We had a "fast moving parade" down State Avenue Saturday morning! Sanna Heckman and I stood in our rain slickers and watched some 220 enthusiastic weather-proof participants run by, walk by, some pushing little ones in baby strollers in the Hog Wild Run sponsored by the Philadelphia Athletic Club. Fortunately their air supply was not deflated like that in the balloons I hung on my mailbox to welcome them to our neighborhood.

The Philadelphia Athletic Club is located on Riverside Drive, behind Tolbert Chevrolet, and is owned and operated by George and Tammy Tolbert Tawater. To own such a gym has been a dream of Tammy's since living in Atlanta when she became aware of the importance such a famility can play in maintaining good health. "How about we stage a run to begin the morning of Ham Jam?" Tammy and George Tawater and Sewanna and J.P. Watson said to each other almost simultaneously, Tammy told me. The purpose being to interest more people in the annual downtown event. It worked! Two hundred ninety-six registerd to enter the event, coming from not only Mississippi, but Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas. The news of the event was spread via Internet. "Avid runners search the web for upcoming runs every weekend," as Tammy told me. The morning included four events: a 10K run (6.12 miles), a 5K run (3.0 miles), a 5K walk and a "run for fun." The runners wore chip timers on their shoes which gives an accurate and immediate account of their finishing time.

"It was a big undertaking," Tammy told me, "and as good as our committee was, we could have never done it without the help of so many hardworking, dedicated volunteers and sponsors. We are so grateful to them. At the gym we are all about health and fitness and exercise. This was a good way to get a lot of people moving, or as someone said, off the couch," she laughed. Committee members were George and Tammy, Sewanna and J.P. Watson, Anthony and Nickie Lovern, Coy Miller and Dr. Patrick Eakes.

I don't know any of the official calculated results of Ham Jam 2009, but judging from the happy, moving throng of people, the jumping, gleeful children and the delicious food, in my book it was a tremenduous success! Our thanks to all who worked so hard to make it happen.

Everybody loves a story with a happy ending. This one had a happy beginning. When former Philadelphian, Carolyn Duke Thornton Brown and her husband, Fergus, arrived in Philadelphia from their home in Harrowsmith, Ontario, Canada to visit high school classmates, Dudley and Pat Taylor Warren, they stopped at Harold's on the corner of Main and Holland to ask directions to Pat and Dudley's farm, located 13 miles east on Highway 16. "Just follow me," said "a nice man wearing glasses driving a white pick-up truck who left the scene before we could thank him," Carolyn and Fergus told Pat and Dudley, who immediately identified Philadelphia's goodwill ambassador as Mike Tinsley!

They spent time visiting all the places Carolyn Duke remembered growing up in

Philadelphia in the Duke Thornton family who were editors of The Neshoba Democrat. At Williams Brothers, Carolyn succumbed to their slogan, "If the shoe fits, get it in every color," and came away with new shoes. Pat and Dudley hosted a group of Philadelphia High School classmates at an outdoor luncheon, who included Max and Wanda Rich of Birmingham, Carolyn Dallas and Duaine Evans of Baton Rouge, Emma Atkinson and Clarence and Shirley Hooper of Meridian, and Tommie Price Banks, Bobbie Beason Seale, Patty Jean Wells Bates and Tom and Linda Nance of Philadelphia. Bo and Jane Hardy Johnson came by earlier for a visit. Tom entertained the group by singing several songs, the most appropriate of which was "Not As Young As We Used to Be." True, but it didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits!

A big surprise for Carolyn Duke, and a pleasure to all, came about like this. Glenn Stribling bought the house in Jackson which had been home to the Duke Thornton family. While refurbishing the house, Glenn found an old cardboard box in the attic filled with pictures of Carolyn's family, recitals, classmates and other memorabilia of PHS's "Class of '50", including a picture of the cast of their junior play. Glenn told his cousin, Alice Rowe, about the find. When Alice learned that Carolyn Duke was coming to town, Glenn gave the box to her to give to Carolyn. "Many thanks!" said Carolyn Duke, leaving town with a heart filled with today's memories, packing a box of yesterday's treasures.

