In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

A Tribute and Celebration

We were the class of 1958, members of the Greatest Generation as well as children of the Greatest Generation. Born in 1940, we are also called members of the Traditional Generation.

Our childhood, post World War II, "was the best of times . . . it was the age of wisdom . . . it was the epoch of belief . . .it was the season of Light . . . it was the spring of hope . . . we had everything before us . . .we were all going direct to Heaven . . . ." (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens.) At least, that's the way I felt about it. We were truly blessed.

- Ouida Tomlinson -

This blog is a place for 1958 graduates of Meridian, Mississippi, High School to stay in touch, post their news, items of interest and photographs.

CLASS OF 1958 MEMORIES (Click to read all posts relating to sports, honors, graduation and other memories of our class in 1957-58.)




Saturday, May 31, 2008

45th Reunion Booklet

I have "borrowed" space on one of my websites to give us a page to put information that is impossible to put on a blog, such as reunion booklets. Look near the top of this page and find the link: 45TH REUNION BOOKLET. Click. The link will take you to the new page where you will find the link to open the 45th reunion booklet. There is also a second link to a Word document (but the pages are all images).

Perhaps someone can send me a smaller file of the booklet. For example, if anyone has the 45th reunion booklet in a Word or other document format, please attach to an e-mail and send. A Word document would be much smaller and easier for everyone to open than what I have uploaded on the web page.

Later, if our committee will provide our 50th Reunion booklet in Word or other document format, I will upload it also to this page.

(You should not need this information, but the URL to web page is: Also, if you can hear the music, it may be too loud until I can adjust it. So turn speakers down.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Missing Classmates

Beth and our reunion committee need your assistance. They have not been able to locate our classmates listed below. If you have any information, please make an entry in comment below, and sign your name (no anonymous comments for this please). Also, if you prefer, you may send in an e-mail to me at I'll forward the information on. We need an up-to-date name, address, e-mail address and telephone number - all or any of these. Thanks a bunch.

Bob Bond
Eva Lou Bounds - last known as Mannelli
Patsy Dale Bradley
Michael Gay
Bill Hobbs
Charles Lynch
Barbara Metcalf - last known as Lee
Vincent Miller
James Minor Smith
Patricia Ann Swann - last known as Graham
Billy Tidwell
Bobby Clara Small - last known as McElhenney
Betty Lou White - last known as Ross

UPDATED 6/14/08

A new time frame reference

We all have different ways of remembering when things happened by putting the event in time perspective. For some it might have been before divorce or after divorce, before the children were all gone or after the children were gone, before the bypass surgery or after.

Here in South Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, there has been a new time frame that has become a rather standard point of reference. It is BK and AK – and for those who were not impacted by Katrina, that means before Katrina or after Katrina. It is rather common when discussing some recent event for a person to invoke the question, “Was that before Katrina or after?”

It is simply not possible to understand how many lives were changed overnight and how many lives are still being impacted from the aftermath.

Our lives are still very much affected by Katrina. Katrina will be a milestone in the history of this area and the reference to BK and AK will become even more prominent as time goes on.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

50 year history

Since graduation I have spent most of my life in prison. Well not literally, but I have worked in Corrections for the last 37 years. I started in this field with the MS Department of Youth Services in March 1971, moved into the adult system in March 77 and served as Commissioner of Corrections from 1980-87. In 1987 I was hired as Commissioner of Corrections in Alabama where I remained until March of 93. At that point I returned to MS and worked as Deputy Director of the MS Department of Human Services and retired in July 94 with 25 years of service in MS government. Attorney General Janet Reno appointed me as Director of the National Institute of Corrections in July 94 and I have been fortunate to be reappointed by three other AG’s and remain in Washington, DC as Director of NIC. Retirement from the Federal Government is likely at the end of this year.

Unfortunately a marriage of 42 years ended in divorce in July 2005. My two sons and five grandchildren live in Jackson. I am very proud of my family. Lee the oldest is director of a community ministry in Jackson, Mission First ( Scot is a certified financial advisor and also has created a ministry called Chasing Solomon ( This ministry developed as a result of a book Scot authored entitled Chasing Solomon.

