Saturday, August 30, 2008

Another First Baptist Church Member Photo

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This is the only photo I have out of dozens submitted that has both Heflin brothers in it. Also there are many faces here that are familiar that I can't recall names to put with.

This was made in the basement of the church, in the largest assembly/classroom there. That would be in the northwest corner.

Any help with names would be appreciated.

Photo: Ellen Mink

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Favorite Baldwyn Business - The Ritz Grill

Co-located with the Ritz theater, this little snack bar was a great place not only to get a good hot dog and "soda", but to meet and greet friends. It was a little too small to dance to the music of the big juke box near the front (most of us weren't allowed to dance in public) but it was a cozy place anyway.

Photos above show some of the lovely ladies that frequented the Grill. Maureen became a server and worked there for a long time.

Also pictured is Mrs. Gladys Gentry and the famous popcorn machine at the theater. What a terrific aroma came out of that popper....

Guess you will know most of the folks, if not we have the names.

I can still see Harold Murley putting those "dogs" away, one or more a minute!

Photos courtesy of Ellen Mink and others

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Extra - thick Burger I couldn't get hold Of...

Just a sentence or two here on the "Ozelle's Cafe T-shirts".

Since I am so much younger than most of you (hehehehehe), I only have one story about Ozelle's that I can relate. My mother, Marie Evans, took me and my little brother Coleman to Ozelle's one night for a cheeseburger and a coke. I sat down wanting so much to be treated like an adult and Mama let me order for myself. I asked Miss Ozelle if I could have a special burger with everything on it I wanted and of course she said I could.

When the burgers came to the table, they looked scrumptious. I'd ordered mine dressed, with everything and Miss Ozelle had put mustard, onions, pickle, lettuce and a slice of tomato on it. While adding ketchup to the fries, I decided the burger could use some too and by this time my perfect burger had become so big that I couldn't get it into my mouth. I bet that sucker was at least 4" thick. I said something to Mama about it and the next thing I knew, my little brother reached over, grabbed my burger and laid it on the table beside his plate.

Then before I knew what was happening, he plopped his hand down right on the top of it, squashing it as flat as a pancake. Mustard and ketchup squirted out in all directions, a pickle popped out and Mama caught it before it landed in her lap. She was so embarrassed but Miss Ozelle just laughed and said she thought that was the cutest thing she had ever seen. Coleman sat up a little taller in his seat as pleased with himself as he could be. I cheeseburger was ruined, but after Mama put it back together it still tasted wonderful.

I learned a valuable lesson that night and never ordered another 'special' cheeseburger like that one again. Oh, to be able to get a burger like that again....the meat was hand patted and it was fried on a flat grill...

Photo courtesy of Carl Jr. Houston

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sports Meeting with Babe McCarthy

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Another sports meeting in the early 50s, I would guess. There are many recognized players from both football and basketball teams. Possibly could be some baseball players there, also. It seems to be under the control of Babe McCarthy and two others in the center (wearing ties).

Among others, I have recognized one of the Garretts, Paul Hamblin, Billy McGee, Babe, Hick Miller, Big Apple Tapp, Phil Gorden, Dayton Mink, Frank Kirk, Bernis Tapp, Hoyle Penna, William Leonard Davis, Bobby Grisham, and others whose names I can't recall.

Wonder what this was about? And when?

UPDATE from John Olan Cunningham:

1950 or 1951 Football Banquet

Frt.Row L. to R. Travis Green, Paul Hamblin, Coach Thomas Grisham, Butch Lambert--speaker, Babe McCarthy, Tremon Nichols, Hickman Miller, Austin Magers, Dennis Mink.

2nd Row L to R.. Ray Garrett, ?....Kesler, Harold Dobbs, Billy McGee, Hayden Burns, Curtis Gentry, Big Apple Tapp, Dayton Mink, Frank Kirk, Bernis Tapp, Hoyle "CatEye" Penna, William Leonard Davis, Bobby Grisham

Back Row... L.R. Burcham, Huey Bates, ????need help, Leon Wigginton, Wayne Griffin, Phil Gorden, Bobby "Fooly" Duncan


Photo courtesy of Ellen Mink

Saturday, August 23, 2008

1959 Graduating Class

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Sorry about the damage to Billingsley's photo, tried to repair it, but it is too bad.

Does anyone have a good copy of the 1958 class in this format? Please scan at 200 dpi at least and send via email if you do!

Photo of class courtesy of Milton Copeland

Friday, August 22, 2008

Baldwyn Folks on Video

I guess you'll recognize these scenes and some of the people captured on video (film).

