With school out and summer upon us, parents and grandparents are rushing to have some vacation time with their children and grandchildren before the summer activities begin. "We have to grab them while we can get them," Brenda Mills told me, speaking for herself and grandpa,"Grumpy" Larry Mills. The trip to Gulf Shores was wonderful, even if 2-1/2-year-old Linnie Kate Kilpatrick did request that the "boo gass" music, she and her daddy, Michael Kilpatrick, love, be played on the radio for the entire four-hour trip.

Joining them in Gulf Shores for their traditional Memorial Day weekend on the beach were, Kim Kilpatrick, Justin, Tamra, Chaney and Garrett Mills, and Jonathan, Katie and William Mills.

Kim, Justin, Tamra, Chaney and Garrett were among the some 5,000 people who participated in the 5-K "color" charitable run which is a tradition on Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend.

All along the way, as they run around The Wharf, the runners are sprayed with a "wash-off" color spray. At night, Chaney joined the boys for some crab hunting.

Betsy Hicks and Catherine Hicks were among the 5,000 runners who participated in the "color run" Saturday morning.

Danny and Regina Hicks also traditionally take advantage of Memorial Day weekend to gather their family on the beaches of Gulf Shores. Joining them were Brett and Charlie Moran, Brian, Catherine, Hattie, Lillie and Daniel Hicks, and Jim, Betsy, Gipson, and six-month-old twins, Hadley and Daisy Hicks, who according to grandmother Gigi, were "little beach bums" from morning until dark.

Missing this year's fun on the beach, were Emily, Eli and Mary Kate Moran, who were in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Eli and Mary Kate participated in Destination Imagination competition with other students from Neshoba Central.

While talking with Regina, I learned from her sister, Ann Stubbs, that she had spent a wonderful "Mother's Day girls weekend" in Galveston, Texas with her favorite girls, Leanne Stubbs, Stephanie Place and Leigh Stubbs.


A plus for the weekend, was the opportunity it afforded Ann to visit with her Galveston friends. Ann and Steve lived in Galveston for thirty years before returning home "to retire."

You will find Steve at the Neshoba County Historical Museum, and Ann at Gipson Cleaners.


In 1998, four "M"s and their husbands moved to Philadelphia. They were Molly and Jeff Breazeale, Missy and Chris Jackson, Monica and Russell Adams, and Melissa and Scott Hill.

They all joined the First Methodist Church. Fifteen years later, even though Melissa and Scott have moved to Decatur, the four couples are still best friends. "Blessings" have been added through the years, and last week Molly, Jeff, Matthew and Anna Elise, Missy, Chris, Caroline and Benjamin, and Monica, Russell, Jackson and Meredith spent vacation time together in Gulf Shores.


It is said that "Friends are the family we choose for ourselves." That being true, "cousins" Matthew, Anna Elise, Caroline, Benjamin, Jackson and Meredith, spent many happy hours on Blue Mountain Beach Florida (near Seaside) with their parents. While Jackson and Matthew "rope climbed" at Baytown Wharf, the others opted to bungee jump. They timed it perfectly so as to eat at The Red Bar on Grayton Beach on "crab cake" night.


William Henry "Levi" Dees V responded when the Reverend Fred Britton baptized him in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit during the morning worship service at the First United Methodist, Philadelphia, Sunday, June 2, 2013.

Levi is the son of Jamie and William Henry "Chip" Dees IV.

Life ran full circle in the Williams family Sunday, On the same day Levi, grandson of Mandy and William Henry "Bud" Dees, III, was baptized, his great-aunt Jonne Williams Mabus, was buried.

Upon leaving McClain-Hays Funeral Home, en route to Good Hope cemetery, Jonne's funeral procession passed by her church, First Methodist, and proceeded by "the store," where the porch was filled with Williams Brothers' employees, all of whom were family to Jonne.

Levi's maternal grandparents are Nancy and Mike Jones and Kirk Martin; maternal grandparents are Mandy and William Henry "Bud" Dees, III.

Maternal great grandparents are Emma Dell Dunn and the late Cecil Dunn, Bibi and Eric Hilton, and the late Paul Martin; paternal great grandparents are Nancy and Pat Hardage and Peggy Williams Dees and the late William Henry "Buddy" Dees, Jr.