I really look forward to our reunion. Thru the years I have wondered if I would still be around in 2008. It seemed so far down the road and yet I have been blessed with good health and look forward to being with many of you in October.

Lessons From High School

You may find it difficult to believe, but some of the most valuable lessons about life, I learned in high school. But the lessons were generally not in some lesson plan, they were a by product of the experience.

I want to share one with you. I “played” football in high school and I was outstanding – as a blocking or tackling dummy. My only contribution was in practice – being a live dummy.

But there was one team meeting I remember rather well. Coach David Owens told the team that if we gained just three yards on every play we would win every game we played. Now you may remember that football in those days was quite different from the wide open high octane way it is played today. Then it could be described as three yards and a cloud of dust. The average play was designed to gain three yards. His comments made an impression on me that I still hold to this day. If we would make every play count – if we would make every play successful, then we would win every game we played.

The point was a game had to be broken down into its most basic parts – each play. While the lesson had to do with football, it spans everything we do in life. Break the task down to its most basic part and then execute that basic part correctly and you will be successful.

Take life. What is a successful life? It is nothing more than a series of successful days. Successful days turn into successful weeks, months, years and life.

As you are struggling with a big task, break it down into the basic parts. Then make sure you execute each part successfully. If you do, you will win the game.

Old Friends

I found this little piece on the internet this a.m. We are hoping that this blog will help us renew friendships so that we will know each other well by the time of the reunion and not have so many awkward moments such as this one described below. The following is copied from:

Old friends? We must be. You’re delighted to see me. I’m delighted to see you. But who are you? Oh, my God, you’re Jane. I can’t believe it. Jane. “Jane! How are you? It’s been — how long has it been?” I’d like to suggest that the reason I didn’t recognize you right off the bat is that you’ve done something to your hair, but you’ve done nothing to your hair, nothing that would excuse my not recognizing you. What you’ve actually done is gotten older. I don’t believe it. You used to be my age, and now you’re much, much, much older than I am. You could be my mother. Unless of course I look as old as you and I don’t know it. Which is not possible. Or is it? I’m looking around the room and I notice that everyone in it looks like someone — and when I try to figure out exactly who that someone is, it turns out to be a former version of herself, a thinner version or a healthier version or a pre-plastic-surgery version or a taller version. If this is true of everyone, it must be true of me. Mustn’t it? But never mind: you are speaking. “Maggie,” you say, “it’s been so long.” “I’m not Maggie,” I say. “Oh, my God,” you say, “It’s you. I didn’t recognize you. You’ve done something to your hair.”

Nora Ephron, the author, most recently, of “I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman,” is a contributing columnist for The Times.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Catch A Wave

I don't remember listening to the Bee Gees until sometimes in the 60's or early 70's. Deep in my memories (somewhere around the time of my divorce), I remember being in Meridian, driving my mother's GTO with the Bee Gees singing, "Catch A Wave." There was a great sense of empowerment because I had said yes to life. I had caught a wave and was sitting on top of the world. I was no longer living under the crushing weight of a rock - The Marriage. I rode the wave through Ole Miss in the 70's and one of the happiest periods of my life. I wasn't only Staying Alive , I could say, I'm Alive. It was a great time for me and a great time for women.

Other Bee Gees I like
How Deep is Your Love

(Click underlined words for link to music.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Forever Young

I've found through the e-mails and this blog that we have remained forever young in our spirits. We may be almost 70 but time has stood still in some respects. May your hearts always be joyful.

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

by Bob Dylan

Saturday, May 24, 2008

David James is Practicing!!

Y'all all know that David James has been threatening us if we don't post. This is his latest threat: "If y' all don't start posting some of your songs and stuff, I'm going to run butt nekkid thru the lobby of the Silver Star Casino to begin our reunion. It won't be pretty!"

