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.)




Thursday, July 31, 2008


I like minimalism, but with expression, which seems a dichotomy, but I dance around while making art until I get the right amount of each. I seem to have an urge to do both; therefore, I synthesize - not easy, but it's "me." Click on the URL below to view some of my paintings, acrylics on shaped canvases, which I build myself. I can actually combine sculpture and painting!

Family Photos from Beth Hobgood Clark

Beth has send us photos of her beautiful grandchildren, Ashley and Tyler, and daughter Amy. These were made on Mother's Day this year. (Click photos to make large.)

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Maxine Strickland sends us the following:

To commemorate her 69th birthday, actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP. One of the musical numbers she performed was 'My Favorite Things' from the legendary movie 'Sound Of Music'. Here are the lyrics she used: (If you sing it, its especially hysterical!!!)

Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak,
When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache,
When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Maxine Reeder Strickland

Maxine writes and says: "Ouida, here is the latest picture of me with a baby raccoon that I had just bottle fed. His name is Scooter. I am always feeding something, so I have named my farm "The Garden of Eatin", not EDEN, but EATIN. I am sitting on my fenced in patio to keep the rest of the animals away from me. I am in the cage. HeeHee. What a life and privilege to be here. Warm wishes to all."

Thoughts on Aging from Peggy Edwards

A penny saved is a government oversight.
The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.
The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.
He who hesitates is probably right.
Did you ever notice: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are ' XL.'
If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.
If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.
There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. For example I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.
Did you ever notice: When you put the 2 words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells 'Theirs.'
Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.
Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.
When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.
You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.
Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
First you forget names, then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper. It's worse when you forget to pull it down.
Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today, it's called golf.


Here are 3 works from my current art show at Cobb Gallery in Birmingham. The found-object piece SOUL BIRD is made from welded pieces from the junk yard. I used horseshoe nails for claws, an old jack for a foot and leg, pitchfork for wings, large washers for eyes, etc. I used to have lots of fun making these, but am now making paintings; they are lighter and easier to load! The large painting BLACK STRIPE, a diptych, is acrylic on shaped boards. The smaller one FLOATING TRIANGLE , a southwestern design - is a shaped canvas with found objects under the canvas to shape it and also some glued on top of the canvas and painted. I still like found objects!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Coty Huggins Tootle - Autobiography

Theo and I are happy that we moved to the North Georgia Mountains in 2003. We feel so blessed to have the beauty of the mountains surrounding our home. We play golf, go to grandchildren's activities, volunteer, and travel when we have time. We stay in touch with our family and friends from Meridian, Chicago, Greensboro, NC and Atlanta. We still go to Meridian three or four times a year as my sister and brother still live in Meridian.

Gay Broome - Autobiography

Gay Broome's autobiography:
I left MSCW to teach school in Florida, had a midlife crisis and went to law school at the University of Florida. I took a job in West Palm Beach as a Prosecutor and did that until I became a Circuit Judge; I retired at 62 and moved back to Melbourne.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Good morning. Just want to share some pics I made recently at the Warrior River lock in Tuscaloosa. Everyone I see who is fishing say that the fishing is good, and they usually have a bucket of fish to prove it. The last pic is of a bank window in downtown Tuscaloosa.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Reader's Reflection

It is much better to die of hunger unhindered by grief and fear than to live affluently beset with worry, dread, suspicion and unchecked desire.
55 - 135 A.D.

In response to last week's lesson (Getting or Giving) I received an email from a reader in Australia. The letter was beautifully written and illustrated first hand the point of the lesson. I felt it was so valuable I wanted to share it with you. (Editor's note -- the words have not been changed to reflect the American spelling.)

I've not long been on your mailing list, but I have loved reading your words and thinking about the message or lessons contained within. This Lesson (Getting or Giving) was of particular relevance to me because it relates directly to a realisation I came to in my own life about 18 months ago or so.

I was deeply depressed with my life, and on this one particular November evening as I looked around my house, with myriad material possessions seemingly adorning each room, I was struck with a profound sense to simplify and get rid of all this "stuff". It simply didn't bring me happiness (and I wondered if it ever really did). It became apparent that my life had become completely devoid of passion, experiences and fun. Additionally, I had become accustomed to living a life that was concerned only with security -- acquiring it and maintaining it. Fear had taken over too and I no longer took risks because of the fear of losing my security...

My "light bulb moment" spawned a process of selling a lot of excess items from my home, and even now, that process continues. I even went from driving a car to a motorbike -- not only is it cheaper and easier to maintain, but it's brought the fun back to my daily commutes! I've also made some serious decisions about the future and will be embarking on an overseas teaching adventure next year, which is something I wanted to do five years ago but again let fear take over. The fear then was of being out of my comfort zone and not having all the things that I had surrounded myself with -- the home theatre, computer, music, DVDs...etc. These things simply anchored me, and although I thought they brought me joy, they actually stopped me from moving.

Lately though, I've been drawn to the idea of reducing my "stuff" so that fits into a box. It's an ideal I suppose. Obviously boxes come in different sizes, I know, but from a purely hypothetical point of view, the goal is to be able to say that my stuff fits into a box. The smaller the box, the less anchored I'll be.

And as far as giving is concerned, it also became apparent to me that my work was all about helping a company get richer whilst I preserved my salary. At what point was I really helping or giving to others? I wasn't. It didn't help me feel any better about working, knowing that the company I worked for was morally bankrupt. Being given a redundancy package was an absolute blessing, for it allowed me to move into a more satisfying field of work. It also prompted me to take a few risks and not play it safe as I had done previously, simply by taking another position offered by the company and maintaining my salary and all the entitlements I'd banked.

I knew that I needed to give because I'd spent so long taking. Everything I did was about me. And I knew this had to change. I'm not yet working in a job that directly contributes or assists other people in a way I consider meaningful, but I am getting closer. The move overseas will certainly allow me to give more and impart my knowledge on others, but to be honest, I wish I could give more than that. I don't know how, or in what capacity, but I just know I'd love to make a meaningful contribution to someone's life, somehow. Perhaps opportunities will present themselves to me when I am overseas -- who knows?


O divine master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive.

St. Francis of Assisi
c. 1181 - 1226

B-Bop Quiz

B-Bop quiz Great memories about music that caused our parents and teachers grief!!!! Welcome to "The Expanded Doo-Wop Oldies Quiz." Take the quiz and see how you score as a true "Oldies Fan". Write down your answers and check them with the answers below.

