Reflections

Blu Clark Was Town’s Fire Protection

By Charles Cooper


Hello everyone, hope you’re having a happy season.  
When I was young it would seem that Christmas would never get here. Now it seems that they almost bump together.  As all of you know by now, I try to always be an optimist,  but in the last five years it has been harder and harder to be optimistic in the face of what has been happening with the current administration.  
However, the backlash has begun and is growing daily.  The radical element that declared war on Christmas and Christianity didn’t know when to back off and now people are saying Merry Christmas instead of happy holidays and that’s just the beginning. Of course, like a cornered rat, the radicals are striking back as evidenced by the outcry when Megan Kelley dared to say that Santa Claus was white and one of the duck dynasty has been suspended for speaking about his faith. But, each time more people are waking up and fighting back.   
I didn’t mean to get on a soap box during Christmas but I was feeling so upbeat that I wanted to share it with you.  As I’ve said many times over the years, it’s too bad the Christmas spirit doesn’t last all year but maybe slowly we’re getting there.
Sunday after Church I had the opportunity to talk with Jimmy Holloway, who is the son of Ducky and Mary Katherine Clark, Holloway about his family.  Mary Katherine was the daughter of Blu Clark. Her mother died before she was a year old and she was raised by her grandmother, Mary Clark, and her dad.  This was in the 1920s and after the closing of the railroad shops jobs in Water Valley were scarce and paid very little.
Not wanting to leave his daughter and move to Mem-phis to work, Blu ap-proached the city board and offered them a proposal.  He would be a full time fire marshal twenty four/seven  for $35 dollars a week and they accepted. On the basis of that job he bought a house on North Main, moved his daughter and his mother and father in and they all lived there for over 40 years. The fire department office was in the building where the Herald was in later years. The fire truck was in the adjacent alley headed out for a rapid  response.  
Blu literally lived his job, only leaving to go home to eat and sleep since he was  the only full time fireman,  the rest being  volunteers.  
He was also a master craftsman in wood working and during his slack  time he produced lawn furniture that were works of art. This is an example of a man creating his own job and giving the city excellent service for many years.  
Again, let me thank you for your support and let me urge you to keep the faith and have a wonderful Christmas and I hope you will enjoy the interviews I’m planning in the New Year. But, don’t forget how I appreciate your input.  
My email address is cncooper1@hotmail.com or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, TN 38101 and have a wonderful Christmas.

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