I just want you to know that he has been seen practicing so hurry folks. He has been caught on camera. This is an emergency.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Powerpuff Bowl

I moved to New Orleans in 1960. In 1965 Hurricane Betsy flooded our apartment and I lost my yearbooks. Therefore I have had nothing to keep those memories fresh and alive.

I really enjoyed reading Larry's story about the Vicksburg game. His story brought back some names and memories I had long forgoten. After reading his post, for some reason I thought about the Powerpuff Bowl.

Did you play in that game? Which team won? Why was the game played? What is your memory of that game?

Remembering these things should bring back some pleasant memories of high school.

Time to Start Posting Your Autobiographies

We need more personal information posted. Tell us about yourself; post your autobiography for the reunion booklet and for us to read now. The better reacquainted we become with each other before the reunion, the more fun it will be when we gather.

Reminder One: this is a post, but if you prefer, you can present your autobiography as a comment under this post. Click comment. But please do it in a post if you can. I'll be glad to help. It is easy to figure out. Log in and go from there.

Reminder Two: When I click sign in, one class member says, it takes me to something asking me to create my own blog. I can't seem to get back on the MHS blog.
  • Everytime you go to the blog and click sign in at the top right corner, you will come to this page. Ignore part about creating your own blog. Look to right, towards top. It says: "Sign in to use Blogger with your Google Account." Sign in with your user name (e-mail address) and password. This will take you to the Dashboard. Click view blog or create post.

Reminder Three: Notice at the bottom of this page that older posts may be found by clicking on the link "Older Posts."

Reminder Four: Send me e-mail with photos attached to include in a slideshow. My e-mail address is

Katrina Videos, Made Near Ouida

These are videos of the Katrina storm surge, made at the overpass of I-10 and 603 to Waveland/Bay St. Louis, the afternoon of the hurricane. The water is near the top of the bridge and covers Hwy. 603 in both directions. The videos were made several miles from the Gulf. Our home is approximately 3 miles east on I-10 and 1 mile north from here. Videos were made by some Diamondhead boys.

Lifestyle Choices

In her post Ouida had stated that she realized that her health problems were directly related to her lifestyle choices. But when we think of lifestyle choices we generally think of physical things we do or don't do, such as how much exercise we get, how much and what we eat.

We rarely think of or appreciate how much our thoughts effect our lifestyle and therefore our health. We spend lots of time, money and energy on our physical appearance, but often very little on developing the emotional side of our lives. We can do all the correct physical activities, but if we don't put the same energy into our emotional well being, we will not gain the lifestyle we are seeking.

Unfortunately we are nearing the age when the emotional wear and tear begins show up in all sorts of physical problems.

The biggest problem I see is people who cannot accept things that happen. They often are holding on to the past, trying to change the outcome of some past event. They may be holding on to regret, the desire for revenge or the guilt associated with some past deed. It is all for naught. There is nothing any of us can do to change any past event. All we can do is learn from it and move on with life.

There are two books that I highly recommend for those who want more insight into how to develop a better emotional lifestyle. The first is As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. The second is A Manual for Living - a Little Book of Wisdom - Epictetus. Both can be read in an hour or so. Simple but powerful truths that can change your lifestyle and all that goes with it.

Class Trivia - Poll Results

I received an e-mail from Larry Tyner, providing a great description of the final moments of the football game which was the subject of the trivia question . His words are pasted below. Thanks, Larry.

"As you know, the trivia answer was 7-7 tie with Vicksburg at their field. I was on the field as a football manager and remember it well.

"Meridian's outstanding team on the field that fateful night featured tackles Joe Morgan, James Nichols and Charles Rea, guards Wayne Anders and Tommy Ranager, Center Richard Russell, ends Oliver Buntin and Marty Kogen. Full back Billy Horn, running backs Stuff McRaney and Bobby Satcher and I believe Bob Bullock (also punter) or Freddy Schoenrock was at Quarterback. Defensive standouts included Ralph Abraham, Ronnie Mitchell and Paul Walker. They gave their all. Many of those players received football scholarships and went on to star in college. They were a talented bunch and generally believed to be the best team in the state.

