Congratulations to our Editor and Publisher, James E. "Jim" Prince III, on being re-elected to a second term as President of the Mississippi Press Association!

His profound belief, "That when a community loses its newspaper, it loses its soul," assures us that The Neshoba Democrat is alive and well and here to stay!

Thank you, Jim.


"God bless America, land that we love. Stand beside Her, and guide Her, through the night with the Light from above."

The challenge for America is found in Isaiah 60-1-3: "Arise my people! Let your light shine for all the nations to see! For the glory of God is streaming from you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see the glory of the Lord upon you."

Have a happy Fourth of July!


Our hearts have been shredded this past week over the deaths of our young friends, Greg Smith and Ty Miller.

At the same time, we have celebrated the life of Evelyn Parkes Russell, who lived to be one hundred years old!

Our comfort can be found in the scripture Toby Nutt told me, on the day of Greg's funeral, "to share with everyone you see."

Although Toby's home is in Louisville, Kentucky, his blood flows a little "redder" because of his love for the red dirt at the Neshoba County Fair.

The scripture; Joshua 1:9.


The saddest thing happened in my neighborhood.

The little girl across the street got a bicycle for her birthday. A pink bicycle with limer than lime green handlebar streamers!

She rode it all weekend and into the week.

Wednesday night someone stole it off her back porch.

She is so sad.

Won't you please bring it back?

Thank you.


While the "big dogs," Steve Wilkerson, Stanley Salter and Bobby Hardy, were away with the Mississippi State Bulldogs who were playing in the College World Series baseball championship in Omaha, Neb., little lady canines, Jenny Lynn and Kay, found the keys to Steve's ice cream truck!

To the delight of many of "us" youngsters, they drove over town distributing one's choice of ice cream treats.

The "tinkle, tinkle" of the bell on the ice cream truck would have been lost in the clanging of cowbells at Ameritrade Trade Park in Omaha.


As Shirley Cox told me, "Maroon and white was the tie that bound us all together, reason enough for an instant friendship."

Shirley and Tom's trip to the College World Series in Omaha, with their thirteen-year-old grandson, Issac Martin, was Issac's trip to Disney World, as was his due since Shirley and Tom had taken their other seven grandchildren to Disney World. When Issac, "a true Mississippi State boy," heard about Mississippi State playing in the World Series, he jumped at the idea of going to Omaha, saying, "This can be my Disney World trip!."

And so it was. "We had a wonderful time," Shirley told me.

Other members of Tom and Shirley's family who attended the games were Tommy McCarver, Allison McCarver and Stephen Bryant, all of Brandon.


I would love your news about attending the World Series. Please call me!


I challenge The Clarion Ledger's June 26, 2013, headlines which read, "End of the Road, Dream Season Ends."

Paraphrasing the theme love song from the movie, "The Titanic," "This dream will go on forever!," in the hearts of those who played, everyone who rang a cowbell or chanted, "Go Bulldogs," or watched on TV.

As MSU's legendary radio broadcaster, Jack Cristil, would say, "Wrap it in Maroon and White," and cherish the memories.


Things change.

Grandchildren grow up.

For years, Brenda Matthews rented a three-bedroom condo on the beaches in Alabama for vacation with her family.

This year, a two-bedroom in Gulf Shores did nicely for her, and her children, Kim and Cecil Price.


Some things remain the same.

Allan Thomas Pickle, III of Ridgeland came for the first of his summer visits with Gran, Sarah McKay, making plans for a return visit "after the Fair and before school starts."

Their visit, which began on Father's Day, included lunch at Geyser Falls with Allan Thomas Pickle, Jr., an afternoon at the movies and another at the bowling alley, a "look-see" at the fairgrounds, breakfast at PHOP, frequent stops at City Donuts, pizza and late-night movies, and a special visit with his great-aunt, Beth Darby, at Atwood Personal Care Home.

"The highlight of the trip," Sarah told me, "was that Allan Thomas drove us everywhere we went!"

Driving now on a learner's permit, Allan Thomas, who will enter the tenth grade at Jackson Academy this fall, will qualify for his permanent license on Nov. 13, 2013, when he becomes sixteen.

No matter how old our grandchildren get, thank goodness the love does not run out!


The opening of our new $19 million Neshoba County General Hospital on Sunday, June 30, 2013, was a great day for Neshoba County!

We are indebted to everyone who worked with such diligence, determination and dedication to make it a reality.


The day of the hospital opening was a special day for Mildred Risher as she remembered her son, Steve Risher, who passed away nineteen years ago on June 30, 1994.

Mildred and her late husband, John Risher, lost both their children, Steve and Donna, to cancer at a very early age.

She shares these words, which have been of comfort to her, with us.

"I imagine our reunion someday at heaven's gate. It fills my heart with happiness...but for now, I'll have to wait. Until my life upon this earth, and my work here is complete, sweet memories will keep me, until at last we meet."

God bless you, Mildred.


Congratulations to Miss Madison Hardy, our perennial winner, who was among the fifteen finalist in the "Miss Tennessee" contest held in Jackson, Tenn. last weekend.

Madison, bearing the title, "Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival 2013," was one of 36 contestants who qualified for entry in the pageant over the State of Tennessee.

