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, July 26, 2014

Marty Davidson: One man’s pipe dream

Marty Davidson is the third-generation owner of of Southern Pipe and Supply, one of the nation’s largest privately held, independent wholesalers of plumbing, heating and air conditioning materials.

(Photo: Mark Whiddon)

Marty Davidson is chairman of Southern Pipe and Supply, the third-generation owner of one of the nation’s largest privately held, independent wholesalers of plumbing, heating and air-conditioning materials.

Davidson has taken his grandfather’s vision — "to see a plumbing supply company in a pile of junk" — and led the company through growth his predecessors never imagined.

In the early 1900s, his grandfather Louis Davidson, then 20, emigrated from Russia, where persecution of Jews was prevalent, to Mobile and the ultimate destination of New York City. Heading north on U.S. 45, he ran out of money in Meridian and stayed. He tried several enterprises with no success before opening the St. Louis Junk Co., a scrap metal business, in 1918. At a friend’s suggestion, he added used bathtubs to his inventory that soldiers returning from the war might need for their houses.

That business became Southern Pipe and Supply. Marty Davidson started stocking shelves when he was 5 and joined the company in 1962 with a bachelor of business administration degree from Tulane University. Southern Pipe had one branch in addition to the Meridian operation. He wanted to build a regional company, something his father and uncle were not eager to do. So, he bought them out, but they continued to work there.

Southern Pipe marked its 75th year in 2013 and now has more than 750 employees and 95 branches in seven states.

Here are some of Davidson’s reflections on his success:

Q: How did Southern Pipe evolve from selling used bathtubs to its current product range?

A: We discovered that small-town plumbers are also the craftsmen for heating and air-condition systems, industrial plant repairs — whatever people need. They value going to one place for all of their supplies, so our customers drove expansion of our product lines.

Q: How do you select branch locations?

A: Our most complex decisions are choosing the right locations, and I did not have a clue of that at first. The number of variables is huge. What is the competition? Can we get good people in that market — employees and customers? What is the employment situation? Unemployed people can’t build and repair houses. And the ground keeps shifting beneath you.

Q: Tell me about your people.

A: People who enjoy their jobs and like the company take good care of the customers, so we do all we can to make our family members, as we call them, immensely happy. Our retention rate is around 95 percent.

Q: Has luck played a role in your success?

A: I was lucky that my grandfather started the business in Mississippi. It doesn’t have the booms of California or Florida, but the economy is stable. Mississippians will give you a chance, and my philosophy of people buying from people they know works particularly well in Mississippi.

Q: Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

A: Heed successful people like Warren Buffett, who is himself an avid listener. I met with Peter Drucker in California, and he consulted with me for 30 years. I have also sought out other great business minds. That has been my mentoring process. And be ready for the trade-offs one has to make between time devoted to the business and time with family.

Excerpt from "Mississippi Entrepreneurs" by Polly Dement. Published by Cat Island Books, distributed by University Press of Mississippi.

The series
This is the third in a weekly series of excerpts from "Mississippi Entrepreneurs" by Polly Dement.

SOURCE:  Special to The Clarion-Ledger 9:36 p.m. CDT July 25, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Facebook, Snakes and Maxine

(If you are not on Facebook, look at all the fun you are missing.)

Ouida Tomlinson July 23 at 6:00pm · Maxine Strickland there was a S N A K E in my yard today. My sister ran over it with her riding mower, but it is still there. I am running to and fro and don't know what to do. Help - Help! Haven't seen a snake in my yard since I was about 4 years old. EWW. EWW.

