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Looking Back In Yalobusha History

Sheriff L. A. Jones (left) and his deputies Marvin Wilbourn, Henry Dean Gray and Bill Robinson apprehended two Memphis men Aug. 12, 1972 as they tended their marijuana plants about 11 miles west of Water Valley just off Hwy. 32. The men, were watering their plants when they were caught. A chemical fertilizer, Rapidgro had been added to the water. They were released on $10,000 bond later that evening. About 390 plants were pulled up and destroyed.

Herald Editor Jack Dale had gone off to war in 1942 and his wife had taken over his job. Many of the stories published by the newspaper had to do with the young men from Water Valley who were serving their country. In the Aug. 13 edition, Mrs. Dale penned a story about one young man who was home on leave:

Crip Tyler is home – and everybody looks at him as if he were a museum piece, she wrote.

Of course, he practically is, because Crip (James Tyler, if you must be technical) has been on convoy duty with the Merchant Marine to Russia by way of an extreme northern route. He left the states April 5 and returned July 28 and more than two months of that time he was under constant fire.

I asked him if he was scared, the most frequent question I’m sure which is put to him, and he replied, “Well, right at first I was excited. I didn’t know enough to be afraid. Then, after I saw some of it, I got scared. But toward the last, I got so I could sleep right through the air raids.”

Crip looks wonderful. He always was a nice looking guy (please don’t judge him by his picture!). He’s gained 20-30 pounds and looks as if he personally could lick a whole truck full of Japs or Germans. He is more serious than I remembered him. But, after all, I suppose one doesn’t live for three months or more thinking every minute is his last without becoming just a little less giddy.

Mrs. Dale wrote that young Tyler talked about how well the Navy treated him. “You get the best of everything,” he said. 

Working around the Russians, Tyler had gotten an insight into their culture. He explained that when the Russian troops return from the front, they don’t get leaves or furloughs. “They have to go to work in the factories or on the farm.”

Mrs. Dale wrote that she couldn’t get Tyler to talk about himself. He told her that he had decided not to talk about much of what he had seen. “So, I decided I’d tell just about what I have told you and maybe the people here would see just how lucky they are to live in a place like the United States,” he said.

“I made up my mind when I was out there that if I ever set foot back on the States, I’d never gripe again!”

Through The Years From The Herald  

• 15 years ago, Aug. 16, 2007 – The Herald created a little buzz in the county after a story by William Browning reported what top county officials made in their jobs. The top figure reported was $96,427.

City aldermen heard a request to help rid the streets of vulgar music pouring out of vehicles. Another citizen asked that something be done about a derelict house in the 1300 block of North Main Street (It’s still there today).

The Herald reported on the ongoing saga of the “cabin in the road” located on County Road 161 near Tillatoba. The structure was built by Fletcher Fly and county supervisors were requesting it be removed within 15 days.

Johnny Wilson of Scobey was pictured with a mammoth cantaloupe grown by his brother, Buddy.

Mike Scroggins and his city street department crew helped retrieve a cell phone for an out of town guest who dropped it down a drain during Watermelon Carnival. 

• 20 years ago, Aug. 15, 2002 – James Gordon was named Mississippi All-American Commander for the VFW.

George Harrison of Coffeeville received the 2002 Distinguished Hospital Trustee of the Year award from the Mississippi Hospital Association.

Attending the Miss. Baptist Youth Rally in Jackson were O’Tuckalofa youth and leaders Kathy True, Betty Kirk, Susan Dickerson, Justin Smith, Bubba Kirk, Tammy Kirk, Misty Soileau, Brittany Mills, Courtney Mills, Duranda Hardy, Drew Kirk, Jessica Smith, Jamie Kazee, Lane True and Dee Anna Kirk.

Color bearers for the Parade of Patriots at the Town and Country Garden Club Watermelon Music Festival were Will Burns, Charlie Edwards, Cody Myrick, Matthew Stevens, Cory Williamson and Tim Ham.

The Generation Gap played at the Music Festival including members Hubert Sanders, Ed Shearer, Bill Johnson, Harold Turner, Dr. Rayford Edgar and Iris Clark.

• 30 years ago, Aug. 13, 1992 – The Reverend Guy Reedy resigned after serving 22-3/4 years at First Baptist Church. Brother Reedy said that he had lived in Water Valley longer than anywhere else in his life and he and Doris planned to stay.

Joeli Williamson was pictured holding her ribbon for winning top honors in the state junior 4-H poultry barbecue contest.