Family members present who enjoyed the service as Levi conversed with Fred, included Bud and Mandy Dees, Peggy Dees, Pat and Nancy Hardage, Nancy Jones, Jennifer Wedgeworth, Emma James, Jane Dees Crosswhite, Chad Crosswhite, Clay Crosswhite, and Travis and Caroline Dees Sledge.


Even the girls wore mustaches at Jack Windham's birthday party! Celebrating his fifth birthday (June 3, 2013), Jack was sporting a mustache and a Super Mario Luigi hat.

He gave all his guests Mario mustaches. Due to the weather, Jack's parents, Andrew and Wendy Windham, moved the party from their backyard to the Family Life Center at First Methodist Church.

Mario and his friends filled the indoor "jumpy house" with laughter. Taking breaks from jumping, they enjoyed the brightly iced cupcakes Jack requested of his mom.

Special guests included Jack's sisters, Ella and Abby Windham, his grandparents, Don and Susan Windham, Marie Davis and Dewayne Davis, Aunt Alana Pilgrim, his cousins, Ainsley and Noah Tarlson, and Leonard Locke.

Jack's friends and their parents enjoying the party included Lucy Neal, Carlisle, Sam, Phoebe and Kyle Ray, Reed and Beth Kilgore, Baylor, Sadie and Bonnie Coggins, Miriam, Samuel, Sarah, Valarie and Phillip Prince, Leah, Lucy and Christy Hantzis, and Benjamin and Missy Jackson.


Ayla, Maggie Mae and Stacy had a party at the Neshoba County Nursing Home.

Special guests were their friends in the Philadelphia Woman's Club and residents at the Home.

As a graduate of Canine Companions for Independence school, Ayla is a certified service dog. She is trained to help special people with needs, including veterans who come home with disabilities, outpatient rehabilitation, which includes children, as well as many other pet assisted therapy programs.


The Philadelphia Woman's Club selected Stacy Cook, Animal Assisted Therapy Coordinator at Neshoba County General Hospital and Nursing Home, as their clubwoman of the year.

The State of Mississippi's Federation of Women's Club has chosen Ayla's school for their state project for the coming year.

The party was Ayla, Maggie Mae and Stacy's way of saying "thank you" for their support.

The party was also a dedication for the "Pass Along Garden" which Ayla and Stacy have established in one of the gardens at the Home.

Residents and friends are encouraged to "pass along" cuttings, seeds and plants for the garden. A vegetable garden has also been planted for everyone's viewing pleasure. Samples of the cookbook, "Cooking With NCNH Residents and Ayla," which are for sale, were on display.

Those enjoying the party were Woman's Club members, Stacy and Ayla, Elizabeth Frohse, Liz Goldman, Eleanor Green, Jean Marshall, Madonna May, Pat Mioton, Betty Mooney, Rosanell Phillips and Barbara Thaggard, and from Neshoba County Animal Clinic, Poppy, Lorin Dunn, Amy Eldridge, and Connie Glenn's poodle, Midnight Lace.


Barbara Atkinson Walker called to share the news she had heard about the death of Janie Williams Pickering.

I talked with Suzanne Williams Scanlan, "one of many cousins" who attended "the celebration of Janie's life" in Black Mountain, North Carolina, following her death on April 25, 2013. Janie grew up in Philadelphia, the daughter of Kate and Brown Williams Sr., and a sister to Brown Williams Jr., Pat Stubbs, Helen Sneller, Harold Williams and Snooky Williams.


For the next three weeks, we will share Dr. Bill Molpus' most recent mission trip to Albania, with a preface trip to Italy, followed by a post mission tour.

I thank Bill for the depth, information and blessing he adds to "Friends."


Shirley Cox shares news of the festivities she and Tom enjoyed with their family and friends during their granddaughter, Macy Martin's, graduation from Philadelphia High School.

Those attending included Carla, Ike and Issac Martin, Tommy, Terri, Bailey and Allison McCarver, Kayla and Stephen Bryant, and Meagan and Brent Anthony of Brandon, Katherine Tingle of Rolling Fork, Kay Tingle Black and Laura Guyton Martin of Starkville, Kipps and Carol Webb and Dr. Tommy, LeeAnne and John Bailey Cox of Southaven, and Frances marshall and Joyce and Bobby Hardy of Philadelphia.


Macy was a Special Honors Student, graduating third in her class, was vice president of her class, and received many honors and medals her senior year. She will be attending Mississippi State University this fall.