By Charles Cooper
Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week.
Last Saturday my friend, Bobby Barnett, invited me to go with him to the Union County Singing Convention at the Liberty Baptist church near Ecru. Since I haven’t been active in singings for the last three years, I gladly accepted.
My old friend, Lavern Browning, was in charge and he always does a good job and invites in many of our singing friends from all over the state. Some I haven’t seen for a long time and it was a real pleasure to catch up on old times.
Jeff Hardy, from Newton who was the President of the Mississippi State Singing Convention this year and is one of the best gospel piano players and tenor singers in the state and a good friend for many years did a great job as usual. He played for me to direct a Marty Phillips song and I told the audience how the last time we were together, when he was the only Mississippi representative at our Arkansas State Gospel convention.
When they called the State of Mississippi to direct he asked me to go with him. I told the crowd that since I was born in Mississippi, I felt qualified to help him represent the state and they gave us an ovation.
Also old friends Billy McCoy; Dwight Griffin and his wife; The Pfifer family; Howard Cooper, no relation; and Sonny and Sue Williams made me realize just how much I had missed all this.
I promised them I would try to attend their singings in the future whenever possible. So please indulge me when I don’t write about Water Valley once in a while. Gospel music has been important to me since Mother stood me up on a piano bench to sing while she played. In the short time I’ve been back in the Valley it really encourages me with the activity in downtown. One example is the Art Crawl which brought in a lot of people and will grow each year due to the attitudes I see displayed every day. Of course I’ve heard a few negative comments about it not creating many jobs, but look at the progress made in a relatively short time. What is required is a different mind set and realize that these are different times and we can benefit by simply changing with them. A few years ago it was unheard of to think that beer would ever be sold in Water Valley. Now we have a new craft brewery that will open soon. Just because I’m not a beer drinker doesn’t mean that I have to stand in the way of those that do and that’s just one example.
Remember that every person that attended the Art Crawl knows someone that they will tell about it and and they will tell another person and it goes on and on. I think Water Valley is on a roll, so lets all get behind the program.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or write me at my P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 38101 for now and have a great week.