It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Hurricane on Hwy. 346 as many homes are decorated and lighted for the holiday season.  Roy Dillard had requested a cedar tree for his Duncan Creek home and a neighbor beat me there due to the rain.  Roy is out and about following his recent surgery, but thought that I could swing an axe better. It was always a favorite time to visit in their home as his mom would take us to the pasture to get a real tree when other families in the early 1960s were using the silver tinsel trees. Now those trees are collector’s items.  I have seen some of those color wheels in the neighborhood that still work from that era also.  The four ‘granddarlings’ and I went a caroling to Roy and Faye’s on Saturday, Dec. 4.  Now he knows how to appreciate peace and good will toward men as there were several arguments to whose turn it was to play the piano as actually only two of the five could perform the music.  I offered to bring them for an evening concert and let them spend the night, but the couple declined. 

Anniversary wishes to Rayburn and Bernice Williams who celebrated their 62nd on Dec. 2.

The memorial service for S-1C Trannie Baker was held at Shady Grove Baptist Church following the regular morning services with Dr. Bill Russell Baker, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Clinton, presiding.  There had been no formal services for this sailor during or following WWII other than the funeral aboard ship and then his burial at sea. 

A family marker and a veteran’s marker will be placed at Shady Grove.  He was the son of the late Dunbar and Pearl (Buchanan) Baker of Buchanan and was a popular graduate of Hurricane High’s Class of 1943.  A description of his loss at sea was provided with a letter from the Navy and the ship’s newsletter” ...during a stormy night he was washed overboard while volunteering duty for a friend’s watch aboard a tanker on the Pacific Ocean on Sept. 29, 1944.” His parents had four sons that served during WWII.  Others reading commendations from the Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Lt.. Gov. Phil Bryant,Senator Nicky Browning, and Rep. Mac Huddleston were his nieces, Sheila Owen, Lavara Coker, and Sandra Wiesner.  Those speaking that were his classmates were Gerald and Mildred (Dowdy) Kidd of Pontotoc and Gerald (Dowdy) Christy of Shady Grove.  The service served as closure for this young sailor’s service to his country, state and close-knit family of the community on Dec. 5.

 A special thanks to Bro. David Barnet and the folks at Shady Grove Baptist for accommodating the crowd in the sanctuary due to the cold weather.       

The 47th annual Bible Conference at Hurricane Baptist Church will be held from Dec. 12-15.  Featured guest preachers will include the following:  Bro. James Jones, Harriman, Tennessee; Bro. Billy Goolsby, Rome, Georgia; Bro. Brian McBride, Bean Blossom, Indiana. Special music will be the McBride Family.  Contact Bro. Philip Brock for additional information. 

Jamie Brigance of Buchanan is home after her recent surgery.  She was most thankful for her friends and family that encouraged her during this time with their prayers and support.

Dave Maguire and Eleanor Maguire of Moline, Illinois were guests of Sophie and Ella Kate Hooker during the holiday week at the camp at Lafayette Springs.  On Thanksgiving Day Dave Maguire prepared the dinner at the home of Cade and Megan Hooker at Shady Grove.  It was a great meal as the family has been truly blessed as Dave had a heart transplant seven years ago during the same holiday.  Dave has recently retired from the corporate headquarters of John Deere.

Birthday wishes for the week of Thanksgiving include the following:  Charley Conlee, Brenda Bain, Shelia Owen, and Dani Logan.

Get-well wishes to Dwight Graham, Perry Heatherly, and to Larry Hale.

Don, Freida, and Guide Browning, Caroline and Stephen Brents enjoyed Thanksgiving Day at the home of Art and Lisa Delashmet in Germantown, Tenn., as Emily Browning’s family ate there.

Megan and Cade Hooker enjoyed a weekend hunting at Cave-in-Rock, Ill., as the guests of J. R. and Charlotte Austin, who had just returned from Panama City after staying there two weeks with J. R.‘s sister, Hoot Austin, of Kentucky. 

The Austins were enjoying the warm days in Florida and were greeted on Dec. 4-5 with a polar blast in their town upon their arrival. A lot of the businesses along the Ohio River are closed until the spring with the lodge there open, but the restaurant was not.  Cade and Megan continued on their hunt to Sampson Ridge in Southern Illinois where Megan bagged a trophy 8-point. 

Dirk Dowdy will celebrate his 49th birthday on Dec. 9. Drop him a card at 4549 Hwy. 346, Pontotoc, MS 38863 and let’s see if 49 friends will honor the day.    

Sympathy is extended to the family of Dorrie Busby Norwood of Cookeville, Tenn., who was the widow of Col. Buck Norwood. The local services were on Nov. 24 at Salem United Methodist Church and interment in the cemetery at Etta.  Aunt Dorrie will be missed by her family as she was a great hostess to those that came to her home and in the many homes that she had as a military wife that included years in Japan and France.  When she retired, she was a professor in the English department at Tennessee Tech where she had garnered many honors during her teaching career.  Her first school was at Pontotoc City and through the years those students have asked about her.   Attending from Murfreesboro, Tenn., were her sons,  James W. “Jim” Norwood, Jr., and Dr. Bill(Melissa)Norwood, her grandsons, David Norwood, Gray Norwood, and Jared Norwood, also of Murfreesboro; and Matthew Norwood of Cookeville.

Winning first place in the Thaxton Christmas Parade for the business float was Hooker Construction.

Hosting a surprise birthday party for Shelia Owen on Dec. 5 were Vickie(Mitchell) Dyer of Longview and Sandra(Hank) Wiesner of Pontotoc.  The beautifully decorated home of Danny and Shelia Owen on Byrd’s Creek hosted the combined families of the Bakers and the Buchanans as well as a sprinkling of McCarvers, Kidds, Russells, and Dowdys for good cheer.  Some of those attending from out of town were as follows:  J. T. and Mary Joyce McMillan of Senatobia, Sandra Kelly. Pat and Randy Benjamin, Claude and Dot Hardin,  Pontotoc, Cindy and Johnny Gregory, New Albany; Brad and Becky Sullivan, Cheryl and Glen Sullivan, and “Pepper” Kent Montgoemry, Ecru; Steve, Donna, Jennifer and Sarah Manning,Blue Springs; Dr. Bill Russell Baker, Clinton.  

Bro. Wayne Logan and wife, Gretna(Farley)Logan, and their children, who reside at Sand Springs, will be leaving the community soon as he has accepted a church at Guntown.  He preached at Hurricane Baptist on Dec. 1 for the Wednesday service.  The family had been at Watchman Baptist Church at Thaxton.

 It was good to have Judd Hambrick, a freelance correspondent for the Daily Journal from Alabama, and his father-in-law, Hoyle Neaves of Lee County in the community last Tuesday as we went to the Sand Springs Cemetery and to the home of Inez (Todd) Robison, 94,  for an interview of the plane crash that happened there on Nov. 10, 1935.  He featured it in his column “Southern Memories” and was in the Dec. 5, 2010 paper if you did not read the article.  I have always been fascinated with this as the Warren-Graham families lost three cousins in this crash seventy-five years ago.  

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