FF XVI, 36
Frank Fax Facts
Volume XVI, No. 36
Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010
Today is known as "Christ the King" in the Catholic Church; next week is the first Sunday of Advent. After four weeks of Advent, comes Christmas!
I spent most of the today on Dauphin Island, because (for the first time) I decided to attend Father Gorman's annual Thanksgiving dinner for the parishioners. It made for a very long day for me (not to mention my two cats, who resented my abandoning them until almost 5 PM) but it was well worth the inconvenience. I can barely stand to eat turkey after all the years Steve and I catered. I have baked so many of those birds in my oven that the very smell of their roasting almost makes me ill, This has been my principal argument with my f priest-friend for not attending his banquets. But there was delicious ham, plus countless side dishes and desserts that more than compensated for my boredom with the main course. I sat at the head table (the absence of Donald Dorr-Gorman's pastoral assistant, who has been in hospitals and care centers since April- was felt. One of the ladies had bought several "Get Well" cards, which most of us signed, to be carried to Donald and his wife, Dolores later in the afternoon by Steve Lintner and his wife, Maureen; who have been taking Donald's place in his absence.
Tuesday evening, I had a small dinner for Mike Davis and his friend, Jimmy, who installed my complicated new telephone and would not let me pay him. I cooked Jimmy's favorite meal: meat loaf, and served with it Rice and tomato gravy, curried mushrooms, soft rolls, chocolate cream pie, iced tea, and red (Merlot) wine. We all enjoyed this simple meal.
Last night, I repeated my chili supper for Ken Williams and me, as we sat and thrilled to the TV coverage of USM's fantastic win over Houston on CBS Sports. Southern Miss now has an 8-3 record (for the first time since the 90's, with two of the three losses being by ONE point each (to UAB and ECU) the other loss was to SEC's South Carolina (who also beat Alabama). C-USA has become so tough, that even if USM beats Tulsa and ends with a 9-3 record, there is no guarantee that they will win the conference title and get to the Liberty Bowl for a fourth time, There is a 3-way tie for first place in USM's Eastern Division (UCF, which lost big-time to USM last Saturday; East Carolina, which beat USM in double OT by going for the 2-point conversion after Southern Miss made its single extra point; and of course, USM). Sadly, if ECU wins its final game, and USM wins over Tulsa, ECU would, for the third year in a row, shut out the Golden Eagles, since ECU's coach was canny enough to make the rare decision to go for two points in the second OTyou must go for two points if the game goes into triple OT, or the game could go on forever. Ole Miss and Arkansas, I believe, hold the record for the longest football game so far, with 5 or 6 OT's. I thought I'd never get to bed that night! And then, Arkansas prevailed, much to my disappointment.
Friday night, on CBS Sports again, the Eagles take on Tulsa: since joining C-USA USM has been unable to win over them (losing both games they have played. Until then the record was tied at 2-2.)
I'm buying my chili beef tomorrow for another "Victory Party" for Ken (who swears that wearing my Golden Eagle cap twice now, has been responsible for the victories, while I declare my Chili is our good luck charm) and Gerald Kutzman, who was unable to make it to yesterday's "Three Musketeers" viewing party.
"If there were to be a universal sound depicting peace, I would surely vote for the purr."
My most vivid memory of my year in grade six, was of Miss Pauline Boutwell's choosing Beth Carley as her special "Pet" over me or anyone else! I was especially irate when we were assigned the creation of an American flag, because I worked much harder than I ever had on any other project up to that point. Meticulously I had spread the red and white paint into each stripe. The white paper, itself served its own purpose. Most of the class thought I should have won the prize (I forget now what it was) but Beth Carley's "not-bad-at-all" flag won. I was extremely jealous of this cute little red head, and felt cheated. Other than that little episode and the fact that I returned to my piano lessons (after dropping out through my 5th grade year), and was entered in my very first piano competition that year.) I have no remembrance of the year.
In the contest (held in our former home town, Ellisville, I had to play a tacky little piece called "The Wavelet", which Miss Hill thought I played very well). I never cared for the composition in the least. Incidentally, this was the same piece I had practiced on the Bowen's baby grand piano. It could not have helped me very much as I managed to finish only third of three contestants. The two who beat me, were a boy and girl, both of whom took lessons from a Laurel teacher, a Mrs. Gridley*, who was known for her prize-winning pupils. I thought both of these students looked ridiculous, the way they let their hands sort of "fly languorously off the keys" at the end of each phrase. Of course this couldn't possibly have been due to jealousy.