1. When did "Little Suzie" finally wake up?
a) The movie's over, it's 2 o'clock
b) The movie's over, it's 3 o'clock
c) The movie's over, it's 4 o'clock

2. "Rock Around The Clock" was used in what movie?
a) Rebel Without A Cause
b) Blackboard Jungle
c) The Wild Ones

3. What's missing from a Rock & Roll standpoint? Earth_____
a) Angel
b) Mother
c) Worm

4. "I found my thrill..." where?
a) Kansas City
b) Heartbreak Hotel
c) Blueberry Hill

5. "Please turn on your magic beam, _____ _____ bring me a dream"
a) Mr. Sandman
b) Earth Angel
c) Dream Lover

6. For which label did Elvis Presley first record?a) Atlantic
b) RCA
c) Sun

7. He asked, "Why's everybody always pickin' on me? " Who was he?
a) Bad Bad Leroy Brown
b) Charlie Brown
c) Buster Brown

8. Bobby Darin's "Mack The Knife", the one with the knife, was named:
a) MacHeath
b) MacCloud
c) MacNamara

9. Name the song with "A-wop bop a-loo bop a-lop bam boom"?
a) Good Golly Miss Molly
b) Be-Bop-A-Lula
c) Tutti Fruitti

10. Who is generally given credit for originating the term "Rock And Roll"?
a) Dick Clark
b) Wolfman Jack
c) Alan Freed

11. In 1957, he left the music business to become a preacher.
a) Little Richard
b) Frankie Lymon
c) Tony Orlando

12. Paul Anka's "Puppy Love" is written to what star?
a) Brenda Lee
b) Connie Francis
c) Annette Funicello

13. The Everly Brothers are...
a) Pete and Dick
b) Don and Phil
c) Bob and Bill

14. The Big Bopper's real name was:
a) Jiles P. Richardson
b) Roy Harold Scherer Jr.
c) Marion Michael Morrison

15. In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. started a small record company called...
a) Decca
b) Cameo
c) Motown

16. Edd Brynes had a hit with "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb. "What TV show was he on?a) 77 Sunset Strip
b) Hawaiian Eye
c) Surfside Six

17. In 1960 Bobby Darin married:
a) Carol Lynley
b) Sandra Dee
c) Natalie Wood

18. They were a one hit wonder with "Book Of Love."
a) The Penguins
b) The Monotones
c) The Moonglows

19. The Everly Brothers sang a song called "Till I ____________you.
a) Loved you
b) Kissed you
c) Met you

20. Chuck Berry sang "Oh ________________ why can't you be true?"
a) Suzie Q
b) Peggy Sue
c) Maybelline

21. Wooly _______
a) Mammouth
b) Bully
c) Pully

22. "I'm like a one-eyed cat ...
a) can't go into town no more.
b) sleepin' on a cold hard floor.
c) peepin' in a seafood store.

23) "Sometimes I wonder what I'm gonna do .
a) cause there ain't no answer for a life without booze.
b) cause there ain't no cure for the summertime blues.
c) cause my car's gassed up and I'm ready to cruise.

24) "They often call me Speedo, but my real name is ..."
a) Mr. Earl.
b) Jackie Pearl.
c) Milton Berle.

25) "Be Bop A Lula ...
a) she's got the rabies.
b) she's my baby.
c) she loves me, maybe.

26. "Fine Love, Fine Kissing, ..
a) right here.
b) fifty cents.
c) just for you.

27) "He wore black denim trousers and ...
a) a pink carnation.
b) pink leotards.
c) motorcycle boots.

28) "I got a gal named ..."
a) Jenny Zamboni.
b) Gerri Mahoney
c) Boney Maroney.

Answers are below, if you need to see how you did.

1 c) The movie's over, it's 4 o'clock
2. b) Blackboard Jungle
3.a) Angel
4. c) Blueberry Hill
5. a) Mr. Sandman
6. c) Sun
7. b) Charlie Brown
8. a) Mac Heath
9. c) Tutti Fruitti
10. c) Alan Freed
11. a) Little Richard
12. c) Annette Funicello
13. b) Don and Phil
14. a) Jiles P. Richardson
15. c) Motown
16. a) 77 Sunset Strip
17. b) Sandra Dee
18. b) The Monotones
19. b) Kissed
20. c) Maybelline
21. b) Bully
22. c) peepin' in a seafood store.
23. b) cause there ain't no cure for the summertime blues.
24. a) Mr. Earl.
25. b) she's my baby.
26. a) right here.
27. c) motorcycle boots
28. c) Boney Maroney.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Writing from Meridian

I came to Meridian yesterday for grandchild's birthday party. Peyton is one year old. He is so kissable and such a peaceful little one, although he has his "I'm mad" moments, of course. I babysat last night while James and Regan went to a benefit for Church of the Mediator. It was held next door at the Hulett home. They talked with Marty and Linda who were also attending. Meanwhile I was chasing Peyton around the house. He was crawling at top speed. I finally gave him a bath and put him to bed. Then I slept until noon today. Am I tired! As they say, my get up and go has got up and gone.

Right now we are in the midst of big storm with flash flood warnings. A huge limb fell from tree in James' yard.

I'm staying at my mother's home which is still for sale. It has basic supplies and furniture for staying there. I don't think it will ever sell. I heard that there are 350 homes for sale where I live in Diamondhead. Housing market not so good anywhere.

WOULD SOMEBODY PLEASE BUY MY MAMA'S HOUSE!!! Simple Woman House for Sale Blues (click link).

School Days

With all the Back To School signs in stores, I remembered how different it was in Meridian in the mid to late Forties. Getting ready to go back to school meant a trip to The Paragon. They had all the necessary workbooks and supplies and all you had to do was tell them your grade. The store had a lot of lovely items on shelves and in glass floor display cabinets. I remember the milk glass displays and I still have a piece from there. They were right across the street from the Royal Theater.

I am hoping someone can give me the correct spelling of another store on the corner from the Paragon. Niolen's (sp) Coffee and Tea. In front of the store was a rather large peanut roaster. I believe it was made of copper. Great marketing. Not many could resist the aroma of roasting peanuts. You could reach inside the roaster and get a bag of roasted peanuts and go inside to pay. Of course, this was "back when" there were counter checks in all the stores and some were even blank at the top so you could enter the name of the bank.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

God's Minute

Chapter 20:1-5

The LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary,
and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings,
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices!
May he grant you your heart's desire,
and fulfil all your plans! May we shout for joy over your victory,
and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the LORD fulfil all your petitions!

Friday, July 25, 2008



Our special thanks to everyone on the reunion committee. We really appreciate all that you have done to make our reunion special and enjoyable for the rest of us. We look forward to seeing everyone in October and again thank you for everything.

We also wish to congratulate Jinny and Ouida for the outstanding web site. It has been interesting visiting the Meridian Wildcat 58 blog which so many of you have taken your time to publish. Many thanks to Jinny and Ouida for your work and high tech knowledge.

