Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another BHS Spotlight Article with Snooper

This one is from the Baldwyn News published on March 13, 1958.

We have a promise of more of these type articles if you would like to see them (please let us know).

Click on images to enlarge.

Thanks to Tom Shellnut for this submission.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bakers/Latimer Bios

This came from out of the Weekly News around or after 1972. It details the early days of some of our teachers through to the time they left teaching to retire.

Like them or not, they were a part of our early education and tried as best they could to make sure all children had a good learning experience.


Submitted by Robert Palmer.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

BHS Sports History

How did Baldwyn get to be known as the "Bearcats"?

In the late 1920s a committee of three or four students decided that BHS should adopt a mascot. After much consideration, they decided on the name Bearcat.

Why? Because the cross between a ferocious bear and a mean wildcat would be the "frighteningest" animal you would ever find.

Who was the first basketball coach at BHS? C. H. McNeal coached the first basketball team in 1912-13.

Who were the first members of the basketball team? Coach McNeal was in charge of directing Leon Rowan, Johnny Dewberry, Lloyd Heflin, Will Strange, Lucian Lindley, Clifford Newman, and Kirby Moffit.

When did BHS produce it's first state basketball champions? 1931-32.

When was the first BHS football team organized? 1926.

Who was the first football coach? Coach Langston.

From the Weekly News, April 5, 1979. Submitted by Robert Palmer.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

1958 FFA Judging Team Winners

A clipping from the local newspaper showing the FFA judging team winners. Please note that the upper photos are reversed from the text identifications.

The FFA was an exciting and well liked course for some students. I learned about welding while a member, something I used quite a lot in my career.

Submitted by Tom Shellnut. Click on photo to enlarge.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tribute to a Friend

A Requiem for Thomas Wren Carnes 1937-2009

By Dr. Henry Outlaw

From the Poet Mary Oliver we hear these words.

Think of me when you see the evening star.
Think of me when you see the Wren
the flowing root of the creek beneath him
Dark, Silver and cold

Remember me I am the one who told you
he sings for happiness.
I am the one who told you
that the grass is alive and listening.

The great playwright, Tennessee Williams, once said, A Home is where you hang your childhood. So it is today that I remember my childhood friend Thomas Wren Carnes. But not just him, the entire Carnes family: their parents Tom and Linnie and the children Jimmy, Mary Ann, Nancy, Linda and Jeanette. And their Grandmother, too, Mrs. Dora Carnes whom I referred to as Aunt Dora and her cooks Lee and Willie Lee that cooked some of the best turnips, turnip greens, peas and cornbread in the county. Aunt Dora loved to eat squirrels and she taught us how to eat the head of a squirrel. Try that sometime, it is very tasty. It is one of those southern delicacies that has gotten lost in antiquity. You see, the Carnes family was my family too. It was in part where I hung my childhood. I always had a bed to sleep in and a place at the table. And, I must add, a place in the storm house! The tornado that hit Baldwyn, Mississippi in March of 1942 left its mark of fear on us all. With flash of lightning and a clap of thunder, Linnie would jerk us out of bed and send us running to the storm house for safety. Looking back on it now, I'm not sure how safe they were because most were occupied with black widow spiders, mice, and a barn snake or two.

Thomas Wren and I were outdoorsman/hunters. We had the will and hardihood to endure and the humility and skill to survive the best game of all, the best of all breathing and forever the best of all listening. We lived in the woods and fields and streams hunting mostly squirrels, rabbits, coons, possums, and quail. We even ran a trap line for muskrats and mink in Camel Town Creek and Okeleela bottom. The second week of October always found us hunting squirrels in Tombigbee River Bottom: the Big Woods, bigger and older than any recorded document. And Barnett's Hills with fine stands of hickory nut and scaley bark trees, a perfect place for bushy tails. Thomas Wren always had a keen eye for squirrels. As I recall, he never failed to get the limit. He even killed a flying squirrel once. Now that takes some skill.

You know, teenagers do strange things. One evening, Linnie let us use the family car, ostensibly, to go to town, the picture show perhaps. For some odd reason we took off toward Pratts, down through a muddy bottom road. No gravel in those days. It had been raining cats and dogs. Somewhere along that road, not too far from Little Nicks house, we got out of the ruts and slid off the road down a steep bank. Now! What to do? We were stuck! Both of us trucked it, through the mud and rain, back to Little Nicks house and got his fathers John Deere tractor and he pulled us out. After that my memory fades. Many years later I asked Thomas Wren about this incident. I said, Where were we going? He said we were going to see some girls. Now, I don't ever remember having a girlfriend from Pratts. Guntown, yes, but not Pratts. Alas, great mysteries abound.

