In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

A Tribute and Celebration

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

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

- Ouida Tomlinson -

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

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




Saturday, February 28, 2009


From The Meridian Star:

By Ida Brown / senior staff writer

It's official.

Kate Griffin Junior High School will close upon completion of the ninth-grade academy building on the Meridian High School campus, according to MPSD Superintendent Charlie Kent.

The "official" closing was determined during a special called meeting of the board of trustees Thursday at Central Office.

"Even though we've known since last April that K.G. would be closing, the board had never taken official action to closing, and we wanted to make it official," Kent said.

The board decided not to set a definite date in case there were delays in construction of the academy, which is scheduled for completion on June 30.

If construction is not complete by the start of the 2009-2010 school year, Kate Griffin will serve as a backup for the ninth grade. The three middle schools – Carver/Magnolia/Northwest – housing sixth, seventh and eighth grades will continue as planned.

Staffing for the ninth grade academy also was discussed at the meeting. According to Kent, a lottery process will be incorporated.

"Those faculty members currently teaching ninth-grade at Northwest and K.G. will provide us a profile of their job specifications, their certification and background and various endorsements," he said.

From there, the principals at Meridian High and Northwest will do a lottery for those teachers.

"We think that's the fairest way to do it, and also that does not give the high school principal carte blanche to cipher all the best teachers," Kent said.

"We want everyone to understand that if you can teach at one school, you should be able to teach at another," he said. "Our biggest concerns at the high school are licensure and certification."

Where there are vacancies, staff will be hired, he said.

Jerry Shore Doogles - Watch Live - Webcam

Online TV Shows by Ustream

Also watch Shiba Cam, the first rescue Shiba Inu puppy cam, where you can watch Shino's surprise puppies grow up! Shino, a 6-year-old black and tan Shiba Inu, was rescued from a puppy mill in November by Shiba Inu Rescue Association (SIRA), and unbeknownst to her foster and adopting parents, she was pregnant at the time! A fantastic surprise, Akira, Nami, Kambei, and Shiro were born on Wednesday, January 14, and all four are beautiful and healthy little Shibas. Please visit the SIRA puppy webpage for additional updates and information! The address is:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Birthday Calendar

We have a new feature on the blog - a birthday calendar, located on the right. Please e-mail date of your birthday and those of other classmates (if you are positive about date). My e-mail address is:

Rabbit Tobacco by Maxine

Let me tell you what I know about Rabbit Tobacco. My brother and I have asthma, and Mother was always searching the woods for rabbit tobacco to make us a pillow to sleep on. The smell of this weed, which is very distinctive, opens the airways and we would breathe easier. I grew up with lots of old Indian remedies, because my mother was Chickasaw Indian. She taught us about clay, coal oil, okra blooms on boils, flux weed tea, and too many to list.

What Is so funny is the story I am about to tell you about rabbit tobacco. Many, many years later, after we had moved to Houston, we bought some property in Conroe Texas. Lo and behold, what should I find? The property was covered with Rabbit Tobacco. It was spring time, so I knew I had to wait until the lower leaves turned a dry silvery color, sometime around September, before I could gather it. I waited until the time was right, and I stripped off the bottom leaves. The smell brought back so many sleepy time memories when I would be warm and tucked under 20 pounds of quilts, sleeping on my rabbit tobacco pillow.

I was so happy, and I took back several zip-loc bags to our office in Houston. I had stories to tell our employees. One of our employees had a grandmother who had asthma, and I told him that I would give her enough to make a pillow. The bag of "WEED" was laying on my desk, when in walked a police officer to buy some nuts and bolts for his boat. All of our employees started trying to hide this bag of "WEED" because they said it looked like "THE GOOD STUFF". I didn't know, because I had never seen the good stuff, as they called it. They looked so guilty that the police officer wanted to know what we were hiding. I told him RABBIT TOBACCO, which he had never heard of. Then I had to explain to him that it was the dried leaves of the SWEET EVERLASTING weed, and if he wanted some, he could go to Conroe and pick his own, but he was not taking mine!!!

Then I went on to tell him that the way it got its name was during WWII, you couldn't get cigarettes, so those who knew about it, smoked rabbit tobacco. A kid could make a few pennies off the old folks if we knew where to find it. It will not burn. It just smolders like tobacco. A couple of years ago, I found some here, and I was showing a lady friend how we rolled it and made cigarettes out of it. She smokes, but I never have, but she was going to try it. Her husband drove up and caught us smoking weed. HeeHee

It made a good story for him to tell on us.

