Five decades have passed since these letters to Santa were published on the front page of the Herald in 1964. Kathrine Alice Duke wrote she had been a good little girl and she enjoyed the Ben Casey paint set she received last year. She wanted a doll and some clothes.
Sheila Hale wrote that the third graders hope Santa will remember all of them this year. She wanted a baton, some clothes and a kissing doll. Sheila also told Santa not to forget her sweet teacher, Mrs. Maddux.
Tim Sutherland wanted “3 pear of bule jins and one pear black one, pear gray and one pear bule.” He also wanted a slinky and a Bible. A rather lengthy list, Tim also wanted a Johnny Seven and globe, a view-master set and an electric football game. He also wanted a monopoly game, a troll doll and some clothes from him. Tim’s list closed with requests for a Barney and auto factory, cowboy suit, record player and some records and a king of the hill game.
Judy Duke told Santa she wanted a doll and she promised to go to bed early on Christmas eve. Allen Holder wanted a toy Fox, Johnny 7, oma, and bike. “I like you very much,” he added in his letter for brownie points with the big fellow.
Al Reed told Santa he had been good all year and he wanted a football game, a ring and some .22 cartridges. He also wanted a “thick Bible.”
Harry Womble wrote he wanted an airplane, gravel truck, grader, bulldozer and a gun. Billy Allred’s note to Santa included requests for a pair of cowboy boots, a train, a vroom bike, an airplane, a jet plan, a Chemistry set, a wagon and a boxing set.
Lynn Potts had the shortest letter to Santa with a simple request for an airplane, skates, a pair of shoes and a football.
• 5 Years Ago, Dec. 24, 2009 – Ray Hawkins was presented a plaque in recognition for a decade of service to the Water Valley School District. Hawkins’ served two terms as board chairman before stepping down.
Police continued to search for leads in the Dec. 15 homicide of 73 year-old Jimmy Buford in Water Valley. Local police were joined by the sheriff’s department and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation in the search for the killer. Buford had lived in Water Valley all of his life. The case has never been solved.
Kayla Lynn Frizzell of Oakland and Rashida LaNa Rogers of Water Valley were among 973 freshmen from the state receiving scholarships to the University of Mississippi.
Peggy Rotenberry was selected as Yalobusha General Hospital’s employee of the week. Peggy worked as a registered nurse and also served as the Infection Control Coordinator.
Grand marshals for the 2009 Christmas parade were Lucia and Don Holloway.
• 10 Years Ago, Dec. 23, 2004 – Two-month old Brady Hill was likely the youngest participant in the 2004 parade. Brady took the trip down Main Street in the familiar yellow T-Model Ford with family members Jill and Bennett Hill in the front seat and Jerry Hill and Dalton Higdon in the back seat.
Yalobusha Supervisors were looking at a February 1st move-in date for the newly-renovated Water Valley Courthouse. Originally they hoped to be in the courthouse by January 1.
Fifteen people formerly employed with Mississippi Beef Processors shared their Christmas prayer with Herald readers in the Christmas edition. In the letter, the group asked the politicians to set aside their political agendas and have the courage to do what’s right for the many friends and family trying to make a dream come true. “We pray for the opportunity to be successful as a group of employees directed by a capable and God-fearing man (Richard Hall) who has worked hard and long despite the many problems that have befallen upon us.”
Valley Lumber was under new management after Larry Sprouse purchased the interest of Bill McGregor.
• 20 Years Ago, Dec. 21, 1994 – Winners in the Chamber of Commerce holiday light contest for residential homes were: first place, Mr. and Mrs. Travis Clement, 107 Champion Circle; second place, Mr. and Mrs. Kenny Taylor, 209 Dupuy Street. Commercial winners were: first place, Yalobusha General Hospital; second place, Turnage Drug Store.
The grand marshals for the annual Water Valley Christmas parade were L.C. and Frances Stewart. Judges for the annual parade, which was held at night, were Coffeeville residents Bobbie Williams, Allen Freer, Tyler Wortham and Cheri Arrington.
The oldest car in the parade was a 1925 T-Model Roadster owned by Lannon Franklin. Other old vehicles in the parade were a 1950 Studebaker owned by Odie Shuffield, a 1952 GMC truck driven by Artie Stewart, a 1965 Karman-Ghia owned by Bob and Eva Williams, a 1965 Chevelle driven by Ricky Ragon, a 1966 Ford van driven by Mike Erwin and a 1972 military jeep driven by Barett Gilley.
Bands marching in the 1994 parade were the Coffeeville High School band, the Water Valley High and Junior High bands and the Water Valley Elementary 5th and 6th grade bands.
