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.)




Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Blessings in Life

Every once in awhile, a really good video comes along that makes you feel good.

This is one of those. It won best short film at the Cannes Film Festival.
Watch closely at the end for the English translation of the written
Spanish words on the sign.

Click here:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Frances Ousley Johnson - Autobiography

I’m still living in Houston, active in the Presbyterian Church, playing tennis (captain of my tennis team this year) and writing poetry. I took first place in the Poetry Society of Texas contest last spring and was named Poet Laureate of NPC for 2007. This was quite an honor. My husband Cal, who is a retired Navy Commander and retired Tenneco executive, shoots clays and is also highly involved in church activities. My 18 year old, bilingual, good-looking grandson, after living in Greece since he was a baby, will be arriving in Texas this month for college. His 15 year old brother will follow soon. Their father and my daughter-in-law, who own an English tutoring school, have made a good life for themselves among the Greeks growing olives and grapes. My youngest son, who is in a special care facility in Austin is doing well at this time - thanks be to God. We visit frequently and are learning the city like the back of our hands.

I’m sorry I can’t be there with you this year to celebrate our class’s 50th reunion. Over the years the memories get more and more precious, and I have good memories of all of you. Thanks to all of you who have done the planning. I hope you have a wonderful time, and I will be thinking of you. Thanks to all of you who have done the planning. I hope you have a wonderful time, and I will be thinking of you.


Here is another photo sent by Peggy Edwards of the 1958 baseball team.
Left double click to enlarge. Anyone have specific memories of the games?


Peggy Edwards sent this to me for posting. Do you recognize any of these folks? Remember to double left click to enlarge photo.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

God's Minute

Behold, God is My Salvation

"Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.
"With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
And you will say in that day: "Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the nations,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
"Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously;
let this be known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

"Isaiah 12:2-6

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday Night Event at the Reunion

Denny Powers, Jimmy Lewis, Mike Gay, Albert Morton, Tony Holt, Larry Bond were at our house practicing for the "big" event on Tuesday, October 14th. They are sounding very good not to have played together in so long a time.

George Cummings will be joining them at the next practice at our house on Monday October 6th.

You are all going to be so surprised at how good they sound. They will be setting up and practicing Oct l4th during the daytime at Silver Star.

Please, please, anyone who can video this let Beth, Myra, or me know soon. We really need this to be done, and I know there is someone among all of us that can do this.

These guys, especially Denny who comes from Gulfport to practice and others from out of town also, have put alot of work into this and their time and money to come to Meridian for practice. Please express your appreciation to them, if you can.

Looking forward to seeing you all.

Patsy McDonald

Monday, September 22, 2008


These photos from the "Wildcat" were sent to me by Peggy Edwards for posting. How many can you name? Remember to double left click to enlarge.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

God's Minute

I Will Never Forget You
Isaiah 49:13-16
Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice,
O earth, break forth into song, you mountains.
For the LORD comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted.
But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me."
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget, I will never forget you.
See, upon the palms of my hands
I have written your name. . . .

Friday, September 19, 2008


Here is a photo of the MJC 1958 Track Team printed in the "Wildcat" This was sent to me by Peggy Edwards for posting. Remember to double left click to enlarge photo. A magnifying glass may help, also, if the print is still too small to read.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Dear Classmates,

Thank you so much for all the emails, phone calls and cards. This meant so much to me today. I needed to draw on your support because my session lasted six hours with various physicians. Together, we developed a plan for my treatment. To start no chemo for now, yea! First, lots of tests, then surgery sometime after the tests are fully evaluated. I'll keep you informed as I go along. The good news is I will not be wearing my blonde wig — with dark roots — at the reunion. I sincerely appreciated your support, today. It meant so much.

Martha Ann

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Surround Rita With Your Prayers Today

September 17, 2008

Rita Monette Tillman, 6128 15th Ave., Meridian MS 39305

Please keep Rita and James in your prayers today. Some of our classmates heard through Nancy Ranager that Rita will be having her leg amputated today. The diabetes has caused severe problems, and there is no feeling or circulation in her leg. From another source, close to Rita, I understand that she has been on dialysis three days a week.

I do not know the hospital, but recently she was at Riley's.

I'm so sorry to pass this very sad information along but hope your prayers will surround her today and the days that follow. I know that Rita has been looking forward to being with us at the reunion. Our reunions always have been so important to her.

UPDATE: 10:40 A.M. Rita is out of surgery, is in recovery, will be taken to ICU and then at some point will come back to her room. She's in Riley Hospital, Room 528. (per Millie Majors Jones)


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My New Casual Outfit For Tuesday Night

This is what I'll be wearing at the reunion on Tuesday night.
Makes me feel 18 again. How do you like it?
(My main difficulty with the outfit is getting down into this position
and then getting up, but y'all will help me, I'm sure.)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What To Wear?


Grandsons James Cole and Caleb googled to find out when a watermelon is ripe, determined that it was (had to be yellow underneath), and cut it for a great afternoon treat. Yes, they did manage to reseed the front flower bed in order to have watermelon treats next year.