But the piano competition in Ellisville was just the tip of the iceberg. Miss Hill and her students were driven from Richton in two cars (Sammy drove George, our sister, Helen, Mary Dean Granberry, me and Miss Hill; Billy Ray Carey drove Sibyl Carey, Mrs. Wilson (Jackie's mother, who went along to cover it for The Richton Dispatch, which she and her son, L. A. Junior, printed once a week) Miss Hardy (the high school English teacher) and Imogene Swan-who entered in the Hymn competition. After the contest was over, and we learned mine and Sibyl's sad fate, (George and Imogene has taken first place in their respective categories. George's piece, which I was crazy about, was "Intermezzo-Orientale". He had only one competitor. She was nice enough to come up and say to him, afterwards, "The best man has won!" We thought this very sporting of her. I certainly felt no such tolerance of my opponents' success, and felt that I was better than either of them!) both carloads drove to Hattiesburg to pick another of our sisters up at STC (now USM) to carry her home for the rest of the weekend.
We had stopped in Laurel to eat lunch at a drive-in known as Lonnie Creel's. I had never eaten at such a place and had no idea what to order. I remember that Miss Hill ordered a liverwurst sandwich, and I had never heard of that, either! Helen ordered for George and me, and I was relieved when she got us all Bacon-Lettuce & Tomato sandwiches, and Cokes. There was only one size Coca-Cola; in those quaint little bottles; Diet Coke were as far away as the moon at this time. Mary Dean's mother had given her some stuffed eggs (which I later discovered, were called Deviled Eggs) and let me taste one. It was truly Love at first bite.
When we picked up Josephine from her dormitory, we began the usually short journey back to Richton. As we passed over the bridge just outside the City Limits, Sammy called our attention to the fact that the level the water had reached at this time was really high. There had been rains yesterday, but to far it had been clear as a bell. I put it out of my mind.
Then, as we got closer and close to home, we began seeing the water on both sides of the road (which was unpaved) rushing furiously along. The scariest thing I had seen in my young life up to this point, confronted us when we were crossing the last of the seven bridges between Richton and Hattiesburg: the road ahead was totally covered with rushing water! Sammy stopped our car, so Billy Ray had no choice but so the same. We all sat there as the two drivers discussed the situation. After the initial reaction, Sammy suggested that they both of them take off their shoes and socks, roll up their trousers' legs and wade across, to make certain the road was still solid. They managed to find some boards with which to test all around them as they moved so slowly I thought they'd never make it. I could just see Sammy, falling into a deep pit, followed closely by Billy Ray!
By this time, I was about to throw up I was so scared. Everybody was out of the cars now and watching the water. We all held out breath as they slowly walked from one side of the road to where the other side would be.
George remembers that our piano teacher asked him if he knew how to pray. I don't know what his answer was, but I knew the "Our Father" and "Hail Mary" by then, but I was too scared to remember to say them now!
We could see as they finally reached the dry road ahead, and I had never been so relieved in my life! They moved much faster back to the cars, saying we had to get through right now, as they both felt the dirt would not stay in place much longer.
Then, the part of the trip that was by far the most dangerous began. I had never seen a car driven so slowly, as our green Chevrolet crept into the water. The water did not come under the car doors at this point. To me, the distance between dry land and where we were right then seemed endless!
I could see water seeping slowly, at first, and then gaining momentum, as we got closer to our destination. I feared we were all surely about to drown. I shut my eyes tight! Josephine was on my left side and Helen on the right.
"Open your eyes, darling- we're safe!" one of them told me. I don't remember which one. But I shall never forget the experience if I live to be a hundred!
The next day, after dinner, Anna drove Mama and Daddy, along with Helen, Josephine and me to look at the site of our dreadful experience. It looked so different! It looked as if the water was not nearly as threatening as it had seemed just hours earlier!
*When I went to Tallahassee, in 1951, the Gridley's had moved from Laurel to there, where they operated the only music store in Tallahassee back then. As a matter of fact, Florida's capital reminded me very much of sleepy old Laurel (where they had owned that town's only music store) and seemed even smaller. I was aghast when I returned there in the 70's to see how it had grown into a bustling city!