Friday, March 27, 2009

More Photo Memories of Okolona

Shown is a recently found penny postcard of Wilson Park at Okolona, MS. We spent many summer days of fun there.

The pool was always full of swimmers. The high diving board was not for the meek.

The ballroom (lower left) had a very loud sound system. I first heard Chuck Berry singing his new hit tune "Maybelline" there. The Wurlitzer jukebox was the largest I had ever seen.

You probably can recall some Wilson Park stories of your own.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Clippings from the 50s

Top: Inside Houston's drug store, 1958. L-R: Hilda Massengill, Linda McCarthy, Doris Greene. (Photo and ID: Betty Massengill, Cynthia Mink)

I think that is Mrs. McCarthy working the soda fountain. The entire wall held a mural of "Elsie" the Borden cow, who was the ad person for Borden's dairy products. Cool, huh?

Center: Home economics class at BHS. L-R: Yvonne, Phyllis, Lunelle, Mrs. Magers, ?, Irene, Mrs. Downs? Front: Sue, Midge, and Olivia. Year unknown, probably 1955.

Lower: You may recall Mr. Grady Nanney worked at the power office. He was crippled, but very strong in his arms, and probably never lost an arm wrestling match (his favorite game).

Mr. Henderson was the owner of the Chevrolet dealership in Baldwyn.

Mr. Howard was still a teacher at that time.

Monday, March 23, 2009

BHS Homecoming Court, 1961

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Queen: Gail Grisham; Escort: Harold McMillan.

Senior Maid: Jackie Roberts; Escort: Jim Miller.

Junior Maid: Jane Goodson; Escort: Johnny Roberts.

Sophomore Maid: Judy Prather; Escort: Gary Harp.

Freshman Maid: Linda Dobbs; Escort: Larry McKay.

Identical photos submitted by Jim Miller, Cynthia Mink and Betty Massengill. Thanks all.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

OES and Masonic Lodge officers in the 50s and 60s

Shown are some of our family and friends that were elected and served as officers in their respected positions of the Baldwyn Masonic Lodge and Order of the Eastern Star.

Photos from an old scrapbook donated by an anonymous supporter of the blog.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another Lucky '42 Tornado Survivor Story

by "Jimmy" Cunningham

As we zero in on March 16th, I vividly recall the 1942 Baldwyn tornado.

I was in the tenth grade, and it was around 4 o'clock in the afternoon. As was customary for boys my age, I had gone to the pool room to play a few games. It turned very dark for the time of day. Mr. Jack Enis yelled from the front of the building, "boys, it's coming a tornado"! We immediately crawled under the nearest pool table. The sound was similar to the roar made by a train coming through.

In a short time, after the noise ceased, we exited the building and started looking for damage. Tom Gentry and I walked East toward the railroad and didn't see any damage until we went up the railroad toward the Gentry home. We, first spotted the "Bud" McCarthy house on North Second Street. It was severely damaged, so we went West from there, over toward Fifth Street & Thomastown. All of that area had a 1/4 mile wide swath through it from Southwest to Northeast. Most of the houses, trees, etc. were destroyed. There was one car in a tree near Highway 45.

We found a Mrs. McBrayer who had been killed and placed her in a pick-up truck and carried her to the Caldwell clinic to be pronounced dead. The hospital had run out of beds, and they asked us to take the truck to M. Gorden's furniture store and pick up some beds. After parking at the store, we were directed to the South side of the building to get some cots. Mr. Jett Ford, "Brownie" Coggins, Olin Stanley, and I went to find and load the cots.

The time was now around 4:45 P.M. We noticed the wind blowing pretty hard again, so we barricaded the double doors. "Brownie" & Olin went down to the basement. Mr. Ford placed his arms around a linoleum rug, and I was looking for some piece of furniture to get under, but I didn't make it. The wind peaked, the roof left the building, the double brick wall came over, and covered me completely, fairly deep. I couldn't move, but was still conscious. I considered myself very fortunate to still be alive and not seriously injured. In about 20 minutes, I heard some movement on the brick somewhere in the area, so I knew I had to get their attention, if possible. My dad knew I was going to get the cots, so he was one of the first to get over the crumbled wall. I didn't feel that I could yell loud enough, so I began to give my loudest whistle. The search crew heard me, and began to toss the bricks off. After a few minutes, they had me uncovered, and I was in good shape except for a small knot on my head. I still praise the Lord for saving my life.

