Thursday, January 18, 2007
Home of Billy and Tammy Cupp setting for formal dinner party honoring family birthdays
Vivian and Eugene Smith hosted their grandson, Stannard Farese, of Oxford this week. He is the infant son of John and Paula Farese and brother to Emma Reed and Ellis.
Charlie Douglas and children, Chandler and Caroline, of Starkville were the weekend guests of his parents, Leigh and Dick Douglas. The trio also got to visit with other family and friends while they were here.
Billy and Tammy Cupp treated family members to a gourmet dinner on Sunday afternoon. They were celebrating the January birthdays. Those who attended were Beverly and Shelby Fitch and Sandor Varadi, Christopher and Jenny Cupp and daughter, Emma Grace, all of Olive Branch, and Becky Cupp. A wonderful time was had by all!
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Snow’s here, there and elsewhere
January of 1940 started off rainy and cold and was this way for about two weeks. Our radio weather prognosticator had forecast temperatures dropping and for a couple of days it was absolutely frigid. I remember jaywalking across the Square to cut steps because I was literally freezing. The Siberian Express north wind was blowing right off the North Pole.
At home (I lived in an 1840s house) our heat was fireplaces but it was a warm haven when I got there. We all loved snow but not this Arctic blast with no snow. Probably people died that winter but none that I knew did. All water pipes in town froze, that was part of it. My cousin Lucy, who was 50 years older than I, was visiting us. Back in those days, people made long visits, a couple of weeks or so. She came into my room the morning of January 20 and with her decided Southern drawl said, “Sara Lois, wake up! There’s a foot of snow on the ground!” I thought she was kidding, as that would be too good to be true. I jumped out of bed, ran to the windows and low and behold! It was true and the snow was still coming down. Of course, school was out! We couldn’t walk two blocks to school in the snow and I remember playing, playing and playing for nearly two weeks in the snow. The weather stayed cold causing the snow to last all that time. My daddy built a big sled to pull behind his truck and all the kids in town rode on it and even adults entered into the frozen melee. That snow was more fun! I went to I.C. Levy’s store and bought some boots. Shoe/boot customers sat on curved benches in the back to try on shoes. We now have that same bench at the Museum.
Do you remember on the first day of spring in 1968, it snowed 18 inches? I was living in Gray Gables at that time and this time my children were enjoying the snow. I still have visions of the beauty of the red birds in the snow and the Japanese magnolia blossoms peeping out from underneath that blanket of snow. Several places in town were designated snow sledding spots by the mayor himself. One was on Park Avenue beside the water tank. Another was Johnson Park, then in later years there was sledding on the cemetery hill but there were complaints about that but it was in the new part of the cemetery where there weren’t any graves at that time. Finally as the warming trend came to be, stores quit buying sleds as there was no snow to enjoy or to un-enjoy whichever way you look at it.
We lived in Virginia for a while where we had a ski resort and believe it or not, we could make snow better than God! When the temperature dropped to 28, the snow maker was turned on, the roads would be passable, everybody could get there and it was heavenly! We had nine ski slopes; it was close to Washington D.C. so we had the capital crowd. We had a big lodge and ex-president Johnson’s chef was our chef. He could really cook, but he also had no concept of costs as it had never been an issue with him.
We, too, lived in a lodge on the top of the mountain overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. The house was in the shape of a fan and the whole north and east sides were glass and had three floors. We were in the treetops all the time. Sometimes though, bears would get in our garbage cans.
Once I moved to Minnesota. It was Labor Day of 1981. There our house was on the side of Lake Minnetonka on a hill. After being there for two weeks, there was a very wet snow of six inches. It broke the power line to my house and well house and I had no electricity and no water. I was shocked that this happened way up north where they should be better prepared for it.
That winter the temperature went down to 40 below zero and the snow wasn’t fun anymore. There were many days when the high would be 20 below zero and it was like living in the deep freeze. That winter was one of the coldest on record. It was so cold, once fog was in the air over the lake and froze in the air. As the day went on, ice started dripping out making stalactites from the frozen cloud. The ice on the lake was so thick, (three or four feet) that they would move houses across the lake. All fishermen had fish shanties that they moved onto the frozen lake during winter. Half the bottom was out of the shanty and that was the fishing hole. Inside the shanties would be a heater (!), sometimes a TV, always a radio, blankets, and food. They jokingly would have a group of houses and call it a temporary town. Once my grandson Robert, after school, went into one of the houses behind his house. He was sitting in there and all of a sudden a huge otter came zooming up out of the water hole. It nearly scared Robert and the otter both to death!
When we moved up there and it turned so cold so fast, I went to downtown Minneapolis and bought three fur coats with hats to match so I wouldn’t freeze. Incidentally I became an excellent igloo maker but when the temperature got so cold, the snow wouldn’t stick together and that was no fun. Mississippi-style snow suits me better. With global warming, those winters have now gone out of style. Winter there was so long it lasted for at least seven months. Outside Christmas decorations couldn’t be taken down until Easter because they were frozen tight. Once in the fall, there was no snow, just cold. The ice on the lake froze solid and was perfectly clear three or four feet deep. It was called black ice and when walking on it, you felt like Jesus walking on the water. It was a different sensation as it felt like a miracle. You could see the ice cooler on the bottom left over from the summer before or anything else on the bottom including the fish!
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