Just Among Friends


December 30 marked a momentous occasion for Barney Nowell. It was his 89th birthday!  He and his wife, Lavinia, are the parents of Greg and Guy who also live in Philadelphia with their wives, Brenda and Lolo. They also have grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom they adore. Barney is well known for his kindness and compassion as well as his many contributions to our community. A Huge Happy Birthday!


Congratulations to Lideatrick "Tulu" Griffin, a freshman Bulldog team member who played in his first-ever bowl game and won the Most Valuable Player Award for the bowl game.  

Mississippi State played against Tulsa in the December 31 Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth Texas. The Bulldogs won 28-26 to set a school record of winning 14 bowl games. It was such an honor for this Philadelphia High School Tornado alum to receive this award. He feels blessed. Good job!


The day after Christmas found the Wright Griffis family accompanied by grandparents David L. and Priscilla Vowell Sanders, and Bill Griffis, headed for Panama City, Florida for a week of youth baseball and beach fun. 

It was the family's second trip to this annual baseball fest which was held in Austin, Texas last year. Sanders Griffis is a member of the Baseball Youth Elite team which had an outstanding season. Baseball and beaches are a winning combination for this family. They enjoyed exploring and beach time together as well as watching the baseball games.

The fireworks scheduled for New Year's Eve were canceled due to rain, so Priscilla Sanders went out on a mission to buy decorations for an indoor celebration. Her mission was a success and she decorated the condo at 10:00 at night with a huge blow-up 2021, fun glasses frames, horns, and streamers. It was a fun way to bring in the New Year!

Wright and Leslie Sanders Griffis and their children, Maggie Lee, Sanders, and Laney had a wonderful week. Leslie's parents and Wright's father are always ready to accompany them and their family on trips where many memories are made.


The Walker family spent the holidays with Mack and Sherry Alford in Mississippi.  Glen and Jennifer Alford Walker and their children, Emily, Jason, and Grace, journeyed from Macon, Georgia to visit with the Alfords.

     The Walker children enjoyed spending time outdoors as they usually do.  Their grandparents live in a wooded area which is always great fun.  Christmas meant opening presents together and eating yummy food. Emily tried out her new roller skates which caused laughter.  Grace loved her twin baby dolls which she carried with her everywhere she went.

New Year's Eve was celebrated at the syrup mill where they cooked hotdogs and sat around a roaring wood fire where the syrup is usually cooked. Fireworks were set off to end the evening.  Both families look forward to the Mississippi visits and look forward to the next trip.


Philadelphia friends of Barry and Betty Irons will be glad to know that he was discharged from the hospital and he and Betty moved across the street into the Rotary House Hotel.  Barry will continue his recovery process with Betty as his number one nurse for about two weeks.

He had surgery at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston on December 17, 2020, to remove a tumor from his nasal cavity. The surgery and reconstruction were successful and, according to his doctors, he is right on track for recovery. So glad to share this good news! Hope they will be home very soon.


I hope each and every one of you has a blessed, safe, and Happy New Year! It has been a long 2020 which had some joy in spite of the pandemic. May the New Year bring hope and peace to all of us along with joy. May those who grieve be comforted through the sad, hard days and emerge with feelings of solace.

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