Maxine Strickland Name it! It is probably a good snake that will eat your country mice. I know you don't remember, but when I was in 10th grade I brought 2 snakes to school and they were kept in a glass tank in the Biology class. One of them was a Green Snake, and the other one was a Hog Nosed Snake, or sometimes called a puff adder. When I brought them to school, they were very tame, but some of the boys, and I won't name them, teased them so much that the Hog Nosed Snake jumped out of the tank, and the school was evacuated until I could find the snake in Mrs. Davis' desk drawer. I was ordered to take them home that day. I took the snakes and put them into my pocket and headed to the water fountain to get a cool drink of water just outside the office, before I headed home across town and down Old Marion Road. It was a good 5 miles or more. While I was standing there getting a drink of water, Mrs. Horton stopped to get her a drink and she saw the green snake. She screamed as loud as any scared teacher could, and Mr. Pendarvis came running out of the office. I started footing it out of the building as fast as I could without running down the hall. He hollered at me "Hey Blockhead!!!" He called everybody this if he didn't know your name. I didn't stop, because that was NOT my name, so he couldn't be calling me!! He hollered again, and then came running. He asked me "Did you scare Mrs. Horton with a SNAKE?? And then he saw IT! He turned around and didn't say another word. I never heard him be so quiet. I think he couldn't think of any appropriate words at that minute. I will never forget that day, but I never brought any more animals to school.

Ouida Tomlinson Oh Maxine Strickland I knew you would have a good snake story to make me feel better. LOL I knew one would visit me sooner or later and have dreaded the day. I have stray cat who lives under my house - I hope he is taking care of the country mice. Wish he would take on snakes as well.

Martha Markline Hopkins Love your story, Maxine.

Ouida Tomlinson My niece's husband has removed snake!!

Maxine Strickland Maxine Strickland We have carpet in our bedrooms only. Several weeks ago, our black lab was sniffing curiously at the foot of our bed. I didn't see anything, but occasionally a bug will come through our French Doors that lead out onto our patio. After a few minutes of watching her chase "Nothing", I decided to investigate myself. I saw what looked like a small brown worm. It was about the size of a toothpick. It wasn't a centipede, because it didn't have legs. I picked it up to put it back outside in the planter, and then I saw a teeny-tiny tongue come out of one end. I went and got a magnifying glass and sure enough it had teeny-tiny eyes and a teeny-tiny tongue. It was a snake. I headed for my Field Guide Book on snakes, and it was a Blind Snake, and they eat ant larva. I took him in to show my husband, who is a big weenie when it comes to snakes. He jumped back and said, "Will it BITE, and Is it POISIONOUS?" I had to laugh at him. What part of our human body could it possibly bite? And how much venom could it have? HaHa

Ouida Tomlinson I'm with your husband. We would have to sit on the weenie bench.

James David Harwell I talked to a preacher today who said a MOCCASIN crawled in a window on them. Did you ever identify the species of said snake?

Sue Clinton Russell We'll when you live in the country you will see snakes. We have copperheads, I killed 4 last year with Y l

Sue Clinton Russell My long handled hoe. Go buy a hoe ouida . It makes me feel safe.

Ouida Tomlinson J A M E S - call Shelia.

Ouida Tomlinson Sue, what is a Y I

Sue Clinton Russell That was a mistake. My fingers are always messing up. You really do need a hoe. That's what we always use when we don't need a gun.

Ouida Tomlinson I think I have a hoe - under the house as I have no place to put such things yet at this Oxford house. I guess I need to put on porch, huh?, Sue Clinton Russell .

Sue Clinton Russell Yes so you can reach it quickly.

James David Harwell But still keep that gun handy - the big one, too.

Barbara Panagiotou You can also put moth balls around the house. That's what i do and it works great, at least for us.

Ouida Tomlinson Thanks Barbara. I think I have some. Does anyone else have any suggestions to keep snakes out of my yard. I have a large yard.

Cherryle Fruge Mothballs all over your yard & close to the house too. This will run them off.

Ouida Tomlinson Going to spread mothballs and also want a gun for my birthday to kill invaders including snakes. Decided rather have gun than a hoe because I can be further away - hoe puts me closer than I want to be.

Maxine Strickland When I was growing up, I remember my Daddy and brothers peeing around our campsite. He said snakes and varmints would not cross this line! So if you know enough men and boys, you might try this method. I don't know how you can go about asking a group of males to come to your house and do that. It could make for an interesting party. I googled this to see if there was any truth to it, and it was factual. I doubt if the snakes can tell the difference between male and female urine. It is just a suggestion. HeeHee

Maxine Strickland Can you read this? M R Snakes! M R Not! O S M R, C M E D B D Eyes? L I B ! M R Snakes! Translated: Them are Snakes! Them are Not! Oh Yes Them Are, see them itty bitty Eyes? Well I'll Be, Them are Snakes!

