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, November 10, 2013

My Bucket List

After WWII ended, my family moved from Mobile, where my Daddy had been working in the shipyard, back to Kemper County.  We bought a farm with a log house, a big two story barn, and all the out buildings and equipment to be farmers.  Yes, we even had a well and an outhouse, but the war was over and we were happy. 

Mississippi was in a terrible drought, and our corn and cotton did not keep our family fed.  After a few years, around 1947, my Mother and Daddy decided to sell the farm and move to Meridian in search of a regular paying job.  I started second grade at Poplar Springs School.  We rented a house on Poplar Springs Drive, and Daddy went in search of a job.  He applied at St. Louis Hide, which was owned by Sammy Davidson.  Daddy learned how to drive a big truck, but this had to be the nastiest, stinkingist (if this is a word) job a man could ever have.  He would come home smelling like rotting flesh.  He even had to brush out the maggots from his cuffs in his pants, but it was a good job that took care of the family, and we were grateful.  Daddy loved working for Sammy!  We just didn't like to run to the door when Daddy got home!  He always had to bathe first.

Marty told me that his Daddy didn't have the extra money to pay for a motel room when my Dad had to deliver the hides to New Orleans, so Daddy had to sleep on top of the hides.  Yuk!  And you thought you had it tough?  This job qualified my Dad to drive for Deaton Truck Lines out of Birmingham for 26 years, until he retired.
Because of my Dad's relationship with Sammy, I had to make a decision for my little family, so I turned to Marty for advice.

After Billy (Faulkner) died, I was left with 3 babies.  I had no money and needed a job really bad.  I went to Southern Pipe and asked Marty if he could give me a job?   He hired me that day.  I was given a good job that paid the going rate at that time, and again I was grateful to the Davidsons.  I worked for one week and drew a paycheck of $35.00.  This was a good salary for starting out pay.  When I got home, and asked my babysitter how much I owed her, she said $35.00!  What?   She said you have 3 children, ages 1, 3, and 5!  I couldn't let someone else raise my children for the same amount I made. 

I told Marty that I couldn't work for him, and I totally understood that he couldn't pay me more.  God really does work in strange ways. Marty helped me make a decision.  

Another man had been begging me to marry him, and I kept telling him that I didn't love him and would not marry him, but he made me an offer that I couldn't refuse.  After I told him about my problems, he said to me, "If you will marry me, I will work and support you and your children, and you can stay home and raise your children."  I told him that I didn't love him and it wouldn't be fair to him.  Then he said to me, "That's OK, you will learn to love me! And you only have to stay married to me for 50 years!"  I said, "Let me think about it!"  I was 23 years old, my Mother and Dad liked him, my brother liked him.  He was in the class of 1954 with my brother Ozell, where he played basketball.  His name was Wanzie Strickland and he came from a good family.  My children told me that he would make a good Daddy!  So I agreed to marry him.   He had just gotten back to Meridian from being in the Army, and was living with his parents.  We married that Christmas and he moved in with us, and yes, I did eventually learn to love him. 

Now I have a decision to make.  Our 50th anniversary is this Christmas, and I have been a good and faithful wife to him, and he has stood by his promise, but the deal is up!  What should I do to renew this contract?   He is old and has really bad knees and can't help around the farm here.  But he has been there for me through all of my health issues.  I keep telling him that my contract is up, but I am not about to let him get away.   

I asked him why he was so determined to marry me, with 3 babies, and he said, "It is in the Bible!  The Bible says to take care of Widows and Orphans, and I got 4 stars in my crown already!"   God Bless him!   What a journey this has been, and how blessed I have been.  I love my life, I love who I am, and where I live, I have the very best family anyone could have, and I know all of this was in God's plan for me.  This path He had me walk down for 73 years has led me over some rocky places, but I have been able to stretch out my arms and soar with the very best. 

Thanks to all of you who have left footprints in my life and walked this crazy journey with me.  If we have another reunion, I want to be there, but if we get too old, and I go before you do, I will save a place for you in paradise.   

I told Marty Davidson that if he had paid me more, I would have kept my job with him and never married again, so thank you Marty for helping me make this decision.  I have always wanted to thank him, and I was able to do that at the reunion.  We had a good laugh about all of this, and I was able to get this off my "Bucket List." 

Much Love to you all,
Maxine Reeder Strickland

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hunter Lamar McQuaig, Grandson of Millie Majors Jones

Hunter Lamar McQuaig

The Meridian Star
MERIDIAN — Visitation for Hunter Lamar McQuaig will be held Friday from 5 until 8 p.m. at Stephens Funeral Home. Services will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday with Reverend Chris Gully officiating. Interment will be at Magnolia Cemetery with Stephens Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Mr. McQuaig, 24, died Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, at Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian.

Mr. McQuaig graduated from West Lauderdale High School and was a member of Arkadelphia Baptist Church. He was a former member of the U.S. Army Reserves and was employed by Yates Construction of Philadelphia. In addition to being an animal advocate, his true passion was music. He spent much of his time songwriting and performing with friends and family in various venues in the Meridian area.

