This (Monday) morning I began my 57th year at the Herald office—I’m having a hard time believing that it’s been that long. Ed and I were married on Thursday, June 19, 1958, we had a weekend honeymoon at Spring Lake (Wall Doxey State Park), and then it was to work on Monday morning. I’d grown up on a farm and thought I knew what hard work and long hours were. Found out that I didn’t have a clue. Arriving at 8 a.m. I didn’t leave the office, except to run home, bath and dress, until Thursday morning. This country girl was about ready to go back to the farm—probably would have had I not loved Ed so much. When I learned to do some of the chores at the office our hours gradually got a little better. However we didn’t get to livable hours until we got out of the office supply and job printing businesses and then began printing the paper using the offset process.
Even with all that it’s been a good life and I still enjoy the newspaper.
Would probably never have thought of telling this except I was in Dr. Barry Weeks’ office last Thursday and Charmie and I began reminiscing. Each time I visit this office I think of the second biggest event in my life as a Shearer—the birth of Son Jim. I have a room they call mine and I think it was the room that Jim was delivered in April 5, 1964—a little over 50 years ago. We think he was the last baby delivered in the clinic. Dr. Spears had also delivered a baby in the hospital that night—oldest child of Mary Lou and Bill Forsyth.
One of the comments heard this week, that I will cherish, was that as long as you have the memories you’ll always have that loved one with you. Well I have loads of memories of Ed and I do still have him with me.
A note from Deborah Slade of Oxford came with her subscription renewal. It reads: “One of my favorite parts of the Herald is the Looking Back Column. I’d love to see more school news. You have a top-notch assistant principal at Davidson Elementary. I worked with her many years when we both taught at Lafayette Elementary. She’s sharp!”
Thanks for the note Deborah and we’re so happy to hear that we have been blessed with the addition of good administrators at Davidson.
Last week Water Valley native Shirley Hardy Wilder of Georgia asked for the late Lela Mae McMinn’s coconut cake recipe. She thought sure I’d have it. Well, I didn’t. When I wanted a coconut cake I’d just call Lela Mae and ask for a cake—never crossed my mind to ask for the recipe. I, like lots of other folks, just thought Lela Mae would always be there when we needed a cake. However, I was pretty sure I knew who would have that recipe and figured she’d share it. Daughter Judy Whitten was my go-to person and, sure enough, she did have what was needed and graciously supplied it. I made me a copy and then sent one on to Shirley.
Cake recipes always bring wonderful memories and one of my favorites comes from Shirley’s husband, Don. Don was a rep for Hellmann’s mayonnaise and he sent me their chocolate cake recipe years ago—if you haven’t had this one it’s delicious. The only thing was that it was a heavy cake—very moist.
When I commented on this in the column, Don sent me instructions to just use light Hellmanns if I wanted a lighter cake. I haven’t made that cake in years—think it’s time to make one for brother-in-law, Bill Cole, and me.
Now Don also has Water Valley ties. His mother was a sister to the late Faye Jones (Mrs. Otis) Wilbourn and all the other Jones siblings—and there are lots of them. Don also has a brother, Bill, in Panola County, whom I see occasionally—he brings me some great pickles. Those Wilder boys are great friends.
It’s such a joy to have short visits with Vallians Dorothy and Sonny Shelley each week Sonny is a patient in the Rehab Wing of Golding Living and Dot is on B-Wing at the nursing home in Batesville.
They are so adorable, spending their days together in the rehab sitting room, where they eat all their meals, read and watch TV together. They’re anticipating the day when Sonny get well enough to come home, however they know they’re blessed just to be able to be together.
Sunday afternoon, after I’d eaten a good lunch, I had intended to clean house a little. Sat down to drink my last glass of tea and decided I needed a little rest break before I began work. Propped my feet up on the sofa and immediately went to sleep, slept until four o‘clock. I’m a person who has to be sick to sleep in daylight hours. Wasn’t ailing—must have been just worn out. I had some late hours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Well, I didn’t have a problem with my neglecting chores—after all God did give us the seventh day as a day of rest.
Made it back to church Sunday night and was glad I did.
The youth, who had just returned from M-Fuge at Columbia College in Ky., gave a report and it was very enlightening and exciting.
They told of both service and spiritual events during the week. Jackson Ward had a detailed agenda of the whole week. He’s an excellent speaker—says he gets it from his dad, Bryan Ward. All of the participants did an excellent job of reporting and we do appreciate Youth Director Dustin Pierce finding such good mission and learning venues for the youth. He also takes good care of them on these trips.
After the Sunday night service I needed some help moving tables and chairs. I asked the young men in the group for their assistance and they did a wonderful job—did lots more than I requested. When I stated that I could do the rest myself they said, “Miss Betty, we’re not going to let you do all this by yourself.” They are very caring young people.
Each week I’m asked about food and road critters.
Well the turtles are still out in mass and again I didn’t kill a one, the rabbits and squirrels are also plentiful. Coming down the drive from Mom’s Sunday morning, the road was covered in squirrels—counted a dozen and I’m sure there were more. Also, rabbits scare me almost each night when I arrived home and while leaving in the morning—they reside in the azalea bushes by the house and when I go in or out, jump up and run across my path. Found out Sunday morning that Bo gets startled occasionally, also. Haven’t seen a deer in several weeks and the snakes seemed to be fewer in number—at least on the highway.
Food last week was almost non-existent. Went out for breakfast at Hardy’s Saturday morning and just bought two—the second I warmed up Sunday morning.
I do believe summer is here to stay. I’ve had the air conditioner on for several days.
By Betty Shearer