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Fun play and jolly story


Betty Stone



Two things: Last Sunday I attended what was intended to be the final performance of the Columbus Community Theatre's comedy, "Casserole Patrol," directed by Linda Bobbitt. Since all performances had been sold out, there will be an additional performance Friday, Aug. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Omnova Theater at the Rosenzweig Arts Center.  


(Tickets are $10 at the arts center. Tickets may be bought in advance or charged by phone by calling the Columbus Arts Council at 662-328-2787.) 


However you manage it, be sure you see the play. It is delightful, full of laughs. There is plenty of humor in the script, but in my opinion, the best part was the interpretation by the actors. The characters they created were not dependent upon dialogue, but were skillfully portrayed by posture and expression. Just to look at some of them was to laugh aloud. If you missed it, you have another opportunity. Take it! 




A family tale 


I have also recently enjoyed talking with Steve Jolly of Columbus about his parents, the late Theresa and Bill Jolly, who were colorful characters in their own right. When I first went with my then-new husband, Doug, to one of the supper parties the Lowndes County Bar Association had, Bill Jolly's thundering voice was the most intimidating sound I had ever heard. All those lawyers telling tales on each other were a rollicking performance. 


The Jollys were devoted Ole Miss Rebel fans. I recall hearing Theresa describe the Thanksgiving game against Mississippi State, when she just packed up their Thanksgiving dinner for the tailgate.  


Steve had another football story. I shall let him tell it himself: 


"During the late '60's and early '70's, during football season, I would leave school on Friday in Memphis and drive through Oxford on the way to Columbus, spending the weekend with my parents. The visits were built around the game on Saturday afternoons in Oxford. This was the Archie Manning era at Ole Miss, before 'Tent City' had descended on the Grove, when you could drive your car right in, open the trunk and set up the pre-game picnic and bar. No one wanted to miss a single game on those golden autumn afternoons when the team was rated one of the best in the country. 


"On one particular trip, after the game, as we were going through Pontotoc on the way back to Columbus on those two-lane roads, I stopped at one of the many four-way stop signs in the area. I was unfamiliar with the gas pedal on Daddy's brand spanking new 1969 Buick (the ones with the dashboard so deep you could crawl up on it and lie down if you were short enough.)  


"My father had placed his plastic cup full of bourbon and ice on it. Since he was riding shotgun, with Mama in the back seat, he had his seat belt securely fastened at the waist. When it was my turn to proceed through the intersection, I applied the gas. Because of not having as yet acquired the proper 'touch' to the pedal, I accelerated too fast, bringing Daddy's drink smack dab down into his lap. That wouldn't have been so bad, except for the fact that it had turned bitterly cold on that November evening, and the car had not warmed up properly.  


"Also, having his seatbelt on with the new, unfamiliar buckle, which refused to open when he was, in panic, attempting to release it so he could raise his now frozen, wet crotch above the seat, he vociferously let out a stream of words that would not normally bear repeating in mixed company. He did mention a 'bastard born in Holy Wedlock,' as I remember.  


"I turned to check on Mama in the back seat and panicked further when I did not see her right away. She had rolled off the seat onto the back floorboard, laughing uncontrollably. 


"This true tale has been told often at family reunions." 


I'll just bet it has. I can almost hear the laughter. 


Betty Boyls Stone is a freelance writer, who grew up in Columbus.


Betty Boyls Stone is a freelance writer, who grew up in Columbus.


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