Thursday, April 26, 2012
Memorable road trip
We made another one of those whirlwind trips Thursday of last week.
It all started a few weeks back when my good friends at the Mississippi Press Association sent an e-mail about a retirement reception for Patsy Speights, editor of the Prentiss Headlight.
I went home and told Pam, “You think we could drive to Prentiss on April 19?”
Patsy is simply one of the best. She and I served on the MPA board together for many years. She has been editor of the community newspaper in Prentiss (Jefferson Davis County) for 25 years.
Once we decided we would do our best to attend the reception, we started trying to arrange our crazy schedule.
Come to find out, that Thursday was was Grandparents Day at school.
“That could work,” I thought.
I asked Mother, who had planned to come from Alabama for the special event, if she could perhaps stay two nights, Wednesday and Thursday. She said yes.
We then had fourth grader Erin covered after school, since we knew senior Andy would have baseball.
Then, a bit closer to that Thursday, we found out Andy would be going with us.
He has suddenly gotten aspirations of attending the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. His sister Emma is a junior there and loves it.
With some help from his girlfriend’s father (a USM alumnus), Andy was able to set up an interview for possible scholarship money on April 19.
We left Holly Springs at 8 a.m. Thursday, arrived at Southern Miss about 12:30 p.m. and met an admissions counselor who was going to take Andy for a tour.
Then Pam and I went on to Prentiss – taking Highway 49 and then Highway 42 – a ride of about 45 minutes from Hattiesburg.
A large crowd on hand for Patsy’s party included several of our newspaper friends. It was like a reunion for Pam and me.
Several speakers talked about Patsy the person and Patsy the editor. They’re pretty much the same – hard-working and tough but with a heart of gold.
It was obvious that Patsy had made a difference in her home county for the past 25 years. She did it through the pages of the newspapers and she did it through her own community service, too.
She made people happy. She made people mad. But they all knew where she stood.
One speaker called her “a bulldog.”
For Patsy, going to work at the Prentiss Headlight every day was not a job; it was a calling. She loved what she did.
After the reception, we returned to Hattiesburg to take Emma out to dinner before driving home.
First, we made a quick visit to the mall to purchase her some shoes for a formal event she would attend the next night.
Then we picked out The Wharf, a new seafood restaurant in town that Emma had not eaten at yet. We had actually seen a sign outside the eatery on the way into town – $20 all-you-can-eat crawfish.
I had oysters. Pam had shrimp. Emma and Andy split 10 pounds of crawfish. We brought about two pounds home.
We rolled back into Holly Springs at 12:30 a.m. Friday – a 16-and-a-half hour trip. We say we’ll never do it all in a day again but I’m sure we will.
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