Thursday, December 22, 2005

Potts Camp News
Dale Hollingsworth

Birthday celebration honors Faye Turpin

A Junior Beauty Revue was held in Potts Camp School auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 10. A huge crowd of people attended the event. Congratulations to the winners.

Henry Tutor and grandson, Willie, attended a Christmas dinner and reunion for his family in Houlka on Saturday, Dec. 10. Mr. Henry was glad to see two of his brothers whom he hasn’t seen in many years.

David Greer Sr. of Cornersville was among the 300 bikers who put on their 16th annual toy run for children on Saturday, Dec. 10 The toys were distributed to kids from five homes in Northeast Mississippi; Alpha house, Faith Haven, Blue Mountain children’s home, Gardnes Simmons and Hardin house. The police in Tupelo escorted the hundreds of motorcycles to the Children’s Mansion. The children were outside waiting, all 120 of them. It was a cold, two-hour ride. David Greer Sr. is my son-in-law, Betty’s husband.

Faye Turpin was honored on her birthday Wednesday with a dinner at the fellowship hall of the Church of Christ.

Kathryn Jones Scarbrough called from Houston, Texas to wish me a happy birthday. It was wonderful to talk to her.

Thanks to Susan Howell and the Potts Camp United Methodist Church for her visit and the delicious Christmas gifts they sent me.

We were saddened to hear of the death of a friend’s husband, B.A. Barham of Louisville. She was the former Winnie Watts, who attended Potts Camp School in the ’30s. She had a twin brother, Bennie Watts; their large family lived at Winborn, until the last few years. Winnie and her husband attended the Potts Camp reunion, then he became ill. We send her our love and sympathy. Special friends of Winnie are Mattie Gurley and Alene Randolph, her classmates.

Ernest Watts, an older brother of Bennie and Winnie Watts, married my aunt, the late Grace P. Watts, my dad’s sister. Daughters of Aunt Grace and Uncle Ernest visited me recently. They are Ernestine Gravett and husband J.T. Gravett of Memphis and Mary Ann Millican of California, my first cousins.

Please say a special prayer for my brother-in-law, Bob Hollingsworth in the hospital.

Lela Hale and daughter, Miss Haven Hale, met Betty Greer at my home on Sunday, Dec. 11, Betty’s birthday. They brought gifts for both of us. Friends are wonderful.


I. To find true joy at Christmas, look to Jesus. He came to lift our burdens, so we can raise our eyes to welcome Him at Christmas.

II. A small boy had been taught about Jesus; his parents had showed him the manger scene with the baby Jesus. As the child entered a large store at Christmas time, he saw the flashing lights and wonderful toys. He asked the clerk, “Where is Baby Jesus?” Sometimes we all feel that way. Never let other things take the place of our love for Jesus!

III. The story of Baby Jesus, his parents Mary and Joseph, never grows old. My parents read it to me as a child.

IV. Poem

By feeding on your blessed word, Dear Lord
I will no longer weak and childish be;
As I listen to your Spirit’s voice
May Christlike love and grace be seen in me.
God is love!

IV. God made us all with a deep hunger for love; when people love one another there is no fear.

God set the example — when we were yet sinners He loved us, and sent Jesus, His only son, to die in our place. The peace of God only comes when we respond to His love. If God is the father of us all, we are kin.

Get well wishes to Phil Gurley, who is a patient in New Albany Hospital.

Thanks to Sylvia Akin for the nice birthday and Christmas gift, and the memories of her childhood that she sent me. She is the daughter of my late friend, Margaret Alvis Seymour and Frank Seymour. Sylvia writes for “The Heritage News” in Marshall County.

I’ve really received many Christmas cards from friends and family. Many of them read “The South Reporter” every week. Thanks to them.

Connie Work and Dorothy Lewis shopped in Tupelo on Saturday.

Happy birthday to Mary Lois Gurley on Dec. 23; to Mary Ellen Bowling on Dec. 26; to Willie Miller on the 25th; also Jamie Elizabeth Pannell on the 26th; to Herman Hill on the 27th; to Candy Potts on the 28th.

Prayer list: Adelle Hudson, Lucille Hutchens, Mary Jo McCallum, Roy Foote, June Pearson, Donald Armstrong, Martha Ross, Lina Mae Rhea, Ladine Randolph, Terrell Lower, Jean Derryberry, Lena Faye Work, Juanita Howell, Betty Fincher, Donna Marett, Maxine Potts, Davis Jo Humphreys, Ollie Mansel, Bob Hollingsworth, Ella Rea Whaley, Hazel Foote, Pauline Hutchens.


Very few people remember the Potts Camp Methodist white frame church, built by my grandfather, J.A. Potts, in 1904; it had a tall steeple, pipe organ, stained glass windows and a kneeling rail. It was demolished in 1926, and a two-story brick church was built on the site. (Mary Reid, daughter of Colonel and Elizabeth Potts had donated the land for the church and parsonage.)

One cold morning during the Christmas season in 1929, I ran over to my grandparents home next door, and glanced out the large window; I was shocked! Only smoking bricks were left of our new church. I said, “Grandma, what happened to our church?” She said, “Didn’t you hear all the cars honking and bells ringing last night when the church burned?” Brother Clark was the pastor. I ran home to tell my mother; Daddy had gone to work.

Thanks to Robert Greer, banker and insurance man, and the other business- men in town, it was fully insured, and rebuilt in 1930.

Brother Lester James and his family moved into the old parsonage. A new brick one was built years later. Church services and Sunday school was held in the new Potts Camp School built in 1925. Because of the Depression, people didn’t have much money for Brother James’ large family, so he was hired as a Potts Camp teacher.

He was a wonderful forestry teacher and took us on field trips.

In 1931 my youngest brother, Lindy, was born in May. A Christmas program was held at the new church in December. Some of the leaders asked my parents to let him be Baby Jesus. They said, “Yes, if Dale can be his mother, he won’t cry,” and he didn’t.

Although the church was rebuilt, other things were needed. Each family bought a pew, and they are still being used after they were renovated. Brother James planned a play that summer, and the youth were the actors, also Brother James was my dad in it.

We made some money for the church, but we had fun also. We took it to Waterford (they had school there), Ashland and used it two times at our school.

Those were happy days!

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