January 31, 2008
Potts Camp News
Sounds of train music to the ears
Congratulations to Becky Trafford, the new president of Marshall County Genealogical Society, also to Martha Fant as the new secretary and Marie Smith, treasurer. Those who served faithfully in the past are Sylvia Akin, Johnnie Carter and Vernelle Winter. The editor of The Heritage News is Ann Babin. She does a great job.
Joyce Clayton and Verla Mae Stanton visited their younger brother, Jamie Smith, last Sunday in Olive Branch. Joann Potts of Olive Branch, my sister-in-law, and her daughter, Pam Qualls and her daughter, Amanda of Saltillo, visited me last Sunday. Amanda is a college student at ICU. After visiting me they drove to Hickory Flat to visit their two aunts, Doris Goode and Gerry Vanzant.
We send love and sympathy to the family of Geraldine Vanzant, age 88, of Hickory Flat in her recent death.
Many people enjoyed the Martin Luther King holiday on Jan. 21. He was a great leader who died too soon.
We were saddened by the death of a former resident of Potts Camp, then Olive Branch, Rhetta Lou Page, age 85. I knew her as a child as Rhetta Lou (Boots) Alvis, sister to the late twins, Mary Fowler and Margaret Seymour (my friends). She leaves one son, Charles Harmon of Jackson, and two grandchildren. Her late husband was Frank Page. We send our love and sympathy to her niece, Sylvia Akin, who cared for her, and her son, Charles Harmon and family. Charles Harmon used to play with my son, Danny.
William Potts, former Potts Camp automobile mechanic, who retired and moved to Waterford near his daughter, Cathy Shaw, died Friday, Jan. 25 at his home. We send love and sympathy to his large family.
We will miss Allene Teel’s writeup about Mt. Pleasant. We love her and members of her family.
Happy birthday to Jeanette Stone and Tommy Howell on Jan. 30 and to Floyd Edwards on Jan. 31. Happy birthday to Jessica Bridges and Lucille Isom, on Feb. 2, and to Colette Young on Feb. 3. Happy birthday to Lamar Day and Edward Gurley, both on Feb. 9.
Prayer list: Donna Marett, Nadine Vest, Mary Jo Mccallum, Jean Derryberry, Betty Fincher, Roy Foote, Jene and Joe McCallum. Pray for those who suffer, the sad and lonely and also for people who struggle to live on a limited income. It seems that prices are getting higher and salaries lower. I lived through one depression during the ’30s and will never forget it.
Memories and History
Railroads have always been a part of our town, since Mary P. Reid, daughter of the first settler in this area, gave a right-of-way so the railroad would come this way. The first depot built in 1886 was named Potts Camp for Erasmus F. Potts, the first settler.
It was two years later in 1888 before the first Potts Camp board meeting. In earlier days when the roads were bad, and the T Model cars wouldn’t crank, people rode the trains. They also shipped supplies by train.
Until my dad’s death, the sounds of an approaching train was music to his ears. He was depot agent for over 40 years.
We here in Potts Camp were sad when the old railroad system was demolished. Many people told about working in Memphis and riding the train home; Betty Fincher had a job at the old Sears store. My late sister, Ann, and friend also road the train home every weekend. The late Frank Johnson (people called him “Lighten”) worked for the railroad so long and kept coming back after he retired, they gave him the job of hanging the mail, and bringing it back to the post office after the train dropped it off. He was a friendly old man.
The late Wright Greer told me one day that a special train came from Memphis about 1900 on Sunday to bring visitors to the famous health resort Eagle Springs, located about a mile from Potts Camp. He said it was a sight seeing them dressed in their Sunday clothes walking the elevated wooden walkway to the springs.
Mr. Greer was a banker in Holly Springs and later an insurance man in Potts Camp.
He lived to be over 100 years old; I miss him. The Greers had bought Eagle Springs. I remember seeing the old T Model and A Model cars parked near the depot. It seemed that everyone was waiting for the train. “The train is coming.” Everyone rushed out to meet it. My younger brother, Lindy, would close his eyes until the engine passed.
Before 1950, when they used the steam engines, as the train rolled in you could hear the chuff, chuff, chuff of the air pumps and rattling of the wheels against the tracks, then a sizzling, whistling sound as the steam leaked out.
Those were happy days!