Ruby Wallenzine · Friends with Maxine Strickland
Knowing Uncle Arnold lee that is. Just one of his Jokes .

Ouida Tomlinson Maxine Strickland as to pee, does dog pee and bull pee count? If so, should not be snake within 3 miles. U R so funny.

Maxine Strickland I think pee is pee! HaHa. We have a lot of it around here too.

Lost in the Fifties - Another Time, Another Place

Thanks to James Smith for providing.
Also posted in right column.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Prayer and Thanksgiving

To the Class of 58.
Thank you for all the kindness shown me in our WONDERFUL years attending school in Meridian. A prayer I received via e-mail sums it up well:
Father, Thank You for each and every day You have blessed us here on earth. Thank You for Your tender mercies and for giving us friends and family to share joys and sorrows with. I ask You to bless my friends, relatives, brothers and sisters in Christ and those I care deeply for. Where there is joy, give them continued joy, Where there is pain or sorrow, give them your peace and mercy forever.  In Jesus' name, Amen.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bobbie Tyner Morgan, Sister of Larry Tyner

Funeral services for Bobbie Tyner Morgan will be held on Monday, July 14, 2014, at 11 a.m. at Robert Barham Family Funeral Home, with Dr. Raymon Leake and Rev. Jack Kern officiating. Officiating graveside will be Dr. Carl White. Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 13, 2014, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service on Monday. Burial will be in Magnolia Cemetery.

Mrs. Morgan passed away at her home on Friday, July 11, 2014. She was the daughter of Leroy and Estelle Tyner and was born on August 3, 1930.

Our mother was a member of many groups and organizations throughout her life in Meridian. What she will be remembered best for, as her friends can attest to, is her love of her Lord and Savior, and being a fierce prayer warrior. Even her great-grandchildren knew to call on “Mimi” when prayers were needed. That is her legacy. She taught Sunday school to young people for 25 years at First Baptist Church Meridian and co-taught adults at Highland Baptist Church Meridian. At 60 years old she began international lay mission work in Russia, Kagastan and the Ukraine. She spoke in many churches around the state about her mission work encouraging others to carry out “The Great Commission.”

She is survived by her daughters, Debbie Witherington of Clinton, and Lynne Compton and her husband, Robert of Meridian; son, Yates Morgan of Texarkana, Texas; grandchildren, Lori Sturgis Dodson and her husband, Patrick, Kathryn Monsour and her husband, Greg, Tyner Mikell and her husband, Jeremiah, Geron Morgan, Maj Morgan and Chad Morgan III; great-grandchildren, McCall Morgan and Miller Sturgis, Hays, Anniston and Stelynn Monsour, and Audrey Mikell; sister-in-law, Gayle Tyner; brothers, Fred Tyner and Larry Tyner and his wife, Charlotte; sister-in-law, Lena Morgan and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Chad Y. Morgan, Sr.; her parents, Leroy and Estelle Tyner; her brother, Jack Tyner and her sister-in-law, Ann Tyner.

The family requests memorials to be made to Blair Batson Children’s Hospital or Highland Baptist Church Building Fund.

Pallbearers will be Jeremiah Mikell, Greg Monsour, Patrick Dodson, Lee Tyner, John Williams, Robert Compton, Lewis Tyner, and Clyde Serton. Honorary pallbearers will be Richard James, Rex Allman, Trevor Tyner, Houston Pearce, Stephan Pearce and Morgan Sturgis.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to her caregivers, Darlene Gibbs, Teresa Gates, Juanita Newell and Lois Hudson and also to Hospice Compassus for the excellent care, love, and compassion they showed our mother, grandmother and sister.

Family and friends may sign the online guest book at

Source:  The Meridian Star


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 Bobbie, 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.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Great God Our King

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside,
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees,
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God, to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King.