Recipe for a Watermelon Drink:

Place watermelon chunks in blender with about 1/4 C water.
Add a little sugar and a few ice cubes
Blend for a delicious treat.
Posted by Picasa

A Garden of Beauty for Martha Ann

Saturday, September 13, 2008


These were sent to me by Peggy Edwards to post. Remember these folks? Above is a photo
of Rita being measured for her cap and gown. Remember to double left click to enlarge images.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Remember In Your Prayers This Night

Friday Night. September 12, 2008.
Pray the prayers of your faith this night for those in the path of Hurricane Ike, and pray for them in the weeks and months that follow.

"Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give Your Angels and Saints charge over those . . . Bless Your dying ones, soothe your suffering ones, pity Your afflicted ones . . . And all for Your love's sake. Amen." (Saint Augustine)

Bob Breck of Fox News 8 New Orleans:

Link to Hurricane News on
Link to Hurricane News on
Link to Hurricane News on


Here's a precious photo that Peggy Edwards sent to me. In the background, you can see
a building used for Miss Miner's experimental 2nd-4th grade classes.
Double click on photo to enlarge.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thigpen Clan

This is not the best picture but I wanted to share a picture of Lee's and Scot's families.
From the left Peyton, Kimberly, Scot, Bowen, Olivia, Kyle, Carter, Angie and Lee.

Lynne Johnson Grimes - Autobiography

So glad there are so many of us still “hanging.” It will be good to see everybody!

Sam and I are now living in Diamondhead, MS, thanks to Katrina. We stayed with friends in North Gulfport, returned home (one block from the beach) in August of ’05 to find everything we had accumulated in our lives gone. We began a quite different life of standing in lines for MRE’s, ice, t-shirts, socks, soap, etc., and began focusing on starting over. We met the most incredible volunteers during this ordeal including firefighters from New York City who were working the humid, debris-filled streets with cadaver dogs. Volunteers from nearly every state were involved – and oh, how heart warming! Over time, we have recovered both physically and emotionally and now live nearer our children. We have five daughters between us with 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild. (We lost my oldest daughter, Julie, in 2003).

We are both retired - Sam ( a New Orleans native) having been in the Navy for 22 years and 22 years with the Veterans Administration on the Coast. And me - having worked in insurance, economic development and my last job with the MS Air National Guard. We still enjoy yard work, cooking, dancing, traveling, golf and bridge (me). No more tennis! I am the only Johnson who left Meridian. I have three siblings (Donna Jill, Gray and Duane) still living in Meridian but my sister, D.J. visits the most often enjoying hot French bread and homemade Gumbo or a good grilled steak - and we certainly enjoy having her!

Looking forward to visiting with everyone and Kudos to the Classmates who, over time, have labored to make our Reunions enjoyable and successful for everyone!!

Eula Fae Neal Latham - Autobiography

I am the mother of three children all married. Grandmother of five grandchildren with two great grandchildren. I am involved with helping senior citizens. I am still active in my home church. I am unable to attend the reunion but will be praying for everyone. May God bless and keep you.

Jackie Mosley Massey - Autobiography

I have been married to Will D. Massey for 52 years. We have three children, three grandchildren, and three great granddaughters. I retired from the Army National Guard as Lt. Col. Army Nurse Corp. I received a B.S. Degree in Nursing in 1978 from William Carey University, a Masters in Nursing from Vanderbilt in 1986. I am a retired Gertonlogical Nurse Practitioner.

We have traveled extensively in both my husband’s military travels and my own. We were happy to return to Bailey in 1995 after being on the road for 11 years.

At the present time we live on our farm in Bailey and raised a few goats, horses and llamas.

Looking forward to seeing everyone.


Here is the link to "Snow on the Sahara." This song really moves me, I suppose because it reminds me so much of my parents' long, loving relationship. They married in 1936 at ages 36 (Mama) and 30 (Daddy), and were married 62 years until Mama died at age 98. Daddy died 2 years later at 94. I watched them loving each other literally until their last breaths. They always had an attitude of youth. Mother finally at 98 one day asked, "Hughpie (her euphenism for Hugh), when did we get old?"

Click on the link below:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mark Killam - Autobiography

Carol Jenkins and I married in 1961 following my junior year at Mississippi State. We have a daughter, two sons, four grandsons, and a granddaughter. Carol is a registered nurse and an accomplished decorator and gardener. We have lived in Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, Minnesota, Georgia and Texas again. We retired to Nicholasville, Kentucky in 2006 to be near our daughter and her family who live in nearby Lexington.

During that junior year at MSU, I had an experience that shaped my personal and vocational life. In fact, it still does (if you’re curious, feel free to ask). Following graduation from MSU with a BS in business, I did graduate work at Asbury Seminary graduating in 1966 with an MDiv.

Serving congregations as a pastor for almost 45 years took us to all those states above. In addition, I’ve had the privilege of short term mission work in Korea, Ecuador and India.

In retirement, my activities include amateur guitar strumming, a growing love of woodworking, and a budding attempt at writing for individuals who have little or no experience reading the Bible but who want to.

The issues for us today are similar to our “working” years: how best to use our time, resources, influence, etc. The difference now is that we get to make and implement more decisions together. A good portion of our time is given through our Lexington church where Carol is a Lay Shepherd, I am Shepherding Elder, and together we lead a Life Group among other ministries.

While long-standing and important commitments will prevent our attending the reunion, I would be pleased to hear from any of you.

