It was a beautiful October Saturday with bright blue skies when Mack and Sherry Alford held their annual molasses cooking and dinner on the grounds on family land near their home.  Friends and family gathered to spend a delightful day outdoors in spite of the heat.  They brought favorite dishes which were placed on a serving table for dinner.

In the spring Mack planted the cane and tended to it until it was ready to be harvested.  The big blue tractor turned the syrup press as it went around and around, extracting the juice from the cane that was fed into the hopper.  The juice was drained into containers and strained through cheese cloth to remove any little pieces of debris before going into the antique caldron which waited over a hot wood fire in the syrup shed. Volunteers helped keep the fire burning and stirred the hot juice constantly as it boiled and thickened. After the coking was finished, the molasses was poured into jars through a spigot from the cauldron and labeled. "Kentawka 100% Pure Cane Molasses."  It had passed the taste test before being put into jars! Everyone gathered together for the blessing of the food and served themselves from a variety of tasty dishes.

Mack and Sherry's grandchildren came to spend their vacation with their grandparents.  Glen and Jennifer Alford Walker brought Emily, Joseph, and Grace from Macon, Georgia, for a week's fall vacation and the molasses cooking.  They look forward to coming to the country every year at this time. Their vacation was extended for a few days due to Hurricane Michael's arrival.  While their friends in Macon were preparing to ride out the hurricane, the Walkers were having fun bush hogging, walking in the woods, and catching a big possum in a live trap.  They watched Mack release it into the woods after examining it up close.  The Alfords were delighted to have them stay a little longer.  



I always find the molasses cooking fascinating.  Growing up in New Mexico, the only molasses I knew about was in a bottle with a big rabbit on it and the words, "Brer Rabbit Molasses." My mother baked delicious gingerbread which always smelled heavenly as it baked in the oven. Brer Rabbit made that dessert taste so good.  I enjoy the molasses that is made on the spot so much. I have learned to eat it on hot buttered biscuits and make molasses cookies, too!

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Dr. Perkins and the Children's Dental Center of Oxford are excited to announce that Alisha Li, DMD, has joined the staff of their Oxford and Grenada practices.  Dr. Li is a graduate of Philadelphia Public Schools, the University of Mississippi, and earned her DMD at UMMC School of Dentistry in Jackson.  She did post graduate work at the University of Florida  College of Dentistry in Naples, Florida, where she earned her specialty certificate in Pediatric Dentistry .     

Congratulations, Dr. Li!  You will be fabulous.  It was a long time ago that you sat in my third grade classroom at Philadelphia Elementary School, but I have always had a soft spot in my heart for you. I am so very happy that your dream has become reality.

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Philadelphia's own Pat Thomasson has the distinct honor of being named Secretary-Treasurer of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association Board.  She is the first woman elected to the MMA executive board.  She is CEO and chairman of the board of Thomasson Company and held both of these positions before the passing of her father, Hugh Thomasson, in 2008. She is an alumna of the University of Mississippi.  Her background is in accounting and she was a senior securities analyst in the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office.

Pat is currently president of the Mississippi Lumber Manufacturers Association, vice president of the Marty Stuart Center for Country Music, and a board member for the Mississippi Economic Council, and the M.B. Swayze Foundation.  Congratulations!  This validates the capabilities and skills of an exceptional individual who will make Philadelphia proud!

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Michael Wilson of Nashville, Tennessee, has his second #1 hit single on Country Radio!  He wrote the song, "Simple", performed by Florida Georgia Line.  He is known locally as Michael Hardy and is the son of Mike and Sarah Hardy, and the grandson of Bobby and Joyce Hardy of Philadelphia.  He has been living and working in the music industry in Nashville since his graduation from college. He is not only a song writer, but also a singer and musician.  He performs in many different venues in several states.  He is living his dream!  Congratulations!

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Congratulations to Lideatrick Griffin (aka Tulu) for being selected as last week's Neshoba Farm Bureau Player of the Week from Philly.  As a member of the Tornadoes football team, he had 137 yards rushing that resulted in 2 touchdowns.  He also had 91 yards of receiving for 1 touchdown.  Great job! He was presented a trophy by local Farm Bureau agent, Bert Jones.