Football season is here! Peyton Manning "warmed up" for the 2013 season by throwing seven touchdown passes in the Denver Broncos opening game against the Baltimore Ravens, last year's Super Bowl champs.

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There were no losers in Friday night's matchup between local arch rivals, Neshoba Central and Philadelphia. Both teams were just happy to be playing each other once again after a two-year suspension.

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While Mississippi State and Ole Miss' opening games were more like a romp on a hot football field, we'll focus on the tailgate parties, where I am told the 90-plus temperatures were equally as unrelenting. Sarah Mars celebrated her 21st birthday in the Grove at Ole Miss among a large gathering of family and friends. Enjoying Sarah's birthday and the Rebels' win were her parents, Cheryl Mars and Dan Mars, and her brothers and their families, Adam and Casey Mars, Mary Montgomery, Maddox, Alex and Jax and William and Carol Marie Mars, Will, Bailey and Caroline.

Other family members included James and Kim Mars, Abe and Fent, and Casey's parents, Pete and Mary Lynn Lewis, of Oxford. Very much a part of it, but unable to attend, were Mont and Dawn Mars. Special guests were Linda Johnson, the mother of C. J. Johnson, #10 Ole Miss Rebel team member, and other family members.

Among those joining the party to wish Sarah a "Very Happy Birthday," were John Harold Smith, Sadie Shields, Latimer Smith, Keaton Lang, Lee Smith, Ellen and Rebecca Prince and Kim, Cecily Kate and Bass Price.

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Multi-talented pharmacist/ floral designer Jenny Lynn Wilkerson lent a touch of "bulldog" elegance to their tailgate party at Mississippi State, attended by Lacie Wilkerson, Kay and Stanley Salter, Tate and Jon Byars Salter, Sarah Zepponi, Larry and Brenda Mills, Jonathan and William Mills, Justin, Tamra, Chaney and Garrett Mills, Don and Susan Windham, Andrew, Ella, Abby and Jack Windham, Alan and Trey Windham, Janet and Jim Perry, Layne McKinney and Tammy Hood.

A tall clear cylindrical vase was filled with dog bone treats and a dog collar, while Bully's water bowl held an arrangement of white lilies.

The football field was as hot in Starkville as in Oxford, but the little ones in the group played on in the heat, off the field, as faithfully as the players themselves, while some of the faint-hearted opt for an iced coffee at the on-campus Barnes & Noble.

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Three first-quarter turnovers left Southern Mississippi short on points in their game against Texas State on Aug. 3l, but their loyal fans were there. Sitting on the 40-yard line, along with Ed Williamson, were Jim Hicks, his wife, Betsy, their son, Gipson, and his parents, Regina and Danny Hicks. Jim played center for four years for USM's 2003 Conference USA Championship Team which was recognized and honored during the USM-Texas game.

Seated on the 40-yard line were Erin and Brett Smith of Brookhaven, and their children, Brice and Hampton Edward, and Bob and Lisa Posey, along with Natalie and Trey. Bobby Glynn Posey was absent at the game, but will always be remembered at Mississippi Southern where he is a member of the Football Hall of Fame.

With her family scattered on the 40 and 50-yard lines, Gloria Williamson sat with her friend, Rosalind Rawls of Jackson, in the cool of the club box located in the in-zone.

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Homer Horace McCown, a friend of mine, passed away last week, and reading his obituary, I realized I never knew him. Reminded me of Paul's words in Matthew 13:57: "A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own country, and among his own people."

The humblest of the humble, Mac would have never told you that during his career at TRW Space and Defense Sector in Redondo Beach, California, he trained Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad to deploy an antenna on the moon! Nor that he led the design and development of the antenna system on the Pioneer 10 spacecraft, the first man-made object to leave our solar system!

I knew Mac as Vonnie's husband, and it is not surprising that she and their children have set up a memorial scholarship at Mississippi State University, of which Mac is a graduate and former engineering professor, for upperclassmen studying electrical engineering.

Mac struggled to pay for his education, and quoting Vonnie, "We felt it fitting to provide a little help to college kids in similar situations." Donations may be sent to: MSU Foundation, P..O. Box 6149, Mississippi State, MS 39762, marked "Homer McCown Scholarship" on the memo line.

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With advance apologies to a dear, out-spoken Baptist friend of mine, the following news items are indeed Methodist based.

The M&M's (Mature and Modern) returned to the classroom at their September meeting at First United Methodist Church. Dressed as "school kids", Sarah McKay, Patt Fiedler, Rachel Evans, and Laura Bryan on the piano, led the group in singing, "School days, school days, dear old golden rule days...".

U. S. Army veteran Pete Williamson led the class in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. The Reverend Fred Britton asked God's blessings on classrooms, students, teachers, administration and personnel everywhere.

Following a delicious potluck lunch, Brenda Vowell spoke on the work being done and the blessings being realized by "God's Closet". This ongoing mission, adopted by the United Methodist Women at First Methodist, works to provide assistance to needy school children and their parents in Neshoba County.

School Marm Mrs. McKay conducted a Bible quiz among the M&M members and their guests, who were "kids for just another day." Among them were M&M President Janice Williamson, June Mitchell, Hazel Allen, Annie Baughman, Dot Petty, Deborah Petty Belin, Patt Fiedler, Betty Prince, Mary Louise Blanks, Babs Kirkland, Sara Hutchison, Sheila Blount, Jan and Pete Williamson, Pat and Lavelle Woodrick, Sarah McKay, Rachel Evans, Fred Britton, Betty Mooney, Jan Cooper, Mary John Turnage, Brenda Matthews, Ricky Bengs, Betty Irons and Brenda Vowell.

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The congregation at First United Methodist Church participated in the service when William Prewitt Richardson received Infant Christian Baptism during the morning worship service Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013.

The Reverend Fred Britton officiated in the presence of Prewitt, born Feb. 4, 2013, and his parents, Anne and Andrew Richardson. The service was further blessed by the attendance of both Prewitt's maternal grandparents, Marianne and Harper Young, and his paternal grandparents, Mary Ann and William Richardson. Other special guests were Mathis, Ashley and Jacks Young and Council Young.

Audrey Leigh White, born March 4, 2013, was Baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost at The First United Methodist Church Sunday morning, Sept. 8, 2013, with the Reverend Fred Britton officiating.

Audrey Leigh is the daughter of Wade and Leigh Allyn White. Both her maternal grandparents, Susan and Andy King, and paternal grandparents, Barbara and Roy White, were present for her baptism, as was Tina King, her maternal great-grandmother.

Audrey is the great-granddaughter of the late Allan King, the late Mr.and Mrs. Robert Morrison, the late Mr. and Mrs. Nelson White and the late Mr. and Mrs. Audra Ward. She was baptized in the baptismal gown worn by her first-cousin, Annie Kate White, daughter of Leigh Ann and William White.

Special guests attending the service included Susan and Andy King, Barbara and Roy White, Tina King, David King, Carolyn Briscoe, William, Leigh Ann, Walker and Annie Kate White, Nelson and Betty White, Joyce Weir, and Danny and Jan Cooper.

The "special music", "Let The Children Come", sung at Audrey's baptism was very special indeed. Susan King and Jan Cooper's brother, Dr. Ken Morrison, a retired Methodist minister, wrote and composed "Let The Children Come" as a solo, for his grandchildren. He re-wrote and arranged the song to be sung by the Ladies Ensemble at First Methodist, Philadelphia at the Celebration of Baptism for his great-niece, Audrey Leigh White.