Raymond Bruner provided information about former city landmarks that were featured on the new garden club print that included the Herring Hotel, Illinois Central Railroad Depot, Bank of Water Valley and the Old Grammar School. Bruner wrote the Herring Hotel was constructed in 1884, the old bank was completed in 1894. He also wrote the old school burned on Christmas eve, 1906, and was replaced the following year with a three story slate-roofed building which cost $40,000.
• 30 Years Ago, Dec. 20, 1984 – The Mississippi Highway Patrol announced they would be on full alert for “Christmas Drunks” during the holiday period from Dec. 21 to midnight on Christmas Day. Five people had lost their lives during the holiday season a year earlier.
Outdoor Herald columnist Stan True reported the spring-like weather had fishermen out in large numbers in search of the white perch and they were “really pulling them in.” The best fishing was around the Wildcat Area, but with the water dropping fast, access was limited. The crappie were running small, but a few big ones were mixed in.
Johnny Holloway drove his shiny, 1970 black Z-28 in the parade. Tim Fly’s mid-70s Corvette as also in the parade after he repaired the front end that was damaged in the April tornado.
• 40 Years Ago, Dec. 26, 1974 – Chancellor Leon Hannaford of Senatobia told Rotarians that the future of the United States depends on proper emphasis on spiritual matters. Speaking during the weekly luncheon, Judge Hannaford said that this nation was born in an attitude of prayer.
The Bank of Water Valley advertised that deposits will be guaranteed up to $40,000 per patrol by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The increase had changed a month earlier.
Judge Lester Fant ruled in favor of the City of Water Valley in a lawsuit filed in Chancery Court seeking to expand the city limits. The enlargement took in the area bounded on the south and southwest by Johnson Creek; to the east by the Illinois Central railroad north to the present city limits thence east to about the Myrick place and north to the Lafayette County line. From that point, the new boundary line would extend westward south of Camp Ground Church and to a point near the Yocona Reservoir boundary and from southward to Johnson Creek.
Jerry Hill drove his “improved” 1926 T-model Ford in the Christmas parade. He said it was improved because T’s only came in black and his is bright yellow. Ronnie Hill drove his 1928 “A” model.
• 50 Years Ago, Dec. 24, 1964 – Make it a new Ford for Christmas, advertised Hendricks Machine Shop. The specials included a 1965 Mustang hardtop starting at $2395 and a Ford Galaxie 500 starting at $2685.
The Junior Auxiliary helped 78 children in the Water Valley area have a merrier Christmas with gifts and clothes. The total budget for the project was $390.
• 60 Years Ago, Dec. 22, 1954 – Another round of Santa letters were published in the Christmas edition in 1954. The entire paper was printed in blue ink. The letter writers included:
Rod Childress – I do not want to be selfish but my little sister and I want anything you want to bring us. I hope it won’t be long before I hear the reindeers’ hoofs hitting the roof.
Yvonne Shields – Please bring me a white Bible, a black-board, anything else you want to bring me. I have two little brothers, don’t forget them. I am a little girl in the third grade.
Jimmy Miles – I have been a good boy and made good grades at school I want a football suit, lots of fire works and fruits, nuts and candy. Santa, don’t forget my teacher, Mrs. Bounds, bring her something nice.
Wayland Hill – I have been as good a boy as you would want a five year old boy to be. Please bring me a B.B. gun, a truck and two gun holster set.
Debbie Hill – I am a little girl two years old and sick. Santa I have been a real good little girl. Please bring me a baby doll, a rocky horse, a set of dishes and a gun, some fruit and nuts and candy.
Brenda Kay Miles – I have been a very good little girl. I am five years old and I want you to bring me a doll, bike, some clothes for my doll, fruits, nuts, candy and some fireworks. Don’t forget my brother, Jim. – 204 Clay Street.
Peggy Hart and Jim Bell, both seniors were selected by student vote in a recent contest as “Miss and Mr. Water Valley High School.” The pair were pictured on the front page at the City Auditorium. They were also honored at a dance by the Yellow Jacket staff. Class favorites selected were: senior, Peggy Hart and Jim Bell; junior, Patsy Gray and Tommy Howard; sophomore, Julia Fite and Jimmy McDonald; and freshman, Sara Nell Trusty and David Green.
• 70 Years Ago, Dec. 21, 1944 – As the nation was in the grips of World War II, Patsy Ruth Vaughn of North Main Street didn’t want to forget her brothers who were in harm’s way in her letter to Santa.
“I am a little girl who will be seven years old December 22. Please bring me a set of China dishes, black board and a big doll. Don’t forget my big brother in the Coast Guard and my “little” brother in the Tank Destroyer.
Marvin Rogers, son of Mr. and Mrs. I.S. Rogers was back in the states after about 40 raids on the enemy in the European Theater.
The Grand Theater had an advertising promotion sure to attract the youngsters. The theater was giving away a pony on Saturday night, Dec. 23.