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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

As I was watching the rescue of a little girl, her father, and their yellow lab from a hiking trip gone wrong in the forest of Oregon, I was amazed at how with only manpower the diligent searchers got them to safety. They carried the father up a very steep mountainous terrain on a stretcher and toted the little girl in their arms. The dog made it on his own, but was exhausted when he reached the summit of the climb. All three are fine.
As I watched the dog, I was reminded of the week-before-last paper route, when I encountered a dog and his master seated on the bench in front of the old Herald office. Most of you readers know my love for dogs, so I asked if it was friendly. The answer was yes, so I stroked its head and got a lick kiss on my hand. This beautiful dog was almost identical to the rescued dog. I enjoyed my visit with the dog and his owner – hope our paths cross again.
Last week’s paper delivery was very routine, but as always there are so many folks out, even at an early hour, to visit with. One at Dunn’s, as I was going in and he was getting into his truck, came back to ask a question. Didn’t  recognize him, but I have known who he was for many years, my memory is just not as good as it use to be.
His question: “Do you remember when a new cotton picker turned over on South Main Street in the early or mid ’70s?”
I did and told him that a picture ran in the paper and he was invited to come look for it. A little later he stopped by the office and I realized it was Bill McGregor. He looked and didn’t find it. Then Mel and I looked through several other volumes of the Herald and we haven’t found it, but I know it ran and someday, hopefully, we’ll run across it.
I have Bill’s number so if it’s ever found I can call him. If you have any idea of the date of this event I’d appreciate it if you’d call me at the office, 473-1473. Not finding an article that I know was in the paper has happened once before and we knew the date of it. Raymond Aven wanted a copy of an article that ran when he was head of Compassion Ministries.
Ed made pictures for and wrote the article. Raymond and I have been looking for this for years and it still has not turned up – haven’t give up though, I’m convinced that one day it will be found, as will the cotton picker accident picture.
Early Thursday morning, I went over to the Cole home in Panola County for a short visit. Had things to deliver and also needed to catch up on the family. On the  way over I met lines of pontoon boats, speed boats, fishing boats, along with campers and RVs. Coming back it was the same. I’m sure Enid Lake was full over the weekend and certainly so on Labor Day.
Came on back before lunch in case I was needed at the office – Mel’s son and his family were home for a holiday visit. He’s in the Air Force, stationed in south Florida so getting home is rare. Also stayed home on Friday in case David needed me as Mel was taking the day off. Fridays are slow days, but occasionally something comes up that takes him out of the office. Told him that I could be there in five (ten at the most depending on traffic at the bypass). Got up early, dressed and was ready to go at a minutes notice, but was not needed, much to my dismay, since without working I had no excuse not to clean house.
The boys had not come to cut grass on Thursday or Friday, so I knew Saturday morning to get out of bed early and get dressed. Sure enough they pulled in right after I’d finished my toast and Coke. Just as they were finishing with the lawn and were about to cut the limb off the driveway, Rance’s phone rang and it was Jimmie. She and Caroline were on their way to shampoo my carpet, so we had a four sibling and one granddaughter reunion.
I’d cooked food on Friday but they weren’t hungry. Caroline had some ice cream, Jimmie ate some caramel popcorn. I had peanut butter and crackers. The boys had ice water and were on their way to the next lawn chore. However, before they left Jimmie drafted them to help with a job we’d had on our to do list since before Mom entered the nursing home—hanging a collection of ironstone plates on the dining room wall. I’d bought a drill to get this done because she could never remember to bring hers and mine disappeared before we got the job done.
This time she had her drill in hand. Bo added, “Mine is in the truck”, and Rance said,”Mine is in my truck, but it’s in the shop”. But with two drills we were ready and the search started for plate hangers.  I had bought two triple hangers (one as far back as Mary McCain’s shop which Ed was going to put up), Lost it and bought another, which I finally found, but the brackets had been lost and still have not found any of the single hangers. With this chore once again being put on hold, I suggested another that needed drills. I knew where the new front door threshold was, which needed replacing to stops bugs, air, and lizards from entering the house. Again there was no success in fixing my problem. I’d bought the wrong size, so tools were packed up and the boys left us.
