Last week The First United Methodist Church began its 11th year in overseeing the concessions for Deanco Auctions.

Thousands of hamburgers, Polish sausage and chicken sandwiches have been grilled on the site, equalled by homemade cakes and brownies, and sold at the auctions to fund the mission program at First Methodist.

This includes funds for mission trips, as well as local charities, such as the John Wesley Society, Habitat for Humanity, Christmas baskets for the needy, etc.

Early volunteers recall working outside in the weather under tents, come rain, shine, hot or cold.

Quoting Rayford William-son, director of the first auction in 2002, "We started out with almost no equipment. We would borrow cookers, drink boxes, coffee makers, and other items from church members, having to pick them up before the sale and return them.

"As the years have passed, we have been able to purchase the equipment we need, plus donations that have been made by church members."

The auction concession team is made up of persons in charge of setup of equipment, food procurement, food preparation, cooking, workers to handle the sale of food, and breakdown of equipment.

Voicing the sentiments of everyone involved in the project, Rayford added, "The auction is hard work, but it is also fun.

"We enjoy the fellowship of working together and visiting with the customers, many whom we see at almost every auction.

"The success of the auction in the past has been based on two things, good leadership and good volunteer help.

"The success of the auction in the future remains the same. We need some new people to join our team."

The next auction date has been set for July 17 and 18. Come join us.


Virginia Williams Perry's daughter, Suzanne, and her husband, John Scanlan, hosted a German Fest family Easter egg hunt at their home in Canton.

Their home was handpicked by the author Willie Morris himself for the filming of the movie, "My Dog Skip."

The German Fest egg hunt became a tradition in John's family when his mother came to America from Germany in 1936.

On Saturday before Easter Sunday, the children pick a spot in the yard where they have seen rabbits, and dig out a little hole to make a nest.

They line it with moss and angle it with sticks to make a nest.

Then they carefully conceal the nest with more moss and await the bunny!

The children at John and Suzanne's party ranged in age from four to twelve.

"We threaten the older ones if they tell the little ones that there is no Easter bunny," John said, with a "don't try me" tone in his voice.

Enjoying Suzanne and John's hospitality were their children, "Little Virginia" Cox, and Della, Clarice and Oliver of Canton, Jessica and Jeff Dennis, Walter, Ivey and Brown of Oxford, and Geoffrey and Eryn Yoste, Mary Carlat and Elizabeth of Madison.

Also, David and Edie Williams of Cedar Pines (Neshoba County) and Youngsville, Louisiana, Tommy Williams of Philadelphia, Leslie, John Wesley and Juni Crews of Vaughn and Belinda Roark of Canton.


Don and Jo Fulton shared their Easter ham with their children and grandchildren, Mark and Sadie Fulton, and Jason, Angela, Piper, Creed and Miley Fulton, and me.


Tracy and Mike Tinsley have returned from their "best yet" spring break ski vacation to Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Mike and Tracy, their sons, Thomas and John, along with friends, Claire Tadlock, Jessica Elliott and Jeremy Dale Morgan, stayed in a very convenient ski-in/ski-out condo.

"Two in our party had never skied before," Tracy told me, "but after a half-day with a private instructor, they amazed us all!"

"One afternoon we reserved for snowmobiling, a first for all of us. It was amazingly beautiful. The highlight of the trip was the time we enjoyed together. We are very blessed."


Taking grandchildren to the Smoky Mountains has been a favorite thing to do for Sue and Glenn Wells for years.

"We use to take all four of them at one time," Grandma Sue told me, speaking of Amanda and Wes Wells and Cory and Amy McCoy.

Now in the great-grandparent stage of life, eight-year-old Charlie Wells accompanied them solo.

Charlie's reaction to the trip?

"My friends are not going to believe this!"

Excepting Noxapater and Philadelphia, the mountains have always been Sue and Glenn's favorite place in the world.

They have camped, rented motels and chalets, and now have a permanent "home in the mountains," a Jayco 5th wheel travel trailer, parked in Big Meadow Campground in Townsend, Tenn.

They are excellent tour guides as they have frequented all the favorite attractions the mountain-area has to offer.


Charlie came away from the aquarium in Gatlingburg with a sore stomach from leaning over the brick retainer wall to play with the "big" stingrays whose stingers had been removed.

He played in the snow at New Found Gap and loved knocking down the large hanging icicles.

At Cade's Cove, an authentic mountain settlement, Charlie saw his first grist mill and sugar cane mill.

Every Friday night, mountain culture takes center stage at the community center in Rocky Branch.

Bands and musicians come from everywhere to perform, inviting the audience to join in.

As much fun as Charlie had, he was on a time schedule.

He had to be back at Big Meadow when his friends, Matthew and Mason Johnson, got home from school.

They are the 10-year-old twin grandsons of Barbara and Malcolm Johnson, Sue and Glenn's friends and proprietors of Big Meadow.


Sunday, April 14, at the ten o'clock morning worship service, First United Methodist Church will celebrate its 190th anniversary as an established House of Worship.

I have been a part of First Methodist since the early 40's, and have seen some dedicated men and women of God at work.

As we approach the celebration of our past, I am observing the leadership of a new generation of Christian leaders.

The future of First Methodist comes to the altar every Sunday morning for "children's church."

Quoting the late Carolyn Myers Fulton, "Thanks to the grace of God, we are a continuing miracle!"