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.)




Sunday, March 29, 2009

Poplar Springs District Embraces History

For about the past 20 years, Meridian has been home to several nationally recognized historic preservation districts. But until Thursday, only one had markers proclaiming it as such.

After a fundraising campaign by Dr. Sonny Rush, the Poplar Springs Historic Preservation District became the second historic district in Meridian to have an official marker.

Though congress first passed legislation to designate historic places in 1968, it took a long time for the program to be funded, and most of Meridian's historic districts were designated as such in the 1980's.

To qualify as a historic district, an area must have a high concentration of buildings with historical architectural significance that are at least 50 years old. All of those buildings have to be documented, and photos and descriptions of them sent to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Once Archives and History approves the districts, they send the information on to the National Park Service, which then approves the district to be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Designation as a historic district doesn't automatically come with a marker. The markers must be purchased at a cost of $1,700, and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History must approve the wording on the marker before it is granted.

The banners and historic marker in the Poplar Springs district are there because of a joint effort by homeowners. Dr. Sonny Rush developed a passion about preserving Poplar Springs as a historic residential area, and decided to recruit people to the cause.

He sent out letters and went door to door, getting his neighbors to join the Poplar Springs Historic Society. The society pooled money to fund the marker as well as numerous banners on Poplar Springs Drive light posts, and gained approval for them from the city council.

Now that the marker and banners are in place, Rush said the next thing on the society's agenda is to try to have Soule type benches placed along Poplar Springs Drive, possibly along with special light posts and street signs.

Rush called the Poplar Springs district the "St. Charles of Meridian," and said one of his main goals is to prevent parts of the district from being rezoned for business.

Dr. Rush gave a brief history of the district. Before it was ever a street, he said, Poplar Springs Drive was a cattle trail. There was a spring north of Meridian, and around the turn of the century, cattle meandered along the trail to reach the springs, giving Poplar Springs Drive it's curvy shape, which is fairly unusual in Meridian.

In the 1910s and '20s, wealthy families in Meridian began to move north, he said, building many of the large homes that still stand along Poplar Springs Drive. The area was developed by M.R. Grant, who named it Marion Park after his daughter. There was a streetcar that brought passengers from downtown Meridian to the Poplar Springs area, and one of the banners marks the old streetcar stop.

Rush said he wants Poplar Springs to serve as a conduit from the Arts District downtown to North Meridian.

The two markers downtown — one marking the African-American historic business district, and the other marking the Union Station historic district — were acquired in the 1990s. At the time they were acquired, the markers recognized two separate districts, but in 2006, the two districts were merged, along with a few other historic areas downtown. Now, those two markers are both within the Meridian Downtown Historic Preservation District.

There are seven historic districts in Meridian: Highlands, which includes Highland Park; Merrehope, which includes the Merrehope and F.W. Williams homes; West End, just south of the Merrehope district; East End, which is east of downtown; Mid-town, which is just south of the Poplar Springs district and north of downtown; Poplar Springs, which runs north to south from Meridian High School to 22nd Street.; and the Meridian Downtown historic district, which is in the southern part of downtown, from Fifth Street to Front Street.

Source: The Meridian Star

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Historic Marker

City councilman, ward 5, John Harris, Mayor John Robert Smith, and Connie Royal revealed a new Historic marker Thursday afternoon to many residents of the Poplar Springs area. The Poplar Springs Historic marker was dedicated to Mrs. Charles A. Ray Sr. and Mrs. Richard Lyle who are longtime residents of the area. Read more about this in Sundays Meridian Star.

(Who's the child in arms on the right? His grandmother knows.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Playtime With Maxine

How many times in your adult life do you get to be a kid again??? Well, yesterday I got another opportunity to go outside and play with one of my favorite classmates, who I haven't seen in 50 years.

Jinny Lee Curran Walz, was coming to Texas to spend some time with her son and his family. As it turns out, her daughter-in-law is friends with my daughter-in-law, and they live in Round Rock, Texas, about 70 miles from me. Everyone loves to come here for a visit to feed the animals and ride the mule. I asked her to make a special effort to come see me since I wasn't able to go to our 50th reunion, and she thrilled me with her visit.

I knew about what time they would be arriving, so I was outside on my scooter. When they drove up, I wanted to RUN and hug her, and I really did try, but my baby steps made me walk in slow motion.

I had cooked enough food for a log rolling so that we wouldn't have to go out to eat. I had 2 big pots of chicken and dumplings, vegetables, salad and a big Peach Cobbler and a big Blackberry Cobbler. We ate country style, not sit down formal, just fix a plate and find a spot to eat, either outside or inside. We are such a big family and that is the way we are. I always have "company" around here, and thanks to my Mom and Mrs. Walker, (home ec teacher), I love to cook, and I am a good cook. I haven't killed anyone yet.