These shots capture the essence of the town as we knew it and loved it. Just remember, it will never be this passionate ever again.

Thanks to whomever sent this.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

1960 BHS Graduating Class

These are the 1960 graduates.

Thought we'd put this on the site for you to copy and save in case yours has been misplaced or damaged.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Guess who came to My 4th Birthday Party

by Jo Carolyn Anderson Beebe

These pictures were made at my 4th birthday party. We lived in Miss Jessie Archer's house where the library is now.

The black smudges were caused by the fire that burned the next house we lived in.

I'm sure some of the Bearcats will recognize some of my guests, but even I don't know the names of two of them. I'll let you guess before I post the names.


I left the photos as you sent them, Jo. The old and blackened photo adds ambiance as you wrote about. Thanks for sharing. I have to admit that I can't identify anyone but you, although the faces are very familiar!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

BHS Football Players 1948-49

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This is a photo of the best of the best upcoming Bearcats for the school year 48-49. The stats for the year are not available, but we are told this was a good year for these players.

Photo courtesy of Billy Roberson

Monday, August 18, 2008

1953 BHS Seniors

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I have been assured this is the 1953 graduating class at BHS. I have had 4 individuals confirm it, so if that is incorrect, please let us know.

Lots of familiar faces, but most of the names escape me.

I remember that virtually all of the men were in Mr. Howard's wood shop classes, and as an eighth grader, I and others cleaned up the floor after them. That was one of the years that everyone built a desk to keep at the end of the year. I don't recall that being done any year after then.

Photos from Ellen Mink

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Old US 45 North near BHS

This photo of Bob Christian standing in front of Ozelle's "Day and Nite Drive Inn" also shows the corner of Thomas Street the way it was before any service station was placed on the corners, and Cole's restaurant hadn't been conceived at the time, either.

A service station was built on the left behind Bob, and was operated by Mr. Buford Nanney. Later the corner to the right by the homes was used to build a Phillips 66 station, I believe, and was operated by a Mr. Nichols. Bobby Nichols worked there for quite some time.

However, the "cornerstone" of that area was Ozelle's. The food, loud music and crowds were prevalent most weeknights and certainly on weekends. Ozelle's stayed open on Saturday nights until the late show at the Ritz was over and some hungry folks showed up.

Photo from Ellen Mink

Friday, August 15, 2008

Photo Gallery

Click to Enlarge photo

Upper Left- Girl's Auxilary at First Baptist Church. Upper Right- Playground fun on the east side of the school. Lower Left- The guys in the shop class doing something! Lower Right - Summertime at a beach somewhere...

The east side of the school was where the girls were during recesses and lunch break, usually, as evidenced by the photo. Guys were grouped at the field ticket booth and shop end of the gym, especially the smokers.

Guess you know all of them. Someone will know all their names. Joe Cunningham for sure.

Photos courtesy of Ellen Mink and Clarene Evans

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Latimer Park Pool Beauties, 1962

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By Clarene Evans

The pool at Latimer Park is gone, but this grainy old photo shows a once-thriving place to swim and cool off in the summer heat.

This was a beauty contest (swim suit contest, presumably) at one point in the career of the pool.

The lovelies are: L-R Roberta Haynes, Becky Gentry, Judy Prather, Cynthia Houston, Mary Ellen Cole, Linda Bedford, Gina Prentiss, Judy Skelton, Linda Gail White, and (22) unknown.

The winner was, as best remembered, Gina - number 18.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Baldwyn Businesses - Lampkin's Barber Shop

Lampkin's Barber Shop on east Main street, as it was in the late 40s-early 50s.

The barbers were (L-R) Cecil Lytal, Aubry Green, and Jack Lampkin, Sr.

"Hambone", the guy that put a shine on your shoes, is standing next to Mr. Jack's chair.

Also pictured is eleven-year old Jack Lampkin with a prize winning cow and calf.

Jack Lampkin, 85, passed away Monday, August 11, 2008.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Early 60s Bearcats

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Don't know the date of this one, maybe some of you do, and maybe some of you are in this photo. I only recognize 3 or 4 of the players. This should be early 60s.

This appears to be on a field other than at BHS. Probably Latimer Park Field.


Photo courtesy of Ellen Mink

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Class of '57

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BHS graduates of 1957.

Please copy to your drive, keep and print if needed.

Photo courtesy of Ellis Christian

The 1956 BHS Graduates

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Note: This is the 1955 class.

This has been requested by some folks that didn't have a copy or lost theirs. We have some other photos (just a few) of the 1950s-1960s grads and will post them as soon as possible.

