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News from Tutwiler
by Janie Bruister
We are back from four fun-filled, work-packed days at the Pink Palace Crafts Fair, held annually the first weekend in October and located on the beautiful grounds of Audobon Park in Memphis. Over two hundred craftspeople exhibit their handmade wares, with 25 to 30 of them giving demonstrations of how they do it. Among those are my husband Carroll, showing how he does several forms of leatherwork, our daughter Melanie doing her polymer clay jewelry, her "faces" in many forms and our grandson Sebastion (Sebe), who sits on the sidelines sketching or painting. So, what do I do? Well, there's packing, loading, unloading, setting up, selling, taking down, re-packing, re-loading and, in addition, I have learned enough about their work to demonstrate sometimes and help make leather boxes, etc. with Carroll in his shop. I'm busy. There's hardly any time for just standing around. Forty to fifty thousand people attend each year with hundreds of school children (bus loads) coming the first two days. Senior citizens are given special recognition one of those days and whole families are out in great numbers. It's a rollicking picnic-in-the-park type atmosphere with live musical entertainment, food venders a'plenty with a variety of delicious choices including my favorites: apple dumplings and chicken-on-a-stick. Besides romping in the sunshine and petting the animals, the children (and adults) could climb a "mountain" if they wanted to, which many did. There was continuous climbing which I considered doing myself, just to get to rappel down, but was dubious about getting high enough to do that. As far as my thinking goes, I can do anything I ever could. One aspect of aging is that the mind and body hardly ever agree. My name is even changing...now it's "Shusta"..."She used to be thin." "She used to be pretty." "She used to
all kinds of things that are now mainly in thought only. A little boy about four years old walked into our booth with his mother and, in the middle of our conversation, asked, "Are you
?" I had him repeat it but was still baffled. His mother started laughing and said, "Well, he has asked worse questions. He wants to know if you are old or not. Then she told him I wasn't as old as his grandmother but was older than herself. (Actually, she might have been wrong about that first part.) My family decided he had paid me a compliment if he couldn't tell, so I'll leave well enough alone.
Another great thing about this crafts fair is that fellow exhibitors, especially those who are there close by you year after year, become like family and it doubles as a reunion of sorts. Everybody hates for it to be over when it closes, so there's a lot of hugging going on as we depart for our places of abode or on to the next show somewhere throughout the country. We do only two shows a year...this one and the Mississippi Craftsman's Guild Show in December in Jackson, which we now must begin to prepare for. We like to sell our work but one thing for sure, as stated in Tuesday's Clarksdale Press Register's thought for the day by Hal Stebbins, "the true craftsman has a light in his eye that money can't buy." Our thinking is if you have a craft, you're rich indeed.
Meanwhile, back on home turf, things are about as usual; some coming, some going and happenings happening. Joe and Anne Carter with her aunt, Rachel Everett, were in Tutwiler over the weekend, attending services at First Baptist and visiting friends and relatives. Davalene Jennings Aquilla stopped by the church as everyone was leaing to say hello to everybody. She and family were on their way to Greenwood for the Ashford Family Reunion. Jackie and Linda Waller of Texas visited his sister Savannah Kellum and his home town enroute to Clarksville, Tennessee to visit grandchildren. The L.W. Kimzey house and contents were on sale this past week. Grandaughter Stephanie Shelby and husband Tony brought Mr. Kimzey back for getting things arranged. Mrs. Kimzey has been moved from Ruleville Nursing Care to Memphis and Mr. Kimzey will make his home with Stephanie and Tony and baby daughter Sidney. They will be missed but, hopefully, will visit often. We are happy to report that Audrey Grissom is back at her job and doing well after spending several days in the Greenwood Hospital.
The Tutwiler Lion's Club hosted the Webb and Charleston Clubs plus the District Governor a their regular meeting. Lionesses Jib Guin, Beth Christenson and Dorothy Bingham had the clubhouse looking great with a patriotic theme in the meeting room and a colorful Halloween theme in the dining area. The Lionesses, assisted by a few old Lions, served a delicious meal they had prepared to the forty or so in attendance.