Carlee Hamilton Whitaker - Autobiography

I have two sons. Brian (45) has 3 children, Madison (19) second year at Shelton State C.C. in Tuscaloosa, AL, Hunter (17) a senior and Campbell (14) a freshman at Tuscaloosa County High in Northport, AL. My youngest son, Justin (28) married Leah Spence (23) in 2004 (no children). He works for FedEx and she is going to MCC and works part time at Southern Gardens & Adventure Outfitters.

My bad news is my brother, R. C. Hamilton, Class of ‘55, died of cancer in 2004. He was my last sibling.

My wonderful news, I divorced my husband, Bobby Smith of 45 years. I am now married to Ray Whitaker, my high school sweetheart. We live in Oxford, AL and are extremely happy. Roy has 3 children and 9 grandchildren. He is retired and we do a lot of traveling when we are not remodeling our house. I look forward to seeing my fellow classmates.

Walter R. Brown - Autobiography

Associate Professor of History; University of Memphis (since 1965)

Adjunct Curator of Decorative Arts; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art (since 1982).
I still teach, so can’t get away during the week during term.

Rosemary Thomas Stormer - Autobiography

I retired from my position as District Manager, Fort Myers District of the Social Security Administration in September 1990 after 30 years of government service. Shortly after retirement I met and married Kenneth L. Stormer. Then in 1992 I went to work part time with Source, Inc., an engineering company, and find myself still with them as Treasurer and part owner of the company. I still only work part time, and I love it. I wish everyone a fantastic reunion and wish I could be with you.

Pat Stewart Brand - Autobiography

Charlie and I both retired five years ago. We spend our time now traveling and keeping up with grandkids. We have five grandchildren, Twins Josiah & Josh, 21, Rainey 21, Joseph 16 and Mary 13. We recently celebrated our 50th Anniversary with a Mediterranean cruise with our whole family. Hope you have a great reunion.

Joy Jean Shotts Davis - Autobiography

Jimmy (Davis Class of 1956) and I have both retired and loving every minute. We have moved to a small community north of Selma. We have eight grandchildren - one grandson going to Alabama, one going to the University of Mobile, a grandson who is a senior in Tuscaloosa, a grandson and granddaughter in the 10th grade at Morgan Academy in Selma, a granddaughter in the fourth grade in Tuscaloosa, and then two grandsons four and five years old. So you can see we stay real busy going to ballgames, plays and other events. Ya’ll have fun.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Faye Shepard Walker - Autobiography

We call Petal, MS home. Celebrated 50th Anniversary with Richard Walker last September. Had a 27 year career in the Financial Industry at Trustmark National Bank as Vice President over Human Resource and Marketing, retired in 1997. We stay busy with our three children and eight grandchildren. Looking forward to seeing everyone at our 50th Class Reunion.

Charles A. Ray, III - Autobiography

Radiologist at Meridian Imaging, P.A. since 1973.

Have three children - Adrienne Dowdy, Charles Ray IV, and Chris Schwan. Adrienne is a teacher in Meridian, Charles and Chris are both lawyers in Huntsville AL.

Married to Beverly for 17 years. I fish and play golf, and Beverly plays tennis. Looking forward to seeing everybody.

Linda Thompson Butler - Autobiography

James and I recently celebrated 50 yrs of marriage on June 2nd, 2008. We are both retired and enjoying the great life of retirement. We sold our home in 2004 and RV'd fulltime for four years. We traveled from coast to coast, met some wonderful people and saw some beautiful places.

We decided in February of this year to settle down and buy another home . We have enjoyed being back close to our children and grandchildren. In the future, we will travel again hopefully.

I will not be at the reunion this time, but hope to for the next one!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tom Coats - Autobiography

Tom and Genie (Gower) Coats live in Meridian. We have been here since 1989. We operate Century 21 Howell Realty Inc., Coats and Coats Personnel Services, Coats and Coats Technical Services, Inc., and the Red Porch Barn Antiques and Flea Market. Currently I am trying to break into the housing market with truly green houses. That is, using SIP’s (structural insulated panels) in conjunction with alternate energy sources.

We still have four children and thirteen grandchildren. Our oldest (Liz) is married to Stu Bosarge, and they live on the coast. Our son (Graham) lives in Manassas, VA, and our other daughters live in St. Louis (Nici) and in Seattle (Lela). Two of the granddaughters (Carlyle and Darien), that live in St. Louis, are on a water skiing team, and they recently won a national championship. One of our granddaughters (Cara), that lives in Seattle, is a rower, and she is the fastest high school female in the U.S. She recently entered the Jr. World, and she is now the second fastest high school female in the World. She earned a full scholarship to the University of VA and will continue her training for the Olympics in London. Cara and Lela recently climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. (Ronny Pfeifer and I rode horses to the top of Mt. Sand one time and spent the night with the saddles as our pillows. It was a miserable night.)

We look forward to seeing everyone.

(Picture of Cara below.)

Martin Gaddis - Autobiography

After MHS and MJC, I went to Mississippi State where I graduated in Electrical Engineering. I married my wife, Marsha (a “W” graduate) and we have two children, Phyllis Barrett and Edwin Jr.

We lived in Starkville for about five years where I worked for the Aerophysics Department. After spending some time in Florida and Alabama, we returned to Meridian in 1973. Here I worked for Southern Pipe manufacturing plastic pipe and later for Southern Electric (now REXEL, Inc.).

