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Betty’s Week

My last week’s column was, of course, written on Monday, prior to our ice, sleet and snow. I was stranded on the hill Tuesday, and David came in his four-wheel drive pick-up to get me to work on Wednesday. He completed the pages and I read the proofs and then they were sent to the printer. Unfortunately they did not get printed until Wednesday, thus our delivery on Thursday. We were given permission to mail the Herald on Wednesdays many years ago (long before Ed died) but to keep our Thursday publication date, therefore we violated no postal regulation.


Reading other area papers, I found many personal columns remembering prior snows in their towns and lives. Reading these brought back a vivid memory of one of Water Valley’s largest snowfalls, which fell during the Christmas Season in 1963. I remember it well since Jim was born a  little  over three months later. Report was that the snowfall was about 16 inches. We were lucky, since we owned one of three vehicles that could travel at that time. 

We had an almost new Corvair, Dalton Hyde had a VW and here was one other VW in town and I can’t remember who owned it. These three vehicles, along with a few brave souls who drove conventional cars and trucks, did taxi duty for several days. 


On the Sunday morning when the snow began falling the Camp Ground and North Main Methodist Choirs were to present a joint Christmas Cantata. Some of the choir members had gotten to North Main and Ed gathered up the rest. We sang beautifully, even with a small audience and the snow storm raging outside. We were to sing at Camp Ground that night, but this was rescheduled for a time when the snow had disappeared. 

Got everyone home and then we took off for Eupora to make pictures at a cousin’s wedding on Mom’s side of the family. Dad and Mom had gone to Houston the night before to make pictures at a cousin’s wedding on the Shearer side of the family. We made it there and back with no problem—that little Corvair handled very well in snow and got about two-thirds up our hill before it rolled up on a snowfall that took it’s wheels off the ground. This went on for several days, but once we let it roll back to where the wheels hit the driveway it went  anywhere we needed to go—never missed a day of work.


After we got the paper out, there was still plenty of snow for having fun. We had a  make-shift sled and even though I was six month pregnant, I went down our hill (many times). When my mother-in-law found out about it I got one more schooling. Worse talking-to I ever got from Miss Dolly. Thankfully Jim was not harmed and neither was I. I think everyone in the Valley had a great time during this snow week.



More wonderful  memories came when I received a note from Ralph Mitchell, along with his subscription renewal. It’s always great to catch up with what’s going on in Ralph’s life and I’ll share it with you at the end of my rambling. First met Ralph (brother of Geri Cardwell for you new comers), along with another Vallian, the late Golie Mize (brother of Mary Lou Jones) when we were students in Miss Zula Glenn’s Trig class at Northwest Mississippi Junior College. We were all freshmen, but they were a few years older than me  because they had been in military service (Air Force I think). My class just before Trig, was in the science building, which was the last building on the south end of the campus. Trig class was in the Administration Building, one building from the north end of the campus. Both were upstairs and that put them just about as far from each other as classes could be and we had only three minutes to change class. I was a pretty good runner, having chased cows, pigs, and chickens on the farm all of my life. 

But there was no way to get to trig class on time and each day I was greeted by Ralph and Golie with “Welcome Miss Kilgore” and from Miss Glenn with, “Miss Kilgore has arrived, we can now begin class.” I really enjoyed that class and my friendship through the years with Ralph and Golie and Miss Glenn. 


After hearing from Ralph, I began thinking about all the other great friendships begun at NWJC. First was with Dale Shaw, a sophomore. My best friend, Joetta Pund, also from Crowder, and I were assigned Dale as our counselor, helping to get us through registration. With about 350 students, registration was very different from what it is today. We had one day and thankfully sophomores to  help us through the process. Dale was so wonderful and we were friends from that day on, never thinking that in only a few years I’d be living in his town and then he’d be my Tax Assessor for many years. Others I have enjoyed a friendship with for many years are  Earl Babb, the late Catherine Ann Surrette, Laura Jo Burns and Jack Lowry, Glynn Gabbert, the late Billy Jack Hill, Jonelle Robinson, Betsy Brower,  Camille Webb, Gaylon Booker –  I’m sure there are some I’m missing. For a couple of years at NWJC we were one big happy family. It was not until my sophomore year that I met Ed, sister-in-law, Faye Poindexter, brother-in-law, Paul Shearer, Betty Ann  Hill, and many others.


Ralph wrote: “The Valley is not the Valley that I grew up in. There are lots of changes and I don’t think for the better, never the less, there are still lots of good people there. I had a knee replacement in June, and some back problems in October. It’s been a tough six months, but God is good and I praise His name. I enjoy reading the paper and hope all is well with you. Just a note about my son, Jamie. After 25 very successful years of coaching football in Mississippi, he retired three years ago and now is coaching at North Little Rock High in Arkansas. In the past 26 games he is 25 and 1. Lost in state finals last year to Fayetteville. His team is undefeated this year. His brother, David, has been pastor of Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Cabot for about eight years. God  has really blessed. I was in Memorial Stadium in Little Rock and saw Jamie’s team  claim the championship. I also have a dedicated Christian wife and she is also beautiful. GOD IS GOOD!”


Ralph it is always so good to hear from  you and to learn about your wonderful family. Know all your family here and other friends in the Valley will enjoy hearing from you.


We didn’t get back on routine last week until Thursday. I checked the driveway shortly after eight and decided that I could make it down and did with no problem. Also got to work safely on Friday. Finished the quarterly and year-end reports for 2017 and then went home to catch up on some housecleaning. 

Knowing the Eureka Road retains icy spots longer than most roads, I decided not to go to Batesville. Checked with the family and the report was that Mom was doing fine. Thanks to all of you who keep her on your prayer list and ask about  her each week.


I along with most (even the snow lovers) are stating that they think we’ve had our quota for the year. Sure hope we have an early spring.

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