Here is a sad story about smoking.

I was 5, Geraldine was 7. I looked up to her because she was so grown up. We lived in Mobile. It was during the war, and Daddy was getting ready to be called to go away any day. He was working in the shipyard, and we lived in a government house.

Geraldine was going to show me how to smoke. We went down the road to another big house that was built up off the ground about 3 feet. We had Big Chief tablet paper, matches, and pine straw. We couldn't find any rabbit tobacco along the beach. She showed me how to roll the pine straw up in the paper, and she lit hers first. I was watching intently so I could be just like her.

She lit her paper and took a big puff, fell backwards and starting gasping for air. Then she turned blue and got quiet. I was so scared because we were somewhere we were not supposed to be, doing something we were not supposed to be doing. I knew my butt was in big trouble, but I had to go get help. I ran home and told my mother that something was wrong with Geraldine, but Mother kept telling me to go play outside. Then she realized that Geraldine wasn't with me, so something must be wrong.

Mother got there and had a look on her face that I had just seen the year before when Her Dad had died. She said we had to call the police. She went and got Geraldine's parents, called the police, and they started questioning me. I was scared to death. I was sure I was going to jail. It took a long time for me to get over this. Geraldine inhaled FIRE, and it burned her lungs. She died almost immediately.

To make a LONG story short. I NEVER smoked anything, except maybe a turkey.

Happy Birthday to Beth Hobgood Clark

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lent - A Penitential Season

The end of Mardi Gras on a Tuesday, in the areas where celebrated, marks the beginning of the 40 days of Lent and Ash Wednesday.

“Yet even now,” says the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.”

Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Joel 2:12-13.

Lenten Prayer
Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
with all your mind, and with all your strength.
The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these.

Ron & Mary Jane Kelly Heisterkamp

Mary Jane Kelly's husband, Ron, fell and broke his hip. He had surgery and has been having a very hard time with much pain along with a reaction to the anethesia. Please remember them both in your prayers. As you may recall, Ron made the video for us at the class reunion. Their mailing address is:

Ron and Mary Jane Heisterkamp
6527 King George Way
Morrow, GA 30260

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino

Happy Mardi Gras

History of Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras Trivia - If Ever I Cease To Love

Since the founding of the Rex Organization in 1872 its traditions have helped define Mardi Gras. Rex's Proclamation invites his subjects to the grand celebration of Carnival. His royal colors of purple, green, and gold are to this day the colors of Mardi Gras, and the song played in the first Rex parade, "If Ever I Cease to Love," has become Carnival's anthem. Rex and his Queen preside over the Rex Ball, Carnival's glittering conclusion.

The Rex Anthem

The official anthem of Rex is "If Ever I Cease to Love," a song from a popular musical comedy of the 1870's called "Blue Beard." This catchy tune was part of the repertoire of Lydia Thompson, a popular British singer whose American tour came to New Orleans in 1872, the year Rex was organized. The Grand Duke Alexis of Russia was also making an American tour, and was the honored guest for the first Rex parade. Legend has long romantically linked the Grand Duke with the singer, and suggested that "If Ever I Cease to Love" was performed for the Grand Duke because of his romantic interest in Miss Thompson. While this is a good story, it is probably not quite true. Bands performed the Russian national anthem for the Grand Duke, and when Rex dismounted on Canal Street to review the parade the bands played "If Ever I Cease to Love." It has been the Rex anthem ever since, played for Rex and his Queen when they arrive at the Grand Ball, for the presentation of the court, and after the meeting of the Rex and Comus courts on Mardi Gras night.

* * * * * *

This song was by George Leybourne circa 1870 and published by White, Smith & Perry, Boston, MA. This particular set of lyrics is from a 1946 "Souvenir Edition" published by Dave Frank, New Orleans.

Verse 1:

In a house, in a square, in a quadrant,
In a street, in a lane, in a road.
Turn to the left, on the right hand,
you see my true love's abode.
I go there a courting,
and cooing to my love like a dove,
And swearing on my bend-ed knee
If ever I cease to love,
May sheepsheads grow on apple trees,
If ever I cease to love.