Marsha has retired from the Post Office, but I still enjoy working for REXEL selling and supporting industrial automation equipment.

Phyllis graduated from MSU and is working as a social worker in Meridian. Edwin graduated from Georgia Tech and is working as mechanical Engineer in Richmond, VA.

Our oldest grandchild, Shae Barrett just graduated from MCC and is working at Rush Hospital as an RN. Phillip Barrett is attending MSU as an Aeronautical Engineering student, and the youngest, David Barrett, is attending MCC after graduating from MHS this past spring.

Gerard D. Ethridge - Autobiography

Retired from the Mississippi Air National Guard January 27th, 2000 with 42 years of service. I’m now enjoying retirement doing just what I want to do. Phyllis and I have been married for 44 years. She also is retired and we feel these are the best years of our life. We enjoy being with our children, grandchildren and traveling when time permits.

Peggy Edwards - Autobiography

I missed the last reunion but am looking forward to seeing everyone for our 50th. I moved to Athens, GA in 2000 to be closer to my daughters and other family members. Anyone who says it’s a cinch to uproot and move on your own at our age has never done it! Being employed full time is still a part of my life, although it’s a relatively simple and undemanding job; community support companion to a disabled lady. My primary interests these days are (1) animal welfare (2) prowling around the local flea markets looking for treasures and (3) emergency preparedness. I would love to hear from any of the classmates.

Sharon Daggett Butler - Autobiography

Married David Butler Dec. 27, 1961. I am a Registered Nurse (retired). We have three children; David Butler, Jr, CPA, Omaha, Neb., married with three children; Miriam Leigh Sevil, rancher, “Bunna Downs” NSW, Australia, duel citizenship, married with two children; Melissa Butler Broyles, office manager/share holder at Engineering Resource Group, Inc. (family firm), Madison MS, married, no children. My hobby is gardening. I volunteer for various charities and attend St Stephen’s Reformed Episcopal Church.

Gloria Brown Bruister - Autobiography

Time really flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? My life is mostly family oriented although I still live in Butler, working for Community Action as a social worker, and I’m still in the courthouse.

I don’t have a lot of spare time, but my free time is usually doing something with my girls or visiting them. Amber, my oldest, is manager of King Loan Service in Meridian. Her husband, Todd Morgan, is co-owner and manager of Morgan’s Plant Farm in Toomsuba and they live at Dalewood.

Ainsley, my youngest, is finally all grown up and graduated from the University of Alabama. She recently accepted a new position as a television producer at ABC 33/40 in Birmingham where she produces a morning news program, “Good Morning Alabama.”

We all enjoy Alabama football, “Roll Tide, Baby”, antiquing, shopping, cooking and eating, and just generally having fun together. Amber is really a gourmet cook; I’m just the old fashioned kind; and Ainsley is learning.

Other than my family, my church, Mt. Sterling Baptist Church, keeps me busy. I have taught a children’s Sunday School class there for more years than I can remember. The only thing I wish for is grandchildren; guess that’s not going to happen unless Ainsley can find a husband who can pass her mother’s and sister’s scrutiny! I still work on genealogy, but it’s not as consuming as it used to be. The free time I expected when Ainsley went away to college never happened, so that’s another project for a later day.

My warmest greetings to all my classmates. I hope all of you have a wonderful reunion; maybe next time I’ll be there.

Happy Birthday to Bob Chatham


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Remembering Kate Griffin Junior High

Peggy Edwards submitted the following link to the Meridian Star's article on Kate Griffin's final days. The memory of the skunk's visit to the school's auditorium brought a smile; I was thoroughly admonished by Miss Johnson for sticking my head in the auditorium to get a good whiff!

Meridian Star - Kate Griffin Jr. High remembered


This is a true story being emailed, originating with someone named Misty Cline:

This is a true story about grits: Back in the 60's when I was working for the Center for Disease Control with HQ in Atlanta most of our training and meetings were in "Hotlanta." There was a small hotel in Buckhead where most of us stayed when attending these training sessions/meetings.

I met a fellow worker from the mid west who liked to tell the story of his introduction to grits.
He said his first morning at the hotel coffee shop he ordered eggs over easy, with ham, toast, and coffee. The waitress brought him his eggs and ham as ordered but he had biscuits and some funny looking white stuff he had never seen. He liked the biscuits but the white stuff was bland and strange to his taste.

He ordered the same thing next day and said the biscuits were okay but leave off the "white stuff." His order came as requested but again the "white stuff" came on his plate. After several days of this, he was adamant with the waitress who was about 35-40 and wiry, white lady that he did not want that "white stuff."

When she brought his breakfast she roughly put the plate before him with the "white stuff" again along with his order and looked him straight in the eye and said, "This 'white stuff' is called GRITS and you can either learn to eat them or get your Yankee-butt back where you came from!" She turned and walked away, and he said he ate them out of fear of what would incur if he did not comply; and he ate grits happily ever after.

Bruce is no longer with us but that rough ole cowboy from Nebraska learned to cook and eat grits. Every time he visited me, he insisted on cooking them and telling me this story. Although he never told me, I bet he was drinking beer at night with that waitress before the week was over!

