Skip to content

Betty’s Week

The talk of the town this past week is Terry Warren’s threat to tear down two Water Valley landmark buildings that  he has so beautifully restored. They are definitely the outstanding restorations on Main Street. 

I’ve known Terry since he was a youngster, his mother and his father, sister Sherry, many of his Warren uncles, aunts and cousins. 

Was so sorry to learn of your father’s, Gene, death last week. Gene for many, many years kept all my aged appliances repaired. Last time we took our washing machine out for repair, Gene  says, “Now Betty, I know you love this thing, but this will have to be last repair—I can no  longer find parts for  it. Buy a new one.” 

And I did. He was a good repair man and a good friend. 

I’m sure Terry will reconsider his plan of doing something I don’t think his father  would have wanted — Gene liked to keep things repaired and serviceable whenever possible. Destroying these building would destroy not only your legacy to the Vally, but also the Wagner Building history. Friend Betty urges you to reconsider.


Received notes from three of my favorite subscribers last week.

First is from Ralph Mitchell, whose parents are the late “Freck” Mitchell, long time City Marshall, and Ann, whom most of us remember as being a wonderful lady and an outstanding alto in First Baptist Senior Choir. He is also a brother of Geri Mitchell Cardwell. Ralph and I first met in Miss Zula Glenn’s trig class at Northwest Mississippi Junior College way back  in 1956. 

He and another Vallian, Golie Mize, welcomed me to class each day with, “Miss Kilgore is  here, we can start the class now.”  

I was always late—just couldn’t run fast enough to get from the science building to the upstairs room where trig was taught. Never dreamed then that I’d spend my life in the town where these two clowns grew up, but it has been a delightful friendship.

Ralph writes:

“I’m praying that you don’t have anymore heart problems. I know that was scary.

“We had a good year, health wise, until my wife got shingles. She has really been sick.

“I am the most blessed man in the world. My first wife, Rose, and I were married 52 years and she was one of the best that God has made. Then God gave me another Virginia, who lives as close to the Lord as anyone I know. She is from Bruce, originally and her maiden name is Virginia Long.

“I always enjoy reading the Herald and am proud of the good things going on there. I’m well acquainted with most of the people mentioned in the 60-70 years ago.”

Next note came from long-time subscriber Charles Liles of Olive Branch, who often sends me a joke. It’s always good to hear from him.

Charles writes:

“Dear Betty,

“Since you liked the good clean joke so much last year, I decided to send you another one this year—hope  you enjoy this one equally as much.

“BAD DRIVER: Did you hear about the cheerful truck driver who pulled up at a roadside cafe in the middle of the night for a dinner stop? Halfway through his dinner, three wild-looking motorcyclists roared up—bearded, leather-jacketed, filthy—with swastikas adoring their chests and helmets.

“For no reason at all, they selected the truck driver as a target. One poured pepper over his head, another stole his apple pie, the third deliberately upset his cup of coffee. The truck driver never said one word—just arose, paid his check, and exited.

“That truck driver sure ain’t much of a fighter, sneered one of the invaders. The girl behind the counter, peering out into the night, added, ‘He doesn’t seem to be much of a driver either. He just ran his truck right over three motorcycles’.”

Thanks for the laughter you’ve provided for my day, Charles. It was especially delightful since all four of my brothers have been truck drivers at one time in their careers and my oldest brother, who drove a truck his entire lifetime, just died a couple of months ago. He would  have loved this story.

Last note is from Debra Bratton Vanbevers, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Gene Gale Bratton, who lives in Celina, Texas. She writes: 

“Merry Christmas to all at the Herald and in the Valley. My heart resides in Texas, but it will always belong to Water Valley.” It’s always great to hear from you, Debra. I miss all the Bratton family.


My week was very boring. End of the year brings on a pile of  paper work. On Thursday I completed the monthly state and federal tax reports, quarterly state unemployment and federal taxes, the yearly federal unemployment report, and W-2s. Now that’s a lot of figures and we’re a very small business—glad we only have three employees.

Friday it was off to the nursing home in Batesville to sit with Mom. Left in bright sunshine, but before I got to the Eureka Community the clouds had rolled in. They remained all day and by the time Jimmie arrived to relieve me, the rain had begun. Going over that morning I had only one near miss and it was with a very large dog. Did see lots of road kill that previous drivers had hit. 

One was a skunk—had not seen one of these in a long time. They are so pretty, but they do smell and I’m glad it was well off the highway so I did not have to cross it.

Mom had a good day on Friday, ate well and was for the most part very agreeable. Unfortunately the shower heat was not turned on before they took her for her shower, so she complained loudly about this—I would have also. After work, Jimmie came to relieve me so I could get home as early as  possible. 

With the drizzle, heavy traffic, and deer spottings have been plentiful over the past few weeks, she and Bo try to get me on the road and home as early as possible. News from  Pope and Courtland was that everyone seemed to be fine, Caroline’s birthday party, held at the Cole Farm Events Building, was great fun (sorry I had to miss it) and she said they all missed me. 

My report for her was about the same—I am fine, last time I heard from Celeste and Jim they were getting back into school and everything was going great, and Mel, David and the office were doing good. Can’t get any better than that.


Unfortunately, this Monday did not begin as well. David and I are still well, but Mel is out today sick. Hopefully, it is not too serious.

Robert Montgomery came by to bring an order for a new subscription for Agnes’ brother in Charleston. We visited for a while and then he went home for lunch. Agnes, who is such a wonderful cook and so generous with her food, sent him back with a chicken salad plate for my lunch. They know that when Mel is out I often just don’t eat—no fun to eat out alone. Chicken salad was delicious and I sure did enjoy it. Work goes much better with a full tummy. Thanks, so much to Agnes for cooking and Robert for being the delivery man—they are great friends.


Woodland Hill news is that we got back to a regular schedule, with the crowd at Wednesday night’s prayer meeting way down. Then on Sunday, we enjoyed two very inspiring and educational messages from Terry Champion. Terry always emphasizes that God did not call him to be a preacher, but He sure does give him some very encouraging and insightful messages to deliver. It’s always great to have his wife, Connie, visit with us when her schedule permits. Sometimes, she’ll even bring us beautiful special music.


Folks coming in are advising that we have cold weather coming in this weekend. When I mentioned this, David says, “Well we got down to four degrees at this time last year.” 

I don’t remember that. I hope the cold does not last long and certainly hope we don’t get snow or freezing rain with it. Hope everyone has a good week.

Leave a Comment