Jo Carolyn, this is the group that you would have finished BHS with. You had to run off elsewhere, though.

Photo courtesy of John Olan Cunningham.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Local Talent, Great Performers and the Von Theater

Booneville. The Von theater, the little corner building in the above photo (circa 1984, long past its' heyday and missing its' marquee) is innocent-looking enough, but it has hosted a million dollars worth of talent inside its' doors. Singers and musicians of many descriptions have been on the tiny stage and some have gone on to achieve great fame and fortune in one way or another. Performers such as Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, Lloyd McCullough, the Burnette Brothers (Johnny and Dorsey), Elvis Presley, and local favorites Hayden Thompson and Edgar Lee Carroll, just to name a few.

If you went to a live band country or rock 'n roll dance in the Baldwyn, Wheeler, or Booneville area in the 50s you may remember Hayden Thompson and his band. Hayden was in demand then and had a record or two that were doing very well. He was on the "Von" label, a subsidary of the Von theatre.

Hayden was from Wheeler, and I first saw him up close while at Gerald Hodges' print shop visiting. He was getting some printing done. I later saw the signs he had printed, advertising a dance that weekend, on power poles. I am almost sure he was a warm-up act for Elvis Presley at the Von on January 3rd, 1956 at which time I saw Elvis live for the first time. Elvis at that time was advertised as "The Folk Music Fireball". He did two shows that day at the Von, along with Johnny Cash and his band. I do not recall the times, but I was at the one after dark, probably 9PM. The usual patrons were replaced by young teenaged guys and their dates - picture that street with one of the biggest, noisiest crowds in a long while blocking traffic to a standstill. The show was played to a mostly standing crowd - seats were scarce and most had more than one person in them. I have tried to get photos of that event, but the cartoon representation of the Von (above) is how I remember the theater looking at that time.

Elvis had previously appeared at the then NEMJC (now NEMCC) auditorium on January 17,1955, sponsored by the Local Kiwanis Club, but not to as much fanfare as he received this time at the Von. His entourage was using two cars, both parked in the alley to the right and we watched them later as they loaded up and headed for Jonesboro, Arkansas for a show the next day. The only car I recall was a very large, long Chrysler or Dodge with a luggage rack on the top.

In addition to Hayden, also in the audience was another local celebrity of sorts; a schoolmate, Lamar Ratliff of Baldwyn, who was the national champion corn grower of 1955 with a record of 304.38 bushels to the acre. Also present was Carolyn Cunningham of Booneville, first alternate in the '54 Miss Mississippi pageant.

How many of you readers were there at the January 3rd show? I recall a few, but it was a mad, mad, mad crowd!

Photo of Von theatre courtesy of Willie Weeks.

Hayden still is performing and is really in demand in the UK where "rockabilly" is very big even today. His story can be found at:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Baldwyn's Nighttime Security Force 1950s

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For some people that couldn't sleep and liked to stay up all night, the place to go was to the "marshal's office" as it was called.

I tried it once, but got too drowsy and went home early.

Mr. Kilpatrick welcomed the company always, and usually had a few night owls every night. As the text under the photo says, fishin', politics, and BS were the main topics of those nocturnal sessions.

Photo courtesy of Ellen Mink.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


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One of the fun times of our teen years was a get-together at someone's home for an overnight stay with several of your buddies. The photo above is descriptive of that, a jam session during an overnighter at Wallis' home. Usually the parents were away or stayed out of the way. You could stay up as long as you wanted, and sleep the next morning as long as necessary.

The girls were different in a way. Some Friday nights and Saturday mornings they were not to be found. They were together at someone's home, and one of the things they did other than talk and have fun was to put those awful smelling Toni permanents in their hair. It would take a half day to get the after-application odor down to a minimum, so they would show up about mid afternoon on Saturday, pert and pretty.

It didn't cost a lot of money to have fun in those days, and it was some of the best times we ever had.

Photo courtesy of Jim Greene, W4AYW

Monday, August 4, 2008

Booneville's Best Drive In

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This was the Campus Drive In, also known as "Red's place" on US45 near NEMJC (now NEMCC) in the mid to late 50s. It was a very popular place and was usually very busy almost any night of the week and swamped on weekends. The food was very good and reasonably priced. A friend of mine, Robert Honeycutt, while attending the college says he was kept from hunger by eating at least one meal a day there, a steak sandwich basket for about 65 cents.

