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.)




Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuscaloosa Tornado - Unedited Raw Version - 4/27/11

Stand By Me

Mary Ruth Jones Cullum

Retired Bell South. Services for Mary Ruth Jones Cullum will be held Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 11:00 A.M. at Clarke-Venable Baptist Church, with Reverend Mark Vincent officiating. Burial will be in Meridian Memorial Park Cemetery with Robert Barham Family Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Cullum, 70, of Decatur, died Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at her residence. She was a 1958 graduate of Meridian High School. Mrs. Cullum was a member of Clarke-Venable Baptist Church. She served as past president of the Decatur Chamber of Commerce, vice president of East Central MS Telephone Pioneers and was a member of the Newton Historical Society, and the Newton County of Women’s Progressive Club. Mrs. Cullum was involved in numerous other activities benefiting her church and community. She was also very active in Newton County Relay for Life.

Survivors include her daughter, Teresa Haggard Dearing of Lauderdale; brother, Robert Jones of Easley, S.C.; special nieces, Chris Smith of Denver, CO, Judy Hambrick of Morton, MS; special nephew, Thomas Brannan of Easley, S.C.; and a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gary Cullum; parents, Thomas Clarke Jones and Sarah Armstrong Jones; and sister, Janet Jones Henry.

In lieu of flowers and gifts the family requests memorials be made to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Decatur, MS.

Pallbearers will be the Deacons of Clarke Venable Baptist Church. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at Visitation will be held Friday 5-7 at the funeral home and Saturday, one hour prior to the service at the church.

O God our Father, Creator of all the living,
we entrust to Your gentle care
all those we love who have gone before us;
and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again.

Eternal rest, grant unto Mary Ruth, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May the souls of the faithful departed
through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.


Here is MOVING TARGET II, 48" x 48" x 5", Acrylic on Shaped Canvas.

ONE WIRE, 12" x 12" x 3", Wire and Tacks on Canvas Board.
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The Hamster

This lively pet hamster will keep you company throughout the day. Watch him run on his wheel, drink water, and eat the food you feed him by clicking your mouse. Click the center of the wheel to make him get back on it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Marty Davidson to receive Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Meridian Star

April 22, 2011
Marty Davidson to receive Ellis Island Medal of Honor

By Jennifer Jacob Brown /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Meridianite Marty Davidson is slated to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, a national award sponsored by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, in New York on May 7.

Davidson is the chairman and owner of Southern Pipe and Supply Company.

According to the NECO Web site, the award is designed to, "pay homage to the immigrant experience," as well as individual achievement.

"The honorees are remarkable Americans who exemplify outstanding qualities in both their personal and professional lives, while continuing to preserve the richness of their particular heritage," the Web site reads. "We honor them because they create a better world of all of us in the future by the work of today."

Davidson will represent the immigrant experience through his Jewish and Russian heritage.

Notable past honorees include Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Gen. Colin Powell, Sen. John McCain, Attorney Gen. Janet Reno, Rosa Parks, Elie Wiesel, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Joe Dimaggio, Yogi Berra, Muhammad Ali, Walter Cronkite, Quincy Jones and many others.

Davidson will be the second Mississippian to receive the award. The award will be given during a ceremony on Ellis Island. Ellis Island was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States from 1892 to 1954.

Marty Davidson's family first settled in America in the early 1900's when his grandfather, Russian-born Louis Davidson, immigrated. Louis Davidson started the company that would become Southern Pipe and Supply, a plumbing supply company that is now in its 72nd year of operation and its fourth generation of family management.

Louis Davidson started a junk company in Meridian called St. Louis Junk Company. The company started selling bathtubs, and in 1938, Louis Davidson opened Southern Pipe and Supply with his sons Sammie and Meyer.

Marty Davidson, the son of Meyer Davidson, started working at Southern Pipe when he was five years old and continued working summers until he left for college. He began working for the company full-time in 1962. In 1968, he purchased the company from his father.

In that same year, Klu Klux Klan members bombed the home of Meyer Davidson because of his public stance against the bombing of synagogues and churches in Mississippi.