Arlene and Bob Merson

Ivan Burnett - Biography

After graduating from high school, Chaplain Ivan Burnett received a Bachelor’s Degree from Millsaps College and a Master of Divinity Degree from Yale University. He then served churches in Mississippi and Arizona, earned a Doctor of Ministry from the School of Theology at Claremont, CA, wrote and published a book, and in 1973 was commissioned as a Navy Chaplain. Eight years prior to retiring in 1999, he reached the rank of Navy Captain (06). Duties included his being the Senior Chaplain of the USS MISSISSIPPI (CGN-40) and two other ships, including an aircraft carrier, and serving as the Senior Chaplain of MCAS, Yuma, AZ; 1st Force Service Support Group, Camp Pendleton, CA; Long Beach, Naval Station; and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 29 Palms, CA. Military decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), and the Legion of Merit.

Prior to entering the chaplaincy he served churches in Grenada and Clarksdale, MS, and in Scottsdale and Buckeye AZ, and was the founding pastor of a mission in Gila Bend, AZ. Since retiring as a member of the Desert Southwest Annual Conference, he has taken courses on therapeutic massage and holistic health and courses in Spanish, as well as composing music, teaching marriage enrichment courses, and serving on numerous church boards and agencies, including a United Methodist camp for persons with AIDS and their partners. His music has been performed in churches from Colorado and Arizona to Virginia.

He is presently serving on the Board of Directors of The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church and on The United Methodist Endorsing Committee, the committee that gives the final stamp of approval for all chaplains and pastoral counselors of his denomination.

In 1967 he married the former Joanne Evelyn Munsil, a second generation Phoenician, an author, and a professor of pediatric nursing. They are the proud parents of Dr. Daniel Burnett of Lilburn, GA, and the Reverend David Burnett of the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference of the UM Church, presently on disability leave due to multiple sclerosis. Ivan and Joanne retired to Tucson in 1999 and have used most of their time since retiring to fix up their house and yard, grow home grown tomatoes, assist their son with multiple sclerosis, assist aging mothers, and visit their grandchildren in both Arizona and in Georgia. Ivan loves to cook, travel, learn, and keep his brain active.

He would love to hear from any of you. His addresses are; P. O. Box 32553; Tucson, AZ 85751-2553.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Some of the things disclosed by Astronaut Dr.Edgar Mitchell (6th man to walk on the moon and rode in Apollo 14 in 1971) in the radio interview on Kerrang Radio, 23 July 2008:

Edgar Mitchell says there IS life in the Universe.He says we have been visited, and that UFOs have been covered up by the government for a long time.The host almost has a stroke during the interview he's so shocked.Edgar says it is a real phenomena.He says he's been inside military circles and they know we've been visited and talk about it behind closed doors.He says he's been involved in certain research committees and knows people who know the real story.There is quite a bit of contact going on.The Roswell crash was real.Doesn't know if Disclosure will be this year or not...Public acceptance is increasing.Not all UFOs are of ET origin. Some are home-grown. But some are ET crafts.He's not concerned about his safety talking about it openly anymore.Alien intent is not hostile.Some others involved in the Moon landing also know the truth.The host made the point that this is the first time Edgar has stated so clearly that ET life exists and UFOs are real. He's hinted at it, but this is the first time ever.

The Vatican is saying that we should welcome aliens as brothers. Do you think we should invite them to our reunion? If so, we'd better plan ahead and make special accomodations....

Maxine Reeder Strickland - Autobiography

5455 Hwy 77 North
LaGrange, TX 78945

I want to share a most memorable Christmas with all of you. My husband, Wanzie Strickland, class of ‘54, and I still live on our farm in Texas. We have all kind of animals, and in the house we have at least two of everything. Last July, I had to have one of my feet reconstructed after a badly broken foot and ankle, and I was laid up for several months. I had a lot of time on my hands to think about what was important. Christmas was approaching, so in September, I emailed all four of my children and told them that I did NOT want anything that had to be FED, WATERED, WORN, DUSTED, or PLACED ON A SHELF. All I wanted was to be able to spend three days with each of them, ALONE. Quality time alone without any responsibility. Nothing was ever mentioned after this request, and I had sorta forgotten it with all the pain pills I had been taking.

On Christmas eve, we all gathered at our cabin by the lake and began our exchange of gifts. Then my oldest daughter, Debbie said, “Mom, you had a special request back in September, so this is what I have come up with. I have made reservations for just you and me to go to Wimberly, Texas to a cabin in the woods with a deck and a hot tub.” My daughter is a massage therapist, so I will get pampered. She said, “There are two rocking chairs on the back deck, and we can rock, sing, share stories, and just talk about the last 50 years.” I can really enjoy this.

My second daughter, Scarlet, who lives in the city, said, “Mom, you never get to go to a mall or fancy restaurant, to to a movie, so for three days, we will be doing these things.” I can enjoy this also and spend time with my grandchildren.

My oldest son, Dennis, said, “Mom, I have made arrangements for us to go to Hot Springs, Arkansas, the first of May and even pan for diamonds there.” Then he gave me a box that had a leather jacket in it with a sign that said, “BIKER MOM”. He has a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle. I said, “OH NO!”

My youngest son, Shane said, “Mom, get yourself a passport, because in August I will be taking you to HUNGARY with me.” He owns a business in Texas and Hungary. I will get to walk along the Blue Danube River and see Budapest. Wow! I have my passport. Then in October I will be going to our 50th reunion and see all of you. What a year. Next Christmas I have already asked for a DUMPSTER. See you in October.

Tentative Schedule for the Reunion

Below is a tentative schedule for the reunion.
Also a clarification on the entertainment.


Monday, October 13th, 2008

Silver Star Convention Center
Social Time - Meet & Greet
Light hors d’oeuvres
Cash Bar
6:00 p.m. until

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Dancing Rabbit
Silver Star Convention Center
Cash bar
6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Cocktails
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Buffet
8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Entertainment - Emcee - Will Hudson

In the last memo sent out concerning the reunion I said there would be no band per se. As of the last account they are getting a band together along with George Cummings to play for about 45 minutes. So far they have George Cummings, Louis McDonald, Denman Powers, Tony Holt and Albert (Morton?). There are others they're working with to join them. If anyone wants to dance during the entertainment, they are certainly welcome to do so. So with the emcee and the band, this may go a little over an hour.

We will be more definite in the next update.

Marjorie Barham Sims - Autobiography

To each member of the Committee, thank you for your work on this reunion…not to mention all previous ones. It is good to keep in touch, to see and be together again as a class, and you have made those things happen for fifty years. Bravo!

My husband, Tom, and I continue to enjy living in the suburbs of Washington. D.C. where we volunteer in our community and at our church. We travel at every opportunity. We devote a lot of time to the National Military Family Association, and advocacy group with lots of programs dealing with the special needs of children and spouses of members of the military, most especially those now serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Visit the website and you will see what a great organization it is.