Survivors include his father, Scott McQuaig, and his wife, Kelly; his mother, Melanie Simmons; his step-mother, Joy Cook; his sister, Jessica Rudd and her husband, Rick; his grandparents, Millie Majors Jones and Parker and Viola Henderson; his aunts and uncles, Melanie and Bruce Mann, Michelle Boyd, Jerry Henderson, Tommy Henderson, and Steven Henderson; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Mr. McQuaig is preceded in death by his step-father, Jeff Simmons; his grandfathers, Emerson McQuaig and George Jones; and his great-grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Lamar Majors, Mr. and Mrs. W. E. McQuaig, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. George O. McKeithen, Mr. William Henderson, and Mrs. Helen Palmer. Pallbearers will be John Edwards, Trey Hollis, Tom Williams, Jesse Prince, Josh Secrist, and Joe Secrist.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to East Mississippi Animal Rescue, the Mississippi Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, or your charity of choice.


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

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

For Those Who Weep this Night

We have been blessed with long lives, all of us being about 73 years old.  We have known the joys of family, friends, perhaps children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the joys and benefits of many of life's successes.  We have had a rich heritage of faith and values to guide us along the way. 
Our childhood was the best of times, although we may have been poor and things were not perfect.  We and our parents were members of the Greatest Generation.  Life has been great!!  Do I hear an amen?

One of the downsides of our long lives is that we have lost many of our family and friends.  We have lost parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, spouses and tragically, children and grandchildren.  There is no sorrow like the sorrow of losing children and grandchildren.  When I think upon the death of one's child, my heart repeats, over and over, an Old Testament verse from Lamentations, "Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?  Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which was brought upon me . . . ."

When my mother was about my age, I gave her a copy of a prayer from Compline in the Book of Common Prayer from the Episcopal Church.  She framed it and kept it by her bed.  She prayed it before she went to sleep at night.  I pray this prayer tonight for all of you.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.  Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake.  Amen.


Abide with me fast falls the eventide,
The darkness deepens Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee
Help of the helpless, O abide with me!

Night surely comes to end this passing day,
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see
O Lord who does not change, abide with me!

I need your presence every passing hour,
What else but grace can foil temptation’s power?
Who else like you will guide and stay with me?
Thru cloud and sunshine, O abide with me!

I have no fear with you close by each day,
Trouble and sorrow swiftly pass away;
And at my end death will not conquer me
For I shall live if you abide with me.

Your holy cross, your resurrection,
Come shining through the gloom with hope salvation;
As morning breaks and as faint shadows flee
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

Words: Henry F. Lyte, 1793-1847
Music: William Henry Monk, 1823-1889

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Reunion Pictures from Bob Chatham (II)

Joe Vincent Miller
Tee Mann Long & Joe Burnett
Ouida Landreth Tomlinson, Lynn Johnson Grimes,
Sarah Gibson & Everett "Buddy" Gibson
Donna Jill Johnson (Lynn's Sister),
Lynn Grimes Johnson,
and Martha Markline Hopkins
Ouida Landreth Tomlinson
and Harry Hopkins
Lynn Johnson Grimes
Edwina Hubert
and Phillip George

Beth, Jinny, Tee, Peggy, Martha, Lynn, Ouida,
Edwina, Coty and maybe Donna Jill. 
Jo Ann Gay and Carolyn Tanner Kozman
Jo Ann Gay and Carolyn Tanner Kozman

Morris Thigpen and Al Trussell
Al Trussell and John Loomis
Fay Shepard Walker and Clyde Searcy
 Carlee Hamilton Whitaker and Ray Whitaker

Friday, November 1, 2013

Maxine's Special Letter to All of Us

Dear classmates,

My self diagnosed prescription for my recovery was to be able to make this reunion to see everyone again.  It didn't matter to me how old we were, what we looked like, what we owned, or our material worth.  What mattered to me was to feel the love that we always shared starting with elementary school and continuing into out late teens.

We all grew up together and knew each other well enough to build a bond that has lasted all these years.  Most of us came from very poor families that had just survived WWII and knew the value of a dollar.  We attended schools that never had air conditioning, and most of us walked miles to school.  I know I did.  None of us were perfect, but as a group, we were pretty darn smart to survive the things we did, or else we were too dumb to know better. Ha

It was fun sharing stories with several of my classmates and discuss the teachers we had, but most of all, I got more energy from all the big HUGS from everyone.  I felt so comfortable walking up to good looking men and beautiful ladies and just embracing those hugs.  This is just a taste of what it will feel like when we get to Heaven!

There was something on my "Bucket List" that I have wanted to share with Marty Davidson for over 50 years, and I was able to do that.  We had a great laugh, and he shared something with me that I didn't know.  This story needs to be told also.

Thanks for everything,

Maxine Reeder Strickland