Intended for last week
In 1789 a proclamation by our first American President George Washington declared that a day would be devoted each year “for thanksgiving and for prayer” as it began a yearly tradition for many communities. Then in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared that the last Thursday in November was to be a national holiday “for thanksgiving and for praise” during the Civil War. Now the official day that we as Americans observe as a federal holiday is the fourth Thursday of November as approved by Congress in 1941. Lest we forget, Native American harvests had been celebrated for centuries, and colonial settlers feasted for three days in Plymouth, Massachusetts, with the Wampanoag tribe in 1641. In Hurricane community it has always been a time for the harvest of crops, local church services of thanksgiving, and for our families to gather for a traditional Southern feast of turkey and all the trimmings(cornbread dressing, not stuffing)plus the hunt for local game in the Hill Country of North Mississippi. Life is good!
It was great to talk with our former neighbor, Mr. Clyde McDonald, and his daughters, Teresa Bagwell, and, Lisa Bryant, as they were at the SPAC gym for an elementary basketball game last Saturday as Teresa’s granddaughter, Anna Lane Bagwell, was a player on the Cougar’s team. We were there for Harper Hooker from NPAC as she is a young Viking player. Although the young ladies competed, all the grandparents enjoyed the game as it was a very lively competition. Mr. Clyde chided me for stating that he was from Hurricane as we moved into his neighborhood of Shady Grove almost 50 years ago. He said that I brought the Hurricane city limits all the way across Mud Creek Bottom with my column and that he didn’t even have to move. Now he is a city dweller as he is closer to town now.
Four generations of the Graham-Norwood-Hooker families attended the homecoming festivities at West Union on November 17 as Sophie was a senior class maid. Those attending were as follows: Faye G. Dillard, Susan and Graden Hooker, Cade Hooker, and Sophie Hooker. A great program was presented on the school’s new Jumbotron featuring the participants before their entrance to the gymnasium. Then the teams played New Albany in basketball games. The boys’ team coach at New Albany City is Scotty Shettles, the son of Martha McCain Shettles(Charles)as his mom is from Hurricane. Also J.C. Hayles, the coach of West Union’s girls’ team is a Pontotoc County native.
Jenny H. Oglesby(Derek)have a new clothing store in New Albany for curvy ladies as its titled “Hey Nezzie” as she named it for her grandmother, the late Inez Todd Robison of Hurricane, who was into fashion well into her mid-90’s as she was from the old school at Hurricane Baptist as she wore high heels and a matching purse plus a matching outfit every Sunday. She is the daughter of Annette Benjamin(Lanny) of Hurricane and of Tim Hudson.
Brooke McBrayer of NPAC was a feature photo in the Progress for the soccer team. She is the granddaughter of Rusty and Beverly M. Cummings of Friendship as her grandmother was one of those Hurricane All-Stars from the 1966 and 1967 State Championship basketball teams. The Montgomery family always had a game going on their hilltop lawn at Sand Springs, even if it was just “kick the can” that they were playing. It was always a competition to win!
Margie Warren, formerly of Hurricane, was the featured cook for Church Street Manor Assisted Living in Ecru as she shared her Oatmeal Cookies for the “Taste of the Season” Cookbook 2020 for the Daily Journal. Margie and her late husband, Moose Warren, resided on Hwy. 346 near Sand Springs Community Church. Their home was always a gathering for their family, their friends, and anyone who came by for the Christmas serenade as Moose played a mean pump organ in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis. I went for a command performance, and I couldn’t believe his style of singing the “Killers” hit songs of the “50’s”. I was a devoted attendee for many years then as Moose had been in Memphis during the beginning years of Charlie Rich and Elvis, and he had their repertoires down also. They don’t make them like Moose anymore as he came back to Hurricane following a career with the Memphis Fire Department. You either loved or hated him, and he didn’t care either way if you liked him or not.
Anniversary milestones, 36, are to Perry and Lynn Heatherly for November 23, 2020.