After we ate, we hopped on one of our mules, and took a tour of our farm. We fed the fish in the lilly pond, saw the ducks, goose, guineas and chickens. Then we went over the levee and saw the antelope herd, about 13 of them. Then we went around to the other side of the big lake and saw a flock of Black Bellied Whistling Tree Ducks that have taken up residency here from Mexico. From there we went up to our cabin by the front lake, and Jinny wanted to move in. It would be so much fun for several of us girls to spend a week there. It is fully furnished with everything you would need except a telephone.

I hated to take them away from the cabin, but there was more to see and do. We went to find the donkeys and longhorns, so the boys could feed them cubes. I always enjoy this because you always get slobber on you. It is so scarry to watch these huge animals with 6 to 7 feet of horns coming up to you to eat out of your hands. Their tongues are so long and they wrap them around the cubes and take them out of you hands. Most of the cubes got dropped, as you can imagine. "City People" HeeHee. We were all laughing so much.

It was absolute therapy for me, and the most I have walked in 2-1/2 years since I first broke my foot and ankle. Three surgeries have not left me pain free, but I am making progress, and yesterday was the best medicine I have had in a long time.

We played outside until about 6:30, and then they had to leave. Jinny is still as cute as she was in school, just a little older. She was my best friend in 2nd grade at Poplar Springs. She had pig tails then. We moved out towards Marion and I finished elementary school at Witherspoon.

If anyone wants to come here for a visit, just let me know when and I will reserve the cabin for you. I had it built and paid for it with my "Beer and Cigarette Money". I have never smoked (if you read my blog) and I do not drink alcohol, so I have been able to save a lot of money to do things like this. Everyone laughs at me about my beer and cigarette money, but do the math!!!

I would like to have more visits like Jinny's. She was so much fun. I hope she will come back again soon.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Class of 58 Senior Pictures From Annual

If anyone does not have a copy of the 58 annual and would like to see the Sr. class pictures, I have put a copy up on the mhsalumni web page. Click the link to check it out.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Irish Blessings - Live at Armagh Cathedral

Irish Blessings - Live at Armagh Cathedral

History of Saint Patrick's Day

Click for St. Patrick's Day Website

Car Accident in Texas - Priceless.

If you don't listen to anything else today, listen to this one. This will definitely make you laugh! Turn up your sound and hit the website below. The accident occurred in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. This is a phone call from a man who witnesses the accident involving four elderly women. It was so popular when they played it on CHUM-FM, and they put it on their website. The guy's laugh is contagious. Just close your eyes and picture what he sees.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to Coty Huggins Tootle


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Upon Losing His Job At the Post Office - Part 2

Who lost his job at the post office and made the famous remark posted earlier? ("I reckon I'll be at the beck and call of folks with money all my life, but thank God I won't ever again have to be at the beck and call of every son of a bitch who's got two cents to buy a stamp.") Answer: William Faulkner.

William Faulkner was the Postmaster at the University of Mississippi from 1921 to 1924. My friend Sonny Mason worked at the University post office in the late 50's and early 60's. He told me the story about Faulkner losing his job and what he said. Probably then it was only one of those local stories about the eccentric Faulkner. Now it is easily found on the internet. (Sonny quit the post office too, after he finished law school and became an attorney in Oxford. )

Growing up in Oxford, I often saw Faulkner around the town square. I can still see him going into New's Drug store (no longer there). Mr. New was the father of a friend, and he often entertained us with Faulkner stories, especially stories about going hunting with Faulkner and the boys.

Then there was the movie, "Intruder in the Dust," based on Faulkner's novel and filmed in Oxford (using residents of the town in crowd scenes and in some minor roles). What a stir it caused! The world premiere showing was in Oxford in 1949, at the Lyric theater (no longer a movie theater). I remember seeing this black and white movie then and delighted in seeing all the local folks that I knew, playing their parts.

Faulkner himself said it was one of the best movies he had ever seen. As well as I remember, it was a box office failure, but I would be interested in viewing it again now, not for the entertainment, but for the sake of considering the challenges issued by Faulkner to our values.

The Lyric theater was also where I saw the newsreel in 1950 of Faulkner receiving the Nobel prize for literature in 1949. Read his speech here.

I left Oxford in 1953, returned in 1958 and left again in 1962, before Faulkner died that summer. I almost feel that I was there on that hot July day to witness the funeral procession as it traveled around the square. I can see the procession, making its way to St. Peter's Cemetery where he was laid to rest.

Oxford has changed much since then, but I still see it the way it was, the way it was when Faulkner walked the streets of Oxford and I watched from afar. Does my heart long to return? You betcha.
Note: I lived in Oxford two later periods: from about 1966 - 1968 and from 1969 - 1977.
Source for Faulkner Information and More Photos:
Great book (out of print) for Faulkner pictures: William Faulkner, The Cofield Collection, published by Yoknapatawpha Press in 1978. I'm the proud owner of a copy.
Also, books of photography (probably out of print) by Martin J. Dain: 1. Faulkner's County and 2. Faulkner's World. I have copies of these also. They bring back my childhood memories of Oxford.
If you have other recommendations, let us know.