The Episcopal Church of the Advent in Sumner (and the only one in Tallahatchie County) presented a music and prayer service on Thursday, Oct. 11th. Soloists were Gwin Buford, Madge Vance, Jonathon Troyka and Doyle Tubbs. Guest musicians were Sue and Jon Blouin.
That's about it again from Tutwiler where the Lion's Club will host its First Sunday Buffet, only this time it'll be the second Sunday which is
Do you ever feel the need to just "get away"? You don't know quite where but everyday pressures dictate the need for
. I do. Often times, for me, it's as simple as going outside, walking among the flowers (and weeds) and fellowshipping with Nature...this doesn't always do the trick but it helps get a dose of perspective and renewal. It happened to me yesterday, in fact. So I went out back where the usually stagnant, scum-covered bayou was transformed into a glassy, rippling lake, mirroring the sun-drenched trees of yellows, reds and greens along its bank. Everything was in sync out there with the wind and sun doing their part to cause a very ordinary scene to become extraordinary. Even though it was only a short expanse of water and a few colorful trees, it was a sight to see! It came as a gift and I considered it priceless. Sometimes we don't have to go far to "get away".
Speaking of the beautiful, Elizabeth Jennings has been selected from a field of 35 beauties as
at Delta State University. Elizabeth is the daughter of Janis Corso of Clarksdale and Phil and Terri Jennings and the gradaughter of Barbara Jennings, all of Tutwiler.
Elizabeth, accompanied by Barbara and Terri, just recently returned from Atlanta where she modeled for the Atlanta Clothing Market. Elizabeth is a talented and deserving young lady and we congratulate her on these achievements.
Over the weekend Anne Barnes attended Lilbourne, MO. High School's 75th reunion, from which she graduated over 50 years ago. They were honoring all former Football Queens which included Anne. She was accompanied by Barbara Jennings who said she was going
so she could help Anne get up on the float
Virginia Williams of Pascagoula spent several days here as the guest of Nelson and Jimmie Browning and enjoyed attending her school's 75th reunion in Cleveland. Virginia and late husband Bruce are former Tutwiler residents and taught school here.
Daysidel Bruister-Berryhill attended Home Coming at East Central Community College in Decatur on Saturday where her cousin, Dr. Joe Todd, a retired heart surgeon from Cincinatti, was honored as
Alumnus of the Year
. She enjoyed being reunited with her Day and Todd relations. The week before, she and daughter Delanne Billingsly of Como visited James and Marilyn Bruister of Tylertown and mingled among a couple of reunions there.
Congratulations to Martha and Winfred Campbell on the arrival of their second grandchild, born to Gaye and Ray Williamson of Charleston. Little Rayven Caroline is being welcomed by her big brother Sulley and a host of friends and relatives.
The Reverend J.B. Hays showed slides of his recent trip to England where he gave a presentation on the King James Bible, to the
Sandwich With Books
crowd at Tutwiler Library on Wednesday. This coming week he, with wife Rose and children Anna and Joel, will attend the Mississippi Baptist Convention in Jackson as messengers from the Tutwiler Congregation. Matt Buckles from Mississippi Baptist Board brought Revival Messages to First Baptist congregation on Sunday, the 21st, at their one-day Revival, where the Brotherhood hosted the ladies of the church for breakfast and a church-wide dish dinner was served.
We want to remember the sick. Sarah Countiss has been hospitalized in Greenville. Earline Burton had eye surgery in Oxford and is doing well. Aubrey Seymore, Jr. is home from Oxford hospital and improving. Sympathy goes to Linda Pharis in the death of her mother Mary Robertson; to Sylvia Tharp, whose father A.Q. Williams died a few days ago and to Mary Dean Abbey and Joy Herron in the death of their mother, Mrs. Janice Herron of Glendora.
Long-time pastor of Tutwiler Methodist Church, Claude Johnson, died on the 13th. He served churches in about a dozen places in Mississippi over a period of 47 years, before retiring in 1998. He enjoyed working with the Methodist Conference Historical Society and, in fact, was awarded the Tobias Award for outstanding service during his 50 year tenure. He never got to reside in his "retreat" as he called his home-to-be after retirement, located between Winona and Kilmichael. The years after retirement were divided between hospital stays and Riggs Manor. Among those going to Winona for his funeral were Jimmy and Katie Cox, Anne Barnes and Barbara Jennings. Anne and Barbara reported having a good visit with Joe Buddy Moore while there. Joe Buddy grew up in Tutwiler and now lives in Winona.
