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Betty’s Week

Even though the papers were heavy last week (contained the Watermelon Section) deliver went smoothly. Traffic was surprising light. Guess everyone was sleeping in before school was to begin this week or resting up for the big Watermelon Carnival Weekend.

We had a few visitors on Wednesday at the office, but not as many as we used to have in the days leading up to the carnival. My first friends in for carnival weekend were usually the late D. C. Morgan and Bobby Mathis from Schertz, Texas—both native Vallians and I think they stopped to see us even before they went to visit with family. Many more came by on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Loved seeing them all—they seemed like family.

I was with Mom at the nursing home in Batesville Thursday and Friday, so I didn’t get to see the office visitors. However at the Music Festival Thursday I did see many former Vallian back home visiting. Was good to visit with Brenda (one of the Morris girls) and James Smith. Zandra  Walker was in the office Monday and I told her I had seen Brenda and she now looked like the youngest of the sisters, even though none of them look anywhere near their age—all are still beautiful. At most of the early talent programs in the Valley (both church and civic) Betty (Hart), Peggy (Taylor), and Brenda (Smith) sang—all had beautiful voices. Brenda told  me Thursday night that she really couldn’t sing that Betty just taught her the alto part. Well, you could have fooled me. 

The Music Festival was wonderful. Do believe that it was one of the best and  all of them have been excellent. In addition to the very professional musicians, we enjoyed the entertainment of some very good comedians. Master of Ceremonies Eric Fearing, Minister of Music at First Baptist, could be a stand up comedian and then he enrolled the help of Dr. G. and I really believe it was contagious because before the night was over everyone on stage joined in the comedy. 

The Community Band presented a wonderful program of music, with Butch Stevens as conductor. I was so glad when Butch stepped up to keep this group going  after the death of Stanley Crow. He is doing an outstanding job and the band seems to be growing. The Sharecroppers, the house band, as always were very entertaining. All soloists were great. Especially enjoyed Ben Eakes, who sang Elvis tunes, and I do believe he has a better voice than Elvis—just hasn’t had the exposure. Ben began his performance by stating that he had been on stage some 23 years ago and thought he gave an excellent performance, but  he decided it wasn’t  since it has taken him this long to get invited back. Don’t think that it will be 23 years before you get to come back—if it is I’ll complain because I want to hear more from you. Know parents, Linda and Fred, are proud of this young man.

Through the years we’ve had so many youngsters perform at Music Fest, and the many other talent shows in the Valley. This year we had Dalton Burney, who started young but is  now quite the young gentleman, singing with The Sharecroppers. He’s destined to be a fine musician.

Enjoyed Tommy Latham’s monologue on Casey Jones, then his rendition of “The Ballad of Casey Jones.” This brought memories of my own child, who never sang on the Festival stage as a child—he had to wait until he was grown to get to be on the Music Fest Program. In the early years, though, Jim aspired to be a railroad engineer, before his love of music won. 

During his five year-old graduation  from Lilly Loyce Horan’s kindergarten class, Jim sang the song about the wreck that killed Casey. He wore the outfit, mostly gleaned from Pegram Store’s upstairs stash of vintage clothing and other items—know Mr. Pegram found the cap,. overalls and bandana. Jim did look cute and he sang better than expected. 

Back to Watermelon Carnival. Came into the Valley about a quarter of nine Friday night—just in time for the fireworks. Had to drop items at Woodland Hills, so just continued down North Main. About three blocks from the  north end of the park, I encountered vehicles parked on both sides of the street—now that does not give you much room to meet someone going in the opposite direction, and the traffic was bumper to bumper. 

This continued until I got to the turn in at our parking lot at the newspaper office. Took a while and was a pretty nerve-wracking driving experience. Just knew I’d never be able to turn in, but some benevolent soul stopped and let me turn. Found a parking spot facing north at the end of our lot. A couple of years ago I had parked there and found it was a great spot to watch the fireworks and also found Scoot Taylor, his wife and a couple of granddaughters there—we had a great time. 

I had to miss last year, just couldn’t find a sitter to take my place watching mom. This year I warned everyone that I was going to see the fireworks and so I just left Mom and came—she was fine. Found Scoot, his daughter, and little grands there to watch with me. They are two of the cutest children I’ve seen. Got a concert before the fireworks show—as a duet, they sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” and the ABC Song, complete with the movements.  They have excellent voices and are good little actresses. Then when the fireworks started they were wonderful fireworks cheerleaders. I love fireworks, but they are so much better when you get to enjoy them with children. 

Thanks to Scoot, their mother, and these little dolls for sharing the night with me. Grandmother stayed in the car with the newest baby—who will probably be out cheering next year. They do grow up so fast. Seems like Scoot should not be much older than these little girls and I know he’s only two years younger than Jim.

After the fireworks, I had planned to go to the park and visit with the Davis/Perkins clan, but was just to tired to walk that far and I knew that I would not find a parking spot any closer.

On Saturday morning Jimmie, Bill and youngest granddaughter, Caroline, came over and we went to the park. Had planned to ride the trolley but Bill found us a parking spot not far from the park. We viewed most of the vendors, Jimmie bought a beautiful metal Christmas tree and plant stand. Caroline played in the bouncy houses and also on the bouncer with the harness. 

Jimmie and I enjoyed visiting with the staff of the Oxford Cancer Clinic. Water Vallian Sheila Hawkins was manning the booth when we arrived—gave us some water and sunscreen. Sheila told me that she knew brother Rance, who is one of her patients—I didn’t even know this. Then Jimmie reminded her that she had helped them get Bill’s chemo on track eight years ago. 

Enjoyed visiting with Sheila and learning that we have such a good cancer facility at our doorsteps. Then another Water Valley nurse, also an employee of the Cancer Center, Jodie Grass Leonard, came up and we visited. Jodie is the daughter of Charlotte Brower Grass and the late Jack Grass.

Was great to see the other Betty Jane Kilgore (Mrs. Larry)—I am Betty Jane Kilgore, with the added Shearer. Spoke to long-time Main St. neighbor, the late Ed Latham’s oldest son, Don, whom I had not seen in years. Visited with Lucille Hardy, for a minute and with David’s Dad, John Howell, and so many others. Was only in the park about an hour and a half, but it was so much fun. 

I was riding with Jimmie and Bill and Bill had to go help move some heavy equipment. When I got back to the house I intended to go back to the park but was just to sleep-deprived to drive back to town—sacked out on the couch and slept the rest of the afternoon. That is something I usually don’t do—rarely every go to sleep in daylight. 

Missed Odie’s car show and I do like old cars, and didn’t get to the run/walk or the pancake breakfast. From all reports though, every event of the carnival was exceptional this year.


 Now it’s football time. We’re beginning to get the football booster page ready, so if you would like a spot in this  section, call us—I think we have a few open. Cost is only $15 per week, for the run of the season, billed over a three month period. Very reasonable pricing for the exposure your business will get.

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