Thursday, April 9, 2015
BALDWYN – Simon “Buddy” Spight, 83, died Saturday, June 2, 2012, at the Baldwyn Nursing Facility. He was born Oct. 4, 1928, to Shap and Hester Caldwell Spight in Pontotoc. In 1936, his family moved to the town that became his true love, Baldwyn. Spight was a veteran of the United States Navy and served 1948 through 1952. He was a 1948 graduate of Baldwyn High School. He worked at Caldwell Hospital as a lab technician and later transferred to the Baldwyn Hospital. He also worked as Chief Investigator of Lee County for many years. Spight was a member of the Sportsman’s Quartet and was part of the first live program on WTWV television station in Tupelo. He was an honorary member of the 8th Airborne and the author of two books. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Baldwyn where he served in many capacities and was a member of the choir for most of his life.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church in Baldwyn with Bro. Stanley Huddleston officiating. Waters Funeral Home is in charge of the services.
He is survived by a sister-in-law, Billie Sue Spight of Madison; a nephew, Mike Spight of Kansas City, Kan.; a niece, Susan Mansour of Clarksdale; and his special friends and caretakers, Billy Roberson, Walter Gentry and Tammy Bullock, all of Baldwyn.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brothers, WR Spight and Tommy Spight.
Pallbearers are Robert Herring, Jeff Roberson, Harold Murley, Wylee Nance, John Olen Cunningham, John Rollegen and Mitch Caver. Honorary pallbearers are the members of the Houston Discount Drug Round Table Coffee Club and Bill Langston, Bobby Nichols and Jim Long Livingston.
Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. today at Waters Funeral Home. The body will lie in repose one hour prior to service time at the church.
Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Baldwyn Building Fund in memory of Simon Spight.
Posted by Carl Houston at 10:03 AM
Larry L. Johnson, 76, of Jackson, MS, a residential real estate developer, founder of The Landmark Companies, and oil and gas investor died on Tuesday at his residence after his recent onset of cancer.
Services will be held on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at eleven o'clock at Parkway Funeral Home on Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland. Visitation will be held Wednesday, October 15, 2014 from four to six o'clock and Thursday at ten o'clock prior to the services at Parkway Funeral Home.
Johnson was born on March 3, 1938, in Baldwyn, MS to Alleene and E.L. "Swede" Johnson. Much of his youth was spent living in Baldwyn with brief stints in Nashville, TN and Philadelphia, PA. During his days as a Baldwyn Bearcat, he was a three-sport star; earning All-Conference honors in all three sports his senior year. From a young age, he displayed an independent, industrious business spirit which served as a basis for his future successes. His youthful business ventures included, but were not limited to, operating a Baldwyn dairy bar during summer vacations. Much of his business acumen was taught by his mother, Alleene, who ran the local florist shop as well as his maternal grandfather Hugh Epting, a long time Baldwyn merchant.
Upon graduation from high school, he attended the University of Mississippi where he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and then a Degree of Laws. While at Ole Miss, he made many lifelong friends. During this time, he learned and crafted the finer aspects of golf and playing cards, specifically poker and gin rummy. These crafts would educate him on the importance to attention, detail and "risk versus reward" concepts.
After graduation, Larry moved to Jackson where he began his career in the booming oil and gas industry. There were many colorful individuals and exciting deals to be struck in this trade. The excitement of creating and selling the deal was always very enjoyable to Johnson. Many deals and lasting friendships were made at the Petroleum Club in those days. Even to this day, with the volatility of the oil industry over the years, he has remained an active investor and producer, playing a major role in the development of successful oil and gas ventures in Mississippi and Alabama.
During this same time period, Larry partnered with Bill McGuffee, his father in law, to create Landmark Homes, often just building a few speculative homes each year. Probably not realizing it at that time, this joint venture would become the precursor to Johnson becoming one of the most successful residential (both single and multifamily housing) developers, constructors, and owners in the Southeast. Over the last twenty-five years, Mr. Johnson played a major role in the development of 3,000 single family lots, built over 750 homes, and the development and construction of 5,000 apartments. These projects are located in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. For all his success in these projects, by far, his greatest achievement was the ability to do so in partnership with his son, Michael Johnson.
Later in life, philanthropy became important to Mr. Johnson. He was the sole benefactor, supporting further education at Ole Miss for five Baldwyn High School graduates. Furthermore, he established and funded a charitable foundation that will live on supporting many worthwhile causes on his behalf.
Mr. Johnson married Rebecca "Becky" Wells in August of 2013. They found a kindred spirit in each other. The memories of their many trips and family events will live on forever. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son, Michael Johnson, and his wife, Lisa, of Jackson. He is also survived by his brother, Robert Hugh Johnson and his wife, Dixie, of Germantown, TN, along with their two children, his nephews, Allen and Quin.
The family would like to express its sincere appreciation to all the family and friends who have supported him over these past months. Words cannot express the gratitude and appreciation of their support, especially that of Cindy.
He will be sorely missed. Life is an occasion - Larry Johnson rose up courageously and with gentlemanly honor to its opportunities and challenges. While he has departed this earth, his worldly impact on his many friends and family will never be forgotten. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/clarionledger/obituary.aspx?pid=172812883#sthash.7kVHHFle.dpuf
Posted by Carl Houston at 8:51 AM
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Baldwyn's famous Ritz Theater was THE place especially on Saturdays... These are the two 1931 Simplex projectors with Peerless carbon-arc lamp units that put those fabulous old movies on the big silver screen for us to enjoy. Shown is operator Jim Wallis in 1965.
Photo courtesy of Jim Wallis.
Posted by Carl Houston at 9:51 PM
The famous old Ritz theater where we spent a lot of our time as youngsters. All day westerns on Saturday were great! More practical movies were shown during the weekdays and always a cartoon. One fellow, Darrell Mathis, loved the "roadrunner" cartoons - you could hear him laughing loudly outside the theater sometimes as he thought the bird was about to be captured by Wiley Coyote.
This particular time "Carrie" is being shown. Sorta dates the photo.
Image courtesy of Tully G.
Posted by Carl Houston at 4:23 PM
Sidney M. Duncan operated this business for many years until his retirement several years ago. He passed away in 2012, I think. After he retired, it was a Barber and Beauty shop operated by Clarene Nanney and as a storage facility by some other businesses.
It was torn down but remains in our memories. The image of it was issued on a Christmas tree ornament sold by a non-profit Baldwyn organization in 2014.
Image courtesy of Tully G.
Posted by Carl Houston at 3:11 PM