Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer


    Mrs. Marjorie Jean Green brought by a clipping from The Herald, the newspaper in Sierra Vista, Arizona, which contained an article about Water Valley native, William Wesson Brister.
  Wesson is the son of the late Hazel Brister, who was born December 8, 1925. Mr. Brister was drafted into the Army in 1944 at the age of 18. He served the remainder of World War II, then went on to serve in both the Korean War and  in Vietnam.
  As a serviceman in three wars, Wesson was invited to  participate in the Sierra Vista Veteran’s Day Parade and was featured in a story in the paper, along with a picture.
  Marjorie said she and Wesson grew up as next door neighbors and have kept in contact throughout their lives. They were both only children and members of Bethel Baptist Church. Marjorie told me a lot more but I did not keep enough notes. She did say that everyone thought they’d grow up and marry, but this did not happen because they were almost like brother and sister.
  I could identify with that—I have several close friends who were boys, that would have been wonderful husbands—but like Marjorie and Wesson we were to close to being siblings. And I even had four brothers—know we would have been even closer if I’d had no blood brothers.
  Knew Marjorie’s mother, the late Mrs. Ophelia Fly, and had just assumed she was a Fly. Seems you learn more about people with each conversation. From this visit I found out that her father was a Barton, who had died early in her life. Also found that we both grew up on farms—I’d just assumed she’d been a town girl.
  Marjorie, thanks for sharing the article about Wesson and I sure enjoyed our visit.
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  Also received an article from Mary Nichols of Benton, Arkansas, contained in a recent issue of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. With the story was a picture, which included Bena Lou “Ben” Kendrick and her husband Walter Hussman. Mr. Hussman is a long-time newspaper publisher. The Kindred Spirit Award  was presented to Mr. Hussman, who had volunteered to sponsored the December 15 “Voices of Angels” Christmas concert at Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs.         The headline stated “Voices of Angels lift up Hussman for generous nature.” The Hussmans were reported to be avid music lovers. Bena Lou is the youngest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Fred Kendrick.
  Mrs. Nichols wrote: “Betty, since you mentioned the Kendrick family recently, I thought you would enjoy seeing this article about Ben and her family.”
  I’m sure many in the Valley will enjoy this, Mary. Thanks for sharing it with  us.
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  A note came with Camille Fly Dautrich’s subscription renewal. She and her husband, Barry, now live in Branson, Missouri. Since many of you know and love Camille, as I do, I thought you’d enjoy my sharing it.
  “Hi to all: Please continue my Herald subscription for another year. Both Barry and I enjoy reading the paper. Although he’s never lived in the Valley, reading the Herald has made him feel like a local!
  “As for me, I can tell I’m getting older. The first feature I go to every week is the News of past years!
  “Best Wishes for a happy, healthy New Year to all.”
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  Lost a dear first cousin, Betty Jo Terry Holland of Crowder, last week. Betty Jo came to the Watermelon Carnival for several years and sold her delicious fried pies.
    “Bet” was an RN and  worked for the Quitman County Health Department for many years. I think she retired a couple of times and they kept calling her back. She’s remembered in the family for being a fine beautician and cook. My first beauty salon perm was given by her. It was on one of the old machines that has cords hanging down with rollers on the ends. Saw one a few weeks ago on one of the Waltons’ episodes. Olivia got the perm and it looked a lot like mine—a poodle. Don’t remember ever getting another salon perm, although Jimmie did talk me into a few home perms—didn’t like them either. Most of my life I’ve just gone stringy headed.
  Here for Betty Jo’s funeral was her only surviving sister (there were four sisters in this family). Billy Rance is just four years older than me and she always served as a big sister. She and her husband, Wallace Cox, came by Mom’s room for a couple of hours and we enjoyed catching up on our families. She shared that they had a granddaughter, Jessie Cox, who was giving a dance clinic in the Valley.
    Wish I could have been here to meet her. She’s a student at MSU. I was surprised to find that she’s not in the military. She has quite a background for this occupation. Grandfather Wallace was career Air Force, her father was career, probably also Air Force, and her mother served for a time in the military. Grandmother Billy Rance was an RN. It was so good to see and visit with Billy and Wallace.
  Also visiting with Mom was Paula Tedford Hester. Paula was sitting with Mom’s next door neighbor, Bobbie Jean Wiggs  Bridges, wife of second cousin, Charley Ward Bridges. Paula is Charley’s brother, Bobby Gail Hester’s wife, and they now live Ameritus, Georgia. We all grew up in Crowder—actually out from Crowder. Paula’s brother, Joe, and I were in the same class.
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  Several church and civic groups stopped by for a short visit. A member of one of these was sister-in-law Ginny’s friend, Minnie Howard, who had visited in Mom’s home several times. She brought Mom a great neck massager last Christmas—I use it more than Mom. They brought a gift bag with lotion that had cocoa butter in it. You put it on your hands and they smell exactly like a Hershey’s Kisses. Told Mom that we’d better be careful because in our sleep we just might eat our fingers. Know that Ed would have eaten mine if he were still alive—he did like chocolate.
  Jimmie will be limping for several more weeks, I’m sure. She did have a broken toe—maybe two. They were taped and she is wearing a boot. Told Jim that his “Sissie” again has broken her toes. He said to tell her he was afraid that would happen so he bought a vehicle with an automatic transmission this time. Last time she had broken toes we went to see him and Celeste and she had to drive his Nissan Xterra, which had a clutch.
  He called to tell me they would arrive on the 23rd. We’re all sure looking forward to the visit.
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  Travel from here to Batesville and Courtland was much easier this weekend—very little rain and no ice.
  The only deer I saw was on my way over Thursday night. It was right on the side of the road, but thankfully went the other way.
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  One paper left before Christmas holidays and the deadline for it is Friday, 5 p.m. We’ve got to print a day earlier and it will arrive in your mailbox and hit the streets on Christmas Eve.

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