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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

Received a  note from long-time friend, Camille Fly Dautrich, and her husband, Barry, last week, updating the status of ferries in Arkansas. Camille writes:

“It’s Camille Fly Dautrich, and I was reading your column from May 23 (I’m always a bit behind) and I had to  laugh when I read that the last of the Arkansas ferries was phased out some 30 years ago, cause Barry and I were on one just last weekend. 

The Peel Ferry, which runs across Bull Shoals Lake from Peel, Ark. to Protem, Missouri, is still alive and well. And It’s free—it’s part of the highway system. Admittedly, it does run from one state to another, but it’s known as the Peel Ferry, and Peel is definitely in Arkansas, off Highway 14, which runs form Omaha to Yellville. Best wishes, Camille.”

Camille attached a photo of her and Barry and also one of them in their car on the ferry.  Thanks, Camille, for the correction, and it was so good to hear from you. May want to ride that ferry some day.


Woke up early Wednesday morning thinking about June 19, 1958, which was Ed’s and my wedding day. Yes, Wednesday was our 61st wedding anniversary.  Got to work and found no papers, so I waited—for about two hours. Had plenty of time to relive that wonderful day, almost perfect. Weather was about like many of our recent days have been—bright and sunny in the morning, turning stormy in the afternoon.  

In the morning we went to check on the decorating and it was beautiful.  Mother Shearer and  her crew used magnolias from the big, old magnolia tree in the downtown park—gathered using the city’s bucket truck—can’t remember who got them down for us. 

Bridal and maid of honor flowers were made by the late Lynn Edwards. Cake was made by the late George Miles and it was a gift from him and Myrtle. Don’t think we paid for much of anything for the wedding. Mom made my and Jimmie’s dresses and they were simple, but pretty. 

After everything was finished at the church, we went home for lunch and aunts and great-aunts had made my favorites—chicken and dumplings, veggies, and a sticky lemon cake (a specialty of Mom’s Aunt Sue). 

Then the weather changed and we  had high winds, lightning, and torrents of rain – think the estimated rainfall for the afternoon was three to four inches. At the church I was left in the car, hoping for a slack  in the rain. Jimmie, Mom and Mrs. Shearer got into the foyer—was alone in the car. 

Even alone I still was not tempted to leave—no cold feet for this bride, loved him too much. Ludie’s tales about those entering the back door was that Mr. Shearer had taken off his shoes and socks, rolled up his pants legs and armed with a golf umbrella, was carrying all the women to the porch. After he got her daughter, Ann, in she says he never came back for me—didn’t even bring the umbrella. 

She never let him live that one down.  Ann played for our wedding—never asked why, because if I had planned this wedding Ludie would have been on the bench. Also, the singer, who was out of Grenada, didn’t make it. If you can’t tell by now the groom planned this wedding—had I been in charge Curtis Berry would have been singing. There are questions I never thought to ask and ones I’ll never get answered. I loved Ann and Bill (can’t remember his last name, but he sang with the Moonlighters, the Northwest dance band), but I knew Ludie and Curtis better.

After we all got in the church and we had an excellent number of guests, even with the inclement weather, the ceremony came off without a flaw. Officiating  ministers were Ed’s Uncle John Byers Shearer and my pastor. The reception was beautiful and delicious. Don’t know who did all the food and made the punch. The table was overlaid with a crocheted cloth made by Ed’s grandmother and the antique punch bowl, that had been used for Shearer family weddings for generations, now sits on my buffet.

As I was remembering all the events of this wedding I suddenly realized that one thing at our wedding was very different. The bride and groom are usually the first to leave the event.  Not at our wedding—ours was the last vehicle in the parking lot and even though the wedding was at four o’clock, it was almost eight. After bidding the last guests good-bye, Ed took off his coat and tie, opened the back door to the car and found frogs—lots of frogs. I’m so glad I’m not afraid of these creatures, so we both frog hunted for awhile and finally after  liberating all  of them, we were off to begin our honeymoon—three days at Spring Lake (now the State Park near Holly Springs). 

Came home Sunday night, went to work Monday morning and 61 years of life began.


The delivery man that brings our papers from Tupelo was late Wednesday morning. He finally arrived at seven and I rushed to get the papers to the stores and racks. I’m sure I broke lots of speed limits Wednesday morning and I did not stop to visit. 

But I was happy to hear  that everyone was concerned that something was wrong with me—either illness or broken vehicle. Most assured me that had I not been there in a few more minutes they were coming to check on me. Do appreciate all the love and concern—there is not a better place to live than the Valley.

Even with the day beginning a couple of hours late, I was able to make up most of that lost time and got to prayer meeting on time.


Thursday morning the trip over to Batesville to stay with mom in the nursing home was very pleasant—very light traffic and no critters in the road. Roadsides are getting more beautiful each week. Think our abundance of rain has really made leaves and flowers plentiful. 

When Mom woke up she didn’t want to eat. I had to get mean with her, shaking her gently to keep her awake and making her open her mouth. First bite I  put in I held my breath, because sometimes she just spits it out. 

She didn’t and so I again said, “Open your mouth.” To my surprise she did, taking another bite and this procedure went on until a big bowl of oatmeal was consumed. However, she would not drink her coffee, milk,  juice or water.  Tried all morning to get her to drink, but to no avail. 

Then at  lunch she drank her tea and milk, and ate all her mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and chocolate pudding. 

Jimmie had bridge and Bo had more surgery, so I was in charge of the evening meal. Again, she ate well, drank her tea and  milk, and had been drinking water at intervals all afternoon. When we were getting her ready to go to sleep, I asked if she wanted water, and she says, “I sure do.” 

And then she thanked me. Seemed promising. Report was that she slept all night.

Then on Friday, I again enjoyed a great trip over, arrived and breakfast was about 30 minutes earlier than usual. Woke Mom, washed her face, and again she did  not want to eat. Again shook her to keep her awake and ordered her to open her mouth, which she did and she ate all her oatmeal and drank some water and milk. 

Still did not want coffee or juice—this is kind of disturbing because Mom has always been a big coffee drinker. Got her into her chair about ten and she stayed awake all day, ate a good lunch and even went to the shower without a fuss. Jimmie said that they had not been able to get her in the shower all week. 

CNA Camissa and I didn’t give her a choice. After Jimmie and I visited for a few minutes, while she was feeding Mom, I came on home. She called to check on Bo and we found that his surgery had gone well and everyone else seemed to be okay. 


Sunday our speaker at Woodland Hills was again Darrell Logan from Bruce. He was the coach at Bruce for many years—think last time he was with us I reported that he had coached at Coffeeville. I’m sure Bro. Logan was an excellent coach—know he took the team to state at least once—but he’s also a great preacher. He and his wife are also wonderful folks and we do enjoy them visiting with us.

Also, our mission team, Becky York, Margie Pilcher, and Mechelle Warren, returned from Thailand, tired but with lots of wonderful stories to tell. Becky even rode an elephant. In the near future we will hear about their trip and perhaps see some pictures.

Next Herald will be dated July Fourth (it will arrive before this date). However, know everyone is looking forward to this Independence Day Holiday.

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