Chorus 1:

If ever I cease to love,
If ever I cease to love
May the moon be turned to green cream cheese,
If ever I cease to love

Verse 2:

She can sing, she can play on the piano,
She can jump, she can dance, she can run.
For she's a wonderful girlie,
She's all of them rolled into one.
I adore her beauty, she's like an angel dropped from above
May the fish get legs, and the cows lay eggs,
If ever I cease to love,

Chorus 2

If I ever cease to love,
If I ever cease to love,
May we all turn into cats and dogs,
If I ever cease to love


City of New Orleans

Home Remedies - continued

I remember hearing someone tell about some springs around Lauderdale MS that supposedly had some type of healing properties. Legend had it that the local Indians would go and stand in the water to help heal cuts, sores, etc. on their legs. Does anyone have any knowledge of this? And what was rabbit tobacco?

Monday, February 23, 2009


When we were growing up, on Old Marion Road, we had that high bank of red clay between our houses. The one in front of our house was a favorite among the blacks. Mom and Dad always told us to be on guard, because they would dig a hole the size of a #2 washtub and "Harvest" out a sack full of white bars of clay. They would have dug this bank all the way back to our house if we had not kept them run off. We asked them what they were doing, but we never got a straight answer. One person told us it was soap, and a bar of it did look like a bar of Ivory, so we believed them. One day Judd and Agnes Potis came by. They were the sweetest black family, and they had a son named Amos, who was crippled. Agnes told me to taste it, which I did, and it tasted like Milk Of Magnesia. Then she explained to us that they used this bar of stuff for several home remedies.
She said they soaked their potatoes in for some reason, they made a gravy out of it, and they used it for stomach ailments.
Since then I have looked up this clay to see what it was and discovered it is KAOLIN, which includes the minerals, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, and Iron.
Kaopectate is made from this common clay that is harvested in Mississippi and Alabama, and it was used for diarrhea, intestional spasms, and irritable bowel syndrome.
If my Mother had known this when we were little, she would have had us eating dirt.

Home Remedies - continued

Your post about kerosene could be misleading. It was not kerosene, but COAL OIL. Coal oil was used as an internal and topical home remedy as a general cure-all for myriad of ailments including coughs, flu, cuts, abrasions and snake bites. It could be added to sugar to mask the taste.

It would clot blood immediately.

My mother used it for everything. My brother got bit by a copper head snake and we didn't have a car or a way to get him to the hospital. Mother put his foot into a wash pan filled with coal oil and the oil turned green. You could actually see the poison being sucked out in a green streak.

I am sure COAL OIL saved our lives many times.

I also hated Castor Oil, three 6's or 666. It was a yellow liquid that was bitter. I think it was quinine. I took Airadol-A vitamins but loved that. Also, I loved Hadacol, but they took it off the market when I was 9.

Remember Syrup of Black Draught. YUK!!!

I think kerosene was more refined than coal oil and had an additive of some kind. I just know kerosene would have killed us as much as we took.

I can walk a little now without it killing me. I wish I had some coal oil. I would soak my foot in it.

Happy Birthday Nancy Ranager

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Home Remedies

Martha Ann and I were sharing memories of the medications we somehow survived when we were growing up. I will NEVER forget the vile taste of Grove's Chill Tonic, supposedly some type of mixture to keep us healthy. A spoon of sugar mixed with kerosene was given for coughs and croup. I don't think I ever had Hadacol but do know that it was very popular, guaranteed to make you feel better. It was later revealed that it had an extremely high alcohol content, so that probably explains it. A song was even written about it: "The Hadacol Boogie". Do any of you have medication memories you'd like to share?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Visit My Facebook

Ouida Tomlinson's Facebook profile

TO SIGN UP FOR FACEBOOK, GO TO: and let me know if you do so we can make connection.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


If you are on Facebook, send me an invitation to be Your Friend. If you would like to join, e-mail me for an invitation. Facebook is an easy way to stay in touch with classmates and share news. Posts on this blog also can be linked to Facebook which I have done for myself. My e-mail:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Valentine From Space - The Heart Nebula



Here is a painting by cousin Millie Howell from Philadelphia, MS. It is one of 6 of hers that I own that are currently in her retrospective painting exhibition at the Meridian Museum of Art through March 7. Most are rather large, at least 3' x 4'. Click on the URL below to see many others in her show, if interested. I took the photos quickly at the reception, and are not "dead on" as they should be, but you can see what wonderful work she has done. She is a colorist, and a painter's painter. These are abstract expressiionist paintings in acrylic. Millie is in one of the photos in a red jacket giving her gallery talk. Another shows her husband Boots, son John, and daughter-in-law Diana. They are standing in front of 2 of her paintings that I own. I really like the one on the right called FAT CATS, showing 2 cats on a table eating fish and lobsters. The painting on the left is her son John as a thespian, which he is. That painting reminds me greatly of one of Picasso's earlier paintings.

