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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer


    Promised a report on the eviction of my unwanted house guest (the lizard). In the short version last week, you were told that Mark Anthony came to my rescue. Mark has always been willing to help me in any way he can. So when the critter appeared again Monday evening, I called Mark and ask, “Are you afraid of lizards?” Answer, of course, was, “No.”
    Then I told him what I needed, he says, “I’ll be right there.”  
    He was at my house in record time and in about thirty seconds he had Mr. Lizard way down the driveway and set free into the trees. I was sure glad to see it go and I do appreciate Mark so much. Told him he’d just been elevated to “favorite son” status. It is so wonderful to have such good friends.
    After he got rid of the pest, he told me a couple of stories of former lizard eradications. One fall wife, Claudia, brought in house plants for the winter and along with the plants she also brought in a lizard. The thing left the plants and somehow climbed onto the chandelier over their dining table. During supper one night it decided to join them at the dining table and dropped into the middle of the table.     
    Mark said he thought he was going to loose Claudia. Told him if I’d been at that table he would have been calling Seven Oaks—I know I would have had heart failure.
    The other tale he told was about one that got into Sylva Rena Grocery when they had their door propped open (which they do quite often). Said it was disturbing many of the folks there so he got up and picked the thing up. It bit him (I’ve always been told that they can’t bite, but I didn’t believe it) and just hung onto his finger. He waved it around for all to see, then took it outside. I always knew those things could bite and I’m glad Mark confirmed the fact.
    My lizard was a big one and I’d told the staff that it was—they just grinned and I know what they were thinking (yea, two inches long and it looks like eight inches to her.) Well Mark, again confirmed my story. He said it was indeed a big lizard and an unusual one. It’s good to have back up on stories.
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    This unseasonably cool weather in the middle of July is almost unbelievable. When I stepped out the door shortly after five last Wednesday morning, I almost turned around to go for a jacket. The van thermometer said it was 59 degrees and I’m sure it was that, or lower. It was chilly. Usually when we have a cool spell in the middle of summer it’s for only a day and then back to sweltering. Not so last week. It stayed cool until today (Monday) and the clouds and drizzle made it seem even cooler.
    The  AC  in Mom’s nursing home room was not turned on from Thursday until I left Saturday night. With no sun on those west windows the room just did not heat up.
     Delivering the papers I would leave the heater on, jump out, run into the businesses, and place the papers—they had their buildings warm, also.
    Prediction from everyone was that it would not last—I’m sure we’ll be back to over a 100 for Watermelon Carnival weekend.
    That’s only two weeks away. The Carnival programs are available and we have them at the office. Price again this year, is only $5 each. I’ve glanced through it and found that many of the old sportsman pictures were so interesting—many of the folks in these pictures are no longer with us.
    I was surprised to find two deer kills in the late ‘40s. Those were rare because we just didn’t have many deer that far back. Raccoons, squirrels, and fish were what most of the hunters and fishermen were showing. One catfish picture of the late Bobby Bell with an 83-pounder, was taken by me. This fish was not caught grabbling. Bobby was fishing for smaller fish (don’t remember what) and the catfish got his mouth tangled in the small line. Bobby, a grabbler, then wrestled the fish out of the water and into  his pickup. That was a big fish.
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    The Crowder School reunion was held Saturday night and even though the weather was awful attendance was excellent.
    Our class (Class of ‘55) had eight present. One came from California, one from Tennessee and one from Michigan, others live here in Mississippi. Five of the eight had spent all 12 years as classmates. Several of us have WV connections. James Rotenberry has lots of cousins here and his wife, Peggy Jones Rotenberry, had lived a few of her early years in the Valley; Bennie Jean Turner is a cousin to former Vallian, Mickey Aldy; Carol June Card White had a brother who lived in the county for a few years, and her husband, Hosey Mack, is a brother to Ira Gail White, who owned the north end supermarket for a few years.     Our commercial teacher was the late Jimmie Darnell, mother of Cynthia Knight and grandmother of Bill Pullen. There are probably more connections that I don’t know about (or have forgotten).
    On Friday night I hosted a get-together of just our class at Bill’s and Jimmie’s house. It was so much fun. We ate and reminisced for hours. Bill said he thought he was going to have to come down and tell us that it was time for old folks to go home and get in bed. We came up with most of our teachers’ names—surprise, surprise.         Each time we gather more escapades surface. This class was not a bad group of kids, just mischievous. By today’s standards we’d be dubbed “saints,” but in the ‘50s we were considered bad. There was very little drinking, drugs had not yet been heard of, and we probably did not even know how to spell sex, much less how to get involved in it. Most of the great stories were from statements being misunderstood and then escalating to wild tales.
    Most of us had siblings in classes above and below us, so most everyone present at the school-wide gathering was close to us. I did have a little disadvantage because I was the oldest of our family so the older students were not as well known—unless they were in cousins’ classes. Had four first cousins that were older and they were just about like sisters.
    Many classmates had changed very little, while others were not recognizable. Often they were more handsome or prettier than while we were in school. Guess it’s the good makeup, exercise, and stylish clothes we have now. Unfortunately these have not helped me—maybe I’d better try harder to improve.
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  The airplane crash last week was  very disturbing. I just can’t imagine anyone shooting an airliner out of the sky—surely you can distinguish between a civilian airliner and war birds. If not you don’t need to be in the military. Makes me leery of getting on a plane.
    Also the flooding in Colorado Springs was scary. The news footage I saw looked like Niagara Falls.
    On Friday and Saturday, as I sit with Mom, I watch the news. Really shouldn’t because it’s always so bad. Many of the stories are almost unbelievable.
    I’m always glad to get home, where I have only time to catch the morning weather prediction.

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