What Is Grits? Nobody knows. Some folks believe grits are grown on bushes and are harvested by midgets by shaking the bushes after spreading sheets around them. Many people feel that grits are made from ground up bits of white corn. These are obviously lies spread by Communists and terrorists. Nothing as good as a Grits can be made from corn. The most recent research suggests that the mysterious Manna that God rained down upon the Israelites during their time in the Sinai Desert was most likely Grits. Critics disagree, stating that there is no record of biscuits, butter, salt, and red eye gravy raining down from the sky, and that God would not punish his people by forcing them to eat Grits without these key ingredients.

How Grits are Formed. Grits are formed deep underground under intense heat and pressure. It takes over 1000 years to form a single Grit. Most of the world's grit mines are in South Carolina , and are guarded day and night by armed guards and pit bull dogs. Harvesting the Grit is a dangerous occupation, and many Grit miners lose their lives each year so that Grits can continue to be served morning after morning for breakfast (not that having Grits for lunch and dinner is out of the question). Yankees have attempted to create a synthetic Grits. They call them Cream of Wheat. As far as we can tell the key ingredients of Cream of Wheat are Elmer's Glue and shredded styrofoam. These synthetic grits have also been shown to cause nausea, and may leave you unable to have children.

Historical Grits. As we mentioned earlier, the first known mention of the Grits was by the Ancient Israelites in the Sinai Desert . After that, the Grits was not heard from for another 1000 years. Experts feel that the Grits was used during this time only during secret religious ceremonies, and was kept from the public due to it's rarity. The next mention of the Grits was found amidst the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii in a woman's personal diary. The woman's name was Herculaneum Jemimaneus (Aunt Jemima to her friends.)

The 10 Commandments of Grits
I. Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits
II. Thou shalt not eat thy Grits with a spoon or knife
III. Thou shalt not eat Cream of Wheat and call it Grits, for this is blasphemy
IV. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors Grits
V. Thou shalt use only Salt, Butter, and red eye gravy as toppings for thy Grits
VI. Thou shalt not eat Instant Grits
VII. Thou shalt not put ketchup on thy Grits
VIII. Thou shalt not put margarine on thy Grits.
IX. Thou shalt not eat toast with thy Grits, only biscuits made from scratch .
X. Thou shalt eat grits on the Sabbath for this is manna from heaven.

How to Cook Grits. For one serving of Grits: Boil 1.5 cups of water with salt and a little butter. Add 5 TBsp of Grits. Reduce to a simmer and allow the Grits to soak up all the water. When a pencil stuck into the grits stands alone, it is done. That's all there is to cooking grits.

How to make red eye gravy. Fry salt cured country ham in cast iron pan. Remove the ham when done and add coffee to the gravy and simmer for several minutes. Great on grits and biscuits.

How to Eat Grits. Immediately after removing your grits from the stove top, add a generous portion of butter or red eye gravy. (WARNING: Do NOT use low-fat butter.) The butter should cause the Grits to turn a wondrous shade of yellow. (Hold a banana or a yellow rain slicker next to your Grits; if the colors match, you have the correct amount of butter.) In lieu of butter, pour a generous helping of red eye gravy on your grits. Be sure to pour enough to have some left for sopping up with your biscuits. Never, ever substitute canned or store bought biscuits for the real thing because they caused cancer, rotten teeth and impotence. Next, add salt. (NOTICE: The correct ration of Grit to Salt is 10:1 Therefore for every 10 grits, you should have 1 grain of salt.)

Now begin eating your grits. Always use a fork, never a spoon, to eat Grits. Your grits should be thick enough so they do not run through the tines of the fork. The correct beverage to serve with Grits is black coffee. DO NOT use cream or, heaven forbid, Skim Milk.) Your grits should never be eaten in a bowl because Yankees will think its Cream of Wheat.

Ways to Eat Leftover Grits: (Leftover grits are extremely rare) Spread them in the bottom of a casserole dish. Cover and place them in the refrigerator overnight. The Grits will congeal into a gelatinous mass. Next morning, slice the Grits into squares and fry them in 1/2' of cooking oil and butter until they turn a golden brown. Many people are tempted to pour syrup onto Grits served this way. This is, of course, unacceptable.

IRISH BLESSING BEFORE EATING GRITS: May the Lord bless these grits, May no Yankee ever get the recipe, May I eat grits every day while living, And may I die while eating grits. AMEN

Tom Singley - Autobiography

Retired 1 August ‘08 from 37 years 1 month of OB-GYN practice in Pascagoula.
Special friend, Cara (Beth) Raines originally from Meridian. Adult children: Patrick (Rebecca) and three children in New Orleans. Michael (Amy) in Seattle. Shelly (Lance) Bodden and two children, Moss Point. Current interests - fishing, hunting, boating, photography, cooking and traveling.

