Every senior class thinks they can see what’s ahead. We now look back on those years and wish we were half as smart as we thought we were. Here are just a few items from a half-century-old class will.
We the Class of 1964… being in as good mental condition as usual and in much better temper than usual, do hereby make this our last will and testament, rendering void any former will made by us during a period of temporary optimism:
Andy Myrick wills his luck in sports to Joe Holt. Bonnie Cox bequeaths her brightness to Harriet Samuels. Mack Brown bequeaths his roving eye to Jack Harvey. Rosa Ruth Burns wills her ability to have wild pallet parties to anyone who has a strong mother.
Larry Gean leaves his much-used comb to Danny Forsyth. Eleanor Nelson wills her position as Mrs. Johnson’s pet peeve to Keith Hart. Patsy Poe leaves Peggy Morris her cheerleader skirt – for a mere $13.50, that is. Bill Ross leaves his wonderful ability to get along with Mrs. Harvey to Kenny Taylor.
Jerry “Flash” Short leaves his natural ability for track to Tommy Edwards. Joe Thomas leaves his natural ability to misunderstand to Billy Humphreys. Pete Vaughn will his great ability to comprehend chemistry to Mike Hedges. Tommy White bequeaths his uncanny talent for making good grades without studying to Jackie Sartain.
• 5 years ago, May 28, 2009 – Robert Wayne Sprouse, VFW Post 4100 Chaplin, spoke on the history of Memorial Day during the annual observance at the Veterans Monument in Railroad Park.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann made a brief stop in Yalobusha County as he toured the state checking on ballot fraud. He took notes on the low turnout from the last local election (less than 25 percent) and the high number of absentee ballots (about 8 percent).
Valedictorian Adrian Tallant presented his remarks before the 79 WVHS grads, their parents and friends during ceremonies at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford. Honor students included Salutatorian Amber Burney, Yosheka Conard, Rashida Rogers, Shaniqua Wesley, Yureka Hoskins, Josh Sullivan, Tyler Jones, Marli Craven, Sanesha Joy and Jessica Goolsby.
Football players receiving honors at the recent athletic banquet included Tommy Lipscomb, Tommy St. Romain, Keldrick Hooper, Josh Johnson, Fred McGee, J. D. Fondon, Zack Caulder, Josh Terrell, Ranaldo Clinton, Tank Hervey, J. J. Woodard, Eric Buckley and D. C. Logan.
• 10 years ago, May 27, 2004 – Water Valley’s National Guard unit, the Service Battery of the 1st Battalion of the 114th Artillery, was alerted to prepare for possible deployment.
Beta Club graduates at WVHS included Hillary Hart, Brittany Fox, Jamie Cofer, Brooke LeBlanc, Jessica Hudson, Erica Person, Dawn Mack, Jennifer Mack, Ashley King, Wesley McCain, Christopher Brown, Matthew Stevens, Brian Johnson, Charlie Edwards and Cory Williamson.
One of the Herald’s old Linotype machines was being sent to Boston, Mass., to be dismantled, cleaned and reassembled for display in a major publishing company office. Supervising the move was Dave Seat, a nationally known authority on the old hot metal typesetting devices.
There Yalobusha County celebrities were on hand for the annual fundraiser for the Catch a Dream Foundation held in West Point. They were Carol Ross, Old Miss Women’s Head Basketball Coach; Professional Bull Rider Tater Porter, former Yalobusha 4-H’er; and Professional Bull Rider Bart Jackson, also a former Yalobusha 4-H’er.
• 20 years ago, May 26, 1994 – Keli Quinn was named Watermelon Queen and Andrea Davis, 1st Alternate, at the annual pageant May 21. Other winners included Miss Teenage Sandra Scanlon and alternates Tiffanie Butts and Kimberly Dorval. In the Junior Miss category, Allison Mariah Willingham was winner with alternates Beth Cobern, Cheryl Eubanks, Julie Jones and Kellie Burns. Pre-teen Winner was Jill Terry with alternates Kelli Magee, Lacey Brooke Savage, Sabrina Jean McCammon and Megan Edwards.
J. C. Womble was named Holley Automotive’s April Employee of the Month.
Connie Faye Gooch was named February Employee of the Month at West Suburban Hospital Medical Center in Oak Park, Illinois.
Mayor Larry Hart, backed by the Water Valley Ambassadors, cut the ribbon for the opening of the Boomerang Café on Railroad Street.
