It is said that everyone we meet was sent into our lives for a reason. Life on Earth is a series of lessons. We do not move on to the next existence until we learn them.
Most all of you "know" my mama, if only through the dozens of columns I have written about her over the years. She is sick right now, fighting a difficult health battle, and we appreciate any prayers you can send our way. It is, however, my daddy that I want to introduce to you today.
Memory is a strange thing. I wonder why I remember totally useless bits of trivia, but not where I put my keys (instead of the designated place for them) or what the price is for certain grocery items, information that could be useful.
One of the most interesting figures in Columbus history was William Cocke. He was born in Virginia in 1747 and died in Columbus in 1828. Cocke actually lived the founding and settlement of the U.S. He then became one of the founders of Columbus.
George Washington Carver has been pigeonholed by history. He plays two roles. He is first, the man who advocated peanut farming and invented all sorts of uses for the crop; we even go so far as to give him credit for inventing peanut butter, which he never did nor claimed to have done.
Have you ever heard the expression "tarantula eyes"? Well, I have, and images of longer-than-life lashes from old mascara commercials still reverberate in my memory.
My father has been gone 12 years, now. Still, that essay never fails to make me a bit weepy. Today we are all thinking about our fathers, and about that delicate relationship between a man and his child. Mothers are perceived to be the first-class parent. It is usually a more intimate bond, and somehow easier. Fathers must be disciplinarians. "Just wait 'til your father gets home!" is every mother's threat. Fathers dispense punishment. Mothers soothe the hurt. Who would want the father's role?
In the gothic thriller "The Mysteries of Udolpho" (1794), the mysteries consist of distinguishing the real from the supernatural, and one of the scary visions seen by the heroine Emily was a body in grave clothes, being eaten by worms. She really saw it, and the author reflects, "On such an object, it will be readily believed, that no person could endure to look twice." Is it a horrific supernatural vision, or is it a mere waxwork?
Sam has a passion for fishing. I was thinking about that while a local official was asking me questions about where and how Sam fishes. He oughta know that I can't tell him anything. It tickles me to hear Sam on the river and a fisherman idles up beside us.
Remember crop circles? Not too many years ago mysterious circles began to appear on crop lands in England, then later in the U.S. and perhaps elsewhere. I don't know; at the time I didn't give them much thought. But some people did.
In one of my fantasies, I am a matchmaker. This is a big problem for Chris, because he is a strong proponent of minding-your-own-business. And that disparity in thinking is only one example of the vast differences between men and women.
The generations that had had smallpox vaccination scars upon their arms are dying off. That scar might have served as something like a passport to get them into a new country, or it might have allowed them to enter school.
I have a friend who is in love with Bonsai trees. John Weathers probably has about 100 of the tiny trees scattered around his yard. Bonsais are adult trees that have been artificially dwarfed. Some can be very old; the diminutive height has nothing to do with age. Every time they produce a normal-sized leaf, it is carefully pruned. Eventually, the trees stop producing large leaves, growing only miniature ones.
At the family reunion you couldn't always tell which person was the "reunitee." Did that person look like Uncle Luther or Aunt Betty? Or did they just marry someone who looked like Uncle Luther or Aunt Betty? Whatever the case, on some level, everyone was familiar.
The current box office hit is the movie, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." As in all pirate movies, the pirates seek silver coins called "pieces of eight." A piece of eight was an actual Spanish silver coin. Several of them have been found in Columbus and along the Tombigbee.
Many years ago a friend of mine invited me to a pickin' party at his chicken farm out at Steens. His sister, who he said "sang a little," was coming home for a visit. I got there late, after all the pickers had warmed up.
When I first became Mississippi's "makeover guy" some years ago through my weekly newspaper column, in a way I found my calling for the first time. Oh, I had worked with beautiful women in salons for a long time before and have been lucky to do so since, but the notion of helping a woman realize her fullest potential, helping her to feel as beautiful as she already is, now that's a real energizer for me!
"You couldn't pay me to live in the Prairie!" he said. Sam came home and recounted the conversation. "We live in the center of God's country, and he wouldn't live in the Prairie for anything. Can you believe that?"
The death of Dr. William E. Sykes and the love of his family played a major role in the origins of Memorial Day.