Jeanette, I even remember your phone number: 4398. I don't remember what I had for lunch yesterday but I can still remember that phone number.

Frederick Buechner, in his book Listening To Your Life, wrote a mini essay entitled REMEMBER. In it he said, And when you remember me, it means that you have carried something of who I am with you. It means that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and and speak to me in your heart. For as long as you remember me, I am never entirely lost.

If you forget me, one of the ways I remember who I am will be gone. If you forget me, part of who I am will be gone.

Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom, the good thief said from the cross. There are perhaps no more human words in all of Scripture, no prayer we can pray so well. If you remember me I will never die.

I will always remember those days when autumn comes and the leaves go red as sunset and when scarlet shadows like firelight breeze over the high Indian grass and a waterfall of color flows over River Woods. When that day comes I will pick up the phone, dial 4398 and when I hear his voice I will say, Hey, Time To Go HUNTING!

Some others of you probably had the same interaction with Tommy. Hope you enjoyed this as much as I - Carl Houston

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Prather Weeping Willow Trees

Thought you might enjoy seeing this photo - another and wider view of the old Stocks home and Waters funeral home. This is made in the Prather home East lawn across the street from the "shirt factory". Remember the huge Weeping Willow trees in their yard?

This evidently is one of those trees when very young. Bertha Faye Stephenson stands by it and it appears to be less than 6 feet tall. This may be around 1940, hard to determine the year.

Photo by Curley Copeland. Submitted by Milton Copeland.

Click to enlarge.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Miscellaneous Clippings and Photos

Upper: Clipping from the Baldwyn Weekly News showing 13 year old Mickey Yarbrough after serving as a page in the state House of Representatives.

Center: Mary Katherine Lindley as a GA officer. Young girl is unidentified. Photo from Betty Massengill.

Lower is one of the better photos of our famous old GM&O railroad depot in an already deteriorating condition in July 1967. Discovered and submitted by Milton Copeland.

Click on images to enlarge.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

More Street Scenes from The 50s and 60s

Top photo is looking North on Second Street on a snowy morning. Notice the absence of the city hall building (aka. The Mayor's Office). A fire destroyed it and the jail and it had not been rebuilt at this time.

Next is the building on West Main that held a number of businesses, at this time Miller's Furniture and Appliance store.

Center: The old original Waters' Funeral Home with it's gazebo and sitting area around a goldfish pond. Chairs in the foreground are in the old Prather home yard where the photo was taken from.

Mr. Garley McVey blows sediment from the water system in the next to last photo. We really had some good water in Baldwyn. I didn't realize it until I moved around over the years and found that all ground water in wells isn't great to drink without treatment.

And last is shown the old water tank that we would climb to see around the countryside. At the halfway point, you could see the transmitter tower lights of WBIP in Booneville. If you were lucky and Slim Weldon wasn't around, you could go all the way to the top and write your name with a 10 cent can of paint from the Western Auto Store (no spray cans in those days). Also notice the fire siren mounted on a crossbeam. This old tank served the town for many years but is now gone.

Photos from various sources, Betty Massengill, Clarene Evans, and old newspapers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BHS Library Club - Early 1960s

This is the library club members from the 1960-62 era, I am told. All are identified except Carolyn Hopkins (standing behind Yvonne and Jackie).

This photo was evidently made in the library room, but I am unsure of the direction unless it is the East wall.

From a Bearcat yearbook.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

BHS Class of 1935

This was about 4 or 5 years before a few of us were born, but maybe we can remember most of these '35 grads. Also remember this is the old building that burned in, I believe, 1939. Simon Spight helped identify everyone, so here is his list:

From the left: Mary Beth Agnew, Paul (Popeye) Gentry, Milton Putt, Hal Walker Norman, Eugene (Gene) Caldwell, Dr. James Simmons, Cecil Whitaker, Houston Wood, Mrs. Glenn Riley – sponsor, Bruce Trantham, A. T. Stocks, Carroll McCarthy – I think he is the younger brother of the famous Babe McCarthy, Earl Adams – son of Abbie & Maggie, Banks Hendricks, James Preston McWhorter, Jo Ann Gower.