Martha Wilder received a plaque on her retirement in appreciation of her 17 years of service at Holley Automotive.
• 30 years ago, May 31, 1984 – Patricia Keith was named Miss Hospitality for 1984.
Rotary Exchange student Ana Lydia Vingochea, who attended Water Valley High School before going on to NWJC and Ole Miss, was honored by the local Rotarians following her graduation from the university. She was pictured with her parents and Rotary President Ersel King.
Rev. Sam Higdon was pictured running up Main Street with a stalk of poke sallet to publicize the upcoming festival. The event had been postponed because of the disasters in the city.
Bonnie Gail Newman received several honors at the School of Health Related Professions at the UM Med Center in Jackson including the Excellence in Coding award, the Outstanding Medical Record Administration Student award and the Medical Record Administration Scholastic Award. She was an honor graduate in medical record administration.
Award winners at the WVHS All-Sports honors presentation were Lee Williams, Lance Clement, Kristy Bost, Sandra Benson and Janet Luster for basketball; Sheila Caldwell, Pam Eubanks, Sandra Benson and Sandy Loper for cheerleading.
Kenny Schmitz and Joe Cox served as pages in the Mississippi House of Representatives, sponsored by Tommy Reynolds.
• 40 years ago, May 30, 1974 – Pictured on the front page were members of the Water Valley Fire Department who has just received certificates in firefighting from the University of Mississippi including Fire Chief Billy Humphreys, Captain Roy Bennett Stevens, Captain Harold Campbell, Fireman John Mills and Driver Shelby Rogers. They were pictured with Mayor Watson Hunt and Fire Commissioner Bill Robinson.
Fred Kendrick, president of Water Valley Bank, received a certificate of recognition for his fifty years in banking.
Glynn Taylor and Phil Mayo showed off four yellow cats they caught grabbling in Grenada Lake. The combined weight was 181 pounds.
Honor roll students at Ole Miss included David Aune, Camille Fly, Doug Gurner, Van Hedges, Kim Horan, Trent Howell, Laura Parsons, Karen Ann Fortinberry and Phyllis Wood.
• 50 years ago, May 28, 1964 – Local students receiving United Nations tour certificates were Suzanne Bell, Carlisle Throop, Martha Bess Cooper, Cheryl French, Tommy Edwards and “Sweetie” Hall.
Elinor Nelson was the first recipient of the newly established Water Valley Junior Auxiliary Scholarship. She was also honored as an Outstanding Majorette in the WVHS Band along with Ethelyne Turnage.
Conductor Thomas Henry Dalton was presented a Gold Pass by the Illinois Central Railroad for 50 years of service.
John Stokely and Kenny Tayor were delegates to the annual American Legion Boys’ State Convention.
Danny R. Ingram was awarded a degree in Animal Husbandry from Mississippi State University’s College of Agriculture.
Nancy Spears delivered the Valedictory address and Jeannie Barron the Salutatory during graduation at WVHS.
Brooks Chittom was offering a $25 prize for naming his new business located in the old Simmons Store.
• 60 years ago, May 27, 1954 – Homer Dunn was elected president of the Mississippi Funeral Directors Association and would serve as delegate to the National Convention in Seattle, Washington.
Buster Treloar and Tuffy Williamson, valued employees of the Light Department (the city electric department) did a “noble job” of washing each and every big light globe on Main Street. Williamson complained of dishpan hands, a brand new malady recently discovered with the introduction of hand lotions.
The Water Valley Junior Auxiliary under president Mrs. Hamric Henry was giving an honorable mention by the national organization.
• 70 years ago, May 25, 1944 – Private First Class L. C. Stewart (a future Water Valley Mayor) was stationed in Tennessee at a maneuvering area with an engineering company. Stewart was one of many soldiers preparing to be shipped overseas for eventual service on the European front. His brother, Jake, a Seaman Second Class had just entered the Navy in January.
Harold Fair was in the Army at Camp Shelby where his duties included teacher the fourth grade to soldiers undergoing training. Fair noted that many men being inducted into the Army could neither read nor write.
• 80 years ago, June 1, 1934 – The Junior Chamber of Commerce selected August 9 as the date for the Watermelon Carnival. The date was picked to coincide with the coming to peak of the thousands of acres of melons growing in the area. The upcoming carnival was described as “startling, brilliant, spectacular” in the story and would conclude with a magnificent fireworks display and the big carnival ball.