"We were on Vicksburg's goal line near the end of the game. I overheard Jug Knight urging Dog Owen to let a ready and eager Paul Walker attempt a field goal (about like an extra point) to win the game. Instead, Coach Owen called another run at a TD on fourth down. They stopped us and, as they say, the rest is history. The tie cost us the Big Eight championship. It was a sad, quiet bus trip on Highway 80 back to Meridian."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Soft Rock Singer Paul Davis from Meridian Dead at 60

Here's a link to utube with his "I Go Crazy" and the news story of his death at 60.

In the Eighth Month

I made a long comment under John's "Our deceased classmates" post. Part of my comment was admitting that my health problems are result of life choices. The remainder of my comment was about Hurricane Katrina and its impact on people - not just their "stuff" but on their spirits, their hearts, their families, health and so on.

I have a writing about Hurricane Katrina, the Coast, my friends and my husband and me. It is entitled "In the Eighth Month." Some of you have read it. It is posted on two websites and one blog. I am responsibility for these for two of my groups. Click links.

I'm also responsible for two other blogs:

In a nutshell, a good part of my life is represented on these sites. Needless to say, they have suffered from neglect the last 2 1/2 weeks

(This week I started reading The Great Deluge, Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Douglas Brinkley. Very good.)

Our deceased classmates

Shocked. That is the only word I can think of. I was reading the blog, looking forward to our 50th high school reunion. And I came across the list of our classmates who are no longer with us. Fifty-two gone. Shocking is all I can say. I am not sure if this is statistically normal, but to me it seems quite high.

I think the cause of death for those who have passed on could be divided into three major categories. Those who met an early demise by reason of some tragic accident. Those who were cursed by some errant DNA that caused some fatal disease and those who made poor lifestyle choices. There is nothing any of us can really do to protect ourselves from the first two categories. But the third category is the most disturbing because it could have/should have been prevented.

As I review the list, I am reminded how fragile life is. But there is no reason we should meet with an early death because of poor lifestyle choices. I know I have made many poor choices since leaving high school. But hopefully, with age and a little wisdom brought on by some poor experiences, I have learned.

It is really never too late to examine your lifestyle choices. The most tragic death is the one you could have prevented by altering your lifestyle. Just think about it.

Do You Remember and When Did Rock 'n Roll Start?

Here's a link to the Statler Brothers' song:

There's also an interesting treatise here on when Rock 'n Roll actually started.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pick A Mess O' Poke Salad

No, this is not the title of a song, but directions on how to gather, cook, and enjoy a traditional southern dish that's similar to spinach; it is great with corn bread, and perhaps grits or black-eyed peas. Yes, I'm still very much a southern girl, and have been shocked at the reaction of "yankee" friends when I give them a mess; they recoil in horror, thinking that I'm trying to poison them! Well, actually, you shouldn't eat the white poke berries on top unless you desire a slow, painful death, but other than that, just go for a nice walk in the woods or perhaps in your back yard and pick the smooth leaves and tender tops, wash, boil a few minutes, and pour off the first water (would be too bitter otherwise and also that kills any insects that may be lurking). Then proceed to cook as you would spinach (I use a pressure cooker). When done (tender), pour off the liquid and season with salt, butter, and top with sliced boiled eggs. Enjoy!

By the way, the washed leaves will keep in the refrigerator a few days nicely while you decide whether or not to actually trust your old classmate enough to cook and consume a potentially poisonous weed.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Peacock Visitors

In Tuscaloosa we occasionally have peacock visitors from a farm across the road. I feed them dry cat food to get them to hang around a while.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

WVSU Streaming Smooth Jazz

Here's a link to my favorite radio station broadcasting from Samford Univ. in B'ham. They play mostly smooth jazz (great for background sound with computer work), but regularly have bluegrass and blues programs.

Happy listening! Let me know if you like it.