Briggs Smith - Autobiography

I am married to Dot Fancher Smith of Senatobia, MS, a graduate of MSCW. We celebrated our 40th Anniversary July 6, 2008. We have three sons, Daniel Briggs Smith, III of Ocean Springs, MS, who has two daughters; Carter Smith of Jackson MS who has two daughters, and a son due October 2, 2008; Fancher Smith of Memphis, TN who is unmarried. I have been president of the Batesville Rotary Club and served as an elder with the Batesville Presbyterian Church, and other civil activities including Boy Scouts, The Boys and Girls Club, among others. Recreational activities include primarily hunting ducks and deer. We enjoy traveling, having visited Tanzania, Africa; Cairo, Egypt; St. Petersburg, Russia; Prague, The Czech Republic; Germany; France, Italy; England; Portugal; Switzerland; Mexico; The Bahamas, Antigua; Estonia; Sicily; Malta; Canada; Sweden; Finland; India; Burma; Laos; Thailand; Hungary; Poland; Jamaica; Greece, and Japan.

I am a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law (J.D., 1966), and the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy (B.S., 1962). I am an experienced trial lawyer, certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. I am a member of the American Association for Justice, the Mississippi Association for Justice, and the Mississippi Bar Foundation. I am also a registered pharmacist and a member of the Mississippi Pharmaceutical Association. I am past president of the Old Miss Law Association. I served as chairman of the Lamar Order, University of Mississippi 2002 and was selected as University of Mississippi Law Alumnus of the Year 2004. I was chosen as one of The Lawdragon 3000 Leading Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in America, also was selected one of the top fifty lawyers in Mississippi by my peers in Super Lawyers. I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and a member of the American College of Barristers. I was also selected as a member of Litigation Counsel of America. I presently serve on the Task Force of fourteen lawyers, appointed by the Bar Association to address honesty and integrity of the Bar and fairness and impartiality with the Judiciary.

Carey Ann Sanford Dalton - Autobiography

My husband, Jim, and I are both retired and enjoy seeing our nine grandchildren who live scattered in Texas with two in Florida. We stay active in our community and church and still have time to travel some.

Shirley Broadhead Hamilton - Autobiography

I still love living in Oxford after 43 years in Memphis. Both girls still single - career girls - Alexandra Turner is 35, lives in Memphis, is in Media Relations. Christian Turner lives in Chicago, Bond Trader for FTN Financial (owned by First Tennessee Bank of Memphis). Come by or call if up here. See ya at reunion. I am still teaching my same handicapped student in Oxford.

Ronnie Adams - Autobiography

I retired from Western Auto after 31 years as a store manager, sales manager and for final 15 of those 31 years as national display manager. I worked in or visited 49 states in this position and was able to see the many wonders the good ole U.S.A. has to offer. I hope to visit Alaska soon to make it 50 states. I have one million frequent flyer miles to try to use up--probably will never happen!

I have one lovely daughter who is married to a really great man and I have one grandson who is seven years old. I still try to attend all of the Wildcat home football games and have had the same reserve seats for 30 years. I spend a lot of time in Birmingham playing golf or fishing with my brother Kenneth who is married to the former Kay Miller, a 1959 M.H.S. grad.

Well--that’s about all I have to say except I hope to see EVERYONE in 2013

Larry Tyner

Charlotte and I have been married 46 years. We are blessed with a daughter, son and eight grandchildren. Daughter Stacey, is a CPA and attorney in Atlanta. She has three sons. My son, Lee, is an attorney and the General Counsel for Ole Miss. He has three boys and two precious daughters.

I have a BS in Mathematics from Mississippi College. My most fulfilling achievements, other than family, include serving on the board and as President of the Board of Trustees for Palmer Home for Children and as President of the 3,000 plus member Mississippi Forestry Association. I had a 35 year career managing external affairs lobbying across the South for Weyerhaeuser Company.

As retirees, we now split our time enjoying Beech Mountain, NC in the summer and Oxford, MS and Orange Beach, AL the rest of the year.

Mary J. Spencer Stephens

After graduating from high school, I went to MSCW and graduated from there in 1962. I taught first grade in Natchez for a year, got married to Bill Stephens…class of ‘57...and then taught second grade in St. Gabriel, LA while Bill finished up his graduate program at LSU. We moved to Gulfport, MS and lived there for four years during which time we had three sons, William, David and John, before I was 26. Then we moved to the Oklahoma City area where we’ve lived since 1967. We now live in Edmond, Oklahoma. We have four grandchildren…William, Sarah, Spencer and Adam, age 9 to 15. Bill is traveling and is gone three days a week. I keep busy writing emails to friends…many of them are friends from high school, gardening and walking. I like to walk late at night and alone…am doing 5 ½ miles a night. I have enjoyed reading all the biographies coming in. So many people have gone on to get such good education and have had such successful lives. My fellow Marion Parkers like Richard Brown and Joe Burnett and lots of others…I am impressed but not surprised.

AARP Advice to attract sexy younger women

AARP Question---
Q: Where can men over the age of 60 find
younger, sexy women who are
interested in them?
A: Try a bookstore-------under fiction.

I found the question and answer quite interesting, so I went to the local Barnes & Nobles - hung out in the fiction section. Nothing happened. I asked the help desk and they suggested I was in the wrong section. They thought I'd have better luck in the Humor section. After all they thought it was a joke for men over 60 to expect sexy younger women to be interested in them.

After about an hour I went back to the help desk. Another person was on duty and I explained the situation. Again, I was told I was in the wrong section. I should be in the Money section. After all, if any sexy younger women were going to be interested in me, it would not be based on my charming personality or striking good looks - it would be based on money.

I tried the money section ... no luck.