Submitted by Milton Copeland. Also thanks to Simon for his help.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Party Time

Top photo: Seniors and juniors party at Sportsman's Lake around 1963. J. L. Howard, Clarene Evans, Gary Owen, Red Shelton, Amelia Malone, Hilda Massengill, Bobby Lewellyn, Harold McMillan, joey Burns, Judy Skelton, Johnny Roberts, Jane Goodson, Linda Weatherford, and others. Sorry if we could not or did not identify anyone properly.

Lower Photo: Birthday party for Virginia and Buddy Seay around 1954. Not in any order are: Harriet Burns, Petey and Janice Hopkins, Gordon McCarley, Caroline Searcy, Betty Greene, Clarene Evans, Gloria Jean Morgan, Bonnie Sue Bruton, Brenda Hill, Melba Jean Rowland, Kenneth Lauderdale, Bobby Baker, Milton Wesson, Charles Barber, Linda Ann Bishop, Harold owan. There is one unidentified younger child, and one girl on the back also.

Photos courtesy of Clarene Evans.

Monday, October 12, 2009

1952 Summer League Baseball

Photo and story by Joe Cunningham
-click to enlarge-

This was a summer league and kids from Wheeler and Jericho especially played on those all the time.

Front - Stanley Hendrix, Dean Rutherford, Joe Cunningham, Bobby Hamblin, Bill Walker (son of Cleve and brother of Buster and Norma Jean - some think it is Buddy DeVaughn but I am pretty sure it is Bill), Joe Murray Davis

Back - Ellis Wayne Christian, Joe Grissom, Charles Mathis, Grover Thomas, Enoch Gentry, Ted Hill (Wheeler), Frank Norman, Wyatt Weatherford, Charles Weatherford, Gerald White (Jericho).

This is Coach Haynes' first summer league baseball and I think it is 1952 for twelve and over. I wasn't really on that team, being only 10, but managed to get in the picture.

This is a re posting from May 2008. The photo was lost on Google somehow. -CH

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

2009 Okeelala Breakfast at Agnew's Restaurant at Pratts

Some photos of the gang at the breakfast last Saturday (October 3, 2009) at Pratts and some other photos of interest.

Photos by Clarene Evans, Cynthia Lindley Mink, and Carl Houston.

Thanks to Dr. Henry Outlaw and all who worked to make this a success again this year!

Click on this link:

Picasa Web Albums - Carl - 2009 Okeelala Breakfast at Agnew's Restaurant at Pratts

Baldwyn High School '59 Seniors and Family 50th Reunion - by Cynthia Mink


Picasa Web Albums - Baldwyn High School '59 Seniors and Family 50th Reunion by Cynthia Mink

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Lee County Library "Bookmobile"

During the four month summer vacations from school in the 1950s we could get books to read from a mobile library that came to town periodically. I believe the frequency was monthly, but maybe more often. The "bookmobile" as shown above would park in the downtown area and we could check out a number of books to keep until the next visit.

It was operated by the Lee County library, but Prentiss county kids could use it also, probably since the town was on county lines. The driver and librarian, Mrs. Patton, worked at this for many years (see text).

The lower photo was the vehicle that most of us knew. It is shown parked at Pratts school (we believe) with some eager kids lined up to use the service.

Upper image is from the Tupelo Journal in or around 1977 and is not complete, sorry. Sent by Joan Patton Wilroy. Lower image, made in the 1950s, is in the archives of the Pratts RCDC - submitted by Gerald McKibben.

Click images to enlarge.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1955 BHS Bearcats TC Champs

An old clipping that I was able to restore - kinda. However, the story can be remembered by those of you that were there and "pulled it off". The banners and signs "BEAT BOONEVILLE" that were seen everywhere must have worked! The final score of a 31 point spread testifies to the tenacity and determination of the 'cats against the arch rival Blue Devils.

Will anyone admit to painting "Go To He## Booneville" on their school building right before this game???

Also recognizable in the photo (other than the three listed in the text) is John Lampkin (L), Billy Wayne Houston, Melvin Duke, and others including cheerleader Faye Coggins (R). I think I have those correct and apologize if not.