Forty-eight years later, Southern Pipe and Supply has grown from four branches in three states to 93 branches in seven states. In 2010, it was ranked as the seventh largest distributor of plumbing supplies in the United States and the second largest regional distributor by Supply House Times.

Davidson's son, Jay, is now the president of the company.

NECO feels that the story of Southern Pipe exemplifies the type of immigrant story that could only happen in the United States, where an immigrant's journey from Russia evolved into a family company the size of Southern Pipe and Supply.

Davidson has previously been awarded the local Hartley D. Peavey Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Neville Humanitarian Award, and Meridian Star Citizen of the Year Award, and is honored in the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame.

Meridian Star

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Live from THE SUCARNOCHEE REVUE. Justion McCoy, Jacky Jack White and the late ALBERT MORTON on vocals and saxophone with The House Rockers. 4/1/11, at the Temple, Meridian, MS.

The Sucarnochee Revue is a one hour Radio program featuring the music, and musicians from the Black Belt Region of Mississippi and Alabama. The program airs on 55 radio stations and will start airing as a weekly series on Mississippi Public Television in April 2011. The host of the "Sucarnochee Revue" is Jacky Jack White. Jacky Jack White has had songs on the charts as a singer/songwriter since 1985. Some of the artists who have recorded his songs are: Ray Stevens, Charley Pride, Buddy Jewell, Steve Wariner, Neal McCoy and Mark Lowery. Jack received an ASCAP Award for "If I Didn't Love You", and a NSAI Award for the #1 Southern Gospel song, "When Men Pray." Jack records on Sucarnochee Records a subsidiary label of Silverwolf Records.

See website of Sucarnochee Review & Record Company

George Cummings and Jacky Jack White on The Morning Show wmox on USTREAM. Radio

Video streaming by Ustream

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lee Arthur Rhodes, Deceased

Mary Jane (Kelly) Heisterkamp recently sent me an obituary from The Meridian Star, dated March 25, 2011. It brought back old memories from high school and probably will for you also. The obituary begins:

Services for Lee Arthur “House Rocker” Rhodes will be held Saturday, at 2 p.m., at Haven Chapel United Methodist Church with Rev. Cynthia Cross officiating. Burial will be in Forest Lawn Cemetery with Berry and Gardner Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Rhodes, 88, of Meridian, died Monday, Mar. 21, 2011, at Anderson Regional Medical Center. He was born June 22, 1922, in Meridian. He served the community as the first African-American disc jockey in Meridian at WOKK Radio Station.

Do you remember him? I remember his voice on the radio, and Mary Jane says he would come into the Activities Building and check with Ms. Kimbrall and head straight for the juke box, open his bag of records and start to work. She says that he always had the latest songs and some would go over and talk to him and ask if he had certain songs. He tried to keep everyone happy with the music. He was a good and kind man. May he rest in peace.

Berry and Gardner Funeral Home

Berry and Gardner Funeral Home was in charge of Mr. Rhodes’ funeral. I went to their website, and there is a page of interesting history, going back over 100 years. See website.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Production of "Tony and Gary"

Two years ago I met at a social gathering a young documentary filmmaker. Having watched an unusual story unfold over 20 years, I wrote to her a week after the party and proposed a film idea, told her I would pay her expenses to and from New York and that my brother would house and feed her for three days. She was excited about the story, went to Georgia, shot 12 hours of footage and, then, I did not hear from her again until a few weeks ago when she sent me the completed film.

The back story of this film is that my younger brother, Tony, became the legal guardian of Gary, a mentally retarded, paranoid schizophrenic, after he read in the newspaper that the fate of this unfortunate man, who regularly came into the studio to watch Tony make furniture, was to be a ward of the state of Georgia, i.e., institutionalized. Tony went to court and petitioned to become Gary's legal guardian so that Gary could live in the home that he grew up in.

This is a tender snapshot of the relationship between two artists, one who has an MFA in sculpture and the other who collects and displays halloween decorations.

Tony and Gary

(Note from Ouida: Tee's film follows this post or you can watch on YouTube.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tony and Gary