Phyllis Beckman Ainsworth lives nearby, and we are having some more good times together. We do movies and are trying to find a place that has better shrimp than Taste of Saigon. It is doubtful we will succeed, but we will continue to search in earnest.

Patsy Fisher McDonald - Autobiography

I've been married to Louis McDonald for 51 years, and we have two daughters, three grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Louis retired from Civilian Service with 25 years service, from the State of Mississippi with 17 years service and Air National Guard with 41 years service. I retired February 2008 from BankPlus with 48 years service. We do lots of traveling and went to Alaska last summer.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bart the Bear

This is a great video about Bart, a grizzly bear.
Have tissues on hand as you may cry,
but if you want to see a really big bear hug, then watch.
Bart was the star of "The Bear" - one of my favorite movies.

BEAR Hug for Ouida

Maybe the other Hug was a bit "glitzy". Here's a true bear hug for all you do.

Arlene Davidson Merson - Autobiography

Since 1990, Bob and I have resided in Boca Raton, Florida. We have continued to have a home in Meridian, but find we are spending less time there each year. We have two children and four grandchildren. Our children are ages 47 and 43, and our grandchildren are ages 16, 14, 11 and 10. Even though we sold Southern Electric Supply Co. in 1987, we have remained active with various business investments. Our hobbies have been reduced to playing golf and socializing with our friends.

Thanks, Ouida

Let's all not forget that we owe Ouida a big thank you and hugs for the work she is doing as our administrator.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Big Bear Blog Hug to Our Reunion Committee

Let's give a big bear blog hug to our reunion committee for all their hard work and planning and for suffering through our whining, complaining and sometimes mean comments by this one and that one. Let's send a bouquet of thank you notes here and let them know that we are grateful and appreciate what they are doing for us - again.

Ouida Landreth Tomlinson - Autobiography

I decided I had better hurry and post my autobiography so here it is. I have very, very few pictures of myself so this is the best I can do. The first picture is of my son, James, and me the day Peyton was born, and the second one is of me and Peyton.

In my 2003 autobio, I asked if you ever have shared your peanut butter sandwich with your dog. At the time we had three Maltese dogs, Poppy, Juniper and Tashee. Since then, I became a foster mom for Northcentral Maltese Rescue, and several fosters have passed through our home on the way to their forever homes. We also adopted one, Pal, and our precious Poppy went to Rainbow Bridge in May 2008. We have two permanent senior fosters. The seven of us live in Diamondhead where Tom and I have been since 1984. We were married in 1982, and the story of my boyfriend (Tom) and our marriage is on the blog.

My biggest family news is that on July 23, 2007, a new grandchild arrived. His name is Peyton, and he lives with his mom, Regan, and his dad and my son, James. He is our joy and dream come true.

I have two children, James and Paul. James moved from Atlanta to Meridian several years ago. He and Regan are continuing the process of renovating their home on the historic register at 2329 Poplar Springs Drive. James is in real estate, and the name of his company is JDH Commercial Realty. Paul is the father of my other two grandchildren. He and his family relocated to Germany in 2003. He was in the Army, attached to the military hospital, but left this year to work as a civilian, basically doing the same thing. He and his wife bought a home and love living in Germany, in a little town with 30,000 U. S. citizens.

My life changed drastically in 1995 when I had heart surgery, a quadruple by-pass. As a consequence, I took early retirement from the U. S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans. In “retirement” I have continued to work, mostly part time but sometimes full time. I have a dream job now in that I work four days a week, about one mile from home, come home for lunch, and wear jeans. I’m the bookkeeper, secretary, assistant and other titles for a local business. The folks I work for are very nice, the stress is low and so is the pay.

My husband and I are professed members of the Secular Franciscan Order, which is a third order instituted by St. Francis of Assisi within the Roman Catholic Church. This also has been written about on the blog. My husband (who was once very, very anti-Catholic) and I are converts to the Catholic faith. We are intensely obnoxious to some and merely passionate to others about our love for the Church, Saint Francis, and our dogs. We are in love with these and each other. In our circle of Catholic and Franciscan friends, we are normal and similar to everyone else. Outside this circle, others might think us aliens.

Beyond my job and our dogs, much of my time is devoted to work for Our Lady of the Pearl, my Franciscan community. I have held office on Franciscan councils, but mainly serve as their web designer and author for one website and two blogs and provide other computer services. I also serve on the board for Concordia Ministries, Inc., and authored, designed and maintain its website.

Peace and all good to everyone and your families. I’m looking forward to seeing you in October.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Information from Reunion Committee (copy of E-mail)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dear Classmate:

In an effort to update everyone on reunion plans, and to be sure we have information needed, we are sending out this letter and an information sheet to fill out and return to us as soon as possible.

Please fill out the information sheet even if you have already paid your fees for the reunion and/or sent in your bio information. You will be able to purchase the booklet for $10 whether or not you come to the reunion. And Marty needs to know who will be playing in the golf tournament/tourney.

George Cummings will be our entertainment/music for the Tuesday night event. We are not having a band to dance by, as most people want to be able to relax and enjoy visitingwith each other and not have to shout over the music.

If you have any questions, please call or email us. One thing to be thinking about is if we have another reunion, who will be getting it together and organizing it. Any suggestions?

Looking forward to seeing each of you.

Beth Hobgood Clark
Myra Mabry

***Those of you receiving this by email may either copy & paste and email back and email money - or you may print it out and mail back.****




City, State, Zip Code____________________________________

Phone #______________Email Address_____________________

I will be attending the reunion (yes or no)____________________
I have already paid my fees, or my money is enclosed ($80 per person)
Number of people attending (including me)__________________
Name of other person(s) if more than just me_________________

If you are planning to stay at the casino hotel and have not made reservations yet, the deadline is 12:00 a.m. 9/22/08 for the $79 room rate (call 1-866-447-3275 and give them the code [e-mail Beth for the code].

I will be playing in golf tournament. (yes or no) _________________
I have already paid my fees, or my money is enclosed______________
Marty needs to set this up before 9/1/08, so please let us know and send your $60 person for that to Marty (P O Box 3804, Meridian MS 39303)

I will not be attending but would like to receive a booklet ($10 each)_____My money is enclosed.

Total money enclosed or paid ____________________________________

Please send a BRIEF biography to be included in booklet (include name of spouse if applicable).

Getting or Giving

Real life is being things on the inside, not getting things on the outside.
Ralph Parlette

This little incident took place a few years back, at a gathering for some of our extended family. We'd finished lunch and the children had settled into play mode. The weather was nice, so most of the children were playing outside, but there was one toddler sitting in the middle of a pile of toys. He had picked out one toy and was deeply engaged in it. Then another child about the same age wandered into the room.

