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, April 28, 2012

Come And Toot Your Horn - One More Time

April 27, 2012

Come and toot your horn — one more time

By Anne McKee / guest columnist

The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Yes, the Meridian High School Band Reunion is planned for Thursday, May 3, 6:30 PM, Briarwood Country Club. The reunion is primarily for band members during the years of the 1950s and 1960s that were under the direction of band directors Lane, Jenks and Pacetti and assistant band directors, Dowdy and Wendling.

Come and toot your horn one more time!

In 1959, under the direction of E. L. Pacetti, Meridian High School Band was named Mississippi’s Greatest Show Band primarily due to the precision maneuvers introduced by Director Pacetti. Meridian High School Band was a Double AA Band, a great distinction. During the 50s/60s, the band was always the last to perform during the Mississippi State Band Contest in Jackson and the stands would fill with band directors from around the state to witness and appreciate the greatest show band in the state at the time. Over one hundred band members filled three Greyhound Charter Buses that motored to all out of town football games in addition to state competitions.

The first year Director Pacetti took MHS Band to State Competition; the band marched on to the field and formed in the end zone as usual, but there was nothing usual about the remaining show. The fanfare that introduced the band was the March of the Gladiators from the movie, Ben Hur– thus began the double half steps, turn-round’s, and diamond formations that brought the stands to their feet. They remained on their feet during the entire show; such was the amazement and appreciation by the attendees of a high school band that performed intricate maneuvers on the level of a college band – never seen before during the Mississippi High School Band Competition.

May 1960 found Meridian High School Band in Enid, Oklahoma as part of the Tri-State Band Festival. This was a competition of 115 high school bands. Meridian High School Band placed Number One in Marching Parade and Number Two in Concert. These were the glory days of Meridian High School Band!

These accomplishments represented many hard years of work, hard years of building a band to perform smoothly and competently on the field and in concert. Band Directors, Lane, Jenks, and Pacetti, each contributed a vital part that brought Meridian High School Band to the top of its game.

George Shannon from WTOK TV announced local football games and band presentations. It was Mr. Shannon that first suggested the nickname – Greatest Band in All the Land. And indeed it was!

Who can forget the “M” formation while the Wildcat Fight Song was played at the end of each half time show? Or, I’m a Little Tea Pot Short and Stout – when the band formed an outline of a tea pot and the stanza played, Tip me over and pour me out, mysteriously smoke poured forth from the spout (accomplished by a band member with a C0-2 fire extinguisher). Talk about an attention-grabber!

During the 1959-1960 school terms, several Meridian High School Band members formed The Continental’s. They featured big band music reminiscent of the Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and Glen Miller swing style. This group was formed because of their love of the big band era music which was not popular with the young set at that time. They found themselves in demand for local engagements – locations such as the Knights of Columbus Hall, the Old Officers Club, Key Field, and Temple Theatre Ballroom plus other area venues including East Mississippi/West Alabama. In 1961, the band won the Distributive Education Talent Show – what excitement for twelve young instrumentalists.

Band Boosters – the driving force of any high school band. It was this group of enthusiastic supporters that helped to accomplish funds needed for the Enid OK trip in 1960. One of the most dedicated of this group was Mrs. Lena Scalco.

Any Meridian happening of distinction found Meridian High School Band as a participant. One of the best remembered was in May 1955, the band was on hand for the Third Annual Jimmie Rodgers Parade that featured Elvis and Hank Snow.

Today old photos of Meridian High School Band during the 1950s and 60s can be found around town in local restaurants and department stores, but none of these catch the spirit and excitement of the time. It was a time of dedication – marching, marching, marching. It was a time of accomplishment – Mississippi’s Greatest High School Show Band! It was a time of declaration – We are the Meridian High School Wildcat Band! It was a time of comradely and preparation – concerts, field maneuvers, student conductors, sight reading. It was a time of great fun, hard work, and pride of those things accomplished – all in the name of The Meridian High School Band.

So, all of you Wildcat Band members, come out and toot your horn one more time!

What: Meridian High School Band Reunion – 1950s and 60s

When: Thursday, May 3 at 6:30 PM

Where: Briarwood Country Club

For more info: Noel Evans, 601-485-9729


Friday, April 20, 2012

Rosalie Leigh Lovett Coats (Mother of Tommy Coats)

Rosalie Leigh Lovett Coats
January 20, 1920 - April 10, 2012
Services for Rosalie Leigh Lovett Coats will be held Saturday [April 14, 2012], at 10 a.m., at Webb Chapel with Pastor Jack White and Father Frank Cosgrove officiating. Burial will be in Magnolia Cemetery with James F. Webb Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Coats, 92, of Meridian, went to be face to face with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at Poplar Springs Nursing Center. She was a lifelong member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Mrs. Coats attended St. Aloysius School and Meridian High School. She and her husband were active members of the Utopian Club, where they enjoyed dancing and traveling, First Nighters of the MLT, and members of the Northwood Country Club. She was an avid bridge player. She worked with her husband in their business, Coats and Coats Personnel Consultants, where she helped many people find good jobs. Mrs. Coats was also a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Descendants of the American Revolution. Our heartfelt thanks and prayers are extended to the Management and staff of Poplar Springs Nursing Center for their love and care for Mrs. Coats.

She is survived by her son, David Lewis Coats and his children: Sherry, Denise, David, Kim and Gene; son, G.C.”Tom” Coats III, his wife Genie and their children: Elizabeth Leigh, Graham, Ninette and Lela; 20 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and was a gracious and loving “Mamaw” to all.