I have seen quite a few of you readers up there often. I would go and get the foot-and a-half-long hot dog with everything including chili and other great sandwiches at least 3 times a week. There was a blaring jukebox and an outside speaker, and no one cared if you danced with your girl in the gravel parking lot. As at most any other place in those days an occasional altercation would break out between two or more guys, usually over a girl or the results of a drag race. That was always dealt with and over quickly.

However a more sinister act happened there once. Jimmy Lee Ward shot Travis Williams in the head point blank in the kitchen. It was over a domestic dispute involving a woman. Ward got off scott-free. That was in 1957, and the trial was done fairly quickly. I was attending Wheeler High School that year and we were allowed to go to the proceedings one day. That was the first time I had ever seen a court trial.

A lot of you Bearcats (and Blue Devils) went to the college, do you have any stories about the place?

Photo and parts of story courtesy of Willie Weeks of Booneville Photo is from the 1960 Booneville yearbook, "The Spotlight".

Sunday, August 3, 2008


by Jo Carolyn Anderson Beebe

Mother told me she was going to put a stamp on me and mail me special delivery to Mommy Ricks at Hopewell. (Mommy is Mother's mother.) I knew I was special. I learned that in Sunday School. But what did she mean by special delivery?

The iceman delivers ice to our house every Tuesday and Thursday. He brings a big block of ice and puts it in our icebox—even if we're not at home. The iceman's name is Bob. I think he's kin to us because if Daddy happens to be home when Bob comes, Bob always asks how Cousin Lillian is. (That's Daddy's mother.) Sometimes Mother lets me go all over town with Bob to deliver the ice. I sit in his lap and pretend I'm driving his truck. Bob has big tongs that he attaches to a block of ice, then he hoists the block to his shoulder, and lugs it in to the house. Before he goes inside, he puts a tow sack on a block and has me sit on it, so I'll stay cool. He also chips a sliver of ice off the block for me to suck on, so I won't get thirsty. After he delivers all the ice, he takes me back home.

Dr. Caldwell delivers babies. I know this for sure because once when I was spending the night with Aunt Bertie and Uncle William, when my cousins and I got up the next morning, Aunt Bertie had a little baby in bed with her. We had never seen that baby, and Uncle William told us Dr. Caldwell brought it in his black satchel and delivered it while we were sleeping. It was a girl baby, and they named her Dorothy Mae, but we always called her Dot.

I've been told that in some towns a man delivers milk to everyone's house. I guess he's called the milkman. We buy our milk from Mrs. Harmon. She lives next door and has a cow that she milks all by herself. Every other day Mother and I take a clean lard bucket that has a lid on it to Mrs. Harmon's house. She gets a bucket of milk out of her icebox and pours it into our bucket. Once a week, Mother lets the milk sour so she can make buttermilk. She puts it in a big churn and sits in the kitchen and pumps the churn handle up and down until butter forms in the churn. She dips the butter off the milk, molds it into a round shape on a pretty saucer and carves a picture of a flower on top. Sometimes she lets me make the picture. The buttermilk is really good with crumbled up cornbread in a tall glass. Mother said she taught me how to feed myself by setting me on the floor on a newspaper with a cup of buttermilk and cornbread between my legs. She said my legs were so fat my heels wouldn't touch the floor. I'll bet those people who have their milk delivered to them don't get to make buttermilk.

I was all excited about being a special delivery. Mother let me pick out the clothes I wanted to take to Mommy Ricks' house, and we packed them in my little suitcase. I dressed Honeysuckle, my baby doll, in her Sunday clothes. I still couldn't understand what the special delivery was all about until Haddon Palmer came driving up. He said he had come to pick up a special package to be delivered to Mommy Ricks.

"You want to ride with me to deliver the mail?" he asked.

"Oh, yes," I said.

Mother didn't put a stamp on me, but she gave me a big kiss and said, "Sealed with a kiss."

I climbed in the car with Haddon, the mailman, and off we went to the country. Each time he stopped at a mailbox, he handed me some letters, and I put them in the box.

When we started down the hill near Mommy's house, Haddon tooted the horn on the car. By the time we got to her house, Mommy was waiting at the mailbox.

"Here's a special delivery, Mrs. Ricks," Haddon said. "Her mother says have her ready on Friday, and I'll take her back home."

So that's how I got to be a special delivery.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Giant on the Loose

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Does anyone remember who the large kid is/was? I can recall him but don't know if I ever knew him. The photo is made on North Second street near the McElroy lumber yard and Carnation milk plant road, I would guess in front of the Bryson's and Greene's.

David, do you remember if you were let off without being bruised? I would suppose so, because I see Slim Weldon coming your way on his road grader!