The newcomer fixed her eyes on the toy the other child was holding. Even though there were dozens of attractive toys available, she went directly for the one that had captivated the young boy. He might have been willing to give up the toy if someone had asked him nicely, but when the young girl tried to take it from him, he became even more attached to it.

Very shortly, there was a lot of crying and adults rushing in to sort things out.

I'm not sure how the two got quieted down. But I have a very clear picture of them both wanting to play with the same toy at the same time. Even though there were dozens of other toys, it seemed that what made a toy attractive was that someone already had it. If it was unattended on the floor, it was not as desirable.

I've often thought how much the action of those two toddlers mirrors adult life. It's probably a survival instinct to try to take possession of as many things as we can. But we never seem to outgrow that habit.

We think happiness lies in getting more. In our minds, the more material things we get, the closer we are to happiness. We're like the little child. We think that we'll be happy when we get what others already have.

But I've come to realize that there's no connection between happiness and material things. Think about the last major purchase you made. How long did you feel good about it? How long did the feeling of euphoria last?

Acquiring things will not make us happy. The most joy comes from the opposite: giving things away; helping others. The more good we can do for others, the better we feel about ourselves.

Work to reduce your desire for material things. Learn to know the joys of giving and sharing. You'll find true joy once you discover your calling to help others. It's not what we collect in life, but what we become that determines our level of happiness.

Vigilantly practice indifference to external conditions. Your happiness can only be found within.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Guess Who?

Peewee Warren, Lelia Keeton,
Gay Love Rawlings, and Mark Harvey

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Collier/Ranager Children Ken and Clay with Grandchildren

God's Minute


Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
With trumpets and the sound of the hornmake
a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together . . .

Friday, July 18, 2008

Meridian's 1935 Inflight Refueling Record

On June 4, 1935, a Curtis Robin monoplane named “Ole Miss” took off from Meridian’s airport. Some 100 onlookers observed this unheralded event.When, 27 days later, the “Ole Miss” touched down at Meridian, she was greeted by 30,000 cheering people. Pilots Fred and Al Key had accomplished a non-stop endurance flight that totaled 653 hours 34 minutes. During this 52,320 mile flight, the “Ole Miss” used 6,000 gallons of gasoline and made 435 mid-air refueling contacts. In 1955, pilot Fred Key flew the completely restored “Ole Miss” to Washington, DC, where it is now on permanent display in the National Air and Space Museum. The World Flight Endurance record set by the Key Brothers in 1935 still stands today.

Click on URL below to read about 75 years of inflight refueling, including the fact that James Keeton and William Ward made many takeoffs and landings to deliver fuel and accomplish this feat. Lelia, is this your father?

A personal note: Al and Fred Key were my cousins. One of them (?) had a toothache while inflight, and his father, a dentist, sent medication by way of the refueling plane. A.D. Hunter, a close neighbor and master mechanic, developed the leakless refueling nozzle and coupling which made this long flight possible. My mother was one of the thousands at the airport the day they landed. She wore her most beautiful dress of brown lace with rhinestone buttons, which she wore again on her wedding day soon after.


Peggy Edwards' post:

Subject: Great education!!

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the1500s: Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June . However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of fl owers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married. Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water.. Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying . It's raining cats and dogs. There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and o ther droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence. The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, Dirt poor. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a thresh hold. (Getting quite an education, aren't you?)In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.. Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.. Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous. Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road w ould take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake. England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveya rd all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a ..dead ringer.. And that's the truth...Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !Educate someone. Share these facts with a friend,

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Christian the Lion - For Our Class

Ralph Parlette

Looked for this writer and came across the text for which he's most known.

Ralph Parlette, the author of "The University of Hard Knocks", is quoted as saying,

"Real birthdays are not annual affairs. Real birthdays are the days when we have a new birth."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Raccoon Family

Martha's post about the raccoon reminded me of a Lessons in Life story I had done about the Raccoon Family.

Anybody who does for you regularly what you can do for yourself – anybody who gives you regularly what you can earn for yourself is robbing you of your birthright.

Ralph Parlette
1870 - 1930

I live in a suburb of New Orleans. It is certainly not a rural setting, but we have a wonderful collection of wild animals that make their home in and around our backyard. We have squirrels, blue jays, cardinals, doves, mockingbirds, sparrows and an occasional hawk that preys on them. And we have raccoons.

One Sunday afternoon I had thrown some stale bread out for the various animals and birds. My daughter and I were watching to see who would show up to feed on the bread. To our delight a mother raccoon with two young raccoons wandered into the yard and found the bread.

One of the younger raccoons found a slice of bread and was eating away. The other raccoon had wandered around in the vicinity but did not find any bread to claim for itself. So it walked over to where its mother was eating. The mother had the bread pinned down between her front paws. The young raccoon tried to partake in some of her bread.

Now here was the interesting part. The mother raccoon would not let her baby have any of her bread. She nudged it away. But the baby did not give up that easy. It walked around to the other side and tried again. And the mother nudged it away again. But the baby raccoon was persistent. It tired again. This time the mother turned aggressive and nipped at the baby.

My daughter could not help but let out a, “Look at that. What a mean mother. Can you believe what she did?”

We can learn a valuable lesson from the mother raccoon.

The mother raccoon’s actions of course seem rather cruel to us. Most adults would never think of feeding themselves first or denying food or anything else to their offspring. But we could learn a valuable lesson from her.

The mother raccoon knows that her job is to prepare her young to fend for themselves - to be self-sufficient - to be able to take care of themselves. And the longer they are dependent on her, the more difficult it will be when she is no longer there to care for them.

Are you helping or hurting those dependent on you?

All too often we take the opposite approach with our children, our employees and even some friends. In an effort to “help them” we do things for them that they should do for themselves. And unfortunately, the end result is that we are not actually helping them, we are actually hurting them. They become more dependent on us. When we eventually tire of supporting them, they are not able to function on their own.

Learn a valuable lesson for the mother raccoon. In the long run you help others most by helping them learn to fend for themselves. This often means making them find their own food.

Real life is in being things on the inside, not in getting things on the outside.

Ralph Parlette

Copyright © 2007 John Chancellor


I was wondering why my bird feeder would continually fall to the ground, empty. Then, yesterday evening, I found the culprit on a ladder that I was too lazy to put away. He (she?) seemed quite happy to pose for me until I got a really good shot. Those little paws reached easily into the openings, and continued to do so until the feeder was empty.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thank You

I would really like to put in another "two cents worth" and offer a big Thank You to Jinny for having the idea of the blog. Another Thank You to Ouida for doing an outstanding job as our Administrator. I surely have another penny left, so I must say Thank You to all the members of the Reunion Committee for working so hard to bring us all together again. I'll run to the nearest ATM and withdraw a few more pennies and come back later.