From the Tupelo Journal, sent by Betty Smith Massengill.

Click to enlarge.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Remember James Franks?

I remember James Franks only from the time I was very young, and lost track of him over my adult years.

I rode with him in a wagon and a 4 mule team from Baldwyn to Geeville once. He had brought a load of cotton to one of the gins and I helped him suction it up into the conveyor.

His "museum" building was still standing the last time I went by on US 145; I wish I could have checked it out when it was full of his collections.

There is a misspelling in the text: The old auto was a Jordan Playboy.

From the Tupelo Journal newspaper, date unknown, but a guess is about 1974. Sent by Robert Palmer.

Click on pics to enlarge.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Doc, Babe, and Country

A photo we ran across of the three coaches that quite a few of us had the opportunity to play for. A lot can be said for these men, but there is not enough room to put all of their accomplishments and accolades here.

They will be remembered for a long time.

From an old copy of the "Tupelo Daily Journal". Click to enlarge photo.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Baldwyn vs. Nettleton, 1955

A program from an important game in 1955. Shown is all I have of the program; the front and half the inside - at least the important part showing the Bearcat players and stats.

Scanned in the best and largest resolution for you to print and save if desired.


Submitted by John Melvin Duke. Click on images to enlarge.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ladies of BCR Battle 1964

Top: Mrs. Haddon Palmer gets a shoe lace retied by Walter Anderson. Watching is James Preston McWhorter, Left, and James Franks, right.

Center: A drab cannon can be made to look better by adding a couple of pretty ladies. Standing is Virginia Rice Tapp and on the cannon is Johnny Corbett McGee.

Beards were very prevalent on men who celebrated the reenactments. The lower photo and accompanying text may or may not be true. How about it, Sue? Did you ever let BW grow one?

From the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, May 31, 1964. Submitted by Robert Palmer, Baldwyn.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What th' ###????

Have been wondering about these photos from the 1959 BHS annual. Notice these players are all Bearcats but wearing Pratt uniforms.

Does anyone know if this is a spoof or what?

I guess you know all those pictured. If not I'll add a comment with the names if one of you doesn't beat me to it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Twentymile Bottom

This sign overlooks the area on the Natchez Trace Parkway (seen in the background) where the mighty Twentymile canal starts to divest itself of the huge amounts of water it drains from it's beginning at Lebanon Mountain.

We have long revered the canal for it's glorious swimming holes, most notably "Blue Mars" written about and remembered by many; the sun perch and bluegill that we caught and returned to the water to fight on a hook another day, and the many areas we would cool off in by wading on a hot Summer day.

The canal channel goes much further Southeast from here, but in doing so creates many smaller tributaries to shed the water.

Photo by Carl Houston on 9-9-09.

Young Baldwyn Men from the 1950s

NEW pic... Harold sent this yearbook photo (above) to show the "other" Jerry Prather in the middle photo. Robert Johnson has the info on him in the comments section.

Young men from Baldwyn in about 1957-59 or so. Correct the year if you know.

The adult on the left is Dennis Meek. The one on the right we're not sure of.

Pictured is: (not in any order) Jackie Cole, Gary Norman, Ted Love, Mansel Pruitt, Tully Lindley, Tommy Palmer, Robert Johnson, Jim Greene, Bobby Burns, The McMillan brothers, Robin Arnold, Huse Woods, Lanny Outlaw, and a few others I have failed to remember. I see a Rowan and a Parker, but cannot recall first names of either.

Lower: Some Bearcat basketball players including Wyatt, Doug, Billy, Harold, David, Dewey, Don, Jerry, Harold Deen, and Joe.


Center and lower photos from Clarene Evans. Click to enlarge.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

FFA Activities and Boy Scouts

Top: A photo of some Baldwyn Boy Scouts. This might be around 1959.

Adults are Charles Morris (R) and Thomas Lampkin (L). They were very committed scout leaders for a number of years. Scoutmaster (front right) is Bro. Byron Nowak.

Back row L-R: Butch McCarthy, Jerry Ozbirn, Tommy Gamble, Jerry Enis.

Front row L-R: Junior Christian, Larry Franklin, Gordon McCarley, Jimmy Joyner, Tony Hendrix, Kenneth Lauderdale, and Andy Enis.