Snow Lake News
January 2008 newsletter for Snow Lake
Mother Nature has had fun playing with the weather this past week; featuring sun, clouds, freezing rain, warm days, ice, and cold days, but thankfully, we did not get a severe ice storm. February, according to us Southerners, is the last month of winter, so let’s hope Mother Nature shows her Southern side this year.
Last week I was complaining about the freezing weather when I received an email from Crue that brought my complaints to an immediate stop. According to his email: if we live in a warm home, have clothing on our back and food on our table, we are richer than seventy-five percent of the world. I was quickly reminded that although I am not a rich person, I am truly blessed.
Potluck was outstanding Saturday night, and by no surprise the house was full once again with friends and laughter. Chicken and dumplings, meatloaf, chicken enchiladas, that famous salsa, numerous casseroles, and many other outstanding homemade platters lined the tables along with Elizabeth’s delicious sugar free desserts. Everyone missed being greeted by Ed, but knowing this man, he will be back next month.
To those of you who do not join us at potluck for one reason or another, give it a try come springtime. Last month, some neighbors told me that they were too old to come to potluck and they also did not cook much or drive at night. Those were not very good excuses; you don’t need to bring a dish if you are unable, for our table is overflowing. You don’t need to drive, just call me and you will be picked up at your door and brought back safely. And goodness gracious, everyone at potluck is old; that is to some people, but we sure don’t act like it. Mama Beck, who was 97, attended every month with a sparkle in her eyes and no one considered her old, so no excuses. Call me at 4244 and we’ll be at your door.
Soon our beautiful lake will be back to normal. Hubby and I enjoyed boating around scouting for honey holes, but we are anxious to see the beauty return. The shoreline as it is now, is by average what Hubby and I saw during the years we were looking for a lake community. Florida lakes were completely dried up and Georgia and Tennessee lakes were not far behind. How wonderful to live on such a beautiful spring-fed lake.
According to our president, C.Y. Graves, work is still on for the new boat ramp. When boating time comes, don’t forget to watch for the floating logs that could harm your boat or motor.
The great blue herons of Snow Lake look lost as they gracefully float from place to place, aimlessly searching for their next meal; alone except for a few geese and ducks. I often wonder if their food supply, that usually can be found in their old honey holes close to the banks may be in short supply. I hope they stay healthy this winter, so as to be enjoyed by all this summer.
This week we have not seen very many beavers swimming by our house. This might be due to the homeowners doing major work to their docks and seawalls that possibly destroyed some of their housing. Hubby and I saw quite a few when the lake started to change, but the numbers have either dwindled or they are looking for new places to go courting. It is hard to imagine that beavers were almost extinct in this area a century ago. According to The Commercial Appeal, they were so rare that one man presented a beaver to the Memphis Zoo.
Also in The Commercial Appeal, recently a Shelby County resident was complaining that the cost of his fire protection increased 43 percent and now the average bill for fire and ambulance service (not including the cost of transporting a patient) in his county can be as high as $700 a year, or about $58 a month. As Snow Lakers, our yearly donations are less than what Shelby County residents pay every month. We have an outstanding fire department and we should be anxious to donate a few dollars every year.
The February town meeting will be held next Monday, February 4, at 7 p.m. On Tuesday, February 12 at 6 p.m., there will be a meeting at the community center for those interested in working on the July 4th celebration at the lake.
Don’t forget to grab your sweetie and come on over for a wonderful Valentine’s Day dinner at 5:30 p.m. at the community center. Delicious spaghetti with all the trimmings will be served for just six dollars. Renee has the community center beautifully decorated for the Valentine dinner, so mark your calendar for this special event. Don’t forget to call those who live alone and pick them up for a special treat.
January has been a sad month for Snow Lake. A former resident of the lake, Harry Coleman died recently. Our much loved Kate Word suffered a stroke sometime Saturday night in her home, but she was not found until Sunday morning.
As of Monday, Kate is doing well. Mike Fair who just moved back to the lake is still in the ICU but according to his wife Frieda, he is slowly improving. Billy Croll, who is from Michigan and has a home here, is ill and not doing very well. LaVerne Nelson has also been very ill. Leslie Zarnstorff is still in Briarcrest Extended Care and Ed Koen, a.k.a. Mr. Snow Lake, is waiting for test results regarding a blocked artery.
We offer our sincere sympathy to the Coleman family and those who are under the weather; we’re hoping and praying for all of you to get better and be back to good health soon.
We are a family here and we look after each other, especially the elderly and the widows as the Lord has taught us. Let’s all try to have a healthy and happy week and new year! email@example.com
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