That's about it again from Tutwiler where the Habitat group is here again. Sixteen enthusiastic "givers" from California, Nevada and elsewhere have been coming for quite a few years. Marge Nelson who coordinates this group has her husband, children and grandchildren numbered among the 16 members. More about this another time.
OUR POOCH COULD TEACH HOUDINI SOME TRICKS
We got a good dose of fall color going to Alabama last weekend. I say "dose" because seeing all the beautiful colors mingled together is medicinal to me. It came at a good time, too, because life never stands still and is often fraught with trials. I'm sure
has already said that but it is very real and we've been experiencing some of it lately.
One thing is our yard dog. We didn't choose her, she chose us. Just showed up one morning, a mere pup, and stayed. We had her spayed, got necessary shots, etc. and now we find she has heart worms. She has to be kept penned for five weeks. Therein lies the problem! She has been just as determined to get out as we have been to keep her in. No sooner would we get the pen
-fortified and comment, "There's no way she can get out now" than our next door neighbor, Annette Brand, would call and say, "guess who's on our patio". We could never find where she got out, but we had that pen looking like a fortress, and still she managed to escape. One thing I know, Houdini could learn from her! Our daughter Melanie (who connects with animals) found the solution. She bought a much smaller pen, a carrying crate actually, and positioned it closer to our daily activities and, viola, she's been a happy camper ever since. Three more weeks to go...we know it but she doesn't, so maybe it'll continue to work. I recall from years past when we raised cattle that about the most troubling statement anybody could make was "your cows are out" and so it is with any animal that must be kept in.
Many of you know from reading my column that we seem to have more than our share of troubling situations with our vehicles. Could be we're just on the road a lot. We always pray for our guardian angels to ride with us and they do. A few nights ago our grandson, Sebe, was on his way home from Memphis when he was hit from behind, catapulted into the ditch, sideswiping trees, etc. before getting back up on the Interstate and coming to a stop. Although badly shaken, he was spared injury as was the driver who hit him. Can't say the same for the vehicles, though, but what's a vehicle compared to a life!
We're certainly not the only busy people around here. Michael and Suzanne Powers are in full swing with the pecan harvesting and they're operating this season with a new set of high-tech machinery that boggles the mind in its preperation of the pecans from fresh-from-the-tree to ready-for-marketing.
Some busy area students who made the honor roll are Schuyler Clay, Brittany Dong, Chad Swindoll, Bo Catoe, Melanie Dong, Holly Pearson and John Phillip Gee. Mary Beth Hubbard was a member of Lee's Homecoming Court recently. Also, Natalie Ellington, Caysi Baker, Phyllip Jennings and Kelvin Newton were members of Strider's Senior and Junior Homecoming Court. Lauranne Vance, a sophomore at Delta State, performed in DSU's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's novel, Anna Karenina, on the 6th and 7th in the Bologna Performing Arts Center. She will also participate in Mississippi's Kennedy Center sponsored American College Theatre Festival on Saturday, the 10th, at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Jefferson Davis Campus in Gulfport.
Gregg and Velmarie Burton and family of Belzoni, and Ray Jennings of Memphis, were among former Tutwilians enjoying the fruits of the Lion's Club member's labors at First Sunday Buffet. They make it seem more like fun than labor and everybody leaves full and happy. Harold Blaine missed the Buffet but stopped by Sam and Jerry Orman's as he made his way home to Winona after delivering Guidion sermons at a couple of area churches.
While on our early everyday walk, Anne Barnes made mention of Earline Burton going to Missouri with her and Barbara Jennings for her school's 75th celebration of former "Queens", of which Anne was one, dating back to the forties and I said, "I didn't know Earline went". She said, "Well, she did and it was Arcadia, Mo., not Lilbourne, and it was Fall Festival Queen, not football queen...they don't even play football there!" Well, I'm glad to get that straight! Now we have facts instead of assumptions. I venture to say that Anne was not the oldest of the 41 former queens present...but
. And, whoever heard of a school that doesn't play football! Acccch! Think of the Ole Miss and Arkansas game Saturday.
