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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

    The breakfast crowd at Dunn’s Country Store was slim last Wednesday morning. Knew the Williams families were going to the Neshoba County Fair for the week, which took away Snooky and Harold, and Bobby Schmitz dropped by to tell me he would not see me Wednesday morning because he was taking his sister to a doctor’s appointment. I’m always glad when these folks check in to explain their absences—I worry about them if they’re missing.
    On carnival week we usually have lots of out-of-town visitors come by. Didn’t have many this year, but it was good to have a couple of new ones. Mary Higdon brought by her niece, Barbara Giddons, from Seattle, Wash., and a sister-in-law, Nell Stroud from San Antonio, Texas. Mrs. Giddons purchased a carnival program and one of Dave Hovey’s books to take back to the far northwest. Told her that Seattle was on my “to visit” places. They were delightful ladies. Mrs. Giddons also won a watermelon in the drawing at the Music Festival Thursday night.
    This contest was won by most unusual criteria, dreamed up by Master of Ceremonies Eric Fearing. First call was for a particular birthday; second, won by Mrs. Gibbons, was for a Kentucky quarter (Mr. Fearing’s home state); another for the person who had traveled the most miles to get to the festival; another for an expired driver’s license; and then for the youngest person in attendance (I think that was all). It was a cute gimmick. I’m really glad several of our visitors won.
    The Music Festival was excellent, and our appreciation goes to Zandra Walker, Chairman, and all the Town and Country Garden Club members for the hard work they did in producing it for us.
    Also appreciation is extended to all the artists on the program.
    The festival kicked-off with a 30 minute pre-show concert by the Sharecrop-pers with Daryl Burney, bass; Jessey Higdon, vocalist and guitar;  Clay Ashford, drums; Steve McGregor, keyboard and vocal; and Danny McGregor, keyboard.
    Following T&C Presi-dent Lucia Holloway’s welcome, was Water Valley Chamber of Commerce  President Tyler Hill’s overview of the carnival. Then Mrs. Holloway presented the Luella Fair Community Enrichment Award to Mrs. Dorris Crawford—a most deserving honoree.
    Mrs. Holloway then introduced Eric Fearing, emcee for the night. He presented the WVHS and Jr. High cheerleaders, who did a short pep rally.
    After the pep rally, Mr. Fearing led a stirring salute to the armed forces. Members of each group stood as their branch of service was sung and at the end the entire audience stood to express appreciation for the service to our country by each serviceman.
    Next on the program was the introduction of Water-melon Queen Peyton Hill and her court.
    The program was started by a vocal by Mr. Fearing, followed by a mini-concert by the East to West Band, composed of members of Water Valley First Baptist Church’s Praise Band.
    Ballroom dancers, Lauryn Sperling and Matt Embler, and Grecia Estrada-Goin and her partner, Daniel Stevenson, then took the floor.
    The Eisenhauer Band, along with guest vocalist, Dalton Burney, presented several numbers. Told Dalton’s father, Daryl, that he had defected from the Sharecroppers. This young man has a promising career in the music world. An excellent singer, he has the volume and poise of a singer much older than he. This group was very good, with two regular members of the Eisenhauer family, ages 13 and 14.
    After the ballroom dancers took another turn around the stage, the Sharecroppers closed out the program of music.
     The final event of the night was a video produced by MC Fearing entitled “Happy in the Valley.” It featured many Valley citizens and was just delightful.
    I had to miss all carnival activities on Friday and Saturday. Reports though were that it was one of the better carnival weekends, with excellent vendors, concessions, and entertainment from the stage. Weather was also great.
    Brother Bo reported that the antique car show was top-notch (he knows I enjoy seeing the old cars). Bo also said that the ice cream, frozen by the antique motor, was just the best. He was telling me about the wooden toys, which he said had unbelievable detail. I’m sure they purchased at least one of these for Briley. He also described a most unusual bottle tree, which he did not buy—it sold before they got back to it.
    Other friends told me that the entertainment from the bandstand was great. All of the contests were enjoyed and  the largest melon contest is always exciting. I’ve never gotten to attend the barbecue contest, but heard that there was some really great food produced there.
    Another event of the carnival that I missed was the gathering of the Perkins/ Davis families. Have not seen this group in a while and the children are going to be almost grown before our paths cross again.
     The weather was wonderful Friday night and I really would have enjoyed being with them.
    The street dance, provided by Renasant Bank, is always so much fun, even though I can’t dance a step I do like to watch. I’m sure we had some excellent dancers in the contest, even though many of the Valley’s great dancers are no longer with us. I could have watched Crip and Jeannie Tyler, Tommy and Betty Ruth Swearengen, Joel and Isabel Edgar, Hamric and Dorothy Jane Henry, and many others dance all night.
    Also, I like the fireworks and appreciate the Mechanics Bank providing this show for us. Sorry I had to miss it, but heard that it was spectacular.
    Jimmie took over Mom-sitting duties about four o’clock Saturday so I could attend the joint class reunions of the WVHS ‘53 and ‘54 classes. This event was well attended, with folks coming from all over. I know many members in both classes, and was so honored to be invited. The brief overviews of the lives of these folks were enlightening and entertaining. Most of them have had very exciting and fulfilling careers. Several were long-time military servicemen, some were impressive educators, top-notch flight attendants, excellent lawyers, public servants, and many had very successful business careers. I’m sure I’ve left out some, but everyone in these classes were outstanding citizens, who contributed much to our country.
    My dinner partner was Guy Dale Shaw, our long-time tax assessor/collector. Dale knew everyone and when I could tell him a name, he’d explain who they were—there were a few I didn’t know. Dale’s having a vision problem and I was just the person he needed, since I’ve been seeing for Mom for many years now. He was telling me how he‘s gardening and playing golf, even with his impaired vision. He’s taking it right in stride and makes it almost a joking matter. I was so glad to see him in such good spirits. Thanks for an enjoyable evening, Dale. Seated on the other side was Lee Goar and his wife, and across the table were Lucia Holloway and Yvonne Russell Jones, all of whom I enjoyed visiting with.
    It was great to see Bob and Ann Appleton Laster, whom we don’t see very often since Ludie left us. Wouldn’t try to name everyone present without a list—memory is not that good. However, Lucia made pictures and eventually we’ll get them into the paper, complete with names.
    Have to compliment on the wonderful hosting and the food. Food was prepared by Doni and Jerry Burt and it was the best. Served was a most delicious chicken breast, green beans as good as my Moms, wonderful baked potato, perfect salad, and banana pudding for dessert (my favorite) and I was so full I had to skip it.
    Billy Baddley, Bob Brooks, and Gaylon Booker planned this excellent reunion and were gracious hosts. Thanks gentlemen.

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