What is a food that will not make our Thanksgiving feast menu? Swamp rabbit dressing. Yes, back in the mid-1960’s in Hurricane’s heyday, my late mom Sis, a cousin to Hooter, was instructed by 17 other family members to have the food cooked as the cotton gin folks were busy, the farmers were picking cotton, the basketball players were in a tournament at the Hurricane gym, the teachers were working until lunch at school and couldn’t cook, the baby-sitting kids were getting hungry, the MDOT folks were paving roads, and finally, the folks from Memphis were on the way. Think of Granny Clampet in action on the Beverly Hillbillies TV show and that was my mom. Earlier she had gotten two game chickens from the deep-freeze and had thrown them in a stew pot with a stick of real butter, water, and plain seasonings, black pepper and salt, to make broth and meat for the standard chicken and dressing to feed at least 25-30 that filed through my grandparents’ four room house(you had to eat in shifts). A home-made caramel cake was the only dessert that was requested. She made the deadline for the feast, and the open house began at 3:30 p.m. lasting until almost 9:00 p.m. The last person to eat requested to pull the meat from the chicken bones and said that someone has cooked the Dillard boys’(Roy and Dean)swamp rabbits! She ran to the stove, and she agreed that she had added an extra stick of butter to make the broth golden. That failed due to the dark meat of the bottom cousins with a high arched backbone and kin to the highland cottontails of our Hill Country. My granddad, the late Bud Graham ran out the back door retching and hollering about food poisoning. It was a month before the furor settled down about what was on the dinner table. He was strictly a big three person(pork, chicken, and beef). The Dillard brothers came early the next morning with condolences, pats on the back, and winks while they were commiserating with Mr. Bud. Calls came from the stores(three of them then)to see if Bud was in the hospital. Then the relatives in Texas came through for a funeral, and he had to replay the near death experience for his first cousins. So when chicken dressing is mentioned, there is always a gleam in the family members’ eyes that survived the ruckus. We still don’t laugh due to our respect for our grandfather as he was devastated by that cooking faux pas.
Sympathy is extended to the family of Clay Warren, Jr., known as “Clay Boy”, a truck driver and a mule man and then a pony puller. He is survived by his mother, Lee Warren; and one sister, Amanda Warren; three nieces, Ava, Amelia, and Tera Merritt; and two nephews, Austin and Jude Merritt. He was preceded in death by his father, Danny Clay Warren, Sr. He was a talker, a prankster, and could tell a great joke. His funeral service was at Greatest Mission Baptist Church with Bro. Steve Parrish officiating. Interment was in Pleasant Grove Cemetery(Who’d A Thought It)neighborhood.
Sympathy is extended to the family of Lorye McLaughlin Logan of Sand Springs, the daughter of Sherry Graham Warren of Oxford and of the late Quay McLaughlin. She is survived by her four children as follows and their families: Gerry, Logan, Jr.,(Anne Marie), Brianna Brown(Dane), Dani Smith(Owen), and Koby Logan; her uncle, Mike Graham(Rita); and a sister, Layne McLaughlin; and four grandchildren. She was predeceased by two brothers, Lowell McLaughlin and Landal McLaughlin. Interment was in Sand Springs Cemetery. Memorial contributions in MS. Logan’s memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Lorye was a childhood cancer survivor and was a patient at St. Jude when she was a small child; so this was a hospital near and dear to her heart.
Sympathy is extended to the family of Dr. Bill Russell Baker of Clinton, who was the husband of Jill Applewhite Baker for 58 years. Dr. Baker was ordained into the ministry by the First Baptist Church in Pontotoc and was a 1950 graduate of Pontotoc High. He was born in a farmhouse in the Shady Grove Community in Pontotoc County, MS, as his parents were the late William Joseph and Maudye Russell Baker as they were both elected officials as his dad served as Tax Assessor, and his mom was the Circuit Clerk during their careers in Pontotoc. Also Dr. Baker had a BS and PhD from MSU; BD from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; and the MA from UM. He served at many Baptist churches in the state and also taught classes at Williams Carey University and for Mississippi College in Clinton. He was also on the Executive Committee of the Mississippi Baptist Convention as he served his Faith with distinction. He will be missed by his friends and his family in Pontotoc.
Sympathy is extended to the family of Joann McCraw-Grant, the wife of John Grant of New Albany, and the mother of Lynn Heatherly(Perry) of Hurricane. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bro. Gene McCraw, and the couple served faithfully as missionaries to Australia for 27 years before returning to New Albany.
“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For Nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.”
At the end of November, the full moon was deemed the “Beaver Moon” by the Native Americans as those in cold climes knew that it would bring to end the trapping season for the animals as the stream and rivers would ice over. They would need the warm furs to get through the cold winter. Another term for the November moon is that it is called the “Full Frost” moon. Old-timers knew that this was the time to begin ‘hog-killin’ in Hurricane. It was also called a “Killin’ Frost Moon” that ended their growing season with winter soon on its way. A recent observation on Hwy. 346 was that of a killer-sized skunk run over by an automobile. I avoided the animal due to the smell, but there was no odor. After a drive to NPAC and back for ‘grandarlins’, a young man had a shovel and scooped up the road kill. It was a beautiful, black mink; so there are still people trapping the animals in our Mud Creek Bottom areas. The backwoods and the Flatwoods area of the Lappatubby Creek that runs into the Tallahatchie River are also remote enough to keep the hides on the payroll.