November 13, 2008
Letters To The Editor
Pride and exuberance!:
As one who was born in Holly Springs exactly a month after the assassination of President Kennedy, a few months after the assassination of Medgar Evers, a few months after the bombing of the church in Birmingham (in which four precious little girls were murdered), a few months before the brutal killings of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney in Philadelphia, and as the great-grandson of slaves, I cannot adequately express the pride and exuberance that I feel after America elected her first African American president. Amazing!
Notwithstanding her sordid past and warts, America is still the greatest country on the face of the earth. To quote President-elect Obama: “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is the answer.”
I pray that his ascension will help to heal our nation and our standing in the world. Maybe now some will stop looking through the culture lens of ethnocentrism and realize that all cultures have value and importance, and that we are all God’s children. Yes, we can! Yes, we did!
Maurice J. Moody
Thank you volunteers:
The 20th annual Kudzu Festival sponsored by the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce was a success once again, thanks largely to those who worked behind the scenes to make it happen. I want to thank the many people who selflessly gave their time in a variety of ways to make it possible for us to carry on the Kudzu tradition.
T.J. Vanzant, vice president of First State Bank in Holly Springs and chamber board member, worked diligently to raise the necessary funding for this annual event, and to provide exposure for chamber members through their sponsorships. We owe a debt of gratitude to this year’s sponsors who helped to bring the Kudzu Festival to downtown Holly Springs. Our major sponsors included Fencing Solutions, the City of Holly Springs, First State Bank, Frank and Vickie Swords, the Bank of Holly Springs, and A&B Distributors. Kudzu’s silver sponsors were Merchants and Farmers Bank and United Country 1st Rate Real Estate. Greer & White Insurance, B & B Concrete, Callicutt Realty, Bonds Realty, Craft & Wynne Insurance, Ki Jones Law Office, Liddy’s Healthmart Pharmacy, Fidelity National Loans, Piggly Wiggly, Brittenum Funeral Home, Gresham Realty, Parker Hannifin, Holly Springs Motorsports and Trinity Missions Health and Rehab all provided a bronze level sponsorship. Other contributors included Citizens Bank, Goodfellas’ Bar and Grille, Tyson Drugs, Robinson’s Drug Store, Medical Business Solutions, Granny Walnut’s, and Betty Byrd, tax collector.
Please make sure to patronize our sponsors and express your appreciation for their support of your community events. The Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce also appreciates our local media -- The South Reporter, the Mississippi Chronicle, and WKRA radio, to name a few -- for the exceptional job they do of publicizing chamber activities, including the Kudzu Festival.
Bill Janssen, owner of the Rental Barn and another of our hard-working chamber board members, served as site coordinator for the event. John Jones of Merchants and Farmers Bank and T.J. Vanzant assisted with site arrangements, as well. We appreciate the help of the Holly Springs Utility Department, under the direction of John Collins, for supplying the wiring and electricity needed to power PBJ Happee Days Carnival, barbecue competitors, nightly entertainment, announcement of winners for the 5K Run sponsored by American Pacific Paneling, and certain arts and crafts vendors. Asco Sanitation in Corinth and our local RES provided containers for waste management throughout the festival to keep Holly Springs attractive to our visitors. The reliable presence of our Holly Springs Police Department on site ensured a safe and orderly environment for our four-day festival.
Lynn Pullen, president of the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce board of directors, officially served as coordinator of the Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned barbecue competition, but she went far beyond the call of duty. Not only did Lynn organize 25 barbecue teams and some 40 volunteer judges for the contest, ensuring the rules and organization followed KCBS guidelines -- a huge undertaking in itself -- she was actively involved in every stage of every aspect of the entire Kudzu Festival. Lynn is to be commended for her dedication to the Kudzu tradition.
Ronnie Luther, another of our committed chamber board members, played a key role in organization of the festival and the barbecue. His experience through events associated with the Clydesdale Christmas Store provided invaluable guidance and suggestions in planning a successful event for Holly Springs. Terry Byrd and Roger Mitchell were also instrumental in helping the barbecue event to go smoothly. These two men took the initiative to seek and do that which needed to be done without ever having to be asked.
Buford Furniture Company graciously allowed us to use their vacant building, free of charge, for our sponsor dinner and as the judging headquarters. We could not have asked for a more perfect location for these activities. A special thanks to Le’Brooks Inn for housing the KCBS officials during their stay.
On Saturday, October 25, the historic square in Holly Springs was a colorful sight, with 28 arts and crafts vendors from all over the Mid-South displaying their wares. Carol Person, a valued chamber member and employee of Roura Iron Works, is largely responsible for the impressive turnout. Beginning months prior to the festival, Carol visited surrounding arts and crafts fairs distributing promotional materials to encourage participation in Holly Springs. She also woke up long before many of us to direct and organize early arrivals that Saturday morning, staying on site until the last vendor left the courthouse lawn. Many thanks to Carol for exceeding expectations as a volunteer!
We had beautiful daytime weather on Friday and Saturday, but the evenings became quite chilly. A number of caring volunteers grabbed their jackets and headed to the square to help at the three entry gates. These wonderful people included Americus Jamison and Camilla Dortch from Le’Brooks Inn, chamber board member Dr. Russell Mauk (who recently moved his practice to Henry Chiropractic in Olive Branch), Greg Campbell from B&B Concrete, alderman and owner of Liddy’s Healthmart Pharmacy Tim Liddy, Courtsquare Inn’s Lisa Liddy, Joanne Huff of United Country 1st Rate Real Estate, along with individuals such as Erica Heaton, Adrienne Heaton, Montana Westmoreland, Erica and Brett Shoffner, Denise Gholson, Nubby Hurdle, and Lisa and Bob Hanks.
Josh Sharpe served as the beverage center coordinator. Josh recruited and scheduled the volunteer bartenders from the Service Station, corresponded with A&B Distributing, one of our event sponsors, to order and receive supplies, and tended to setup of the beverage center in our entertainment area.
The kudzu spirit was evident in storefronts throughout town. Many of our local merchants participated in the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce Storefront Showdown by decorating their business windows with a fall theme. Congratulations to Salon Merge for winning first place for the most attractive storefront on the square, with JB’s on the Square and 1st Heritage Credit closely tying for second place. Peeble’s Department Store placed first in the off-square competition, with Holly Springs Bureau of Tourism and Recreation taking second. Thank you to all businesses who participated in making Holly Springs more visually appealing for visitors to our town during the festival.
The Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce is happy to coordinate the Kudzu Festival annually to give our members, residents and tourists an opportunity to come together as friends and neighbors, celebrating all that Holly Springs is. Certainly it takes the help of a number of like-minded individuals and businesses to bring such an event together, and although I feel like Santa making a list and checking it twice so as not to forget anyone who contributed in any way to the Kudzu Festival, I imagine there are those I forgot to name. Please know that we are thankful for each and every one of you who, whether by your attendance, your sponsorship, your volunteerism, or by spreading the word, helped us to continue the 20-year tradition we call the Holly Springs Kudzu Festival. We will see you again next year.
As I picked up my South Reporter of November 6, I expected to see the picture of the president-elect, Barack Obama, and a statement on this historic event. It was great disappointment to many of us. Though, president-elect Barack Obama is a Democrat and black, he deserves the same recognition that John McCain, a Republican and white, would have received if he had won this historic election. Some us are concerned that our major newspaper “down-played” this election.
W.A. McMillan Sr., Coordinator
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