Just among friends
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 1:00 AM
I remember a picture at the Old Place when I was growing up of a man and woman resting on their hoe handles in the middle of a big field.
In my mind, they had ceased momentarily from their labor to ask God for the strength to finish the day.
This picture reappeared as I peeped at those who gathered for National Day of Prayer at First Baptist Church last Thursday, in the middle of the day, and bowed their heads to pray.
The Philadelphia High School class of 1953 celebrated its 60th class reunion at Lake Tiak-o-Khata April 19-21, 2013. Members and guests began arriving Friday afternoon, and were welcomed into the Hospitality Room by the planning committee, Willie Mae Richie Lott, Sonny Welsh, and Billy Underwood, co-ordinated by Walter (Bunts) Prince and Claudia Adkins Sims.
The afternoon was spent getting reacquainted and looking at pictures taken at previous class reunions, held every two years for the past ten years.
Although the committee had prepared plenty of food for the Friday gathering, in true Southern tradition, classmates arrived "bearing food."
Come Saturday, everyone was "on their own."
A busload went to Williams Brothers for such home-town commodities as sweet potatoes, hand-sliced bacon, red rind cheese, and of course, some shoes from the shoe department.
A detour by Walmart, and they were back to the hospitality room to show off their purchases to everyone.
Classmates and guests were welcomed at the Saturday evening dinner party by The Reverend Charles Ray Gipson who delivered the invocation.
Following dinner, Master of Ceremonies Charles Ray invited class members to share memories of their school days together. Bunts Prince led a quiz in remembering their teachers for all twelve years.
Claudia Adkins Sims acknowledged members unable to attend their 60th reunion, who included Doris Algood, Betty Brown Hall, Bobbie Davis Carter, Corin Gillis Gibbs, Billy Roper, Charles Rich, Gwendolyn Thompson Burt, Betty Carol Spears, Charles Wall and Gloria Williams Emmons.
A Rose Ceremony, led by Bunt Prince and Claudia Sims, was observed in memory of deceased classmates, who included Charles Banks, A. C. Breckenridge, Ramona Burkes Cumberland, Charley Carter, Rita Cockrell Chaney, Neva Clark Herrington, Bobbie Ann Kilpatrick Dennis, Carolyn King Boswell, Audie Mae Sharp Loftin, Dalton Lundy, Dorothy Peebles, Barbara Rea Roper, Dee Singleton, Rudolph Thompson, Joe Henry Williams and Alice Winstead.
The singing of the alma mater, led by lyricist Jane Madison Madison, accompanied by pianist Pat (Mrs.Bunts) Prince, brought to a close a magnificent and memorable dinner and evening.
The event was recorded for the ages by photographer, Gail DeWeese (Mrs Sonny) Welsh. Those enjoying the weekend together, and making plans to return to Lake-Tiah-o-Khata in 2015 "to do it again", were Claudia Adkins Sims, Jay and Lori Dees, Charles Ray Gipson, Jane Chaney Hodgins, Berneice Jones Barham, Virginia Jones Kilpatrick, Jerry Lott and Willie Mae Richie Lott, Wendell and Gloria Marshall, Jayne Madison McNeil, and Sam McNeil, Dawn Mosley Mars and Mont Mars, Keta and Mary Sue Mosley, Mary Ratcliff Lyles and John Lyles, Patsy Jo Smith Edwards, Charles Allen and Margrit Thompson, Billy and Marjorie Underwood, Jack and Connie Walters, Victor (Sonny) Welsh and Gail DeWeese Welsh, and Sylvia Williams Carraway
While on the subject of reunions, I missed the opportunity to bring you up-to-date on Beverly Battershill Jones, the daughter of Tom and Hazel Molpus Battershill, who grew up in Philadelphia.
I accompanied Frances Molpus and Nancy Molpus Pace to Dallas several weeks ago for Frances' meeting with her first great-grandchild, Frank James Zidell.
While Frances rocked Frank, I spent the weekend in Granbury, Texas with Beverly and Bob Jones.
True to his word, when Bob retired with General Dynamics in Fort Worth, he moved Beverly to "live on the water".
They only had to move 35 miles southwest of Fort Worth to Granbury, which is located on 35.5 Mile Lake Granbury, and boasts "The Best Town Square in Texas." Beverly and Bob's home is built into a native rock cliff on Lake Granbury, with a breath-taking view overlooking the Lake, as it ambles through the city.
They enjoy visits and vacations with their grandchildren and their parents, Tommie, Robbie, Scott and Julie.
Come Fair-time, you will find Beverly on the porch of the Molpus cabin on the square.
Jackson Isaac Pickering, son of Blake and Jessica Long Pickering, born January 21, 2013, was baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost at the morning worship service at First United Methodist Church, Philadelphia, May 5, 2013.
At the same service, with the Reverend Fred Britton officiating, Blake made his confession of faith, was baptized, and received into membership at First Methodist.
The christening gown worn by Jackson dates back in his maternal parentage to the children of Dr. and Mrs. W. H. Mars.
There is a girl-gown handmade for Martha Mars Dees, and a boy-gown for James Mars (Mont's father) and Fent Mars. In talking with Dawn Mars, the seamstress is unknown, but the gowns were entrusted to Dawn by Martha Dees, whose desire was that all the Mars babies would be baptized in them.
Jackson is the grandson of Miriam Mars, Jackie and Beth Long, Linda Pickering and the late Dan Pickering.
His great-grandparents are Mont and Dawn Mars, Reba Long and the late Emitte Long, the late Merrill Pickering, the late Jewel Pickering, and the late Wilburn and Margaret Atkinson.