Among Madison's supporters attending the pageant were her parents, Sarah and Mike Hardy, her brother, Michael Hardy, her grandparents, Joyce and Bobby Hardy, and friends, Patsy Clark, Lisa Clark and Brandy Stuart.


Amanda Fortenberry and Jay Cassel were honored at a "Honey Do" shower in the home of Pat Mioton in Woodland Hills, where the home, backyard, patio and pool area were colorfully decorated with arrangements of summer flowers and plants.

Members of Amanda and Jay's families and friends were served from a beautiful array of meat, fruit and vegetable trays, along with dips and chips, and a selection of delicious desserts.

The fun came in watching Amanda and Jay, who will be married July 6, 2013 at Hope Baptist Church, Philadelphia, open the gifts that their friends thought "Honey" could "do."

They included such items as power and gardening tools, mops, brooms, kitchen appliances, and a gas grill for backyard barbecuing.

Special guests of the bride-and-groom-to-be included Amanda's parents, Pam and Thomas Fortenberry of Union, and her grandparents, JoAnn and Jerome Copeland and Imogene Burton, all of Philadelphia, and Jay's parents, Amy and Merrill Cassel and grandparents, Dorothy McGee and Bill and Melvya Cassel, all of Union.

Hosts and hostesses, along with Pat, included Suanne Adams, Faye Adcock, June Anderson, Ricky Bengs, Judy Caverhill, Charlene Clark, Norman Cole, Jean Marshall, Jeanette McNeil, Brenda Matthews, Rosanell Phillips, Dr. Bill Molpus, Britta Stephens, Kay Stephens, Barbara Thaggard, and Dot Wallace.


And now, with his mission work in Albania done, let's join Dr. Bill Molpus on his post-mission trip, which stemmed from stories told of a land they loved, by friends of his and Shirley's years ago.

"Our friends from Croatia were Roman Catholics and were persecuted by the communists of Tito's Yugoslavia. By the Grace of God, they escaped. This was a place I had always wanted to visit, and now was the time.

"1990 and 1991 saw the breakup of communist rule in Russia, Germany and Yugoslavia. The different countries that made up Yugoslavia wanted their independence. The Serbians, who controlled the country from Belgrade, resisted the breakup and attacked these individual countries.

"Our tour began in Zagreb, the capitol of Croatia, a beautiful city that has been rebuilt from the war. Croatia is next in line to becoming a member of the European Union. The folks I talked with were not in favor of that nation and thought it would be bad economically for them in the long run.

"We drove through the countryside on our way to Bosnia, enjoying the green Swiss-looking landscape. Red-tiled chalets on the mountain side and neat rows of grapevine already covered in leaves. Ivan, our driver, was a young fellow from Dubrovnik. He told an amazing story.

"Ten years ago he was walking in the old town of Dubrovnik with his girl friend when a guy stabbed him in his gut. Ivan lost both kidneys and had been on dialysis until last year when he received a kidney transplant. By the Grace of God he is alive and doing well.

"We arrived in Sarajevo, the capitol of Bosnia. I only knew three things about Sarajevo ...(1) In 1912 Prince Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated here and that precipitated the beginning of World War I. (2) The Winter Olympics were held here in 1984. (3) Bosnia is a Muslim country.

"It is a beautiful city with low mountains all around and snow-capped mountains in the distance. From the vantage point of one of these hills, you get a panoramic view and you are immediately struck by the predominance of graveyards.

Our beautiful young guide told of her and her families experience of living thru the war of 1995.

"The Serb laid siege to the town and destroyed 80 percent of the city. Horrible stories of the killing of thousands of people. Her father had lost a leg when he stepped on a line mine.

"It is confusing, but Bosnia Herzegovina is one country, divided into two areas, with Sarajevo the capitol of Bosnia and Mostar the capitol of Herzegovina. Bosnia is mainly Muslim, while Herzegovina is mainly Eastern Orthodox.

"For the most part, they live together with little or no problems. The main attraction in Mostar is the centuries-old bridge which the Serbs destroyed in 1995 and was rebuilt in 2002.

"Our next stop was the fabulous city of Dubrovnik, located at the foot of a mountain on the Adriatic shore, a Medieval fortress enclosing the old town. Ivan and his girl friend, Mia, invited us to dinner at their apartment for a typical Croatian meal: homemade bread, Ivan's father's olive oil, Mia's father's wine, tuna pate, octopus salad, and a banana split for dessert. Wow!

"A day tour to Montenegro, the southern most country of Yugoslavia, and a fantastic drive along the Adriatic. By now I am satiated. I do not properly appreciate the beauty of the passing scenery. My mind wanders. I remembered that the day I paid for my first trip to China in 1999, was the day the U. S. Air Force bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.

"Then my only concern was whether or not I would be able to go to China? I was able to go. I was oblivious to the war between Serbia and Kosovo. Thar war seemed so far away, and now I am so close to Belgrade.

"The Croatian Airline employees are on strike. Most of the domestic flights are canceled. Our flight from Dubrovnik to Zagreb in Paris is not canceled. Thank you, Jesus! The flight from Zagreb to Paris is delayed.

"Have less than an hour to change planes in the Charles de Gaul Airport. Not enough time, but I make it! The flight is delayed from Atlanta to Jackson. Finally in my bed by 5 a.m. Whew! I am so blessed! God is so good!"

Amen and Amen.