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Betty’s Week

As David and I were finishing the paper late Tuesday afternoon James Ledford, who did the remodeling of our building, stopped by for a short visit. He had his two precious little boys with him, one is in kindergarten and the other is pre-K. They found David’s snake that looks so real, just like its slithering across the floor. 

Although I know that sneaky snake is lurking in his office, it often startles me and I let out a scream. My boss thinks this is funny. Well the boys picked the plastic reptile up and began chasing me with it. They had a ball and I got some good exercise. After a while they tired of this game so I found my old stapler, tape dispenser, some paper, pens, and markers. 

They learned to be excellent staplers, didn’t fare as well with the tape, though. That dispenser has been dropped so many times that it barely works for me—it is literally duct tapped together. They did manage to get some important notes taped to my counter, which had been carefully written and stapled together. When time came to  leave, the little one commented that he had used almost all my tape up, but it was fun.  

Well I knew they had done something with the snake. Since I come to work early Wednesday morning, by myself, I decided to find it before going home. Didn’t want to have a heart attack with no one there to call 911. They had done a good job of hiding it, placing it way back on the top tray of my note trays—exactly where my hand would have reached—now these two are smart. If they’d had a key to the building they’d probably have gotten up early to come to the office to see me find their hidden surprise. Don’t know when I’ve had so much fun playing with children—hope the boys will visit again.

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  Each Wednesday morning I deliver papers to Yalobusha General Hospital for the patients. In order for me not to have to knock on the door and someone let me in, they had given me the door code. Wednesday morning I tried a couple of times and the door did not open. I also know the code to the NH in Batesville, so thought, “Have I mixed them up?” About that time my dear young friend, Lloyd Lee Caulfield, came  down the hall, grinned, and let me in. I wanted to know why I couldn’t get in and he laughing, says, “We occasionally change the code to keep folks like you out!”  He is a dear friend and looks so young. 

Just the other day we were discussing his youthful appearance and he says, “Yes, and some times it’s not a blessing. Some of my patients look at me and think I’m just a kid and they don’t want me to stick them with that needle.” I couldn’t believe it when he says, “Betty, I’m almost forty.” 

I really am getting old. He gave me the new code, so guess he cleared me for entrance.

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  I was all by myself Thursday and shortly before noon Greg Segroves, manager of Downtown Pizza,  came in with a peach smoothie. It was delicious, extra good, because I’d been starving all morning. I think when everyone tastes that treat, Hometown Pizza won’t be able to make enough to keep us all satisfied. Peach is my favorite flavor and that was just unreal delicious. 

Thanks, Greg. 

Mel and David missed the treat. Mel is still home recuperating from her surgery last Monday and David was on a four-day trip to  Parchman with Kairos Prison Ministry. I kept the office both Thursday and Friday and I was able to handle most of the business and even a couple of problems. Didn’t get bored—had several visitors, lots of phone calls, and plenty of work to keep me busy.

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  Closed the office at five Thursday afternoon, and made excellent time going to Batesville. Got there shortly after 5:30, because the van was all packed, gassed and ready to go—didn’t even stop by the house. Mom was asleep. My sitter and the CNAs said she had slept all day. When they put her in her chair, she’d just go to sleep and fall over, so they’d put back into bed. She did not wake up at all Thursday night, but seemed to be fine, just sleeping soundly. On Friday morning she woke up earlier than usual, and asked if it was time to get up and eat. She seemed fine so I came on to work, leaving her with our sitter, Ruby Milam, who knows to call Jimmie, Bo, or me if we are needed. Mom made it fine.

  It’s not good to travel east in the early morning hours, though. The sun is blinding and I’m sure I met more than a 100 cars going west—lucky them. I had put on my sun glasses, had the visor down, and it was still hard to see the road. Was lucky though, the only east bound traffic was a school bus in front of me, that went on across Pope/Water Valley Road to the Cliff Finch Road, and a pickup that was in a hurry. It came up behind me on Eureka, just as I got to the Pope/WV Road, and immediately passed me. Even when I got to Highway 315 traffic was light. 