Our next story had its happy beginning 50 years ago when Dr. William Lamar Molpus and Carolyn Fox were married in the home of Carolyn's Aunt Mabell Roundtree in the Forest Dale community. Their son, Dr. Mark Molpus, his wife, Amy, and their daughters, Shealy, Katie, Anna Grace and Maddie, honored their parents and grandparents at a Sunday afternoon party at The Cole House in celebration of their March 7, 1959, wedding. While a video of their lives together played in the background, their granddaughters, whose ages range from 7 to 16, read a poem they had composed out of love for Mamaw and Papaw.


Through the good times and the bad, 50 years of marriage you have had, so without further ado, here is a poem we have written for you.

F is for the fabulous food you prepare with a happy heart and tender, loving care.

I is for the interesting stories you've told, about our Daddy before he was old.

F is also for the fun times we've had looking at pictures, playing basketball, and sliding down the pinestraw covered hill made us all glad.

T is for the tons of ballgames you've traveled to see, both basketball and soccer, your faces we were happy to see.

And finally Y is for the years of love spent together, these beautiful memories will last forever.

These happy moments have been so great, no better grandparents could we ask for. These past 50 years we know you've enjoyed, and we all wish you 50 more.

Enjoying the memorable time together with Carolyn and Marty, Mark, Amy, Shealy, Katie, Anna Grace and Maddie were Ben Sellers, Ben Molpus, Tom and Loretta Fox May, Beatrice Lewis, Mary Ruby Molpus, Don and Tammy Watkins, Jim, Maria, John Forrest, Adrienne and Sydney Sisson, Ann Freeny, Rick and Paula DuBose, H.V. and Linda Neal and Keith and Lurlene Neal.

The only thing missing at Evelyn Perry and Alice Rowe's April Backyard Flamingo Fling was Mississippi Magazine's coverage. Evelyn and Don's backyard was landscaped in pink flamingos, blooming plants and friends greeting friends. Jenny Dabbs, Nancy Hardy and Mac Burt created tropical banquet table settings for Mac & Co.s' signature tasty delectables. Eleven-month-old Will Perry, who will be 1 on May 3, attended his first Flamingo Fling with his mother, Amanda, and his aunt, Candace Lyn Perry. Those from out of town attending were Amanda and Will Perry of Homewood, Ala.; Jan Jarrell of Metairie, La.; Pat Prince of Baton Rouge, La.; Dr. Candace Lyn Perry of Boston, Mass.; Lisa Mallett of Brandon; Dianne Johnston of Carthage; Leah Jarrell of DeKalb; Carolyn Briscoe, Glenna Hartzog, Billy and Marjorie Underwood of Jackson; Peggy Crowe of Madden; Jane Dees Crosswhite, Willie Mae Richie Lott, Gail DeWeese Welch of Madison; Norma Perdeye of McComb; Emma Adkinson, Shirley Gidden, the Rev. Harriet Simmons, Ginger Willis of Meridian; Chrystal Wilkins of Preston; Brenda Williams of Quitman; Laura Moore McDonald and Debbie McDaniel Webb of Ridgeland; and Lynda Forbus of Starkville.

A new little Bulldog joined the revelers at Mississippi State's Bulldog Bash last weekend when 19-month-old Addie Grace Smith attended her first Bash with her parents, Barrett and Amy Clark Smith. Addie Grace, Amy and Barrett, and their weekend hosts, Luke and Casey McMahen's day began at 10 a.m. on the festive Saturday. They shopped the flea market at the Arts Festival in Starkville's Cotton District where Addie Grace purchased a walking wooden duck. She played with all the dogs that were enjoying the "welcome dog day" at the Festival. Good food was available and non-stop into the night when Addie Grace danced to the music of all the bands playing in the Cotton District, including Nash Street which won the 2008 Colgate Country Showdown in Nashville, netting the group $100,000 in prize money, plus national recognition. Amy's friend, Hannah Melby is a member of the band. Traffic lined up on State Avenue Sunday afternoon when Alice and Randy Clark, Liz Graham, Keith Thrash and Janet Thrash came to welcome Addie Grace home after attending her first Bulldog Bash.