Copy and paste the above URL to see Millie's show.

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I told you I save everything! I sold my old valentines on ebay, and found this one later that I had forgotten. It's from Jeanette Ferguson. Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!
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Friday, February 13, 2009

To My Valentine

Click image to see larger.
These are 1940's valentines.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Class Reunion 2013

So what does the Threefoot Building have to do with our next class reunion? According to The Meridian Star today: "One of the first big steps in the redevelopment of downtown's Threefoot building into a Marriott hotel will be taken this week as workers begin a detailed examination of the building's exterior." Restoration is expected to be completed by December 2010.
Folks, let's consider the new Marriott hotel as a possibility for our next class reunion. By then it should be a smooth-running operation, located in our home town, in an area that is becoming very charming and revitalized. The same article says that the Kress Building may be redeveloped into a banquet hall with work to be finished at the same time as the Marriott hotel.
One caution: the rates may not be as good as the casino but those would be hard to beat. I would expect the Marriott rates to be higher, but there would be other options for people as far as where they stay. On the other hand, maybe we could cut a good deal with the Marriott.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What A Wonderful World

Monday, February 2, 2009

Meridian High Graduation Exercises, June 2, 1958

Meridian High School graduation exercises were held June 2, 1958, 8pm, at Ray Stadium. The graduation processional Pomp and Circumstance was played by the MJC band. Joe Burnett, twelfth grade honor graduate delivered the commencement address. Ralph Abraham, twelfth grade president, presented the MHS class gift to the school. The MJC director, J. O. Carson, received the gifts. Ivan Burnett, twelfth grade honor graduate, delivered the benediction.

Twelfth graders graduating with highest honors were Beverly Adams, Joyce Bailey, Shirley Broadhead, Gay Broome, Gloria Brown, Georgia Merel Browning, Ivan Burnett, Kathleen Bustin, Carole Chatham, Peggy Joyce Coats, Neldean Copeland, Marty Davidson, Michael Davis, Kay Dearman, Patsy Dorman, Jeanette Ferguson, Philip George, Amelia Hood, Laura Ann Horton, Judy Johnson, Ella Kappes, Leila Keeton, Mark Killam, Ouida Landreth, Judy McKellar, Martha Ann Markline, Ronnie Mitchell, Martin Palmer, Carey Ann Sanford, Tom Singley, Carolyn Smith, Anne Stallworth, Marianne Stuart, Bill Tatum, Freddie Tingle, and Betty Lou White.

Twelfth graders graduating with honors were Ralph Abraham, Marjorie Barham, Phyllis Beckmann, Jackye Bergemeyer, Roy Crampton, Francine Culpepper, Joan Gault, Sandra Hodge, Dorothy Hood, Edwina Hubert, Patricia Kerr, Marty Kogan, Sandra Lovett, Pansy McCarra, Tee Mann, Frances Mayerhoff, Nona Parker, Gay Love Rawlings, Pat Rawson, Mona Robinson, William Sanders, Peggy Sellers, Sue Shannon, Briggs Smith, Mary Jane Spencer, Faye Stoudenmire, Rosemary Thomas, JoAnn Mills White, and Nancy Young.

(The total number of MHS graduates was not mentioned in the source article, but at the reunion the number 325 was stated.)

The Temple Theater

Historic theater’s new owners to meet public today
(from staff reports)

The Temple Theater has been sold.
The new owners will unveil new plans for the historic building at a 3 p.m. news conference today at the theater.
Last June, the Hamasa Shriners put the theater on the market after more than 80 years of ownership. The building — which is listed on the National Register of Historical places — was built by the Shriners in the mid-1920s and has been a historical and architectural staple in Meridian for years. It is noted for its Moorish revival style architecture and design, popular among Shriners' Temples, and its remarkable pipe organ.

It was once the only movie theater in town, later being leased by the Saenger chain of theaters for 40 years. In its heyday, residents would line up around the block for the Saturday matinees.

In recent years, the theater has been primarily used for stage productions. Officials have said the new owners will continue to use the building for much the same way.But the new owners will announce detailed plans today. The Shriners sold the building because they needed a more functional multi-purpose building and because they didn't want to continue to be in the business of marketing the theater for entertainment.

SOURCE: The Meridian Star