Guess Who?

Send your "Who's This?" photos to for posting or post yourself.
NOTE: Autobiographies Page has been updated this a.m. Let me know if I missed something.

One of My Dearest Friends

The story of Olive, posted yesterday, reminds me to share with you one of my dearest friends, Sr. Fidelis Hart, OSC. Sister is a Poor Clare nun. For a while, she was my spiritual director, and I used to go to the Poor Clare monastery in New Orleans and spend days at a time with her.

Sister and her twin were born on August 8, 1915, in Liverpool, England. She soon will be 93 years old. While she was a young child, she and her family immigrated to the United States, to New York where she grew up. She is a brilliant, well-educated person. Time has not diminished her joy in life and her desire to learn and be involved. She is an inspiration.
I receive e-mails from her regularly. She told me she wanted her own web page so I provided one, found here: Her page has a short story of her life, a writing by her when her twin died recently, a slide show of photographs and other things. This morning I added to her page with an e-mail from her about a white deer. She is my sister, my mother and my friend - all in one.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Olive Riley Returns to Broken Hill

This goes with Martha's post today on Olive, the world's oldest blogger.

Smile, Smile, Smile



Greetings from Blinda Cline Doty

Blinda writes that she hopes to come to the reunion but has a granddaughter awaiting surgery with an uncertain date. Meanwhile, she sent the following information:

I married Marshall Doty at 16 years of age. He became an insurance agent and I became an architectural draftsman. We were married 33 years when he died at age 50 in 1989. We had 4 children together.

Annette, a mortage loan officer, is 50 years old. She is married to Steve Wallis and has 2 daughters, Brandi and Stephanie. Brandi is married to Clint Powell and they have three children, Caitlyn, Chandler, Carolyne. Stephanie married Brandon Powell and they have 2 children, Malorie and Hunter.

Guy Alan is retired from the Army and is in Civil service at a base in Georgia. He married a German girl, Gabi, and they have a 21 year old daughter named Darlene.

Candace Marie (Candy) ran a muffler shop with her husband, David Cook. They have 2 children, Alana and David Michael. My beautiful loving daughter died 3 years ago at the age of 42. The grief never ends.

Nolie Ann, 39 years old, the mother of Ashley and Austin, is married to Doug Adams. She is a nurse at the Baptist Hospital.

As for me, I am still working. I am the office manager, cabinet designer and secretary for a cabinet shop. I draw house plans at night to supplement my income. Of course, with the housing market the way it is business is slow.

I love gardening, painting with oils, water colors and pastels.

Love to all y'all Blinda


Are you using age as an excuse not to blog? Read about this Australian lady who kept her mind fresh by posting to her "blob."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Guess Who?


James "Nic" Nichols - Biography

Thanks to the research of my best all-time reporter, we have a great internet article on Nic Nichols. Nic, we are really proud of you. "Let your light shine . . . " I know all your classmates will be very interested and pleased to read the following:

James “Nic” Nichols began his athletic career at Meridian High School in Meridian, Miss., where he was coached by Billy Allgood and Harold Knight. In his senior year, the team was undefeated, and Nichols was voted Honorable Mention All-State tackle. He had offers from several schools, but instead enrolled in the Navy in 1958.

He served aboard the destroyer, U.S.S. Cony, which was part of an anti-sub task force which patrolled the North Atlantic. He completed his tour of duty as a Bosun Mate 1st Class Seaman in 1960. Upon his discharge from the Navy, he received a football scholarship to Louisiana College.

Nichols participated in 33 games at Louisiana College and lettered three years as an offensive guard, offensive tackle, defensive tackle, defensive nose man, and defensive end. He was tri-captain in 1963. He was a member of the “L” Club for three years and received an inquiry from the Dallas Cowboys but received a career-ending injury in 1963. By the next year, he was the Louisiana College freshman football coach.

Except for one year in Louisiana, Nichols spent his entire 35-year teaching and coaching career in Texas. He coached football, track, baseball, and basketball and was involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

The last 20 years of Nichols' career were spent as a defensive line coach at the Texas high school 5-A classification. His teams were in the high school football play-offs 11 years, and he coached 13 playoff games in the Houston Astrodome and coached in the high school football 5-A state championship game in 1979.

Twenty of his football linemen played college football, three of whom made All-American at the University of Texas. All three played NFL football.

Retired in 2000, Nichols makes his home in the Texas hill country where he attends First Baptist Church and participates in the Meals on Wheels program.

Nichols is married to the former Pat Thomas of Houston, Texas, and they have three daughters, Lori, Niki, and Keri; one son, Mark; and five grandchildren, Drew, Amber, Tyler, Mark, and Ethan.

The Wildcat Athletic Association inducted James “Nic” Nichols into the Louisiana College Sports Hall of Fame on October 15, 2004.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Coach Allgood and James Nichols

The occasion was that I was inducted into the Louisiana College Football Hall of Fame on October 15, 2004.

Coach Allgood was at the presentation. Coach Allgood coached at Louisiana College when I played there in 1960-1963. He retired from there. R.V. Skelton is in the background.

God's Minute

Psalm 118 (click link)

from Psalm 118 -

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God, I will extol you.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures for ever.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan, or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,
For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.

We learned to gut a muffler, we washed our hair at dawn,
We spread our crinolines to dry in circles on the lawn
We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince,
And Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one's seen him since.
We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee'
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me.

Only girls wore earrings then, and 3 was one too many,
And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.
And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see
A boy named George with Lipstick,
in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice.
We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me.

Miss Kitty had a heartof gold, and Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.
We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
And Oprah couldn't talk, yet, in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We had our share of heroes, we never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.
For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead,
And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson, and Zeppelins were not Led.
And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees,
Madonna was a virgin in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We'd never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed, but they weren't grown in jars.
And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and 'gay' meant fancy-free,
And dorms were never coed in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.
And Hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me.

Buicks came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks,
And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks.
And Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee,
And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, Me.

We had no Crest with Fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues,
We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea
Or prime-time ads for condoms in the Land That Made Me, Me.

There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
And fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill.
And middle-aged was 35 and old was forty-three,
And ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me.

But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A.
They send us invitations to join AARP,
We've come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me.

So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans,
And wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines.
And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me.


RIP George, you will be missed!

George Carlin's Views on Aging Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. 'How old are you?' 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.You get into your teens... now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. 'How old are you?' 'I'm gonna be 16!' You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life... you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!! But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would! So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30 ; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90's, you start going backwards; 'I Was JUST 92.'Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half!' May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!! HOW TO STAY YOUNG 1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay 'them.' 2 Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.3.. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's. 4. Enjoy the simple things. 5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive. 7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge. 8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. 9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

One Chapter in My Autobiography

I am a professed member of the Secular Franciscan Order. The Franciscan family consists of Catholic laity, religious and priests who recognize that they are called to follow Christ in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi. In this family there are four orders: First Order of Friars Minor, Second Order of Poor Clare nuns, Third Order religious and the Secular Franciscan Order.

