It’s that season in Hurricane when everyone is searching for those first, ripe tomatoes for the ‘braggin’ rights of being a good gardener. In days gone by, the old folks would tell tales of ‘slippin’ eggs from the henhouse as the children would swap them for cokes at the local stores. We covet those first tomatoes like that to make a sandwich to have with a glass of sweet tea; so they don’t linger on the kitchen counter for long as our first ones were picked last week. Other produce will soon be in season also as bell pepper, corn, and squash are the vegetables of choice. I tried growing zucchini for some years, but I felt like Lucy and Ethel disposing the chocolate candies in the assembly line at a factory on TV’s “I Love Lucy”, a classic episode, as the zucchinis just kept multiplying like the chocolate drops. Recipes abound for zucchini, but I refused to use BBQ sauce on them due to the character Bubba on the movie “Forrest Gump.” “Just throw them away” became my motto when they were refused by all the neighbors that I offered them too. I do have a good zucchini bread recipe somewhere ‘’over the rainbow.” ‘Nuf,’ said.

Congratulations are to Dewitt and Verline Payne Stepp who celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary on Sunday, June 21. They attended the services at Hurricane Baptist via the radio station; so the ones sitting in the cars gave a volley on the car horns to acknowledge.

Get-well wishes are to the following: Frances Sneed, Carson Waldron, Annette Smith, and Larue Hill.

Madison Carnes graduated this past semester from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Summa Cum Laude. She was accepted into the Graduate School at Ole Miss where she will be pursuing her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology for the next two years. Her parents, Shelly and Howard Carnes, hosted a graduation party at their Lafayette Springs cabin to celebrate her educational achievements due to postponement of a formal ceremony during the Covid 19 pandemic. Grandparents from Hurricane are the following: Mike and Lynn Spears and Carolyn Carnes and the late Park Carnes. Sue Spears is her great-grandmother.

Mary Kate Butler, the daughter of Ken and Buffie Butler of Pontotoc, was a spring graduate at ICC and was honored as a President’s List Scholar. Recently she was featured in a sport’s article as she was a star pitcher for the Lady Indians softball team. Her sophomore season was shortened due to the Covid 19 pandemic. MK has plans to be at MSU during the fall semester. Hurricane ties include her grandmother, Marquetta Spears, and her great-grandmother, Sue Spears. Her cousin, Madison Carnes, also played for ICC’s Lady Indians softball team as well. There is a younger softball star in the family mix now as Kelsey Spears, also their cousin, will be playing softball as an eighth grader at PHS. Sue will be a nonagenarian in September and attends most of the sporting events of her descendants. By the way, Aunt Sue has learned to grow her flower garden in containers on her lawn, her patio, and her front porch. She has a beautiful, front lawn of red geraniums blooming in profusion at this writing. I told her that it reminded me of the old school colors at the high school consolidated in 1971.

Another senior citizen that still tends to her flowers as well in Hurricane as related by her son, Lanny, is Melba Russell Burchfield, also almost a nonagenarian. He delivered her Triple 13 fertilizer for her flowers last week, and she put it out by the bucket loads by herself. She lives next door to Delores and Lawrence Hicks; so their lawn is a showplace as well on the corner of Thaxton-Hurricane Roads at the junction on Hwy. 346 across from the once named T. J. Hale Cotton Gin.

Dick and Celia Heatherly Caron traveled to Edgewood, Texas, for a reveal party for a great-grandchild- to- be for Keith and Lindsey B. Erwin. The Carons and the Erwins gathered at the golf course there, and Keith hit a golf ball that exploded into light blue, powder for a boy! Also attending were the family of Lindsey’s brother and her parents, respectively, as follows of Houston, Texas: Bro. Wesley, Lori, Maddox and Avitt Barefield and Donald and Renee C. Barefield. The Erwins were represented by Keith’s parents, Dennis and Tiffany Erwin, and his siblings, who are Gospel music performers known in churches throughout the South and across America. It was a great, hot summer day in Texas for a round of golf and a reveal party for approximately 30 relatives that came to the course. The 500 miles of driving to Texas plus the 500 back concluded a joyful event for these families. The elder Erwins in Edgewood hosted a cake party at their home in Edgewood at the end of the day for the guests.

