December 20, 2007
Get well wishes to Margaret Brown
What a wonderful surprise I had two weekends ago...a knock on my door by a “stranger”who was carrying a basket full of small Florida oranges. For weeks, I have been conversing with someone from Florida about this and that - she had read my column and we have an “in common” friend. Her name is Brooksie Lowenthal and she was planning on coming to town to help Lois Swaney with all of her weekend festivities. What a special Christmas gift it was for me to see her standing on my back stoop, oranges in hand, after having driven hours upon hours to get here. I do not think she realizes how much that meant to me, so I am taking time to thank her now. Ever so often, that someone special touches your heart - Brooksie was it for me. She was once a complete stranger and is now a dear friend. Thanks a million, Brooksie, for giving me the gift of a smile, a hug and a great basket of fresh fruit! Merry Christmas!
Get well wishes go out to Margaret Brown. You sure have been missed by your “flock” in fifth grade! Hope you feel better really soon!
Last week, Marshall Academy’s K-4, K-5 and first grades put on “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” It was the first time in years and years that it had been done and was produced, one might say, by their teachers. Renee Tice was the narrator of the fabulous tale and all of the children had their own special part. The first graders did a magnificent job in “caroling” and, if you closed your eyes for a minute, it did not feel any differently than if you were sitting in the Orpheum Theater. The children did a superb job, as did the parents and the Marshall Academy art department, who worked diligently on the props for the stage and the costuming. Thank you to all who spent hours rehearsing with the children to make this one of the best shows I have seen in years! Have a very Merry Christmas!
(To put your news in City Personals, please e-mail email@example.com; mail to City Personals, The South Reporter, P.O. Box 278, Holly Springs, MS 38635 or call 662-252-4261. You may also e-mail your City Personal news to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Season’s greetings from museum
Season’s greetings to all you wonderful people in Holly Springs and Marshall County. It’s a great time of the year. Remember Christmas past? It was always my favorite time of the year. I asked Uncle Grover (Bonds) about the Christmases when he was a child (he was born in 1883). He said, “Christmas was always great. I always got an orange and a dime.” My grandmother had 13 children and for dessert it was always a pound cake: a pound of sugar, pound of butter, pound of eggs (10) and a pound of flour. Then a teaspoon of salt and one of vanilla. Bake in low oven (don’t put too much wood in the stove).
In the 1950s when TV was new, my Sunday school class decided to adopt a family who didn’t have much to make them have a nice Christmas. We all pitched in and got it all together to take out to the family.
However, everything is timing and our timing was off as we arrived at the same time their new TV arrived. Their new TV was better than the one I had at home. Do you remember your first TV? It was a fascinating time and a big thrill to watch TV.
Stores uptown (on the Square) were open every Saturday night. Imagine, stores didn’t turn on electricity in the daytime, as they didn’t want to waste electricity. The stores used to stock big wooden boxes of dried raisins with the stems still on (remember, kids, you, yourself had to pull off the stems. You do know before metamorphosis, that raisins were grapes?)
One Christmas Eve night I was uptown in front of my daddy’s store waiting for the lights to go out and go home. A long car with a chauffeur pulled up and parked in front of Daddy’s store. The car had a big shiny bumper on it. I stepped on the bumper and began jumping up and down on it, making the car do a dance (I was little-bitty; that took lots of talent and made me powerful). I was shocked when, from within the car, Mary Burton Tyson began hitting the window with her walking stick. I didn’t even know she was in there. She was married to Bob Tyson. Mary Burton was born in 1857. Bob was born in 1890. His second wife was born in 1917. How’s that for timing?
I remember Christmas in Holly Springs, when we hung our stocking on the mantle by the chimney with care. Nowadays, a lot of us don’t have chimneys or mantles and don’t wear stockings anymore, and in modern times, whoever heard of a kid hanging something up?
The year I was in the seventh grade my dear mother had been really sick and it was decided a Christmas tree would be too hard to put up. Besides, she had given away all the decorations. I had a fit and asked my daddy to put up a tree. It had to be cedar because of the glorious smell that comes with it.
After getting the tree up, my friends and I made the decorations out of magnolia seedpods and holly berries. We made snow out of Ivory flakes we whipped and it set the tree off beautifully.
Mildred Turner Edwards said she remembers the snows at Christmas. She said it used to snow a lot and school was open as everybody lived in town and walking in the snow was fun. In 1962 and 1963, it snowed at Christmas as we were living in Grey Gables and the snow was absolutely marvelous. Our first Christmas in the house was 1962; we had a tree that went up to the second floor. It was about 18 feet tall and was magnificent.
I remember learning to cook a real plum pudding, cookies, candy, etc. and inviting all my extended family, neighbors and friends. It was a great, memorable occasion.
Mildred said she was usually given a dollar (better than Uncle Grover’s dime) to go to “Hopkins” store and buy presents. I remember that with my children.
The Methodists always had a big Christmas tree in their sanctuary and once (about 1900) it caught on fire but thankfully didn’t burn the place down. At that time, lit candles were on the tree before electric lights.
Do you remember Mrs. Thorn’s aluminum Christmas tree revolving in her bay window? In the same house, now Kay Hurdle has one just like it and the same revolving base is still revolving, showing off to the town.
This year promises to be a good one, too. We hope Santa Claus and his reindeer will stop again and not leave anyone out. However, now we want more than a dollar or a shiny dime.
Everything changes. Santa doesn’t come from the North Pole anymore. He seems to come from China. We should be grateful to Santa. He is the only one who comes across the ocean and gives instead of takes.
There is no time like the present to finish your Christmas shopping and no better place than at the Marshall County Historical Museum. This is a great place for you to express those strong feelings of affection you have for the ones you love with some of the many fascinating things we offer.
You can round out Christmas morning with stocking stuffers for the kids such as fighting Civil War figures, a variety of wooden toys like yoyos, tops and the pecking chickens and they would even like the belt buckles and mini balls.
The adults on your list would be happy to receive one of the antique items, such as from Civil War or Indian times, stationery, homemade jams or jellies; or what about brightening their life with a kudzu candle?
We also don’t want to forget the array of books written by local authors such as the last of the Windows Series published about Red Banks and Marshall County. The Windows books started with a pictorial of the beautiful homes in Holly Springs, then covered the history of Holly Springs and all of Marshall County from our files and stories told of families in the area.
There are many other tales of reading joy sold here at the museum by and about folks from our area. You will find something nice for all the loved ones on your list.
Remember we are here at 111 Van Dorn Avenue across from the courthouse or we can be reached at 662-252-3669.
You are missing something good if you don’t listen to “Swanee’s Mississippi Good News Happy Hour”, 2 p.m., Thursday, December 20 on WKRA, 1110 AM on your radio dial.
Guests will be Rev. Milton Boyd, pastor of the Methodist Church, who will present a Christmas story; Larry Tyler with his guitar will be rendering Christmas music for you; and Jim Dunworth will be reading poems he has written.
This is a local personality show trying to share with our community good news and good will.
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