  I usually travel west about 3 p.m on Thursday, but this week on both Thursday and Friday afternoon I left the Valley at 5 and the sun going west at that time is very different. Not quiet as bad as the  morning sun, but you still need sun shades and the visor.  I don’t like driving at night but  have decided I’d rather make these trips in the dark.

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  After completing all my typesetting Friday morning, I had a half day with no chores. Decided to make little ghost as treats for the children at our Woodland Hills’ Trunk or Treat Sunday night. Had been trying to think of something that would be fun for the kids—not just the usual candy and other treats. The late Sara Ruth Hayles made these for many years, during Jim’s childhood. He thought they were just the greatest and would put her house at the top of his list to trick or treat—didn’t want to be late because he was afraid she’d run out. 

Hers looked better than mine but I hope the kids enjoy them. She used Tootsie Pops, which were smaller than the Tootsie Roll Pops of today. She also used Kleenex for the ghost and I used small napkins. Don’t know what she used to draw in the eyes, but I used a Magic Marker. Stuck them on a piece of recycled styrofoam and they look right pretty. Sara Ruth must have worked for weeks on hers because she made hundreds. I only made about three dozen and it took me all afternoon. 

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  Linda White and Charmie Weeks wanted to do the drawing for the first Chamber Spotlight award give-away. Told them I was the only staff member present, but we made the decision to do it anyway. I drew and the winner was a friend, David Harris. I’m sure every name in the box was a good friend, though. Linda presented the prize from the Chamber, a subscription to the Herald, and I congratulated Harris on the win. Charmie was the photographer.

  I had a perfectly good camera on the back counter, just waiting for me to get a prize winning photo and nothing happened but this and it’s hard to be in the picture and also be the photographer. For many years I made many of the pictures that went into the paper, but for the last almost 14 years I’ve forgotten how to use  a camera. We have too many good photographers around these days.

  During the year before our marriage Ed gave me photography lessons. I had to learn to use a 4×5 Speed Graphic, which weighed a ton, and a 35mm camera. Each week I had assignments, had to turn in my film, and then go to the darkroom and help develop and print the pictures. Brothers and sister were glad when my schooling came to an end. I’d take them out on horrible days, weather wise—cold, wet, snowy. Did finally get to some beautiful spring days, when they didn’t mind posing. You get your best pictures though under bad conditions, I think.  Also all our pets were probably glad when this degree was completed. I got pretty good with the cameras and when we married was immediately put to work, especially if Daddy or Ed were otherwise occupied.

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  Was talking to  long-time friend, Linda Maynor, this morning (Monday). Her 50th class reunion is coming up, which brought back a lot of memories. Some things we can not remember and she and I both wish we had Ludie, Ed and Bobby Surratt around to answer questions. She also is missing her Mom and Dad, the late Billie and J. C. Winters. All these folks were so knowledgeable about the Valley’s history and we just thought they’d live forever and did not write down all this info we now need.

  One answer I’m chasing at the moment is when the Episcopal Church, built after the tornado demolished the original building, was dedicated. Have found the framework of the church at its beginning, and it was reported that the building should be competed mid-summer (I assumed in ’85). I have now gone through the rest of our 1985, all of ’86 and am into ’87 files, and still have not found the completed building. If you know when this happened give us a call.

  Main Street Manager Mickey Howley came by while I was searching and I showed  him the framework. He says, “I don’t think that would have been completed by summer.” 

We did go though the file again, though, and still did not find a dedication. He enjoyed the history in the file and I got to show him a picture of Jim and his first bride, along with a couple more pictures with Jim in them—one of which also had our former high school principle, Glenn Kitchens, in it. It was publicity for an upcoming production of the Delta State Theatrical Department and in the picture was Glen, Jim and Jim’s fiancee, Melanie Griffin. Glenn, today, looks almost the same, but Jim is about 75 pounds heavier and has lost some hair.

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  The Blue Devils ended the 2016 regular season with a loss to M.S. Palmer. Even though they had a tough season, I know the lessons they learned on the field this year will impact them for a lifetime.

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