Wild Blue - A Carousel Horse at Meridian Airport

Here is Wild Blue, a carousel horse I painted for the Meridian Airport. I had wings added in Chicago before they shipped it, painted it like the sky, and painted the top (which the airport personnel kindly constructed for me) in a motif similar to Meridian's antique Dentzel Carousel, with paintings of various sky scenes and fake mirrors. This was such a fun project!

Martha Markline Hopkins

Link to personal blog - Martha Markline Hopkins

This contains pics of our 3 grandsons, my favorite installation sculpture while at UA, and a link to the Penguins' song "Earth Angel." Remember the senior outing at Lake Waukaway - lying on the sand to warm ourselves from the cold water, and listening over and over to "Earth Angel"? Now those were the days....

Animals - Martha Hopkins

Here's a Scarlet Tanager on a honeysuckle vine we saw at one of Dauphin Island's Bird Sanctuaries. It was migrating time when daughter Caroline and I were there a few weeks ago in March, and the bird watching and just plain peace and quiet were wonderful.

Here's Ebenezer, my Bengal kitty, with his "I may look laid back, but I'll probably rip you to shreds one day" look. Bengals are a relatively new breed, and are 4th generation from the Wild Asian Leopard Cat. His ancestors lived in trees, and he likes to travel in the car with me, draped around my shoulders like a fur piece. Bengals are good companions, but are not for everyone. I'm pretty much his pet, not the other way around; i.e., constantly trying to please him when he cries loudly (he likes raw meat), and letting him in and out 100 times/day.

Here I am at Dauphin Island a few weeks ago, holding daughter Caroline's half Jack Russell/half Chihuahua. Pixie is a sweetheart, and follows w/o a leash.

Simple Woman House for Sale Blues

For years, my mother had this picture
on the wall in her dressing room.
It reflects her attitude,
and probably one reason why
she lived to be over 90.

Somebody please buy my Mama's house at 4906 B Place, Meridian, MS. 1993 sf, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, with possible 3rd bedroom and bath. MLS No. 07-1119.


Call James D. Harwell (my son)
JDH Commercial Realty
Cell: (601) 880.9773
Office: (601) 482.1656

I'm just a Simple Woman
Ouida Tomlinson

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Jinny Curran Walz, Daughter & Family

Here is a picture of my daughter Suzanne,
my wonderful son-in-law Randy
and my almost perfect 6 grandchildren.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Remembering All Of You On Mother's Day

Remembering all of you on Mother's Day - sons and daughters, mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. Wishing you a happy and peaceful day with family and fond memories.

Like me, I'm sure you may have bought many cards for Mother's Day and Father's Day in days gone by. Until I was almost 40, I had four grandparents, my mom and dad. One by one they passed away until the last one was gone - my mother in December 2006. I miss my mother this Mother's Day.

My mother always planned things well. The day after her funeral, the whole family was still together, and we celebrated a wedding when James (my oldest son) and Regan were married at Church of the Mediator in Meridian. Now James and Regan have made me a grandmother again. I can see my mother smiling. The baby's name is Peyton (in video below).

Love & Prayers,

Tell us about you and your family by making comment following this post or making your own post.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What is a blog?

Your friendly friend Ouida here, writing for those who are not familiar with blogs. I thought perhaps a few definitions and directions might assist some of you. The first rule is don't be intimidated. Eight months ago, I did not know what a blog was and had never seen one. Posting is easy - very similar to an e-mail.

What is a blog?

  • Generally, a blog, or weblog, is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs are defined by their format: a series of entries posted to a single page in reverse-chronological order.

What is a post?

  • This is a post. It is an entry. It is a single unit of content on a blog, usually consisting of at least a title and text. It also can have labels, images, and videos. A blog is made up of a collection of posts.

What is a title?

  • Each post should be given a title by the author.
What is a comment?

  • Click on the word "comment" below. A comment is written as a reaction to the post. If it is a new subject or does not relate to the post, then it should be made in the form of a post, not a comment.

