Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wicker, Renick and Stone Thursday’s guests
Swanee’s Mississippi Good News Happy Hour -- tune in to Radio WKRA 1110 AM every Thursday, 2-3 p.m. Don’t miss this hour of local entertainment!
This week, the new senator, Roger Wicker, will be interviewed in a very rare, privileged interview. Hear Roger’s true values and what he is thinking and his political viewpoints.
Also on the program will be a local, talented Marshall Countian, Mitch Stone, with his guitar. He is incredible.
Also on our program will be Bill Renick, telling us the state of Marshall County, industry wise. Then, to fall in-between will be my rendition of the weather, a few utterly delicious, but simple, local recipes, topped off with some January poetry. Don’t miss it!
buy yourself a radio and preset the dial for 1110 AM. Get out your
alarm clock and set it for 2 p.m. Thursday and don’t forget to listen!
It is more fun!
Down memory lane...My mother
A while back my mother dear was born on the last day of 1885 out from Waterford here in Marshall County. She was so incredible. She was born before all modern conveniences were invented. Electricity had been invented but hadn’t come to Waterford yet so my mother had to read by candlelight. However, back in those days, when the sun set people retired. Firelight and candlelight weren’t very satisfactory; it was easier to go to bed and wait until daylight for those important tasks. She was born unto an agrarian society. Livings were made by toiling the soil. Everything came off the farm rather than from the store? What store? Money was scarce in that part of the woods. The people had ingenuity and wonderful talent at getting the tasks done without the money. We look back at it now and can’t believe the hardships they had to endure just for simple things. Education was imperative but not everybody received it. My mother went to the one-room school house in her community, then was given the opportunity for more as she attended a “Finishing School” in Tula. It was a choice between M.S.C.W. or the school at Tula, but M.S.C.W. was much more expensive and further from home. At age 17, she received her teaching certificate. She had to come to Holly Springs to take her test for her teaching license, which from Waterford, was for her, a two-day trip. Her family had a buggy, also a wagon or maybe she came on the ‘stage’ from Waterford. She rented a room at Tyson Hotel which stood until about 1960 at the corner of Gholson and Market. In her room she saw her first electric light hanging from a cord attached to the ceiling. When she got ready to go to bed that night, she couldn’t figure how to blow out the light so she slept with the bright light on all night. After teaching a year or two she married my father, Conway Warren Bonds in 1906 in Waterford at the Methodist Church. (My father’s grandmother was a Conway. Dr. Warren delivered him out from Waterford at his home around Spring Hill Church. His family gave the land for the church.)
In 1909 my Mother and Daddy moved to Waterford from the farm. My daddy owned a general merchandise store on the main street, in addition to his farming. In 1918 after my Grandpa Bonds died, all my family moved to Holly Springs where my daddy went into business again. But my mother wasn’t through yet. She was aiming ultimately to move to Memphis. She went to Memphis and selected a big house on Union Avenue; where WMC TV sits today. She didn’t get this part of her dream realized. She couldn’t get Daddy to Front Street to be a cotton buyer, but she tried.
In 1922 she decided to go to work. Now the style of the day was that ladies didn’t work; women did, but not ladies. She was very definitely a lady. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to have a photography shop, (there wasn’t one here,) or maybe a millinery shop where she would make fashionable hats for ladies. But the Myers sisters (Ike Myer’s sisters) already had one on the south side of the square. Then she decided it would be a flower shop. This she did and was in business for 55 years.
When my folks moved to town, they had a choice of houses from which to choose. It was to be a cash transaction between Airliewood (for $,) or Colonsay Cottage (for $2,000). They might have chosen Airliewood but it had been used as a TB sanitarium by the last owner. Mother was afraid of germs and thought maybe the disease would come with the house. Consequently, Colonsay Cottage was chosen. I was born there in 1926. She had flower gardens all around the yard where she grew flowers for her business, which was in her home.
Later on, she bought the building where the Pegues Hair Shop at 115 North Memphis Street is. This building burned in the 1950s and was replaced with one just like it. Mother had a cafe in the building. She imported a cook named “O.P.” who was a Philippino to be the chef. After that, she created a “Hair Salon” (she had a time teaching the beauty operator not to answer the phone by saying “Hair Saloon”.) Mother owned the shop but never worked there. She was a real entrepreneur, and she was born in Waterford. She lived to be 93 and I am thankful she was mine. She and my Daddy decided my only brother would have a profession so they asked this scrawny little 108-pound, 18-year-old boy, “James, do you want to be a doctor or a lawyer?” He chose to be a doctor. My parents spent $10,000 putting him through med school during the Depression.
My maternal grandfather was Rufus Burris who was born in South Carolina in 1851. His father died 5 months before she was born and he was considered to have a special gift called the “Breath of Life”. When people lay dying, he was called into breathe on them to make them well. Grandpa had a black nurse who raised him. When he was twelve he came to Mississippi to live with a cousin who lived in Waterford. We always celebrated my mother’s New Year’s Eve birthday at Aunt Montie’s house and included was my Daddy’s birthday, which was January 31 and Aunt Annie Bonds’ (Bert’s mother) birthday, which was January 30. It was always an event to look forward to and was always wonderful.
My parents were big workers in the Baptist church. My daddy was a deacon and my mother taught Sunday School for decades. His name is on the cornerstone of the church there today which was built in 1923. Quite often, we would have an orphan from the orphans’ home in Jackson to visit us for special occasions. The purpose of this epistle is to tell others that being a person of fine character means everything. It lasts into future generations.
Mother was incredibly honest, she never told a lie, she lived a Christian life and followed the example of Christ throughout her life. She planned and designed her life for the future. She was frugal with her money and made it go a long way. The Lord was her partner and you can’t go wrong with Him as your partner. Her life proves that advance plans carry you a long way.
This is Berttia Bonds in her 1906 wedding dress that she sewed and designed herself. We have the dress at the museum.
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