Thursday, August 4, 2005

City Personals
Mary Clay Brooks

Persons from Texas visit family; locals entertain couple while here

Mary Clay and Gene Brooks and children, Caitlyn and Grady, and Kay and Laura Wheeler just returned from a wonderful week at the beach in Destin, Fla. Constance Ann Lanier rode with the group to stay with her daughter, Sissy, and her family, husband Steve Hauth and daughter, Lindsey.

Rowan Thompson of Dallas, Texas, visited with his mother, Claiborne Thompson, last week. He left on Tuesday.

Marshall Academy’s class of 1975 recently celebrated 30 years of “freedom.” Class members and former teachers all gathered to reminisce over old times.

David Person’s brother and his wife, Dan and Beth Person, of Victoria, Texas, visited in Holly Springs last week with him. They were entertained by Jean Ann and Blanton Jones, Ben Martin and “The Friday Group.” Dan just loves Holly Springs!

Hubert McAlexander of Rome, Ga., was involved with all that went on at Strawberry Plains over the weekend.

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Miss Rachel Wright and Jeremiah Waldrop to wed Aug. 12 at First Pentecostal Church

Miss Rachel Wright and Jeremiah Waldrop will wed Friday night, Aug. 12, 7 p.m. at the First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs

Rachel Wright is the daughter of Rev. Bob and Mrs. Jennetta Wright from Decatur, Ala. She is the granddaughter of Rev. and Mrs. James Loveless of Columbia, Ky., Linda Wright of Shelbyville, Ind. and the late Robert Wright. Rachel is a 2001 graduate of Christian Academy. She attended Calhoun Community College.

Jeremiah is the son of Rev. Jerry and Mrs. Pam Waldrop of Holly Springs. He is the grandson of Charles Taylor of Byhalia, the late Betty Adkins, Mary Waldrop of Victoria, and the late Roland Waldrop.

Jeremiah works for Economy Drywall and is a home builder. He is the youth pastor and bus minister at Children’s Church at the First Pentecostal Church.

The couple will reside in Holly Springs.

The reception will be at the Multi-Purpose Building in Holly Springs.

All family and friends are invited to attend.


Burke and Emily Hendrix are proud to announce the birth of twin daughters, Maggie Elise and Gracie Lynn, born June 23, 2005 at Baptist Hospital for Women, in Memphis, Tenn. Elise weighed four pounds and was 16 inches long; Gracie weighed three pounds, 10 ounces and was 17 inches long.

Maternal grandparents are Bob and Donna Woods of Holly Springs.

Paternal grandparents are Guy Hendrix and Sandra Hendrix, both of Holly Springs.

Barry and Cammie Mason Clifton of Holly Springs announce the birth of their first child, a son, Caleb James Clifton, born July 1, 2005 at Baptist Hospital in Oxford. He weighed seven pounds, four ounces and was 19 inches long.

Caleb is welcomed home by his maternal grandparents James and Helen Mason of Holly Springs and great-grandmothers, Viola W. Hurdle of Holly Springs and Judy Mason of Hickory Flat.

Also welcoming the infant are paternal grandparents Henry and Joyce Clifton of Potts Camp and great-grandmother Becky Clifton of Potts Camp.

Lois Swanee
Museum Curator

Kudzu — new king in Mississippi

When I was young, Mississippi was washing away to the Gulf of Mexico because of the terrible erosion. Mississippi has fewer rocks than any other state besides Louisiana, which has even fewer.

The early settlers loved to come to Mississippi because there were so few rocks; all they had to do was clear the virgin forests that were everywhere and use the lumber. By the twentieth century erosion had begun to take its toll, as there was no such thing as crop rotation or caring for the corrupted land.

We have here in Mississippi a new king. It isn’t cotton anymore — it is King Kudzu! Kudzu first arrived in this country in 1876 at the Centennial World’s Fair in Philadelphia as an ornamental vine. It originated in Japan.

In Japan, kudzu tea is drunk each morning and they say it cures all sorts of ailments, including arthritis. It makes great jelly or a substitute for broccoli in cooking.

The fabulous French chef, Norbert Barruel, made us some beautiful green kudzu syrup and jelly to sell here at the Museum. People who drink the tea say it makes them feel and look younger. My herb lady says that kudzu will be the cure for cancer because it’s full of selenium.

Kudzu vines are now being used for making baskets where in the past we have used honeysuckle vines. In Japan it is for making rope and fiber for kimonos and there’s a thriving industry turning the kudzu into Christmas trees.

Kudzu is now a part of our culture. There is a musical entitled “Kudzu, A Southern Musical,” and there are horror movies about it which include, “Kurse of the Kudzu Kreature” and others.

We have really been suffering because of the terrible hot weather. If you look, the only green on the horizon are patches of kudzu. Cows, sheep and goats love and thrive on kudzu. It is a great way to feed your animals free. It is said that snakes don’t live in it, so that is another plus for kudzu.

I remember B. K. (before kudzu) there were huge gullies and ditches all over this place. To me they seemed as big as the Grand Canyon. We kids, at that time, used to play in the gullies climbing, sliding, and using it as a playground. Mississippi does not have many rocks in the soil to guard against erosion, so kudzu was imported from Japan to stop erosion. In the early 1930s when it got here, it took over and did its job by stopping our washing away into the Gulf of Mexico.

We had kudzu to appear in our shrubbery at the Museum. Each time the flowerbed was worked, I would tell the workman to chop down the kudzu. It tenaciously kept reappearing so I went out and decided to dig it out myself. I dug and dug and after two feet that vine showed no inclination of diminishing. That vine was so tough I had a time cutting that root in two. But the vine isn’t here anymore.

With warmer winters, the kudzu is moving north. It will be the South’s revenge on the north! It is undauntable. Mississippi State scientists say they have found an eradication for kudzu (just as we are learning its many uses.)

The bad side is that kudzu weaves an intricate blanket as it covers and smothers trees, large or small, or anything else in its path. The blanket it weaves climbs up and then down and then crossways! If you stand there long enough, it will entwine you!

One person ordered 1,000 pounds of kudzu seeds from a nursery. When asked why, he said he wanted to take it to Africa as food for the elephants. If he does, the whole continent of Africa will soon be covered in a blanket of green kudzu.

Speaking of Africa, there once was a man who owned a farm in Africa. He wasn’t successful as a farmer because there were so many rocks on his land, so he sold it. The next owner discovered those rocks were diamonds in the rough and it turned out to be the biggest diamond mine in the world and is there today still producing. 

Figure out a way to market this vine and you’ll not only become a millionaire you’ll be a hero as well!

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