Ben Wray, the son of Beth M. Wray of Hurricane and of Jason Wray of Buchanan, has completed Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Proud grandparents from Hurricane are Tranny and Zelda Todd Montgomery.

Betty and Steve Stubblefield were treated to a Father’s Day vacation to Smith Lake in Alabama as hosted by Adam and Brandy Stubblefield and their children, Cohen, Willa Kate, and Myla Claire, at their cabin. Others attending include the following: Haley, Don Kelley, Hayes and Elly Beth Stewart, and Stephanie, David, Auden, and Kypton Breedlove. Debbie Sudduth Raby, the mother of Brandy, was there as well with her children. Next door to the Stubblefields, the families of Brad and Becky Sullivan, who reside on Hwy. 346, are neighbors and had Friendship folks, Crystal and Stephen McBrayer, as guests. So this was like a Hurricane block party as Cade, Maggie and Ella Hooker joined the group with Lisa, Wilkes, and Anna Reese Bradham. Good food, water sports, and family fun were the order of the day in historic Double Springs.

Congratulations to West Sutton who was selected as the Salutatorian at NPAC for the Class of 2020 and is the son of Brian and Michelle Crane Sutton. His grandparents with Hurricane ties are Bro. Ronnie and Sue Sutton, now residents of Thaxton. The Sutton family resided at Hurricane Baptist Church pastorium for 25 years as Bro. Ronnie was the preacher then.

Graden Hooker enjoyed a day of ‘grabblin’ on the Tennessee River beginning at Birdsong, Tennessee, with Colt and Braxton Hooker and Ryan Owen for his Father’s Day present. Brooke, Harper, and I went along for the boat ride and enjoyed our day on the scenic river all the way to Dover, Donelson, and real close to Nashville. It was a slow-paced ride as they fished for the big flathead and the big blue catfish. Other guests included Jeff and Hannah Barron and also a photographer with Real Tree Outdoors and our family dog, Rio, the deer tracker, who likes to fish too. The return journey at day’s end was a bit windy and definitely faster to get back to the landing. Of course, a bit of drama ensued as we were leaving the landing as Rio found a herd of deer that scattered all over the camping area as he went on tracker mode. Rio knows his quarry well as it was a mess of kids crying, deer bleating, girls screaming, men scrambling in the woods and the water, and a grandmother hiding in the truck when the authorities came after the fracas. All ended well as the dog was retrieved and leashed plus a successful catfish run guarantees a fish fry! Then Cade and his girls, Sophie, Ella, and Maggie, treated us to Sunday lunch plus an afternoon of kayaking on the lake and swimming at the pool. At day’s end after church on Sunday night, the group met at Brooke and Colt’s home for a home cooked meal and red velvet cake with aunt Faye Dillard as our guest.

Jack Robbins will celebrate his 12th birthday on June 27. Friends, Bo Barefield of Ripley, who was 12 on June 13, and Braxton Hooker, who was 12 on June 6, are very active young hunters, sports enthusiasts, and just All-American boys that have blessed all our Hurricane families since 2008 and whose lives have intersected at Hurricane Baptist during the past years.

The floral tribute at Hurricane Baptist on Father’s Day was in memory of Charlie Hale, the father of Donna Barefield of Ripley, Betty Stubblefield of Hurricane, and Lisa Kidd of Ecru. He was the husband of the late Margaret Gooch Hale, a native of Ecru.

NP Sue Morrisson of Etta brought by a care package for Faye Dillard, 87, with decorative masks for the pandemic. Her favorite was the “Trump” mask in red, white, and blue.

I received a call from Mike Martin of Ecru. I sent him a photo of the old family home of the late Andrew and Dolly Todd Dowdy of Shady Grove. It was once a vibrant and active household for the kith and kin of revered community and church leaders or Uncle Andrew and Aunt Dolly as many called them. It is now only a memory as a firebug burned the home many years ago. The late Louise Graham Dowdy had Martha Sheffield paint the home from a photo and framed the portrait in wood retrieved from the outside of the house. It is a keeper as well as the Bud Graham family log home that was the former home of his maternal grandparents, the late Charlie and Coot Montgomery, of Sand Springs. It also burned, but I remember both well. So if you have a home that you really love, have a painting done to leave for your descendants as both of these paintings are keepers.

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