On Oct. 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, issued the following proclamation, "I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States and also those who are at sea and those sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father Who dwelleth in the heavens."

Lincoln did this based on his belief and the foundation of America, that it was "fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people."


Neshoba County was filled with grateful hearts as we celebrated Thanksgiving last week.

I asked a random cross-section of them, "How did you celebrate Thanksgiving?"


Pam Edwards, the pretty, friendly clerk at Harold's Short Stop, had Thanksgiving with her parents, David and Elizabeth Edwards in the Fork community.

She was joined by her husband, Gray Edwards, and their children, Ashton and Harley Edwards and Kara and Kalli Spears and her brother, Jonathan Edwards.


My neighbor, Sanna Heckman, had Thanksgiving with her adoptive family, Mary Louise and Marvin Blanks.

Other family members enjoying Mary Louise and Marvin's hospitality were Preston and Linda Nickle of North Little Rock, Ark., Liz Nickle of Woodruff, S.C. and Margaret Ann Nickle Savelle, Drew and Nick Savelle of Tullahoma, Tenn.


Marsha Blount Moody flew from Denver to spend the Thanksgivings holidays with her mother, Billie Latting.

They drove to Jackson Thanksgiving Day and had lunch with Lesyle Blount and her family, their first Thanksgiving without Chan.


Joyce and Bobby Hardy spent Thanksgiving Day in Vicksburg with Bobby's brother Andy Hardy and Melissa, the first time in 57 years that Joyce had not prepared the holiday feast.

Andy's slant on cooking the turkey: Baste a 22-pound turkey in olive oil and stuff cavity with celery and onion.

Place in a turkey baking bag and cook in a 350-degree oven for 3-1/2 hours.


Dr. Rudy, Lisa and Dees Posey joined Lisa's mother, Charlotte McQuary, at the Waterford Independent Living Center in Ridgeland on Thanksgiving.

On Friday, their entire family, Bryan, Anna Lisa and Marianna Truett, Will and Paige King and Meagan, Jeremy and Tate Miller, had Thanksgiving "at home" with Rudy, Lisa and Dees.


Bud Waddell, who spreads the love of Jesus Christ to residents at the hospital and nursing home and his wife, Shirley, had their family for Thanksgiving dinner.

This included their daughter, Tammy and her husband, Gray Thrash, their granddaughter, Rachael Thrash and great-grandson, Justin Thrash.

Also, Bud and Shirley's, granddaughter, Candy Comans, her husband, Russell Comans and their children, Hayden and Andrew Comans, of Sebastapol.

Shirley's sister, Shelby Bradley, joined them for the celebration.


Ty and Jessica Bailey not only played host and hostess in their home in Madison on Thanksgiving Day, they also picked up and delivered.

Ty drove to Philadelphia and picked up Jessica's parents, Frankie and Boots Harpole, taking them home with him for the celebration.

He did the same for David Blount's mother, Lorraine Turner Blount, and his Aunt Mary Jane Broker.

After a wonderful day shared with David, Lorraine and Clay Blount, Ty delivered them safely home.


Kathy Moore, one of my "street friends" when I worked at The Carousel and she at Entex next door and her husband, Harold Moore, spent Thanksgiving Day with Kathy's parents, Jacquita and Henry Ethel Moore, in the Coy community.

The Moores' other children, Brenda Butler of Houston, Texas, Jo Thomas of Toomsuba and Randall Copeland and his daughter, Kelsey, also "came home" for the holiday.

They were joined by Jo's son, Steve Barrier, his wife, Melissa and Hunter of Louisville.

The family had extra cause for Thanksgiving as they celebrated their wife, mother and grandmother's 86th birthday.


Among Kay and William Hamill's Thanksgiving guests were five grandchildren under the age of eight.

First comes Andrew, who is eight years old, followed by his brothers, Stephen, Matthew and Jonathan and their little sister Josie.

The children were accompanied by their parents, Doug and Julie Hamill of Chattanooga.

They were joined by Wes Hamill of Pensacola and Kay's brother, Bill Williams, who came from Winona "bearing gifts," a delicious turkey which he had smoked all night long.


Our gathering at the Ole Place was small in number but strong in love, as evidenced by the fact that Ben drove all night long from Fort Hood, Texas to join us.


I talked with Vonnie McCown regarding the 2012 Operation Christmas Child project which concluded the week of Nov. 12-19.

Neshoba County packed and shipped 1,775 shoe boxes, which quoting Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan Purse, which houses Operation Christmas Child, "Represent more than smiles and laughter, they become Gospel opportunities that open doors to share the love of Jesus Christ with children and their families around the world."

Vonnie and Carolyn Emerson were excited that a number of churches in the county participated for the first time, adding to the excitement of what we can do next year. 1,775 boxes!

A wonderful way to have started your Christmas giving.

We will close our column this week with a little football news. Kim and Cecil Price were weekend guests of John and Michelle Alford in Oxford last weekend.

They attended the Egg Bowl game.

Cecily Kate Price and Ali Gray also attended the game.

They were guests of in-residence Rebels, Sadie Shields and Margaret Jordan.