She was preceded in death by her husband, G.C. “Jiggs” Coats Jr.; her father, James Lovett; mother, Aileen Lovett Morton; sister, Elizabeth Blanchard; and her aunt, Ninetta Park.

Pallbearers will be Bubba Buchanan, Stu Bosarge, Wendell Cook, Jere Skelton, Richard Gough, Ronny Pfeifer and Jimmy Hoffer.

Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at

Visitation will be today, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the funeral home.

SOURCE:  James F. Webb Funeral Home

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 them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed
through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Town Hall Meeting in Meridian - Historic Neighborhoods







MICHELLE JONES – Coordinator for the State Archives & History

BO SMITH – Mortgage Broker, Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc. Explaining NEW 203(K) Rehab Loans Available for Property Owners

IN ATTENDENCE: City Council Planning Depart., Mayor’s Office

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mathilda's Solo

Another Vignette by Maxine (It's another snake story, y'all.)

Never a day goes by that something exciting doesn't happen, but I just don't have time to write it down. This was almost another day, but I will tell you about what happened. I wish I had a video to send to AFV. I am sure I would win something.

Use your visual eye to see this picture unfold.

I have a sewing room in the corner of our shop which is across the driveway. This shop has all of "MY" woodworking tools in it, along with 4-wheelers, and "Junk" and "Stuff". Above this 24 X 72 feet shop is an apartment where my older brother lives. We use this shop daily. It has a full bathroom, and one of our hens prefers to lay her daily egg in one of the corners. A lot goes on in this shop, but nothing like what happened yesterday to me.

I went over there to do some mending in my sewing room. I keep it locked because I have my entire collection of scissors, patterns, cloth, quilting odds and ends, ironing board, cutting table, and just my stuff in this room. It is air conditioned and has a comfortable office chair with rolling wheels and a telephone. So it is a quiet place to get away to, and I love to sew.

"Quiet" can change in a split second. I turned on my magnifying lamp so I could see how to thread my Singer sewing machine. I had set up the ironing board to press the hem I was about to sew. I was looking forward to some quiet time, when I heard a crinkling noise behind my sewing machine and a wicker basket to the right. I listened quietly and decided it could be a mouse or a lizard or snake. It was only about a foot from where I was sitting, so I stood up and leaned over to see if I could tell what it was. I saw about 4 inches of a rat snake. I could tell that he was big because he was bigger than a wiener, but not as big as a hot dog bun. I know how to gauge things this way. Ha Ha.

I concluded he was about 5 feet, and I decided he was looking for a mouse, because I also saw mouse droppings back there. I didn't want this snake to get into my bag of fiber fill stuff which was right there also, so I watched the snake to see which way he was moving. I wanted to catch his tail to pull him out.

At the exact split second that I touched this snake, the telephone rang! I jumped, hit my head on the magnifying lamp, fell back into my chair with rolling wheels, scooted across the room into the ironing board, knocked it over and hit the cutting table. My sewing room was turned upside down, and I'm not even afraid of snakes.

The telephone almost killed me! My brother came down and asked "What Happened!" We had a good laugh, and I spent the next hour cleaning up my sewing room.

What happened to the snake, you ask???? He is probably telling his story somewhere in the next county. Somehow he managed to get away and survive. I put out mothballs to stop any more activity in my quiet peaceful sewing room. 

This morning, all is calm in The Garden of Eatin' but things can change in a split second.

Maxine's Vignette (A Story About Snakes)

Tonight I was sitting out by my lily pond with family, watching a thunder storm roll in with lightening against a dark sky. In the distance we could hear the whippoorwills singing their haunting song, warning others of rain. And right at our feet came the loud bellowing of a big bullfrog sitting on a lotus blossom lily pad. We sat there listening to the most magnificent chorus that nature could provide, and we didn't have to pay a cent to attend this orchestra. The wind was blowing ever so softly, just enough to blow your hair across your face, and you had to wonder if it was a bug.

We shined the flashlight across the top of the water and began to count the sets of white eyes, which were frogs. Each one would swell up and release his air into his own personal sound. We wondered what the messages were. After a few minutes we were able to see a wavy pattern in the water that told us there was another critter making his way to the cafeteria dinner table and frogs were on the menu. You guessed it, a water snake. They are not poisonous so we weren't worried. He wasn't looking at us; he had dinner on his mind. Frogs with a side order of lotus blossoms and cattails. Yum! After a few more minutes the pesky mosquitoes began to buzz around us, so we left the feast to the critters and came in.

My Creator gives me so much more than I ask for, and it is such a blessing when I realize this was another present from Him. 

How blessed I am to have you for a friend.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Regrets of the Dying

On this Good Friday and Passover tomorrow, along with our religious meditations and observances, let us consider the following article I read on the internet this morning.  Notice No. 4.  Let us stay in touch and not have this regret.

As I reflect upon all of these five items, I realize what has brought order and established priorities in my life so that none of these regrets are significant at this point in my life.  The words and melody of a song float through my mind, one often sung in church or even Girl Scout campouts (at least in my day):

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God/and His righteousness/and all these things shall be added unto you/Allelu, alleluia./Man does not live by bread alone/But by every word/That proceeds from the mouth of God/Allelu, alleluia."   Click here for words and music. 

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.


Based on this article, Bronnie has now released a full length book titled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying - A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. It is a memoir of her own life and how it was transformed through the regrets of the dying people she cared for. This inspiring book is available internationally through Hay House.



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Passover & Easter

You all know I am very serious about spiritual matters; however, I could not resist this playful image (which I stole from my daughter-in-law's FaceBook page).

Seriously, God bless you each and everyone and your families and friends during special time of Passover and Easter. 

Love & Prayers,