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.