Lower: Nobody we have talked to recalls what these models of farm structures were used for, or who may have built them. Any help on that will be appreciated.

Sitting is Herb Spivey (R) and Bobby Gene Gamble.

Standing L-R: Instructor C. Q. Hoover, James Robinson, Ted Roberts, and Bonnie Ray Whitehead. Taller boys are L-R: Billy Owen, Bill Hogue (?), Milford Gamble, Gibson Lee Billingsley, and Herman Blankfield.

Photos and information submitted by an anonymous reader.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1959 BHS Football Homecoming

Players, cheerleaders and the homecoming queen and court from 1959.

L-R Martha Prather, Carolyn McCarley, Sandra Poole, Harold Deen Grissom, Peggy Jo Jones, Doug Pruitt, Queen Olivia Enis Pruitt, Deborah Morris, Joe Cunningham, Midge Stiles, and Judy Bryant.


From the 1959 BHS yearbook. Click to enlarge.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturdays in Baldwyn 1930s-40s


James "Jimmy" Cunningham

Baldwyn was a lively town in the late 30's & early 40's. Mr. Audie Coggins owned the Ritz Theater on Main St., and he usually had something special going on Saturday afternoon and night. He had a stage in front of the screen, so he would have a stage show of some kind if possible. There were singing groups, boxing matches, or even movie stars. Tex Ritter came with his group, and Mr. Audie had him to draw the lucky ticket for the Saturday drawing at 3:00 p.m.

Top attractions were the boxing matches in an elevated ring in the center of town. Local boxers were Sam Patton, Ed Wallis, Johnny Conlee, Raymond Easterling, "Curly" Copeland, Hasten Joyner, "Pee Wee" White & his twin brother Loyd, Mike Richey, Johnny Agnew, and Jess McGee. Most were amateurs who had never trained, but were pretty good boxers. "Curly" Copeland was fairly well trained and could usually win his matches even though outweighed in most cases.

For the finale on boxing nights ten or twelve boxers would enter the ring at the same time, and the last three standing would get the prize money. This was called a "Battle Royal".

Aud's admission tickets were fifteen cents to everyone on movie nights, but when he brought in "Gone With the Wind" it had to be $1.20 each. This movie lasted four hours with a 30 minute intermission.

Claude Gentry's theater (the Lyric) at Main & Front St. brought in the Jessie James movie which showed all night until 4 o'clock the following morning. These tickets were eleven cents to everyone, which was regular price, but only lasted a little over two hours.

Cars were not owned by many rural people in those days, and around fifteen school buses would bring people in to town around 10 o'clock on Sat. morning. They would shop until after the town drawing, go home and milk their cows, and then come back to town to the movie and visiting until after midnight. The stores would remain open until that time. I have worked in the grocery store until 12:00 p.m. and then gone to the barber shop for a haircut.

Hope this enlightens you about early Baldwyn. Normally on a week night, the GM&O Rebel passenger train going North at 10:51 was my signal to head home.


Images exerpted from "Around Town" film by Claude Gentry. Click to enlarge.

Thanks for the memories, Jimmy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

1942 BHS Senior Class

Some time ago, someone asked if we had a photo of the 1942 senior class.

I recently noticed this framed photo on a restaurant wall and took it with the best clarity as possible.

Hope you can make all the images out well enough. The ceiling lights are reflected and a glass over the photo makes it distorted somewhat.


Image used with permission of Lana Sue McVey Kesler and Agnew's Restaurant in Pratts, MS. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

People and Places from Long Ago

TOP: A photo of a possible funeral procession with the casket on display in the center of town (M. Gorden's in the background). This is about 1944-45. Some have thought that it might be the funeral of Uncle George, the porter at the Home Hotel, but that would have been 1949. Any ideas from the more senior readers?

SECOND. The Ritz theater. How much of our time did we spend in there?

THIRD. Marie Evans takes a break from her duties at Tom's Drug Store.

FOURTH. "Hizzoner" the mayor of Baldwyn for many years and Mrs. Heflin at their home patio with homemade furniture.

LOWER. Jimmy Cunningham and Alton Wallis (Wallace?) and the grocery delivery truck from Cunningham's store. About 1954.

Photo credits: Clips from "Around Town" video by Claude Gentry. Third and fourth photos courtesy of Clarene Evans and David Heflin. Lower photo courtesy of Jim Greene.