The celebration of Steve and Charlene Webb’s Dec. 28 50th wedding anniversary began Sunday, Dec. 26, with dinner at Phillip M’s and continued through yesterday when they returned from a celebratory trip to picturesque Biltmore Estates. Jody and Deree Webb, David and Debbie Webb and Dr. John and Melody Webb hosted the dinner Sunday evening before their parents’ trip to Asheville. While the adults were enjoying an evening out, Steve and Charlene’s grandchildren, Mallory, Thomas, Sarah Katherine, Daniel, Madeline, Sam, Henry and Emma, ranging in age from 19 to 7, were in charge at Grandaddy and Chin Chin’s house on Poplar Avenue. Reckon who had more fun! Steve and Charlene’s marriage began on perhaps one of the wettest evenings recorded in the history of Philadelphia’s rain gauge. They were married in the old First Methodist Church on Main Street, the present location of The Citizens Bank. A host of wet guests followed the bride and groom to the Benwalt Hotel, now the Philadelphian, for the reception. “Of course, I still have my wedding gown which Mother (Mrs. R. Carley Peebles) made,” Charlene told me. “Even the rain spots have become more precious with time.”

Next stop, Broadway! Doris and Glenn Perry were in Oxford several weeks ago to see their grandson, Brian Tichnell, in the leading role in a play on the Ole Miss campus. Last weekend, Doris and Glenn, Janet and Ellen Tichnell went to Pensacola where their granddaughter, Julianna Gasa, had the lead in the Christmas cantata, “All I Want for Christmas.” Her sisters, Lydia and Gloria, were also in the cast. The girls are the daughters of Sylvia Perry and George Gasa. The proud grandparents returned by way of Petal and attended the Christmas cantata at Cartersville Baptist Church with the Tichnells.

Home for the holidays with their parents, Glenn and Doris Perry, were Tommy and Denise Perry of Fort Worth; Sylvia, George, Julianna, Lydia and Gloria Gasa of Pensacola; Janet, Del, Brian and Ellen Tichnell of Petal; and Barbara, Mac and Prentiss McLaurin of Starkville.

Lynette and Tommy Fulton were in town for a pre-Christmas visit with their daughter, Laurie, and they were busy! They helped Laurie move into their grandparents, Angie and Joe Fulton’s home on Myrtle Street. Lynette and Tommy spent Christmas Eve in Union with their parents, Webb and Betty Kelly. After a visit with Allan, Jeanette and Daniel Stewart in Collinsville, they returned home to spend Christmas Day with Angie and Joe.
Angie is in a nursing home in Arkansas, and Joe is making his home with Lynette and Tommy in their new home on Mena Lake in Mena, Ark. Laurie is a nurse on the third floor at Neshoba General. Joe was county agent in Neshoba County, succeeding Bill Norton. “I will never forget those good sugar cookies Mrs. Norton made,” Laurie told me. Angie was active in women’s club activities in Philadelphia as a member of the Futura Club.

School was dismissed Friday, Dec. 17, and David and Nancy Williams were off! Nancy stopped by her neighbor, Sarah McKay’s Christmas Mug Party, for a “to go” plate, and she and David were on their way to New Orleans to attend their son, Mark’s graduation from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where Mark obtained his Master of Divinity Degree in Christian Education on Saturday. They were joined by Melanie and Micah Williams, and Melanie’s family, Ron, Valerie, Jason, Allison and Reece Tiffin of Starkville. Dec. 18, quite a day! Mark’s graduation, his and Melanie’s wedding anniversary and Nancy’s birthday! The group moved to Agricola, a
community out from Lucedale, where they heard Mark preach and attended a reception for him that afternoon hosted by his church family.
Off again and Nancy and David attended the children’s Christmas program that evening at Sandtown Methodist Church, which was directed by their daughter-in-law, Kelly Williams, with their grandson, John Beck Williams, in the cast.
Thursday before Christmas, Nancy and David hosted a Hardy family Christmas get-together in their home on Pinecrest Drive. Playing “Dirty Santa” with their gifts and sharing stories of Christmases past were Corrine and Barnard Brantley; Bobby, Joyce, Mike, Sara, Madison and Michael Hardy; Justin Pitts; Narcy and Perry Walker; Jerry and Tommie Hardy; John, Kelly and John Beck Williams, all of Philadelphia; Jane and Bo Johnson, Terri, Bill and Brittany Pippin of Meridian; Ken, Mechelle, Reid, Erin and Cade Johnson of Collinsville; Shane, Kyra and Allie Grace Hardy of Millport, Ala.; and Mark, Melanie and Micah Williams of Lucedale.

Chip and Laura Bailey’s Christmas began on Dec. 11 when they hosted their annual Christmas party for friends from Philadelphia, Starkville and Meridian. Their home on Holland Avenue was filled with laughter and the tantalizing aroma from the holiday buffet. On Dec. 20, Elizabeth hosted the Philadelphia Junior High School cheerleaders with a Christmas party. They played “Dirty Santa” and reminisced about the past season of cheering. The girls who cheered together, now partying together, were Morgan Bailey, Welkum Carlson, Robin Fanning, Channing Kinard, Anna Luke, Danielle Stafford, Krezenze Hedgepeth and Susie Hannah Williams.
Chip and Laura’s guest on Christmas Eve was Laura’s uncle, Frank Palmer from Vicksburg. Her cousin, Carolyn Palmer, joined them on Christmas Day from Lynville. After the gifts were opened, they enjoyed Chip’s delicious Christmas meal of filet mignon and grilled shrimp. Adding to the excitement of Christmas, Molly found a bell on the lawn which had fallen from Santa’s sleigh! What a treasured find!

I came to a new realization last Wednesday when I toured Pat and Dan Whittle and Edna and Russell Caughron of Murfreesboro, Tenn., friends of John and Hilda and Marty Stuart’s, around town. Perhaps we don’t realize what a treasure we have in Philadelphia and Neshoba County until we see it through someone else’s eyes. They loved our town, our Fair and were impressed with everyone the met. “We can’t believe it!” they kept saying, and my pride in my hometown and my homefolks knew no bounds! And I am very confident in our future in the hands of such fine young men as Sid Williams and Stan Webb, with whom we visited.