Thanks Ouida

Some of the girls had a ginkgo tree planted in Jeanette Ferguson Noe's honor on the MHS campus. It's placed between the Student Union and the Vocational Building. Jeanette taught at the high school after graduating from the "W," hence the site selection by Harold Noe. The ginkgo was the species that lined the walkway at the "W" where Jeanette was a powerful force on campus. There soon will be a marker designating the tree as a memorial to her.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pictures from Mary Spencer Stephens

Gail Cunningham and Nancy Collier
Mary Ann Canady, Mary Donald and Mary Jane Spencer

Mary Stephens's 8th Birthday Party

Left to right: Jean Lyle, Vernice Bonds, Millie Williamson,
Margaret Wilbourn, Patsy Fisher, Ducky Matzner, Jean McBryde,
Mary Jane Spencer, Barbara Crawford, Marcia Ann Tatum,
Mary Donald and Nancy Collier.
Mary's 8th Birthday Party

Happy Birthday to Mary Jane Spencer Stephens

Happy birthday, Mary!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Carrier Landing

U. S. Navy Year in Pictures 2008

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Some of the artists of the 60's are revising their hits with new lyrics to accommodate aging baby boomers.
They include:

Bobby Darin ---
Splish, Splash, I Was Havin' a Flash.

Herman's Hermits ---
Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Walker .

Ringo Starr ---
I Get By With a Little Help From Depends.

The Bee Gees -- -
How Can You Mend a Broken Hip.

Roberta Flack---
The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face.

Johnny Nash ---
I Can't See Clearly Now.

Paul Simon---
Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver

The Commodores ---
Once, Twice, Three Times to the Bathroom.

Marvin Gaye ---
Heard It Through the Grape Nuts.

Procol Harem---
A Whiter Shade of Hair.

Leo Sayer ---
You Make Me Feel Like Napping.

The Temptations ---
Papa's Got a Kidney Stone.

Abba ---
Denture Queen.

Tony Orlando ---
Knock 3 Times On The Ceiling If You Hear Me Fall.
Helen Reddy ---
I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore.

Leslie Gore---
It's My Procedure, and I'll Cry If I Want To.

And Last but NOT least:
Willie Nelson ---
On the Commode Again


Threefoot Arts Festival

The Meridian Council for the Arts invites you to participate in a NEW arts event, combining two acclaimed festivals into one destination extravaganza. Join us April 4 in downtown Meridian for the Threefoot Festival.

The Threefoot Festival is a downtown celebration of the visual and performing arts.Our focus is the juried exhibition of quality fine art and fine crafts, giving our large audience the unique opportunity to meet, interact with, view the works of and purchase art from the artists that created it.Add to that the hands on children’s art activities, live performances from great local entertainers and the famous Chili Cook-off and you have a daylong, well-attended arts extravaganza.

Booths are $85 per space and the deadline for registration is February 27th.

Admission is free to the public.

It's not in the same place this year, folks. The Threefoot Arts Festival is moving to the new "green space" all around City Hall. It will be held on 6th and 7th Street between 23rd and 25th Avenue.

Threefoot Arts Festival
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Time: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Location: Downtown Meridian
Street: 700 23rd Avenue
City/Town: Meridian, MS

Source: Facebook

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Upon Losing His Job At the Post Office

What famous Mississippian had this to say upon losing his job at the post office?

"I reckon I'll be at the beck and call of folks with money all my life, but thank God I won't ever again have to be at the beck and call of every son of a bitch who's got two cents to buy a stamp."

More on this later.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Trivia from Fox News Tonight: Who is Singing?

Movie: "Pulp Fiction"
Scene: Jack Rabbit Slims Twist Contest
Actors: Uma Thurman and John Travolta
Song: "You Never Can Tell"
Composer & Singer: ?

It was a teenage wedding, and the old folks wished them well
You could see that Pierre did truly love the madamoiselle
And now the young monsieur and madame have rung the chapel bell,
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They furnished off an apartment with a two room Roebuck sale
The coolerator was crammed with TV dinners and ginger ale,
But when Pierre found work, the little money comin' worked out well
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They had a hi-fi phono, boy, did they let it blast
Seven hundred little records, all rock, rhythm and jazz
But when the sun went down, the rapid tempo of the music fell
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They bought a souped-up jitney, 'twas a cherry red '53,
They drove it down to Orleans to celebrate the anniversary
It was there that Pierre was married to the lovely madamoiselle
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell



Click on the study title above to read about this health risk.