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Last Few Years Claim Many Old Friends

By Charles Cooper

Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week.  I just received word of the death of Bill Lee in California.  While Bill was a grade behind me, we were friends. His wife, the former Mary Lee Edwards, and I had several classes together.  Mary Lee’s dad, Lee Edwards, was a conductor on the railroad and they lived next door to where the Church Of Christ is now.           

Bill’s older brother, Jim, preceded him in death several years ago.  Their mother, Mildred Lee, and my mother were friends and worked together in Grenada on defense jobs and even shared a car pool together.      

After the war Mrs. Lee worked as bookkeeper for Blu-Buck for years.  They were all fine people and Mary Lee has been a contributor to this column over the years.  My condolences to Mary Lee and her children.  Another death was the former Macie Long.  She and her brother, Hubert, were in different grades from me but were friends. My condolences to her family. Although I  had only met Ernestine Aune once, Ernie and I went through high school and graduated together. We have remained friends over the years and I regret that I had to go out of town and was unable to attend her services. Ernie and his family are in our prayers and Lupe and I extend our condolences. 

In the last few years so many of my old friends have died – John Ashford, Wade Doolin, Charles Simpson, Maxine Baird and Ludie Appleton – which is how it goes when we reach a certain age. At times I have been asked, “Cooper, how can you be optimistic when everything seems to be falling apart?” 

I’m going to give you a personal experience to show you what I mean.  Last Wednesday I was coming back from Memphis in a blinding snow storm  and after having no trouble until I got on 315 where I hit a patch of black ice and went down an embankment, luckily not turning over and getting no injuries. 

While waiting for the wrecker a pickup stopped and a man and his teenage son come down to the car to see if I was injured.  When  I said I wasn’t they helped me out of the car and insisted I sit in their truck until the wrecker came. They were Mr. and Mrs. Douglas who live in the Mt. Olivet community. Before they left it seemed as if we had known each other for years.  Mississippi Highway Patrol Master Sergeant Shane Phelps of Troop E had me sit up front with him, explaining the back seat was for arrestees.  He was a perfect gentleman and a credit to his department. 

So friends when you think it’s hopeless, remember there are more good people out there than bad, they just don’t get talked about because the media knows bad news sells better.  My email address is or write me c/o The Herald and have a great week.


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