One of the most important parts of my autobiography concerns my being a Secular Franciscan and all my activities with this group. I belong to Our Lady of the Pearl Fraternity, Pearlington, MS, and was instrumental in starting this community as well as assisting with the formation of the first members for profession into the Order. I also have served as web designer for our website, administrator of our two blogs and Secretary of the Council.

We have been waiting almost ten years and a hurricane or so for approval by Franciscan hierarchy to be canonically established. Under canon law, this would make our fraternity a juridical person with certain obligations and rights. Stated differently, it provides us with greater independence and no longer under the sponsoring fraternity. The step is somewhat like a child reaching the age of majority.

My news is that we have met all the requirements for approval for canonical establishment by the many levels and had a meeting with Archbishop Thomas Rodi in Biloxi, Mississippi, on July 8, 2008. The Archbishop added his signature to the official documents, giving his approval. Below is a photograph of the Archbishop along with me and several of my Franciscan friends. (I'm the short one standing by Bob and behind the Archbishop.)

The meeting was scheduled on short notice and we came immediately, in our jeans, shorts, or however we happened to be dressed. St. Francis was delighted, I'm sure, with our "ragged" appearance. After all, he and his brothers appeared before Pope Innocent III, seeking approval of their rule, dressed like beggars.

The date of our canonical establishment is set for August 23, 2008. It will be held at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Center, Pearlington, MS. Friends and family are invited. St. Joseph Church was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina with only the steps remaining which is why the Mass and ceremony are being held in the Center, not the Church. The poverty of the setting is very appropriate for this Franciscan event.

Anyone in the area, please feel free to come. I would be so pleased to have you there.

Let's Welcome Another New Member

A big bear blog hug to Tony Storey who contacted me for an invitation to sign up for the blog yesterday. I sent the invitation, and he immediately signed up and posted. Welcome to our group. We are so happy you are here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The clock's messed up and time does fly

It's hard to believe that it has been fifty years since we were all a bunch of kids getting ready to graduate and leave high school behind. At the time it seemed we would never grow up and get on with our lives as adults but now it is just a blur that has passed so quickly I don't know where it all went. After our forty fifth reunion I wrote this poem about how I felt after seeing some of the people I went to school and grew up with and particularly the ones that were not able to be there since they had passed away. The number of people in the list schocked me and now after five more years, it has grown even more. I wrote this and posted it on the Meridian High alumni message board that has links to several of the classes and a message board where any alumni can post and keep up with what is going on with other alumni from many different years. I spend a little time trying to be the administrator for this site.
Any way, this is now five years old and all the times need to be updated. The last five have gone even faster than the ones before.

Somebody's been messin with the clock

Hey look at me
I'm only three
Someday I'll grow
It seems so slow
There must be something wrong
Why does it take so long?

Somebody's been messin with the clock

Hey I'm finally six
I'm learning tricks
I'm now in school
It's really cool
I'm beginning to grow
But its still slow
There must be something wrong
Why does it take so long?

Somebody's been messin with the clock

Hey look I'm twelve almost a teen
That will be really keen
I'm finally getting to be grown
Someday I'll be out and on my own
The time is moving on at last
But still it's not too very fast
There must be something wrong
Why does it take so long?

Somebody's been messin with the clock

Can you believe I'm twenty four?
I've started to work and so much more
I've found my mate
And life is great
We're waiting on our second son
Our life has just begun
Where does this time all go
It really seems to flow

Sombody's been messin with the clock

Hey look you'll have to wait
It can't be true I'm forty eight
Our little son that lovely lad
Is soon to be a brand new Dad
I know these clocks they must be broke
Time goes by like puffs of smoke

Somebody's been messin with the clock

There's just no way that this can be
I'm way too young for sixty three
My life has passed in such a blur
Why do some things have to occur
We had our plans to really live
But she gave all she had to give
I sit and try to dry the tears
Has she been gone a whole four years?
Don't understand why it should be
That she should lose to the big "C"
Our baby grands already eight
She wants to grow, can hardly wait
She sighs and gives a moan
When will I get to be full grown
There must be something wrong
Why does it take so long?
For all the time I've left to live
The only answer I can give


Somebody's been messin with the clock

See you at the reunion.

Tony Storey

Senior Moments

Ouida had posted an interesting story - stepping off the elevator - which reminded me of an incident that happened to me a few weeks ago.

Senior Moments

For those of you that might find senior moments happening more often, rest assured that senior moments are not the exclusive domain of seniors. Let me elaborate.

I was going to pick up lunch from Arby’s and had a coupon which allowed you to buy up to eight regular roast beef sandwiches at the price of 2 for $4. I ordered four regulars plus a large order of fries (I know they are not good for you – no need to remind me) and a large ice tea.

I drove up to the window and the young man said, “Eight Seventy-two.”

I immediately blurted out, “Can’t be.”

He looked at me with a stunned expression on his face, “What do you mean?”

I replied, “I ordered four regulars at 2 for $4, so that is $8, plus fries and an ice tea – should be around $11 – 12.”

He very politely explained that my order was 2 for $4, so that was $4, plus the fries and ice tea. So that came to $8.72.

“But I had four regulars” I replied.

“Did you want 8?” he inquired.

“No, just four, but at 2 for $4, that alone is $8.”

I made a couple of additional attempts to explain the math to him. He had his mind made up and part of that was I did not know how to add.

He then gave me this look like – why do I get these folks that can’t add or subtract and said in a rather icy voice, “Your total is $8.72 – PLEASE.”

I figured I had tried to be honest. I just paid him the $8.72 and took my food and drove off. I did wonder where he went to school or if he ever did.

Senior have no lock on senior moments.


Click on the URL below for a taste of Texican. Los Lonely Boys appeared on the Tonight Show tonight. I detect Carlos Santana's influence, as they used to tour with him.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I will now tell you the ending of a strange story beginning with an extended month-long internet search for a doc who performs cryotherapy (killing a nerve by freezing) for a painful neuroma in my foot. I found Dr. Chuck Peter’s name in a medical chat room, contacted him, and made an appointment Today daughter Caroline and grandson Caleb drove with me to Lewisburg, TN to have the procedure. Dr. Peter is very understanding, considering that I diagnosed myself and ordered the treatment. I must admit that after traveling 150 miles and then once there, through the little almost deserted town with many corn fields and cows on either side and finding the small clinic with no cars in front with Caleb saying, "Grandmother, he has no patients. I'll bet he'll have to borrow a rusty needle from the vet," I was more than a little worried, though I had talked to the doc at length on the phone and was confident that he was competent. The receptionist greeted me with suspicious eagerness, saying, "Well, here's our new patient," giving me the feeling that I may be the "only" patient. Then Dr. Peter told about buying his Cryostar machine from a little English gentleman who delivered it, set it up himself, and trained a few area docs. The guy, according to Dr. Peter, stopped on the road when they went to dinner to talk to area farmers; I guess TN reminded him of England. Doc told me that the European Cryostar Company went bankrupt later, but the one in the U.S .is still carrying on. That bit of information didn't add to my confidence.

