Editor and Publisher
John H. Walker
I really do know the difference between a dogwood and a Bradford pear, but apparently had my train of thought broken while reading an online news story from a Mississippi newspaper that was talking about the dogwood’s already being in bloom.
Despite all of the long-range forecasts pitching nothing worse than a couple of nights down into the lower 40s, I always think of an admonition shared annually by my Mom and Dad.
It’s a simple enough warning: Beware an Easter freeze!
Dad farmed by the signs of Mother Nature. He watched the clouds and would point out the mare’s tail to me and tell me what that meant, as well as other types. He also paid attention to the moon and what would be happening, such as the it holding water and pouring water.
Dad also watched the skies in the morning and repeated “Red sky in morning, sailor take warning” and “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.”
I must have been in the second or third grade, because my sister had not yet gone off to college at Millsaps, when Daddy took me to school in his gray, Chevrolet Apache pick-up. I remember him saying that if the weather got bad, to watch out for he or Mom ... that it was a red sky that morning and things felt “funny.”
By midday, things had gone to heck in a handbasket and they were there to get both Sarah and me and head back out into the country, where we lived.
It was a horribly hot day, about this time of the year, and as the day grew older, the storms grew more menacing.
And keep in mind, if you will, that these were the days when the weathermen — we relied on Woodie Assaf from WLBT in Jackson — marked their weather maps with chalk.
There was no doppler and no instant notification on your not-yet-invented cell phone and not-yet-invented weather radio.
I remember being scared that night as we went on the back porch of that old house, hunkering in a corner between a Philco chest freezer and the wall, as if that would really protect us if a huge old oak by the side of the house decided to come crashing down.
I realize those things today, as an adult, but not then. I don’t know if my sister did, either, although we’ve sense talked about it as our parents sought to protect us as best they could.
After it seemed as if the worst of the storms had passed, Daddy wanted to go into town to see if anybody knew anything, so we all piled in the front seat of that pickup and left the car parked.
We headed east on Mississippi 14 and as we turned south on US 49 to head the last mile or so into Louise, the sky lit up with some of the brightest lightning I’ve ever seen. Off to our southeast, you could see funnel clouds dancing from the sky.
There were no injuries in Louise that night, but there were a lot of nervous folks who watched the skies long after their children had finally gone to sleep.
I’ll always remember that day, when the skies started out red and there was a funny feel to the air and Daddy wound up having a reason to be worried.
That's one of the reasons I still think about Easter freezes.
• • •
There are a few things worth noting this week and, while we have them elsewhere in the newspaper, I’ll plug them again:
• Turning in prescription drugs that are no longer used at both Bryan Drugs and Thorne Drugs on Saturday, as part of Operation Medicine Drop.
This is the third year for the AG’s office, the SBI, local law enforcement agencies, Safe Kids North Carolina, the U.S. DEA and local pharmacies are teaming up to sponsor take-back events across during National Poison Prevention Week.
Both stores will be accepting drugs beginning at 10 a.m. Bryan will take the drugs until 1 p.m. and Thorne until 2 p.m.
• Several Relay for Life-related activities are on tap this week, beginning with a team captain meeting at 6:30 today in Room 152 at ECC.
Also on tap is a Survivor’s Social in the Atrium at ECC at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and on Saturday and Sunday, we’ll be painting the county purple with the Purple Bow Blitz.
• The 11th Annual TASS Shad Tournament is under way through Saturday and, while these folks have a lot of fun fishing, they also do a lot in the community — such as provide the lead scholarship for the Edgecombe County DYW program.
• • •
And what’s up with your Daily Southerner:
Friday, we began ‘We Salute,” an editorial saluting those individuals and groups who do good things.
It’s a way of offering an extra pat on the bat to someone who did well.
Thanks for reading!
(John H. Walker is editor and publisher of The Daily Southerner and may be reached at 823-3106 or email@example.com)