Monday, June 29, 2009

The Saturday "Lottery"

-click to enlarge and see if you recognize anyone-

The above pictured crowd in the center of Baldwyn should be familiar to many of you. The "drawing" as it was called, was the highly anticipated event of the week during the '40s and '50s.

The town was buzzing with people on Saturdays, most all of them with numbered tickets received from town merchants after a purchase. Store clerks gave a ticket after a certain amount of money was spent with them, probably one for a few cents or maybe a dollar. So, a $2 pair of shoes you bought would earn you 2 chances at the prize money.

Ticket stubs were rounded up from the the participating merchants prior to drawing time. I remember Wallis Nelson and Milton Nanney were two of the boys who collected the ticket stubs and brought them to deposit in the mixing barrel at city hall. The barrel was a large round chicken wire cage on a platform with a turning handle to mix 'em up good.

A large roar from the crowd usually meant that Bernard Coggins, Garley McVey, James Preston McWhorter, Slim Weldon or possibly some others were loading the stub barrel into a pickup truck to "bring up the hill". It was now only minutes from some folks winning $5, $10, and sometimes when sales were good, a huge $50 prize. I think that an unclaimed prize from the week before was carried over and the "pot" sweetened for this week's winner.

I have no idea when this practice started, nor what year it ended. They gave money away on Saturdays all of the time I can remember in the 1950s, until the time I left Baldwyn and moved away.

I vividly remember these drawings and the squeal of delight from the winners.

P. S. I never got to squeal.

Photo courtesy of Simon Spight. Made from the second floor over Tom's Drug Store.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ode to a Spreadin’ Nader

By Dr. Henry Outlaw
(BHS class of '57)

I wrote this poem in memory of a bootlegger on Twitchell Hill that was bitten on the nose by a Puff Adder - sometimes called a hog nosed snake. Locally we called them Spreadin 'Naders. It may be the only ode written about a snake.

I'll never forget one Sunday night after church we went down to Twitchell Hill for a beer. When J.B. (Adams) came out to wait on us I noticed his nose was all swollen and red. When we asked what happened he said, "I went down to that little cave where I keep the beer and when I reached up in there to get some a g*d d**n Spreadin' Nader bit me on the nose!"

Inspiration for poems come from many different places.


Ode to a Spreadin’ Nader

Living among brown leaves

Copper colored code

Cold blooded skin and scale

Possessing neither fang nor pit nor valor.

But upon being disturbed in its loamy path

The Spreadin’Nader becomes a viper,

A biblical serpent with flattened head in
Cobra stance,

Swaying slightly as if marking time To some ancient reed or harp.
And suddenly, without warning,
Strikes in horrid frenzy, blindly,
Spraying some mythical ether,

Puffing, sibilant, striking
Terror in man and beast.
As if knowing its eternal destiny
Is to be trodden under foot
for some
Sin of its ancestor in the Garden.
Loved only by its maker.


This poem was first read at the Black Diamond Lounge in Telluride, Colorado in the Winter of 1987. Written in memory of J.B. Adams, an infamous bootlegger on Twitchell Hill near Baldwyn, MS.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

1959 BHS Teens - Part 2

-click to enlarge-

Top: Doug White and Martha Jo Barber at the front of the old BHS gym.

Center: Harold Deen Grissom, Peggy Jones, Doug White, and Judy Bryant.

Lower: Harold Williams, Bonnie Ray Whitehead, and Mary Ann ??? - need some help with her name, please.

Photos: Carolyn Wheeler Ghys.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

1963 Senior Trip

-click to enlarge-

Part of the '63 seniors on a trip. Others went to different places, but this was the main group.


Courtesy of Clarene Evans

Monday, June 15, 2009

The BHS Alma Mater - About 1963

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The 1963 Alma Mater verse. Were any previous versions written and published or saved?

This one is arranged by Sandra Bishop and Gordon McCarley.

Courtesy of Clarene Evans.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

1959 BHS Teens - Part 1

-click to enlarge-

Some recently submitted photos of BHS kids on the north side of the school near the old gymnasium.

If you want to verify or guess identity, do so. There are some easy ones and some a bit more difficult.

Related photos will be posted later in the week with answers to these photo IDs.

Courtesy of Carolyn (Wheeler) Ghys.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another photo to Ponder

Found on the internet. Shows many of the Cox and Prather family members and others. Three of the outstanding people are Brooks Prather, Allen Cox, and William Cox. You can put a name to a face using the list that was attached to the photo:

"Near as I can make out, are the identifications from the back of the photograph:
Back Row: Bill, Uncle Tip, Forest Prather, Uncle Will Cox, Roy, Aunt Matt, Marie Goan, Aunt Sallie, Cousin Georgia May, Bell, Aunt Meck, Uncle Will, Cousin May Jackson, Aunt Georgia, Aunt Mollie Sam (Geo's [very uncertain about this abbreviation -TM] mother), Uncle Wylie, Uncle Jim, Brooks Prather, Allen Cox, Mrs. High, Cousin Annie Bell, Cousin Jim, Uncle John
Second Row: Sallie Clifton, Fred Robins, Aunt Gene, Uncle Lee Prather, Aunt Forest, Granny, ?, John Henry Allen, Ruby Clifton, Bates, Penny, Nell, Cousin Rob Weaver
First Row: ?, Bess, Wm. Cox, Georgia, John Allen, Robert "

Circa 1900. Brooks Prather and Allen Cox stand out very well to me, although they were young men at the time. Wasn't there a Forest Prather who was a man and another who was a woman? Listed is a Forest Prather and an Aunt Forest.

Help us out, Milton!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Senior Day At IJC

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Seniors at local schools who had enough credits to graduate were given the opportunity to visit a college of their choice on a certain day and inspect the facility and curriculum.

The photo above is controversial. Mr. Baker told everyone to go to NEMJC (now NEMCC) for their day. Some defied him and went to Itawamba JC instead.

The story goes that this photo was published in the Tupelo Journal the very next morning and he was not pleased with the students who didn't go to Booneville.

IJC was more popular to Baldwyn and Guntown students.

Does anyone recall the outcome of the story? I am sure Mr. J. B. was not congenial to the above pictured students.

Photo and story courtesy of Gerald McKibben.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wagon Train Celebration 1976 Preparation

-click to enlarge-

The 1976 centennial coast-to-coast wagon train stopped in Baldwyn and preparations were made to celebrate in period style. The above photo shows that beards were grown; the ladies dug out their hoop skirts and other accouterments to support the event.

The event was well received. I have no photos to show the people or wagons or the celebrating.

Lower: Some of the local teens. Can you name them?

Photos: Top - Clarene Evans, bottom - Ellen Mink.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Unusual Hobby for a Teenager

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Almost all of us in the Baldwyn 1950s had a hobby. There was a large variety of common and unusual things for us to pursue to occupy our time (even chasing the opposite sex).

Gerald was a very talented and self-taught taxidermist. I saw examples of his early work.

He has gone on to bigger and better hobbies since this article was published. He still has a hands-on approach to things, one of the most complex was building and flying his own aircraft.


Article courtesy of Jacque McVey, Pensacola, Florida.