I went back to the help desk and finally got the straight scoop. I was going to have to 1) show I had some money and 2) let the young sexy women know I was interested in spending it on them.

I purchased an erotic book and went home. I could create my own fantasy … it was a lot cheaper ... and the sexy young woman would not run out when the money did.

Answer To "A Kiss From Elvis" Trivia

Elvis Presley kissed classmate Frances Ousley on the cheek after a performance at the Jimmie Rodgers Festival on May 26, 1955.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Martha Ann's Battle

Martha Ann has asked that I delete the text of my post concerning her recent diagnosis. She thinks that we're all aware of her disease and can respond to the information and her condition as each sees fit.

Martha Ann is now in the hands of her earthly physicians, is guided by her own determination to win the battle and is directed her our heavenly Father. We are watching and waiting for word from her about subsequent steps she will be taking with expected outcomes and finally, the good news for which we're all praying.

The Best To You, Martha!

God's Minute

Psalm 57:7-11

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!

I will give thanks to thee, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to thee among the nations.
For thy steadfast love is great to the heavens,
thy faithfulness to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let thy glory be over all the earth!


Peggy sent me this obituary from the Starkville Daily News:

Albert David ‘Dog’ Owens
Saturday, 06 September 2008
The funeral for Albert David “Dog” Owens will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church in Starkville. The Revs. Chip Stevens, Clifton Curtis and Sonny Fisher will conduct the service. Visitation will be held today from 1 to 3 p.m. at Welch Funeral Home. Mr. Owens, 82, a retired Starkville High School coach and teacher, passed away Friday, Sept. 5, 2008, at Oktibbeha County Hospital. He was a native of Charleston. Mr. Owens served in the army during World War II as a Military Policeman. He was a graduate of Mississippi State University, where he played football and coached. Over a 36-year career as an educator and coach, he touched the lives of many students. He was an avid outdoorsman and a member of the American Legion. He organized and began the first Parks and Recreation Department for Starkville, where he served as the director. His high school teaching and coaching career included Meridian High School, Starkville Academy and Starkville High School.He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jo Ann Lindsey Owens of Starkville; daughter, Amanda Miller and husband Paul of Cadiz, Ky.; sister, Mary Frances Tomlinson of Clinton; and several nieces and nephews.Memorial donations may be made to Palmer Home for Children or Salvation Army.The online guest register may be signed by visiting://

Billie Manney Crockett - Autobiography

I am a retired secretary from Gulf Coast Mental Health and enjoying life. James “Bo” Deane and I were married and divorced, we had two children. Later I married John Searcy, who was a captain of a yacht, and we cruised the Bahamas for about 10 years. John died of a brain aneurysm at 57 years of age. Then I married David Crockett, a retired train conductor who was really related to the famous Davy Crockett. David died of a heart attack. For my latest experience I went to Wuxi, China and taught conversational English for six months. While in China I also visited Thailand, where I rode an elephant through the jungle and played with the monkeys and went snorkeling in the Indian Ocean. Now I am swimming three days a week at a new fitness club and dancing with a senior dance group.

Nancy Collier Ranager - Autobiography

This is what I had planned to write: Fifty years, one husband, two sons, six grandchildren, a career in education, and many happy memories with very few bumps in the road, built on the foundation of friendships and adventures of growing up with all of you;………..

BUT, then we hit the really big bump in the road this summer. My husband, Tommy, (Class of ‘59) had a debilitating stroke. That, coupled with other health problems, has changed both of our lives forever. In 2005, Millsaps College, where Tommy taught and coached for 32 years, honored him by naming the field house the Tommy Ranager Field House. We were humbled by this lovely honor and very grateful.

Robert J. (Bob) Bailey - Autobiography

Mississippi State University 1962; MBA 1966. Years between spent in U.S. Army serving in Vietnam as spotter plane pilot, returned to U.S. and spent remainder of time on active duty at Ft. Bragg, NC. Returned to MSU for graduate school and the Mississippi National Guard. Moved to Yazoo City in 1966, married Amanda Dent, a young widow with three children--Mollie 8, Hayes 5 and Richard 3. We have been happily married for 41 years and are now grandparents of nine. Three in Jackson, three in Denver, a grown one farming in The Delta and two now with the Lord.

I first worked for Mississippi Chemical Corporation, then Bank of Yazoo City for 26 years. In 1995 I left the bank to work for Reformed Theological Seminary, fund raising and doing some of the business side of the seminary. Am now semi-retired after serving service as Chief Operations Officer and Assistant to the Chancellor for the RTS campuses in Jackson, Orlando, Charlotte, Washington and Atlanta. Still do some bank consulting work. During the last three years of Sonny Montgomery’s life, I took care of his business affairs. Upon his death, served as executor of his estate. Now, having left the bulk of his estate to his private foundation, I serve as President of the Board and Executive Director. The purpose of this foundation is to encourage military and civilian leadership through scholarship and recognition and support military and veteran needs in Mississippi. The foundation supports scholarships at Mississippi State University (main campus and Meridian campus), Meridian Community College and the McCallie School Foundation.

We manage to have enough free time for Amanda and me to enjoy our home in Yazoo City, a little traveling, enjoy the grands and help out with a couple of civic needs.

I regret I will not get to see all of you at the reunion. I had prior commitments that preclude our attendance.