We're keeping Beth Christenson in prayer as she has tests and possible surgery this week. Cindy Hubbard is home from the Clarksdale hospital after having major surgery and recuperating well. Sympathy goes to Winfred and Martha Campbell in the death of his sister Margie Jenkins of Michigan and to Jim Countiss in the death of his wife Sarah on the 23rd.
That's it again from Tutwiler where we were delightfully surprised with a brief visit from Ira and Bettye Ousley recently as they were returning home to Henderson, Texas after visiting her mother Daisy Wolfe at Rena Laura. They remain totally interested in everybody and send greetings.
What a blessing to awake this morning and find a glistening, shimmering covering of frost everywhere! We've been needing this as much to control the mosquitos as anything else. It seems we've had more of them lately than during the spring and summer and more aggressive ones, as well. In other words, they've been hungry and determined...a combination that will get the job done, whatever it is.
With Thanksgiving being a National holiday and a time of noticeably giving thanks, we tend to think of giving thanks as a seasonal thing. Maybe it is, but it shouldn't be. As someone has so aptly said, "gratitude to God should be as regular as our heartbeat". This quote comes from the Little Book of Quotations entitled
. It is in miniature and a gift from a dear friend of mine on my birthday a few years ago. I collect miniature books and she knows I enjoy quotations. Since my "favorite attitude is gratitude" and since this is the "season to noticeably extol it", I'll share a few of my favorites with you.
"It isn't what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart." "The worst possible moment for an atheist is when he feels grateful and has no one to thank." "Be grateful for doors of opportunity...and for the friends who oil the hinges." "He who is not grateful for the good things he has would not be happy with what he wishes he had." "A person doesn't realize how much he has to be thankful for until he has to pay tax on it." "The world's most unsatisfied hunger is the hunger for appreciation." One I live by and which is credited to someone else is "the smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention" and, last but not least, is "you must speak up to be heard, but sometimes you have to shut up to be appreciated".
With that I'll move on to what's happening in our community. Some 250 people attended the dedication of the Tutwiler Community Education Center's new gymnasium on Saturday, the 17th. The facility, costing $670,000 has 7500 square feet encompassing a basketball court, weight room, stage, reading areas and a kitchen, enabling the TCEC's Outreach Ministry to reach more people with educational and recreational opportunities. The TCEC is a Catholic outreach ministry that's been serving this community for the past 18 years, says director Sister Maureen Delaney. Contractor for the building was Wright Steel and the finished product is one to boast about.
We missed the dedication due to the death of my niece's husband, Harold Moyer, whose funeral was held on Saturday in Stuttgart, Arkansas. I also missed the Faculty Wives Luncheon the same day at Delta State University, attended by Anne Barnes and Jerry Orman from here.
On Tuesday, at Rotary in Sumner, Delta State's baseball coach, Coach Kinnison, presented a program promoting the University, Cleveland and his ball team which has three freshman members this season, one of whom is Reeves Smith of Cleveland. Reeves is the grandson of Sam and Jerry Orman of Tutwiler, who were guests for the occasion, since Reeve's participated in the program.
Joy Sossaman and son Ruston, with her sister Diane Smith (mother of Reeves on Rotary program) visited Diane's daughter Rivers Smith in Memphis over the weekend and attended the showing of Harry Potter on Saturday. Beth Christenson is home after having surgery in the Clarksdale Medical Center. Emmett Bourne is now home from the Greenwood Medical Center after having tests requiring a pace-maker, and Dickie Childress is going back and forth to Memphis and Oxford getting tests for different ailments. Our prayers and good wishes are with all mentioned.
Sympathy goes to the J.C. Clark family due to his sudden death on the 13th. He was preceeded in death earlier this year by his son Ted and his sister Mrs. Claudie Williams. This is a lot of grief for a wife and mother especially. Ezell Bright died after having surgery and his funeral was on the 19th. Ezell and J.C. were both lifelong residents of the Tutwiler community and we're gonna miss them.
That's about it again from Tutwiler where many families gathered for Thanksgiving and giving thanks for our blessings...some, we all have in common, and then those that are personal. Another quote from my little book says, "If you have nothing to be thankful for, make up your mind that there is something wrong with you". I believe we're all pretty healthy in that area, don't you?
