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Betty’s Week

It was very apparent that school had begun for the 2018-19 session early Wednesday morning on the bypass. There was more traffic than I see on I-55. Traveling from Highway 32 to 315, it was almost bumper to bumper in all four lanes. 

During my school days, we only had to deal with buses and the few cars driven by teachers, now we have buses, teachers and lots of students who have their own transportation. All that, added to the folks who start work early in the day and the highways do get congested. I’m just glad that on my other work days I go in much later.

Got to talk to lots of folks Wednesday morning and the main topic of conversation was still the excellent 2018 Watermelon Carnival. The consensus of all was that it was the best in modern history—don’t know if anyone is still alive who remembers the carnivals of the 1930s. I’ve heard my Mom, Dad and Granddad’s descriptions of these and they seemed to remember something we can not even imagine, with big name bands, magnificent floats, balls, and so much more, all packed into one day and night. 

I have seen some of the early programs and the pictures are almost unbelievable. However, the recent carnivals have added things they did not have in the early ones and the crowds seem to be growing each year, so who knows what we’ll see in years to come. Thanks to all who had a part in the planning and producing this great event.

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Now it’s on to football. Our double booster page has been okayed and I think we still have one open space, so if you want it call us. Melody has been getting it ready to go to press and what I’ve seen looks great—it will be in color this year. Everyone I’ve talked to is excited about the prospects of a winning year by Coach Brad Embry, his assistant coaches and especially the team. These young men have been practicing in this heat for some time now—I see them out there when I go home—and I know they’ll be ready. 

Just wish I could attend the games, but Mom has to have a sitter on Friday nights. My thoughts and prayers are with you, though. Spent 47 years in those stands or at the grill and loved every minute of it—even though I rarely knew who had the ball. 

Beginning in the eighth grade our football coach let me sit in on “skull practice” and I watched very carefully—thought for sure I knew what was going to happen. Then I’d get to the game and I was lost as a goose on every play. 

Then when I got to the Valley, Ed was on the sidelines with the camera, but I usually had some knowledgeable spectator sitting next to me who would try to keep me informed as to what was going on—they had a big job and I’m sure they didn’t get to enjoy the game very much. Still can not follow the game even with five or six years at Crowder High, 47 at WVHS, and then four at Delta State. With all that I really should be an expert, maybe even a coach—but I completely failed. 

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Thanks to all of you who expressed concern about Mom’s problems weekend before last. I’m glad to report that this past weekend was much better. She  was alert both days, ate well, and we even talked some each day. She also slept most of the nights. All vitals are fine, so that’s as good as it gets for a 104-year-old. She passed that mark last Wednesday. We had no formal celebration, but  most of the family  came by to see her. I didn’t go because we had a busy day, and I knew I’d be there all day Thursday, Thursday night, and Friday. 

Bro. Terry did  not get to come, as he had been in the hospital for a few days, actually in ICU. Received news that he was out, and  in a room at the end of the week. Unfortunately his improvement did not last long and we lost  him Sunday night. 

Terry had suffered with COPD for a number of years and we all know that he’s in a better place and has joined wife, Janell, which I know he was looking forward to. Know daughters, Nita and Lisa Gail, along with their spouses, and his grands, Paige, Spencer and Seth, are going to miss him so much, as are siblings, Bo, Rance, Jimmie, Don, and me; a number of Kilgore nieces and nephews, and then Nell’s family, the Pearsons; a sister-in-law, Jane Waits; and several nieces and nephews. Terry was a trucker, so a few of the older truck drivers here knew him.

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I keep hearing snake stories. A lady in Larson’s told me about a timber rattler her husband killed in their yard. Said it was as big as her arm and pretty long. After he had destroyed it, she said I told him that he should have made a picture so it could have been put in the Herald. We would have but I’d have had to close my eyes when I went past that page. 

Several others have told me of killing copperheads and we’ve had several of those on my hill. Also, it seems there are lots of moccasins around. Don’t want to tangle with any of these—don’t even want to see racers, chicken snakes, or even king snakes (which everyone tries to convince me are good shakes). Let’s all be careful, always looking where we’re putting our feet.

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  Sunday we had two excellent services, with Rev. Johnny Flynt as our speaker. Rev. Flynt was a coach for Ole Miss for many  years, was on the staff of North Oxford Baptist Church for years, pastored other churches, did mission work, and more—I wondered how he’d packed all this into his life, since he’s only 70 years old. 

At present he’s a staff member of Families First For Mississippi, a program I’m not familiar with, but it sounds like it is filling a very important area in the lives of many families—impacting the whole family.  Rev. Flynt says the main goal of this program is to impact the entire family by offering direct services and connecting the dots between all of the Mississippi family programs. All programs are entirely free. 

They include: Parenting Skills Development; Positive Youth Development; Teen Pregnancy; Increased Graduation Rates; Family  Financial Stability; Promote literacy; Job Readiness; and Positive Father Involvement. Families First partners with community colleges, non-profits, churches, other leaderships in the community, higher education, state agencies, schools, and businesses. If you are interested in any of theses areas of family life you are invited to contact Families First For Mississippi Center in Lafayette County at Oxford, (662) 638-6999. Rev. Flynt’s area is Positive Father Involvement.

His morning sermon Sunday was the roles in a family—father as the head, mother as the heart, and children as the hope. He used GREAT as his base for the night service. First put God first; then live a real life, evolve into what God intends you to be, keep a right attitude, and lastly be thankful for all God has done for us. I remember the last illustration. A man was swimming and got out so far that he was too tired trying to get back to the bank, He yelled and finally a  man in a boat heard him, picked him up and took  him to shore. 

The man was so grateful for  having his life saved that he took two $100 bills out his wallet and tried to  pay the man, but the man declined the money. The survivor admitted that there was  no way that he would repay for his life, so he asked what he could do for his being saved. The answer was, “Go and live the life God has spared you to live.”  Wish I had a copy of both these messages—they’re ones we all need to hear.

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Guess the next special event or holiday we have to look forward to is Labor Day and it will be here before we can turn around. Our family used to have a Labor Day picnic late in the afternoon (after finishing the day’s work), but guess even that’s out of the question for this year. 

Hope everyone has a great week and get to the football game if possible.

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