What is a label?

  • After composing your post, enter whatever labels you like at the bottom of the form in the space marked "Labels for this post." You can also click the "show all" link to display a list of labels used previously. Then just click on the labels to add them. When you publish your post, the labels will be listed on the sidebar. Clicking any of the labels on the sidebar will take you to a page containing only posts with that label.

What is the sidebar?

  • Our sidebar is the column on the far right. Only the person with administrative privileges may enter material on the sidebar. In the case of this blog, Jinny and Ouida are the only ones with administrative privileges.

What is a link?

  • Using hypertext, a link is a selectable connection from one word, picture, or information object to another.

Who may post?

  • Anyone who is a member of the Meridian, MS, class of '58, has received an e-mail invitation from the blog and signed up. If you are a member of the Meridian, MS, class of '58 and would like to post but have not received an invitation, please e-mail Jinny or Ouida. This may be done by clicking on Jinny's or Ouida's name on the sidebar, near the bottom.

How do I post?

  • Go to the blog, click sign in at the top, right corner. Sign in. This will take you to the Dashboard. Click "new post."

When I click sign in, one class member says, it takes me to something asking me to create my own blog. I can't seem to get back on the MHS blog.

  • Everytime you go to the blog and click sign in at the top right corner, you will come to this page. Ignore part about creating your own blog. Look to right, towards top. It says: "Sign in to use Blogger with your Google Account." Sign in with your user name (e-mail address) and password. This will take you to the Dashboard. Click view blog or create post.

Who may comment?

  • Anyone. However, any inappropriate comments will be deleted by one of the administrators of the blog.

How to create a profile?

  • When you receive your invitation to post and sign up, you will have the opportunity to create a profile. See profile listing in sidebar on the right for example. If you did not do this at the time of sign up, go back and add, if you would like. Then I will add you to profile list for others to read.

Other questions?

  • Put under comment section to this post.


  • If you want to know why I have three posts dated for the year 2013, it is to keep them at the top as an introduction. The post with the latest date and time is always at the top.
  • If you want to know why I'm calling myself "Little Scribe," it is because I have other blogs, one of them being titled "Our Lady's Little Scribe." When I started that blog, I set up my Goggle account as "Little Scribe" so I'm stuck with it.
  • Don't be afraid to click on things and explore the blog. Only Jinny and I can do something fatal with a click, like delete the whole blog.

A Place Called Meridian

For those using fast access and want higher qualty video,
go to to view.
Click arrow in lower left corner to start.

This is a great video about Meridian - a must see!!
Sent to us by David James. Thanks, David!

In the Still of the Night


Monday, May 5, 2008

Lost in the Fifties Tonight

Close your eyes, Baby
Follow my heart
Call on the memories
Here in the dark
We'll let the magic
Take us away
Back to the feelings
We shared when they played
In the still of the night . . . .

Remember When (click - may need RealPlayer)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Invitation to Meridian Wildcats

Meridian Wildcats,
I've just put your email addresses in so that you could access the blog. Ouida will be helping me set this up so that it's an interesting site, with comments, photos, bios and items of interest as we prepare for the big 50th reunion.

Please accept the invitation, come on board, post your latest bio and chat. If you have access to our mascot/slogan, please send it to Ouida so that she can include it on the site. She's the savvy one when it comes to computers.

See you soon.

First Post from Ouida

Hi. Jinny and I are working on the blog tonight so that I can begin setting up the format and adding pictures, features and so on. If you have pictures or suggestions, please send and write me at Also, you can send me your name and e-mail address if you have not received what is called an invitation to post. (What's I'm doing now is called a post.) We need 50's music. I would like to do a slide show or two. Send ideas.

I'll work as fast as possible but unfortunately, I am still working 4 days a week so will be slow (but sure). Tomorrow I have to take one of my little Maltese dogs to a specialist in New Orleans. He is very sick. I would appreciate your prayers. He has his own blog at

Love & Prayers,
Ouida Landreth Tomlinson