Betty Seward had as her guests last week her nieces, Betty Norrie of Portland, Ore. and Suzie Holder of Mobile. They are the daughters of Jack and Inez Seward BuZard.

Rachel Thrash, bride-elect of Cody Chew, was honored at a bridal tea Sunday afternoon, April 18, in the home of Susan and Willie Jackson on Edgewater Drive. Rachel is the daughter of Randy and Laura Cole Thrash. Cody's parents are Dave and Cindy Chew of Madison. The young couple will be married June 6 at 6:30 p.m. at The First Baptist Church in Philadelphia, with the reception to follow at the bride's family home at 12 Earhart Dr. Special guests for the afternoon were Rachel's mother, her grandmother, Myra Thrash, and her aunts, Kayron Rickles and Pam Thrash. Hostesses were Susan, Tammy Thomas, Pam Phillips, Phoebe Henson, Karen McKay, Sharon McKay, Linda Griffis, Debbie Yates, Marsha Howard and Brenda Barnett.

I love it when I get happy news from Jack and Kathy Sharp. Jack turned 69 on March 29 and the celebration began on the 28th. Those extending happy birthday wishes were Scott, Christy, Kooper and Jade Battle; Greg, Penny, Justin, Brittany and Clay Sharp; David Sharp; Thomas, Desi, Reagan and Addison Ivy; Barry Battle; Danny, Jackie, Patrick and Dylan Griffin; Billy Edwards; Doris Edwards; Jeanette, Shantel, Colby, Ashlynn, Deagan and Logan Jenkins; Jonathan Henley; William, Brenda, Christian and Erica; William and Daniel Sharp; Bud and Zona Fortenberry; Kevin Edwards; Mandy Chunn and Anna; and Brad Edwards and Destiny.

Wanda Upchurch brought Jack a plate of chitterlings "which he loves."

Calls came from Gin Kilgore, Helen Nowell, Darlene Tolbert, Sarah Choate, Myrtis Edward, Betty White, Leroy Borders and Mary Parker.

On the 29th Jack's sister, Doris Edwards, prepared a birthday lunch for Jack and her daughter, Jackie Griffin, whose birthday was the 28th. "Back at home the celebration continued as many more friends dropped by to visit," Kathy told me.

April was a special month for Kathy and Jack. They were at Doris' on April 12 to celebrate the birthdays of Destiny Edwards and Jack's sister, Sarah Choate. "We have the best time everytime we go to Doris'," Kathy told me. "Since we are pretty much homebound, it is so good to get out occasionally." May we extend belated Happy Birthday wishes to Jack from all his "Friends" friends!

Rhythm picked up a pace at the B.A.L.L. group's April 21 meeting when Miss Be's choral group from East Central Community College presented a jazzy musical program. Members of the choir are Dee Haden, Brandon Hughes, Aaron Mann, Courtney Gammill, Ayla Smith, Lane Fulton, Emilee Lanier, Kyle Barrett, Vickie Blaylock, Casey Rowzee, Holly Webb, Cody Straight, Tiffany Spence, Drew Harrison, Kolby Sisson and Logan McDonald. Members of the B.A.L.L. group, which meets at First Baptist Church every month, attending the entertaining program were Jane Parker, Eunice Jones, Roy Jones, Bill Nation, Lamar Fowler, Joan Hight, Mary Bennett, Katherine Farned, Marty England, Doris Perry, Sue Lewis, Ethel Lundy, Myrtis Richardson, Ada and James Mooney, Sylvia Bengs, Shirley Breazeale, Jane Cole, Jo Lynn Parker, Rebecca Barnett, Cecil Wyatt, William W. Smith, Bob Turcotte, Ellene Turcotte, Aaron Tucker, Jean Griffith and Rena Harmon.