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Looking Back In Yalobusha County History

The Reunited 1982 Reunion was the granddaddy of all class reunions. Held during the Watermelon Carnival, almost 1,000 people showed up for the class reunion that included class members from earlier decades. Members of the “Big Eleven” attending the reunion were (from left) Arda Joy Reed Thompson, Fay Milstead Ross, Sissie Sartain Callicut, Frances McDonald Sartain, Jerry Berry Holloway, Dot Walker Knox, Maxine Morgan Baird and Margie Wallace Williamson. Missing were Ann Osborne and Nell Howell.

Through The Years From The Herald
• 15 years ago, Aug. 9, 2007 – The big news was the election. Out of 15 races, only the Sheriff’s contest would require a runoff between Lance Humphreys and Jamie Caldwell. In what was described as one of the hardest fought races, Daryl Burney defeated challenger Tina Stevens.
The Oakland mayor and aldermen were considering an ordinance to require liability insurance for owners of dogs classed as pit bulls. Dog fighting had become a problem in Yalobusha County and was considered epidemic in Mississippi.
Three generations of one family – Irene Alexander, her daughter, Kathy Pullen and her daughter, Kelly Hart – worked the poll at the National Guard armory during the election.
The largest melon at Watermelon Carnival was a 154 pounder grown by Marty Bost.
• 20 years ago, Aug. 7, 2002 – Marty Bost (hmmm…familiar name) took first place in the largest watermelon contest with a 126 pound Carolina Cross. His father, Freddie Bost, came in second with a 124 pounder.
The Watermelon Court included Petite Miss Breanna Norwood, Tiny Mr. Dustin Potts, Petite Mr. Kyle Spence, Little Miss Avery Larson, Tiny Miss Peyton Hill, Miss Pre-Teen Marley Craven, Miss Teen-Age Brittany Mills, Junior Miss April Bryan and Queen Melissa Smith.
Among the carnival photos featured were Keith Stevens singing the National Anthem, Mayor Larry Hart delivering the welcome, Mandy Mills singing at the music festival, Stan Crow directing the Community Band, Joe Elliott impersonating Elvis, Chad Newman racing his lawn mower, and everybody having a good time eating watermelon.
Woodland Hills Baptist Church was preparing for their first service in their new building on North Main Street.
• 30 years ago, Aug. 6, 1992 – John Wood won first prize for the biggest melon at the carnival with a 75 pounder. H. C. Upchurch took second with a 57-pound melon.
Concept Mold, Inc. began operation Aug. 3 with nine employees.
Carson Tatum of Memphis and Water Valley passed away. He was a faithful volunteer in the Yalobusha Historical Society.
Navy Commander Robert B. Upchurch, son of William J. and Ruth Upchurch, was participating in a five-nation maritime exercise about the cruiser USS Horne.
O’tuckalofa (or Otucahalofa as it is written on the early maps. It isn’t Irish, it’s native American.) school students James Goodwin and Burney Crowell must have been the tennis team since they are pictured holding tennis rackets in a group photo about 1930.
Mrs. Wanda York and granddaughter, Lauren, are shown with their winning entry in the Watermelon Decorating Contest residential originality category.
One of those goofy birthday ads announced that someone named Marty was turning 40, which means that she is turning 60 Thursday, Aug. 9 of this year.
• 40 years ago, Aug 12, 1982 – School was going to open a little earlier with the first full day of classes set for Aug. 23. The school day would end at 1:15 until further notice due to the heat.
Aldermen were working on a solution that wouldn’t put a burden on residential taxpayers and would be acceptable to the Mott’s Poultry Plant operation.
Quitman Smith, who lives near Taylor, won the largest melon contest at the carnival with a 90-pound Cuban Queen, a huge melon at that time.
• 50 years ago, Aug. 10, 1972 – Larry Evans, 1966 graduate of WVHS, was killed near Flora in a collision with a tractor-trailer rig.
Football practice kicked off with WVHS seniors Steve Hale, Red Thompson, Lamar Burgess, Dennis Hall, Lawrence Johnson, Hal Jenkins, Richard Gurner and Gary Morris.
Among the participants in the city library reading program were Cole Taylor, Bill Taylor, Brian Johnson (winner for reading the most books), Gail McCarley, Kathy Sartain, Elisa Henderson, Tammie Henderson, Jim Shearer, Ranier Woolfenden, Sharron Norwood, Linda Jones, Jimmy Craven, Benjy Gurner, Sandy Theodore, Jeanette Theodore, Caroline Anderson, Tim Anderson, Mary Jane Pope, Sherry Gibson and Erma Jean Edwards.
Francis Denham is shown with his dad, Ralph, who is holding a five foot long rattlesnake that measured eight inches in circumference and had 20 rattles and a button. It was killed near Tillatoba Lake.
Jane and Benjy Massie are pictured with a five pound catfish Jane caught in the family pond near Oakland.
The Kiddie League champs for 1972 were the Wasps coached by Keny Goodwin with help from Fred Carter and Troy Stark. Team members included Ronnie Stark, Jimmy Huckaby, Eddie Watson, Mike Dunn, Mike Todd, Doug Carter, Tony Herod, Don Larson, George Rutherford, Phil Deaton, Brad Deaton, Anthony Hancock and Maury Banks.
• 60 years ago, Aug 10, 1962 – Chester Joyner brought in to the Herald an albino mole caught as he attempted to get the moles molesting his cabbage patch.
A young real estate agent named Joe Lowe of Fortinberry Realty and Auction Co. was the only one offering property in the Herald want ads including a 100 acre cattle farm.
• 70 years ago, Aug. 7, 1952 – In the “Just Rambling” column, Merle Cox commented on the music emanating from the amplifiers at First Baptist Church last Sunday afternoon as she sat on her porch. The music was a long time tradition before the evening service.
No more contributions were needed for the Bobby Lynn Fund as enough had been received to take care of his present expenses, a front page story reported. Back in April, Bobby Lynn, son of Mr. and Mrs. Theo Miller, was severely burned when a gas can exploded. The balance of $53.81 left after his bills were paid was too be banked in case he had future surgery.
Joe Dan Edwards, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Edwards of Oakland, placed 4th for one of six $200 Sears Roebuck scholarships.
• 80 years ago, Aug. 4, 1942 – Mayor F. B. DeShon was reelected to another two-year term, his eighth time at the city’s helm. W. B. Hunter was elected city clerk and Claude Hale city marshal.
The Herald jumped on readers with both feet for not supporting the USO drive. Only $43.50 out of the $350 goal had been raised with only two days to go. Coffeeville had already met their goal and turned their money in.
The Herald noted that the Commercial Appeal reported that the Vicksburg Corps of Engineers announced that bids would be opened and construction would begin shortly on a portion of Enid Dam.
Dudley Wagner wrote that the Army needs a few good dogs from Great Danes to poodles to run messages, do sentry duty, string telephone wires, haul ammunition and tote medicine.
In the Love Joy community news, Hester Pearl, Joe Bettie and Grace spent Sunday with Natholene.

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