Jimmie and I, disappointed that we could not get any chores completed, began cleaning the carpet (well she began cleaning as she had brought the shampooer and all supplies necessary for this job). Caroline and I got to have fun. She’d brought a game (wish I could remember the name because it was fun), which if played to a win I think could have taken maybe more than a day. I’d move four spaces forward, hit a back four spaces spot on about every third spin. She was not doing much better, but my bad luck was so funny to her.
She’s say “Aunt Betty, you’re jinked.” We had a great day. Caroline is a budding musician, at present only a piano student, but I think she’s ready to take up more instruments. She played Ed’s old pump organ (piano needs a repairman), then I got out the accordion, which is full size and really to heavy for her, but she got a great sound. Next I pulled down the violin, but never got the bow adjusted. Finally we tried Jim’s antique instrument that is a forerunner of the mandolin, I think. My guitar is missing a few strings and the back has come unglued. Couldn’t find Ed’s flute, but I’m sure she would have enjoyed it, and the oboe and clarinet both needed reeds. When we were not playing games she entertained us with music.
As Jimmie and Carline were leaving, Jimmie says, “You do know the Kentucky Derby is being run this afternoon?” No I did not and I should not have been informed of this. Went in and found the prelim to the Derby, which was to be aired at 6 p.m. The earlier races were just as exciting and from watching the horses led from the paddock to the starting gate I picked several second place winners and finally got one winner – the horse that won by the shortest margin I’ve ever seen. It took several minutes to decide the winner. Then in the Derby I had to go with the horse that everyone knew was going to win.
Usually I don’t agree with all the statistics and previous wins, but this time I did and it was a wrong call. I’d have won, had I gone with the horse I really thought was the best. His trainer was the give away here. Bob Baffert has now trained six Derby winners. I usually go with the best jockey, but not having watched races for six years I’ve lost track of who the best jockey is, but I did know the best trainer and should have stuck with  him. Some day I’d like to attend the Derby. We were once in Churchill Downs on a day with no racing. To see the pageantry of this event would be very exciting.
Attendance was down at church Sunday –hope they were out for a weekend of fun and not ill. In Sunday School we began a study in Isaiah and it’s very relevant to our present day problematic world. I would advise everyone to read this book and take heed to the solution of the problem and also the consequences of not obeying what God is instructing us to do. It’s written to Judah, but it’s exactly what we need to hear today.
Bro. Rob Jones, as always, brought another excellent message. After services Bud, Wanda and I went to Grenada for lunch. Found that Grenada Lake was going to be s well used for Labor Day, as was Enid. Think the boats and RVs were even higher dollar than those I’d seen pulling into Enid. Enjoyed Captain D’s fish and it was delicious and then dessert was, as always, ice cream from Spencers.
Back at the church to pick up my car, we looked for the church cat and it was still missing. Had been there Wednesday night, though, and wanted to come home with me. As I was getting a cork board out of the van, the cat jumped in. Bro. Rob and I talked for a few minutes and then as I was about to leave, realized I’d better get the cat out. My van still looked like a garbage truck, so looked around a ton of junk – no cat.
Went to the passenger door and there it was seated in the passenger seat, just  like it was ready to ride. Had to pick it up and put it on the ground, and drive away slowly watching to make sure it did not get in the path of the van.
David and I are here at the office on Labor Day, doing exactly what the day’s title calls for—well not really, it’s very quiet, but we are getting a little work done.
In church yesterday, as we were sitting in our assigned seats, Rick Neely (his wife, Linda sits two pews behind me) was telling someone behind  him that he did not get a Labor Day Holiday ever.
So smarty me turns and says, “Rick, I’ve got you beat, don’t think I’ve enjoyed a Labor Day Holiday in at least 62 years—weekly newspaper owners and most employees don’t get many Monday holidays.
But as long as Mom was able we’d enjoy a late afternoon and night at Enid Lake after we left the office. She and Jimmie would cook the food and we’d all gather for swimming, skiing, and then eating. It was a fun time for the Kilgore family and many of our friends – we do miss those days and maybe when this virus is controlled we’ll be able to have outings like that again. Memorial Day, Mother’s Day,  Father’s Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day Holidays, after the other lake visitors had gone home, we claimed either Chickasaw Hill  or Persimmon Hill as our gathering place. Hope everyone, who was able to celebrate, had a fun and safe holiday.

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