On Wednesday, November 28, a gathering of some twenty reading enthusiasts were delightfully entertained at the Tutwiler Library's
Sandwich With Books
meeting by "George" AKA Rev. Truman Scarborough of the North Central Baptist Association. Bro. Scarborough always gets requests to be "George", a character in a comical little skit he does and is invited back every year for a book review as well. This time he chose John Grisham's latest, entitled "Skipping Christmas", which was most interesting and one you will want to read.
We're back from the annual Mississippi Craftsman's Guild Show held over the weekend in Jackson ending Dec. 2nd. Our friends and neighbors, James and Annette Brand, were just wonderful, helping
and caring for our animals which consist of one very old house dog, 2 house cats and an outside dog. Sometimes other friends come and stay when we're away and the animals are as grateful as we are and that's a lot of gratitude. Representing the Tutwiler Quilters were Sister Joanne Blomme, Sister Maureen Dulaney, Lucinda Berryhill and Mary Smith. Our thanks to them for bringing a leather chest to us which we had forgotten to bring earlier when we came.
In addition to Melanie and Carroll, Mara Califf of Clarksdale had a booth as did new Guild members from Clarksdale,
Sis and D's Spoons
who make beautiful wooden spoons and other cutlery.
Our friend and fellow "Tutwiler born and reared", Charles Catledge, came (as he always does) and we enjoyed his visit just as we did our cousin's, Dr. Hugh and Diane (Orman) Smith of Cleveland. Another cousin, Lisa Rice of Madison, came by to see us. Frank and Dorothy Peyton's relative, Susan Ford of Jackson, is a fellow Guild member who does exquisite art forms in glass. We missed seeing Julia and Ben Yandell as we usually do but continue to celebrate with them in the life of their son who worked in the World Trade Center but was
the fatal day of September 11.
The thought that "the true craftsman has a light in his eye that money can't buy" may be true but he'll certainly sell his wares, and this 25th annual Chimneyville Fest seemed to be good for most of them.
The Craftsman's Guild of Ms., Inc. is a non-profit Arts organization founded in 1973 to encourage the development and preservation of traditional, regional crafts and folk ways.
Chris and Kelly Tubbs of Webb are the happy parents of a sweet baby boy born on November 21st. They named him Michael Dylan. He is beng welcomed by grandparents Karen and Hubert Tubbs, Jr., greatparents Anne and "Bear" Tubbs of Sumner and a host of friends and relatives.
Area students named to
in the 2000-01 annual edition of
Who's Who Among American High School Students
from Tutwiler are Michael Bland, Julye Clark, Terrance Jackson, Elizabeth Jennings, Corley Luckett and Teresa Powell. Those from Dublin are Kimberly Brown, Alexandria Gamble and Harrison Luckett and those from Webb are Lee Benson, Shundra Black, Jamie Cox, Germaine Hampton, Quartesha Kindle, Courtney Pokes and Nichelle Webb. "Ninety nine percent of who's who students have B averages or better and are college bound."
Ordination services were held recently at Sumner Baptist Church for new Deacons Joe Pryor, Robert Bishop, Paul Fortner and James Walters. The Rev. Jon Blouin is pastor.
Caitlin and Ryan Johnson of Houston, Texas had a visit recently from their grandparents James and Annette Brand. Earline Burton and Daysidel Bruister-Berryhill attended the funeral for Sarah Elizabeth Shelton at First Baptist Church in Jackson on Thanksgiving weekend. Sarah Elizabeth had made it through one lung transplant and was on the list for another. She was just 28 years old. Linda Ledford Garner, formerly of Sumner, died on Nov. 24th. She was only 47. Mildred Fergurson died Nov. 25th of heart failure at her home in Webb. And my sweet friend, Charlene Russell of Clarksdale, died on Dec. 3rd after a long illness. Our sympathy and prayers are with all their families.
That's about it again from Tutwiler where one of the first calls we got after getting home from Jackson Monday night was to say that "Bunky Butler was to have open heart surgery the next day". Bunky manages the Sumner branch of Union Planters Bank and did for quite a few of the many years I worked there. He takes care of himself. Watches his weight. Is careful about what he eats. Drinks green tea, even! Who would have thought his arteries would clog anyway? The good news is that, after having two by-passes, he is doing well and, hopefully, can come home over the weekend. Bless you Bunky.
