Traipsin’ round town by lynne cunningham

The Red Hills Festival embarked on our shores with high expectations and rich rewards. The art exhibit originated with the foundation of the Red Hills Art Association and has been the cornerstone in the Red Hills Festival from the start.

And it provides an opportunity for our artists and art lovers to dwell in the beauty of the talents in our midst. The Festival surely creates a circle of community interest encouraging one and all to take part. The artisanal car show, the jaw dropping bake sale and United Methodist Church’s mouth watering pancake stacks are some of the other stellar components. Hooray for the Red Hills Festival.

Traipsing on down to Clinton, Ms where Corinne Robertson Willis celebrated her 100th birthday on May 6th (birth date actually on May 7th) a bustling group gathered at the Latimer House to help Corinne blow out the candles. She and her husband Neville and her brother Nathaniel Francis were owners of Francis Funeral Home on Main St. next door to the Post office in Louisville. Blanch Francis White, her niece and daughter of Nathaniel, was there helping give the party with Corinne’s granddaughters and their families. Blanche’s brother, Bart Francis, came up from Key West, Fl to join the group as did Ann Adelle and Berlyn Edwards from Ocean Springs, Ms. Ann Adelle’s mother, Jane, and Corinne taught school together at Nanih Waiya School. Bart Francis remembered that he came home to Louisville to visit his family and was surprised that Joyce McGraw has picked up on the name of his girlfriend back in Florida and published it in the Journal. It was alright though, because he didn’t try to have two girlfriends at one time. Joanne and Henry Brandt have found a new mode of travel to get you to Atlanta – the rails of Amtrak. They are rolling on the track from Meridian to Hot Lanta and back in luxury and ease. Their most recent trip was to attend their grandson Clark’s graduation from high school in Atlanta. His proud parents are Melanie and Bo O’Kelley.

Staring me in the face while driving recently on Hwy 25 were words painted on the back rim of a flatbed trailer connected to a Big Rig; on the left-hand side, Passing Side, on the right-hand side, SUICIDE. It made me think. School is out and so are the insects. Beware of ticks and mosquitoes predicted to be ferocious this summer.

The support group of volunteers working to keep our local state park viable, Friends of the Legion State Park are planning a celebration on Flag Day, June 14th to promote the benefits/pleasures of the park and to urge all who love nature to join The Friends ($10 annual dues) and consider seriously purchasing a yearly park pass at $42, which allows admittance to all state parks. Another part of the celebration is to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the building of the Lodge which is now on the Register of Historic Places. Using virgin timber, cut, dressed and planed on the premises back in 1937, the Lodge was constructed, evolving into a very handsome structure with a giant size fireplace of native stone and hand hewn beams providing a sturdy pinion for the steep pitched roof. A new flag pole has been mounted on the front lawn of the Lodge and Roger Caperton has generously volunteered his expertise in contributing a plan for landscaping at the entrance and around the flag pole. A flag raising and commemoration ceremony will be held at the Lodge to kick off the celebration starting at 5:00 pm. Put this event on your calendar.

Have you read in the paper that astrologers are gathering in New Orleans to discuss data from the stars (in-the-sky kind) to predict the upcoming presidential election? They are also contemplating the fragility of the world economy, predictions of a New Age by the Mayan calendar and planetary alignments and realignments (such as retrograde”, and optical illusion of a planet moving backwards; e.i. Mercury “does it” on November 6, election day). The astrologers coming from upwards of 30 countries have their work cut out for them. Nancy Reagan consulted astrologer JoAnne Quigley in the White House and President Nixon’s secretary, Rose Mary Woods, passes along national security forecasts to the commander-in-chief. We need all the help we can get in these difficult times.

Beth Crawford has had some celebrations at her house lately. Her youngest daughter, Madeline, graduated this year from Grace Christian School and her two older daughters with their young families have visited from out-of-town. Katie Buys and her husband have a new little boy, Caleb. Jamey Willers and her husband have a new baby girl, Lily Claire. They were feted recently with a baby-girl, baby- boy shower at Lisa and Sam Suttle’s house.

Some varying guesses have been made since the City Water tank has been painted about the marking. One person thought the long black line intersecting the red word LOUSIVILLE, was spilled paint not meant to be there. Another guessed that the black line represented a tall pine tree symbolizing our timber/logging industry and still another thought it could be suggesting a road map symbol spotlighting Louisville as an important crossroad of progress in the central district of our fair state. But if you look closely (same design on road signs entering Louisville on HWY 25) you can see that the black is a silhouette of our down town soldier monument paying tribute to the war veterans who rose up to arms to protect their homeland and families. This is a worthy tribute and honor which we give in recognition of the sacrifice made and the debt we owe them.

A lovely wedding ceremony was solemnized in April at First Presbyterian Church in Louisville uniting Miss Ashley Forster and Mr. Drew Edwards. And the ceremony of marriage uniting Miss Stephanie Morris and Mr. Nicholas Burchette took place in Ridgeland, Ms. at Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church on Saturday, May 26th. Stephanie is the daughter of Linda and Steve Morris and the granddaughter of Linda’s father, Mr. Cliff Collins. Sharon and Bobby Kennedy’s daughter, Sara Roberts was in Louisville recently visiting her parents and attending her 10-year class reunion, Class of 2002. Her young son, Jackson 2-something, loves to have Wednesday night supper (chefed by Kelley Black) at First Presbyterian Church. Sara and her husband and young son live in Greenville, S.C.

Carolyn Mills has gotten way ahead of me on columns but I hope to catch up now that I’m back from a trip to Paris, France. I’m planning to reveal some of the joys (and sorrows) of travel in my next installments; maybe dividing up the revelations into Transportation, Food and Spectacles. I hope I can make it worth reading.