Joyce Bailey Rider - Autobiography

Many changes in my life during the last 5 years. I retired from Mississippi Baptist Health Systems in 2006 after 20 years of service, serving as payroll coordinator from 1995-2006. As some of you may remember I wasn't able to attend the last reunion because my husband of 42 years (Terry Hinton) was gravely ill with cancer. He fought a courageous and brave battle with cancer; however he died on Labor Day of 2004. He leaves me and our 2 children and their families with wonderful memories.

A wonderful new chapter of my life's history began in April 2007. I met a wonderful man from North Little Rock Arkansas, Jerry D Rider. We were married on August 16 of this year and are in the process of moving my household to North Little Rock, AR . You might find it interesting to know that David Elliott married Jerry and I. David and Gay Love are very dear to me in many ways.

We have been and will continue to travel through the U.S. Jerry is quite active incarriage restoration and drives horses as a hobby. (By the way, we do travel by car or airplane). This is very different for me; however, I really enjoy his hobby. Actually I will make an attempt to learn how to drive a carriage as time goes on. Due to a carriage trip to Stockbridge, MA in early October I will not be able to attend the reunion. I enjoy spending time with my only grandson, Mason Benton, who lives in Birmingham AL. I keep Interstate 20 hot at times. I can tell you that I will miss being in MISSISSIPPI in more ways than one. It is farther to Birmingham from Arkansas. In addition to being a grandmother I spend time with my sister and her family at their place in Orange Beach, AL.

I appreciate the efforts that the committee has put forth to make this reunion a successful event. I continue to treasure the memories of Meridian and the Class of 1958. If you run across a picture of the concert band, look at the 7th chair clarinet and you will see me! That's the best I could do and still carry a baton. Thanks to Mr. Jenks and Mr. Wendling. Does this bring back memories for some of you????

Have a good time and laugh for me.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Convenient Watermelons

We spit watermelon seeds from the front porch last year, and to our surprise, we grew long vines and 3 large melons. If the vines had grown up the stairs, we wouldn't have had to go to much trouble to cut and eat them! The largest is now about 18" long and growing. Our 13-yr.-old grandson James Cole wouldn't let us cut it on his last visit; I think he believes it will grow to enormous proportions - as in "James and the Giant Peach." Wish you all could come over, share watermelon, and help us seed for next year!
(Bare dirt is from a drain-covering project.)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A near sighted squirrel

I live in South Louisiana and we were required to evacuate due to Hurricane Gustav. We went to my sister’s home in Collinsville, Ms. She has a pleasant 3 bedroom home that sits atop a heavily wooded hill. The front porch overlooks about a 2-3 acre lawn that has a line of trees separating the house from the road. So sitting on the front porch is very relaxing and therapeutic.

On Tuesday I was sitting on the front porch fully absorbed in a business book. Out of the corner of my eye I detected some movement on the porch and glanced over to see what was intruding. There was a squirrel walking along the porch within a foot of me. I guess I had been very still and it had not perceived me to be a threat.

The squirrel was walking along the porch, looking for morsels of food. My sister has a couple of small dogs and one of them had left a small chew toy on the front porch. The squirrel found the chew toy and began to examine it. The toy was actually larger than the squirrel's head, but that did not prevent the squirrel from getting a grip on the toy and walking off with it. I thought about making a loud noise with the idea that the squirrel would be frightened and drop the toy. But I decided to just watch. The squirrel scampered off into the woods with its new found treasure. I know it was thinking it had discovered a large bundle of food. Poor squirrel …unfortunately the chew toy will only help to clean its teeth.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yacht Club, Bay St. Louis, MS, During Gustav

Many photos are on coast newspaper, The Sun Herald, at One gallery is here:

Ella Kappes Edwards - Autobiography

In December 2006 I retired from Stamm Advertising after 27 years. My “retirement job” is full-time in Reference Services at the Flowood Library, a beautiful new library that is just 3 miles from home. Last summer I bought a small house and have enjoyed being a home owner except for grass mowing.

I have two wonderful daughters, Marian and Nancy, who with their husbands are bringing up my four fantastic grandchildren: Daniel (18 in Sept. 2008), Megan (10), Caroline (13) and Sarah (11).

I’ll not be at the Philadelphia reunion, but will be in Meridian the weekend before and look forward to seeing many of you then.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gustav's Gone - Who's Next?

Happy to say that our electricity is back on as of about one hour ago and that Tom and I are safe and sound in Diamondhead. I talked with Lynne Johnson Grimes yesterday, and she and Sam also are fine. I've begun checking on my Franciscan family and was particularly concerned about my friend in Pearlington, MS. She had water to the ceiling during Katrina but none in her home during Gustav. I'm not sure about friends in Slidell, but think those in Bay Saint Louis are o.k. because of the elevation of their location. Picayune friends are safe.

We were very grateful to have our generator (one of those FEMA purchases after Katrina) to keep the refrigerator going as well as a light or two and a small air conditioner (purchased mainly to use with the generator when the power is out). I also enjoyed having a battery operated TV for local news. The yard is a mess but nothing like after Katrina when limbs, trees, and trash were stacked for pickup, covering the whole front yard.

We are grateful but our hearts and prayers go out to others not so fortunate, particularly in Louisiana. Now to get ready for the next one.