My doc started up the machine after prepping my foot, and it began a rhythmic, mystical sound (nitric oxide doing its thing), as I stared out at a corn field and asked myself why I was there. His assistant (only employee - receptionist/nurse/assistant) was standing by, and when he described certain buttons on the machine, she was supposed to press them, since his hands were sterile. I was hoping against hope that she would not press the wrong button and have my foot go up in smoke or something. First, the button with upside down "u," then the one with the star, and then there was a scramble to find the foot pedal, which had disappeared under a drape. Dr. Peter was a smooth talker, and allayed my fears, and after the numbing injection, I felt nothing. Doc said the procedure was a no-brainer, and said it was very boring, waiting for the machine to do its thing; I for one had hopes that the machine WOULD do its thing. It was over after about 10 minutes of weird hisses from the Cryostar. The assistant then proceeded to tell me of a dream she had the night before about having Doc Peter operate on her and having blood spurt everywhere and a strange object removed from her foot. I thanked her for not telling the story before my procedure. Doc Peter looked kind of embarrassed to have such a raw recruit assisting. The whole thing was kind of bizarre, but I walked out with no pain. I really wanted to hug the doc, but felt it would embarrass him.

I wonder if investing in Cryostar would be a good thing?

Stepping from the Elevator

I remember it plain as day. It was last year. I had an appointment with my "stent doctor" at Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans. I rushed from the house like Dagwood trying to catch the bus and drove like a mad woman to make the trip from the Mississippi Coast. Late! Hurry, hurry, hurry. Across the twin spans from Slidell, up and down the High Rise, speeding down I-10. Then round and round the parking garage at Ochsner to find a parking place and running. Up the elevator to the third floor. It opened. I stepped out. Oh!! . . Oh!!

When I crossed the threshold of the elevator on the third floor that day, I crossed a threshold unseen but recognized in an instant. It was a leaving behind and an entering into. I laughed at myself and my new-found situation as I approached the receptionist. I stood before her, giggling like a school girl. When I said that I just realized I was a day early for my appointment, there were big smiles all around and others joined my giggling. Then I made my big announcement: "I have just become a little old lady." There were more smiles, but behind my smile was that certainty of my new title along with the thought "Where do I go from here?"

How Could You?

Poppy's Page: How Could You?

Monday, July 7, 2008


Here is my 13-year old grandson Caleb at the swimming pool at University of Alabama. He had just come from the water slide, and actually encouraged his grandmother to do so as well, believe it or not!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Morris Thigpen


Millie Majors Jones asked me to post this for her. The flowers are beautiful, and this is appropriate for the July 4 weekend.

God's Minute

Then Moses and the people of Israel
sang this song to the LORD, saying,
"I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
The LORD is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father's God, and I will exalt him. . . ."

Exodus 15:1-2

Friday, July 4, 2008

America the Beautiful

Words: Katharine Lee Bates, 1859-1929

O beautiful for spacious skies,
for amber waves of grain;
for purple mountain majesties
above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood
from sea to shining sea.

Happy Fourth
of July

Up Against the Wall

The time is early 70's. The place is The Gin, Oxford, Mississippi. The Gin had been the cotton gin but was converted to a place to eat and drink, originally with live bands. It was meant to appeal to the student population at Ole Miss.

My friends and I went one night, within the first week or so after it opened. The place was packed. There was a mixed group. All the little old ladies in town had come to investigate along with professionsals such as attorneys from the U. S. Attorney's Office where I worked, other town folk and then, of course, students. All was going well until the band began to play "Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother." I looked around the room at the little old ladies and other town folk. I did not see any rednecks but I saw a sea of red faces, most smiling shyly. This song ended the patronage of the little old ladies to the Gin (they came, they saw, they went), and it was left primarily to the students.

After I moved from Oxford, I came back on business in the late 70's and went by the Gin with a friend. I ordered a Jack Daniels old fashioned (wanting one just like my Daddy made for me). I waited and waited for my drink. Then I noticed the bartender with a book in his hand and others gathered around him. It appeared that my order was beyond the scope of his expertise which was limited to opening beer. I was served eventually with great concern on the bartender's part as to whether or not I was happy with my drink. I was. Here's to memories that bring smiles.

Story Behind the Song "Up Against the Wall . . ."

Ray Wylie Hubbard on Redneck Mother

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Let's Welcome Our New Member

We have a new member!!! Everyone welcome Beth Hobgood Clark and give her a big blog hug. Beth persevered, asked questions, gave up yesterday, asked for help, rallied today and made it. She joins the ranks of those listed on the right sidebar under "Profiles of Members Registered to Blog." We are looking forward to Beth's posts.

Post from Beth

I FINALLY got on this thing. About the only thing that has changed for me in the last five years is my husband, Harold, passed away Dec. 6, 2006, and I now have five great grandchildren and another one due in February 2009. Looking forward to seeing you at the reunion in October.
Beth Hobgood Clark

Over 11,000 Hits Since May 4, 2008

Tomorrow is our 2-month anniversary since our blog was formatted and the counter added. Since that date, May 4, 2008, we have had 11,000 visits to our blog. This is cause for celebration and says that many are enjoying coming here. Let's make it better by more participation. This is not only a place to share your autobiographies but to share daily events, news, photos and whatever you would like to post. Blogs are online journals and should be posted to daily. The best posts concern you personally and your photos.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Corrections to Directions to Sign Up and Post

Thanks to Beth, I know that some directions previously given to you do not work. I appreciate Beth letting me know. I called Beth and while we were on the phone together, I signed in with her user name and password. I could see then what her problem was and that the directions I had given you earlier would not work. Please, dear people, let me know if you are having problems. I have unlimited long distance service and will be pleased as punch to talk with you for as long as it takes to get you signed in and posting. Below is the link to revised directions.

Meridian High Wildcats '58: Directions on Signing Up to Post#links#links#links#links

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I am so excited about my dendrobium blooming that I just had to share it with you. I have a whole stalk full of these delightful blooms. I finally found a spot under the trees on our back patio that the orchid likes. I always killed the plants before they bloomed, so this is my first success! If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Who said that? Churchill?