It's looking a lot like Christmas everywhere you go
, even when you go in the rain. Everything we've done lately we've done in the rain. It has rained so much, in fact, that to get to the other side of town we have to go around by the highway and double back. Water is over the bridge in town and in some of the homes along portions of the bayou. Every time it rains I say the bayou is higher than we've ever seen it and then it rains some more and it continues to rise.
We have been unable much of the time to pick up the pecans that are everywhere in the yard due to the heavy rains, and the very low prices are no incentive either. We seldom have a good crop and, when we do, everybody else does too. I'm sure the cotton farmers can identify with this as well. The last I heard, cotton was 29¢ a pound. Hard to believe, isn't it! Even harder to believe is paying more per pound to get your pecans cracked than you can sell them for.
Laying aside the wet weather, low prices and such, Christmas is coming. I told hubby, Carroll, "I don't think I'm going to be ready" and he said, "ready or not, it's coming". We attended graduation ceremonies at Mississippi State on Friday, the 14th, and witnessed our grandaughter Shelley Gammill recieve her Masters in Education and grandaughter Keryn Page recieve her Bachelor's Degree, Suma Cum Laude, in Journalism. Their parents are Cally and Mary Bruister of Red Bay, AL and their other grandparents are Elmer and Billie Massey of Marks, all of whom are proud as can be of them. After the graduation ceremony and celebration dinner, most of us left for Cedar Hill, TN where my sister, Yvonne Williams, and husband John were hosting our family Christmas gathering which totaled 32 for the weekend. The home of their son Gary and wife Debbie is separated only by a carport, so the two homes accomodated all of us comfortably. We had a wonderful time. Just being together was enough and all the good food and fellowshipping made our cup overflow. Of course, it rained on us a great deal of the way home on Sunday.
Barbara Jennings seems to have things under control, even with her busy schedule. She hosted the annual Lion's Club Christmas Party Tuesday night, Dec. 11th, with a lively crowd attending. Good food, fellowship and singing Christmas Carols and Patriotic songs, with Beth Christenson at the piano, was enjoyed by all. At the Lion's First Sunday Buffet, Barbara's guest was Dr. Istvan Serto' Radics of Hungary, who is a Fulbright Visiting Researcher, doing research on small Delta towns through International Studies in Research at the University of Mississippi.
In reporting on the Chimneyville Ms. Craftsman's Guild Show in my last column, I failed to tell about Mike Mayberry of Brandon having his hand-crafted miniature house (a copy of an historical home) selected to be a part of the White House Christmas decorations. He and his wife, along with other parties whose work was included, were invited to a reception at the White House in recognition of their work. Mike is a brother-in-law to Marsha Thomas Miller, formerly of Tutwiler. Her parents, Charles and Jean, still live here and are grandparents to new grandaughter Makayla, born to the Reverend John and Leighann Thomas of Cleveland. Her three little (or should I say big) brothers are excited over her arrival, as well as family and friends.
Congratulations to Anjanette Pennington of Webb, a Junior Elementary Education Major at Delta State University, for being initiated into the Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, a National Leadership Honor Society which recognizes achievement in areas ranging from Campus Government to the Performing Arts including scholarship, athletics, community service, religious activities, etc. Anjanette is the daughter of Jim, Jr. and Cindy Pennington.
Becky Wellman of Dunlap, Tennessee visited her parents James and Annette Brand over the weekend and accompanied Annette to Little Rock for the funeral of her brother James Dorris on Saturday. Then Becky returned home and James and Annette attended the Brand's Family Christmas gathering at his sister Donnie Brown's home in Charleston on Sunday.
Many more families will get together during the holidays. Cebe and Linda Pharis will have all of their's home and they are Ronnie, Rhonda and Pharis Hall of Bainbridge, Georgia; Mike, Margaret and Monty Ternney of Clarksdale and Jeff and Erin Pharis of Tutwiler. Agnes Martindale will be home for Christmas, after spending several days at Baptist East in Memphis and Richard Bruister will be home in Brandon (or maybe at brother Bill and Carolyn's in Clarksdale) after having surgery at St. Dominic's in Jackson on the 17th, before beginning radiation treatments that are to come.