There were seven people killed in Baldwyn, by the first storm, and two in Wheeler.

Robert McWhorter, according to the story told to me by his brother, was taken by the wind from a poultry house on Water St. to the old High School Building, about 3/4 mile. He came walking in about an hour after the tornado.

Another tornado came in almost the same path about 50 years later, but did not touch ground.

Editor's note: Two tornadoes struck Baldwyn that day in '42, around an hour or less apart.

Friday, March 13, 2009

More Baldwyn Sports Figures

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Here are some old clippings of BHS outstanding sports figures. These were some of the best; wish we had the photos of all the many players who distinguished themselves in athletics in our era.

Photos courtesy of Ellis Christian, Betty Massengill, and Cynthia Mink.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rare Afghan

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Shown is an afghan with scenes from the mid-20th century Baldwyn. Included is the old Caldwell Hospital, the domino parlor, a water tank, the old depot, Carrollville's Cox home, Brices' Crossroads, a Bearcat, and the old high school building. The colors are much brighter and vivid than shown in the photo.

This one was purchased several years ago during a project by the Baldwyn Woman's Club. They can get additional ones if enough requests are received for an order from the supplier.

We are not taking orders on the blog, only making people aware of the product and who to contact if you would like to obtain one. At present, no contact information has been given to us, but the Woman's Club will have an email address shortly for your inquiries. We will post it here on this article when it is received.

There are two of these available for purchase now at the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Baldwyn.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The "Lyric News"

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The Lyric News was partly the forerunner to the Baldwyn Weekly News, and today's Baldwyn News. Information we have states that Claude Gentry wanted to advertise movies that were showing at his theater, so this is the media he used. Along the way he picked up advertisers, and soon he was in the newspaper business also. Another newspaper in town was operated by a Mr. Newman and Mr. Coggins (someone wrote earlier; not confirmed) and was called the Home Journal, we believe.

The Lyric theater was at the southeast corner of Main and Front streets. At about the same time, the Ritz was owned by Mr. Coggins and was located near it's popular location west of Epting's.

"Screeno" was a form of, or was actually, Bingo. That was a very large amount of money for a jackpot prize in those days. WW2 hadn't started for the USA and the economy must have been pretty good.

Top photo is the actual Lyric theater in the early 40s.

Thanks to John and Jo Carolyn (Anderson) Beebe for the newspaper photos.

Lyric theater photo by Claude Gentry.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Memos For the 60s Bunch

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Shown above is the '62 'Cats and noted is their greatest feat for that season. If you need an ID for anyone, let us know.

In the lower photo are the ladies of the FHA for 1964. Sponsor Mrs. Brown is at upper left, second row down.


Top photo courtesy of Jim Miller; lower: Betty Massengill and Cynthia Mink.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More Miscellaneous Photos and Clippings

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A request has been made to help identify the boy with Frieda in the top photo. Please let them know his name if you can.

In the second photo, which could be called "a study in light and shadows", we see the ornate soda fountain and also tables, chairs, and furnishings inside Tom's Drug Store. Facing the front from midway, the reflection at the right was from a slanted glass showcase. A coke bottle and the image of someone can be seen faintly. The photo would not completely restore.

The clipping of Bobby Greene shows just one of his accomplishments. A friendly, well-liked member of BHS, Bobby graduated with honors from school and college. Bobby, I understand you read the blog regularly and may have some photos that we would like to see. If you could, we would certainly like for you to share a few to post here. Thanks in advance.

Fourth, Buddy Miller and Frieda Rogers on the front middle step landing at BHS.

Last, our old and dear First Baptist Church on West Main Street. It was a very "cool" place in more ways than one; it was never locked in those days, and in the summertime we would beat the sultry heat of day by playing hide-and-seek in the cool, cavernous basement.

If you recall, the steps from outside to the basement were in the little white "doghouse" entryway at the end of the concrete walk in the left of the photo behind the information marquee sign. The sign can almost be read in an enlarged copy of the photo.

Photos from Betty Massengill, Cynthia Mink, and Clarene Evans. Thanks, all.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

1958 Grads

Excellent copy of the '58 graduating class poster.

Thanks to Betty Massengill and Cynthia Mink.