Ty Edwards won the Mississippi State Inter-national Bowhunters championship at Ripley.

Henry Dunn received a 10-year service award at the Batesville District of the Highway Department.

Upton Reynolds showed off a couple of big bottles of soft drink he won at the Jaycees throwing booth during Watermelon Carnival.

The Herald’s Betty Shearer was pictured cooling her heels in the Jaycee jail at  carnival while money was being raised for her release. 

• 40 years ago, Aug 19, 1982 – Members of the WVHS cheerleading squad were Margie Ford, Linda Carr, Kim Boyd, Pamela Hawkins, G. G. Mayo, Patricia Keith, Carla Phillips, Pam Eubanks and Clara Faye Woodard.

Pictured at the end of the library’s summer reading program were Callie Cox, Derrick Fleming, Takoma Davidson, Stephanie Peoples, Cherri Carr, Eric Fleming, Paula Carr, Pamela Carr, Lynn Michelletti, Dawn Eady and Tracey Norris.

Sandra Person attended the national FHA convention in Atlanta, Ga.

Three young ladies, Natalie Norwood, Tina Hill and Margaret Hill, performed a jazz dance at cheerleader camp talent day.

Tanya Bowen and brother, Jay, were among the winners at the 4-H District Horse Show.

• 50 years ago, Aug. 17, 1972 – Coach Bobby Clerk was encouraged by recent Blue Devil practice sessions and was looking forward to the season opening against Holly Springs.

Pvt. Emma Gooch recently completed eight weeks of basic training at the Women’s Army Corps Center at Ft. McClellan, Ala.

Billy Miller and Richard Fly were pictured with a rattlesnake killed in almost the same spot as the one in last week’s paper. It had nine rattlers and a button. 

• 60 years ago, Aug 17, 1962 – The front page of the Herald was covered with photos from the Water Sports Show held the past Friday night at the municipal pool. In one photo, the water wheel was being demonstrated by aquamaids Betty Moorhead, Bonnie Cox, Jeannette Hudson, Marjorie Fortinberry, Natalie Richmond, Genora Holloway, Jeannie Tyler, Teresia Edgar, Margurite Bland and Jerry Holloway.

New officers for the Junior Auxiliary included Mrs. Harold Williams, Mrs. Robert Litton, Mrs. Curtis Berry, Mrs. Arnold Wayne Carothers, Mrs. Jimmy Knight, Mrs. J. G. Treloar and Mrs. Don Holloway.

Students receiving degrees at Ole Miss were George Gafford, Jr., Dianne Thompson, Peggy Hart Long, Betty Evans Gurner, Dee Martin, Ann Appleton Laster and Robert Linder.

• 70 years ago, Aug. 14, 1952 – Merle Cox was commenting again in her “Just Rambling” column on something that she felt needed correcting: “A short while ago I wrote a plea to all of you people to please stop chasing the fire truck and hampering the firemen in their work. Now I have another plea for all of you to listen to. 

“Whenever there is a wreck or an emergency requiring medical attention for the persons involved, PLEASE do not call the hospital for information as to what has happened. The constant ringing of the telephone interferes with the work of the doctors and nurses at a time when their attention needs to be concentrated on their work. And, after all, you can find out later what has happened.”

The cast for “Crazy Days,” sponsored by the Rebekah Lodge to benefit the Youth Council, included Leonard Woodall, Frankie Jo Strickland, Yvonne Russell, Bobby Lynn Henderson, Buster Beene, Sybil Farr, Horace Ward and Camille Webb.

• 80 years ago, Aug. 13, 1942 – Mayor F. B. DeShon was asking citizens to leave open the parking spaces downtown in front of the stores on Saturday for our friends from the country to do their shopping. Normally on Saturday it was every man for himself when it came to the overcrowded parking situation.

Local schools were set to open Aug. 31. O’Tuckalofa joined the system bringing 120 grammar school age and 30 high schoolers.

Among the comments from acting editor Mrs. Jack Dale in her Folks column, she reported that local girl Sara Kelly got – instead of a letter from one of her friends in the service – she got a note from the censor which read, “Your boy friend still loves you, but he talks too much.” 

Johnny Kiihnl was about to leave for the service as one of the first 1-B (a draft classification slightly lower than 1-A) men from Yalobusha County. He had been trying hard to get into the service, but was underweight. Because of new rules, Johnny will go marching off, she wrote, but in a restricted occupation.

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