Thursday, October 11, 2007
New radio show airs each Thursday
You should put my new radio show, “Swanee’s Mississippi Good News Happy Hour”, on your “must” list on every Thursday at 2 p.m., WKRA-AM 1110 on your dial. We have only good news, no obituaries. It is a call-in show and I’ll ask you a question every week and you call in the answer. Also, we will have local guests from here and you may call us and ask them questions also (662-252-1110). The question this week is “Why do you live in Marshall County or Holly Springs?”
My guests this week will be: Sheriff Kenny Dickerson, Senator Ralph Doxey, Representative Kelvin Buck.
All the performers are local talent; Dr. Mike Thompson will sing and play his guitar. All the music is Mississippi music. This past week Carol Jean Taylor, with Sandra Hendrix on the piano, sang a song written on College Avenue in 1930 by Marion Snow Lea, grandmother of Tommy Stewart Sr. The song was “Land I Love” and it is the only song I ever heard written about Holly Springs and the second verse is about Mississippi.
Alice Long wrote a poem about “October” and read it for us, which was beautiful and very appropriate.
Thanks to the talented Norman Chapman for playing the theme song “Swanee,” and other Mississippi music on his piano. Thanks to Robert Young for thinking of the program and asking me to participate.
Be sure you listen every Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. on WKRA-AM 1110 on your radio dial. The Marshall County Historial Musuem is our sponsor. Don’t miss it!
I went to the Mississippi Historical Society in Jackson and an elderly man from Grenada told me this story; His name was Willie, said he was born and reared in Memphis down by the river and his father had a feed store there. Ringling Brothers Circus came to town and their show was to be close by. The circus was buying food for their animals at Willie’s father’s store and charging it. It was during the Great Depression and nobody had much money. After the performance the show hadn’t done too well and the circus couldn’t pay the bill. To compensate they gave Willie, who was then a little boy, a Shetland pony named “Tarzan,” which was trained to do tricks. Willie said he had more fun with “Tarzan” and he taught him to do new tricks. One day he had taught the pony a new trick and he called to his mother who was in the kitchen cooking with the windows open (remember, there was no air conditioning at that time). He kept calling her and she’s not paying much attention to what Willie is saying. Finally she said “Willie quit calling me. Come in the house and tell me what you want to say. So Willie and Tarzan proceeded up the stairs to the porch (that was the new trick), into the living room and on into the dining room when his mother appeared and shrieked “Willie, get that pony out of the dining room!”
The father had to give up his Memphis waterfront feed store due to lack of business. So the family moved to Parchman where the father worked as a guard. His uncle moved in with them there and he had some chickens but his pride and joy was a prize rooster called Chanticleer. The uncle used him as a game cock with which he had won many cock fights. He had dangerous spurs and could use them freely whenever you got close. For this reason Willie was warned not to get too close to Chanticleer. One day Willie was left home alone so he went out in the yard to play and got too close to Chanticleer and Willie began chasing him around the yard with a lasso. Willie had the advantage of being bigger and he lassoed the ole rooster and that rope came down around his throat. The prize rooster fell over and dead. Willie tied him to the gate post and proceeded to butcher him. The uncle came home and there was his prize rooster hanging died on the gate post with a rope around his neck.
One of the death row criminals was Kenny Wagner. Willie’s father was his special guard (I would think he had a very dangerous job.) Songs were written about Kenny Wagner so he was immortalized.
The old gentleman told me many more good stories of his growing up; but today I can’t think of them.
I wrote them down but I can’t remember where.
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