That's about it again from Tutwiler where sympathy also goes to the family of Pete Burnside who died on November 29th. The death of a loved one is sad anytime, but seems even more so during the holidays.
Happy New Year everybody! This expression never fails to bring to mind a glimpse of Joe E. Brown's face with a smile as wide as the Golden Gate Bridge saying hap-py New Year! (with the emphasis being on happy) I can't recall the movie in which he so beamingly uttered these memorable words but Carroll and I remember it from early on in our marriage, many years ago, and from seeing it several times through the years since. The way he says it never fails to spread cheer and good will, enough for everyone.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to be remembered for a smile? Joe E. Brown had the advantage in reaching more people than most of us will ever have but, no matter, the benefit comes in the doing, whether to one or thousands. The old year is gone. It's history, but more than memories remain. Good things happened to many that continue to enhance their lives every day, while the very foundations were knocked from under others, leaving gaping holes of pain and agony that the new year finds empty still. None of us can know what the future holds for us but we can trust the One who holds the future to see us through, for we need Him in the valleys and the peaks. The "valleys" seem to bring us closer together and to the Lord as a nation and as individuals, more so than the "peaks". Let's pray our valleys won't be as dark and deep this year.
The Sumner Baptist Church family said goodbye to their pastor Jon Blouin and wife Sue at the end of December. Bro. Blouin will become the Associate Pastor and Music Director at Forest Mississippi Baptist Church in 2002. The Blouins are very talented musically and possess beautiful voices which are so effective in the Lord's work. They have certainly been a blessing to all our communities with young people, especially through
The Sounds of Praise
, and will be greatly missed.
It is still safe to fly, as some locals can tell you from their travels. Jennie Beth Wilson and Veljko Vasiljevic left Dec. 27th to visit Veljko's father in Paris, France and will return on January 5th. Jennie Beth and Veljko are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Tennie Wilson of Sumner.
Others traveling far are Billy Joe and Lenagene Waldrup and grandson Almon Ellis who left Friday after Christmas for Alaska, where she will be principal of a school in Amrik Village through May. Almon just recieved his Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Engineering from Mississippi State and will enjoy the change of scene and pace as well as being with relatives. The Waldrup's son Bill lives in the nearby village of Grayling, where his wife teaches school and he is a Field Guide. Don't know yet what Almon and his grandaddy will do to fill their time while there besides trying to stay warm, that is.
Congratulations to Hubert Tubbs, Jr. of Webb who appears on the cover of the January-February issue of Mississippi Farm Country Magazine and to wife Karen whose picture appears on page 9. The magazine is highlighting their family-owned bee keeping operation called Tubbs Apiaries, which consists of about 4000 honeybee colonies in 120 locations in 8 counties. Their honey and wax products are marketed to Sue Bee. Also, Hubert and son Chris own 500 bee colonies that produce honey and wax for a variety of food and personal products, which the Tubbs market through their own Bee-U-Tiful Gifts enterprise. Karen is in charge of marketing where not much travel is required, but a lot of mileage goes into the production.
While traveling closer to home on Dec. 17, Dink and Choc Morrow of Webb were hit while leaving the Wal-Mart parking lot in Grenada, totaling their car and sending her to the trauma center in Memphis for many days. She was dismissed in time for their usual delicious Christmas Dinner they didn't get to have because, as daughter Anne Hart said, "look what mama did to get out of cooking dinner". She continues to improve, we're happy to report.
Our cousin Richard Bruister of Brandon came by to see us and other relatives this week and we were delighted over his improving health after having surgery recently.
Our long time friend Dick Harrington, formerly of Webb, died this week after a long illness. Our heartfelt sympathy goes to his wife Earlene and all the family.
That's about it again from Tutwiler where the decorations are still up at our house and the prospects of getting them put away anytime soon are dim. So much enters into living everyday...who has time to clean house?! One thing I know for sure, not discounting the goodness of all the rich, delicious holiday foods, there comes the time for turnip greens and cornbread, and today is it!
Hap-py New Year!
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