I’ll get back to Ludie’s letter after a little about my week.
Two things happened that you may be interested in.
First, Mom fell about three a.m. Saturday morning and broke a hip. After Bo, Carolyn and I got her back into bed, an ambulance was called. At Tri-Lakes in Batesville the ER doctor and his staff were unable to determine if indeed the hip was broken (it’s totally eaten up with arthritis), so she was sent on to Baptist in Oxford, because they have more sophisticated imaging equipment.
After several hours of examinations, it was determined that the hip was broken. Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Luber, came by and explained that surgery was necessary and that only when they were in could they determine just how extensive it would be. Turned out it went all the way—total hip replacement. Mom came through the surgery with flying colors. She is now well on her way to recovery, having been gotten up and into a chair Monday morning for about an hour and up again in the afternoon. She’ll probably be walking a bit today. She never yelled in pain, only proclaiming a few times that it did hurt a little. She’s eating well and all vitals are great. We thank all of you for your concern and prayers—keep praying for us.
We also thank Dr. Luber and the entire staff at Baptist—they are great.
Our other project for the weekend was getting started on a new bath for Mom. It’s being built over the old septic tank (Courtland has a new community sewage system and its no longer needed). To hook Mom’s house to the new system necessitated a lot of digging. Long-time friend Jim-my Carver (manager at Enid Lake and also at Grenada Lake until his retirement a few years ago), came with his backhoe and front-end loader to do the job for us. When Jimmy finished we were talking and he says, “You know you need to have that tank pumped and fill it with sand.” He went on to explain that the vacated comfort stations on the dams had to have this done and the reason is that methane gas can build up and explode. Well we certainly did not want our new bath exploding, but more than that we didn’t want us in an explosion. So Friday morning Bo began looking for a pumping company and someone to haul sand.
Called Mid-South Septic Systems in Oxford and they had a truck on Hwy. 51, between Sardis and Batesville, which they routed out of the way and the job was done shortly after noon. Then he called several sand and gravel companies in the area—no luck. Called Rance and he got in touch with the Evans company (originally owned by Billy Evans, who graduated with Ed at WVHS and is Bet Gurner’s brother), now run by his son, Mike. They sent us a load promptly and Bo and Rance filled in the tank Saturday. They reported that this is one difficult job and seeing them when they got to the hospital Saturday night, we did not doubt their story—they could hardly move.
Steve Ford, who is building the bath, came by monday and was ready to begin our project in the afternoon. He wanted to know if Mom would be using it and if we needed to continue. If all continues to go well, she’ll be back at home in a couple of months of rehab and is looking forward to that new shower.
There’ lots more to Mom’s surgery story and I’ll share some of it next week. Probably have more to share about the bath building project, also.
Now back to Ludie’s letter.
Mr. Bell was elevated to superintendent of Water Valley City Schools and we were so proud, because he had endeared himself to us as a junior high teacher. Being the stickler that he was for rules, he never lighted a cigarette on the school grounds, to say nothing of inside the building.
Our English teacher for the four years in high school was Miss Minnie Fredrick, whose age must have bordered 80. She was a Shakespearian authority, dedicated to the task of brainwashing her classes thusly. The boys (even the best ones academically speaking) just revolted and contrived various ways of interrupting MacBeth, King Lear, and Julius Caesar. One of their favorite antics was the stink bomb, secretly made during lab clean-up. Once “Aesop” Redwine was caught red-handed and Miss Minnie invited him back to the study hall. As he passed my desk on the way out, I very quietly said, “Give my regards to the folks outside”—to which the teacher answered, “Get out!!! Go with him,” but as I slowly rose to follow she shouted, “Sit down—where do you think you’re going?” Boy! that was close. How thankful I was that I didn’t have to go home with the news that I had been sent out of class.
Biology was one of my favorite subjects, but being in class with seven boys the period before lunch often completely removed my appetite.
Mrs. Coralie Metcalf ruled the Latin department and two years of conjugating verbs and declining nouns all but did me in. My mother thought it not only important to know the word but to know its origin and all its kin.
You would think that after my Latin experience foreign language would have been taboo—no way. I had to parlez-vous because loved “Babe” Markette. Today I recognize Chevrolet Coupe and that’s about it.
Miss Clyde Adams, our math teacher, knew her material so well and talked so fast she foamed at the mouth. This grand old spinster of x-y was our class sponsor both junior and senior years. She was also a great drama coach—class plays were a must in our day. Everybody vied for a part in these—memorable productions.
Miss Clyde retired from our system at 70, took a job in another school. After retirement number two she married. Several years later (the first Sunday my Ann played the pipe organ in our morning service) who should appear but Mr. and Mrs. “Clyde” dressed in matched western attire down to the handsome leather boots. (She was skirted.) I couldn’t concentrate on whether Ann was going to survive for being aghast at the two old fools across from me.
After graduation, in the heart of the worst depression in history, (I still blame Herbert Hoover and the Republican party for having to wait for college) I went back to high school, first year after another session of French and to try my luck with shorthand. Since neither really appealed to me, my educational satisfaction came from teaching my piano students, which Mrs. Cowan had insisted that I take to relieve her work load. Since that time I have never been without students and never thought my work a drag.
(Next week we’ll conclude with Ludie’s after school days.)
By Betty Shearer