dairy judging team would represent the club at the Mid-South Fair and Livestock Show in Memphis. Members were Harold Waller, Don Harding, Earl Nichols and Steve Moore.
Mrs. Mary Suratt announced the sale of her Western Auto store to Dale and Lillian Sartain. Mrs. Suratt had operated the business for 24 years.
Jones Bros. Supermarket in Water Valley was the store picked as the favorite grocery store of Mrs. Carl Fisher of Bruce, who had won a contest sponsored by Sno-Crop Frozen Foods. The prize was all the groceries she could pick up in ten minutes. Her total was $111.29.
• 60 years ago, Sept. 24, 1953 – Lucretia Majure, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Majure of Coffeeville, was selected Yalobusha County Queen of the Forest. First alternate was Nancy Miller of Oakland and second alternate was Elsie Nell Pittman of Coffeeville.
Paul Parker was named winner in the Family Handyman magazine for his idea on using available space to the utmost. The problem Parker tackled is one that is so universal that it’s been used by gag writers for years – lack of closet space. His prize-winning idea is illustrated and described in detail in the Oct.-Nov. issue of the magazine and featured on the cover.
Archie “Buddy Boy” Gilmore died of a .38 caliber gunshot wound. William Compton, Gilmore’s brother-in-law, was being held awaiting a preliminary hearing. The two exchanged gunfire at a family gathering.
• 70 years ago, Sept. 16, 1943 – Dorothy Jane Bennett, elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Roy Bennett, was chosen the fairest of the fair and named Miss Water Valley of 1943. Tied for second place honors were Misses Mae Evelyn Green and Irene Hunt.
The Office of Defense Transportation was investigating the lack of rail passenger service from Water Valley to the Grenada Air Base and Camp McCain.