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Hill Country Living

By Coulter Fussell

Good morning, from Chicago! I’m up here a few days for work and there is a meeting at 7 a.m. that I didn’t know about until about 12 hours ago. My peak column-writing time is 7 a.m. on Tuesday so here I am sitting in my hotel room at 5:30 a.m. thinking back on my week. Don’t people know that turning in a column for the North Mississippi Herald takes precedent over anything else and they can’t just be planning 7 a.m. meetings on Column Day all willy-nilly?

I haven’t been to Chicago since I was a senior in high school back in the last century and I forgot how windy it is. I shouldn’t have forgotten considering Chicago is called The Windy City but I definitely now remember. In the first hour I was here I had to walk up to the neighborhood Walgreens twice for wind-related problems. 

Once for extra strength chapstick and then again later for a better hairbrush. I also got a tray of to-go sushi and a bottle of wine which, yes, it’s super sketchy to buy sushi from a Walgreens but I was starving and felt like,”Hey, if I get food poisoning then I’m at least in a pharmacy.” 

I hope Turnage’s one day sells to-go sushi and wine like Walgreens. Other than that, Turnage’s is, as we all know, clearly the better pharmacy. Walgreens does NOT sell ice cream cones.

Speaking of ice cream cones from Turnage’s consumers, CONGRAT-ULATIONS to the kids of Water Valley on y’all’s new schools! Those of us who voted for you all to receive new buildings (and that’s 93% of us who voted) are thrilled to have done this for you and your teachers. We hope you feel loved, appreciated, valued and, above all, respected.

Going to a functioning school matters. Part of function is form. In fact, one could (and should) argue that the two cannot exist meaningfully if they exist separately. Walking into a building that looks and feels good every day is as important to kids’ and teachers’ psyche as walking into a building that can provide hot water in the bathroom or air conditioning in the gym. 

My elementary school wasn’t air conditioned but it was absolutely beautiful and I’m very proud to have gone there. And we eventually led an initiative to have our school air conditioned. It was thrilling to see adults answer our calls. And we weren’t calling for much. Just the basics. A working and safe school building is considered “school supplies.” Thank you, Water Valley, for providing our kids and teachers with these much needed supplies.

On that note, I’d like to thank one person specifically for his devotion to the school bond issue and that’s Joe York of Panola Street. I know a whole lot of people were behind getting this bond going and they should all be thanked. But Joe’s work was most visual to us laymen. He is the one who made the short film clips many of us saw on Facebook. I feel like these short films were important in getting people amped up to actually go vote.

For those who don’t know, Joe is married to Kathryn York; our local woman running for Mississippi Senate District 8. That’s a whole lot of community devotion and commitment coming out of that little house on Panola Street. Tell your friends and family in the district!

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