Football Takes Pressure Off Middle East

Sept. 15, 2006 – The beginning of football season seems to have taken a lot of pressure off the Middle East and its wars, congress and its wars, and almost everything else of any importance.

By the time of the first Ole Miss game, I must admit, I had reached my fill and went to sleep before it was over. Reluctantly, I had to ask my wife who won. I awakened to the Louisville-Kentucky track meet, and she was watching Bill Clinton on one of the talk shows, but she not only came up with the score—she added a few details.
We missed having a local broadcast of the Bruce High School game with Houston, because our local radio station is now off the air. The station has been sold to one of those religious groups, which is scheduled to begin the company schedule this fall.
We suffered with Mississippi State fans through their opener earlier in the week and agreed with grandson Marshall, who is a junior at State, that maybe the dove hunting would be better.
He was scheduled for a big hunt near Macon on opening day, but I haven’t received a full report yet.
•Last Saturday night we ran into several of the Bruce Class of 1956 who were having dinner at Anthony Bollinger’s restaurant before going to the show that night at the Bollinger Theater.
Ernest Covington of Oakland, who was there with the group, gave Jo Ann a bag of muscadines he had brought for someone who didn’t show.
We lived right here, he said pointing to the parking lot at the restaurant, and proceeded to point out where the various field crops were grown. His family lived in a dogtrot log house north of Hwy. 32, he said, explaining that his father was sharecropping with T. P. Brunson.
Brunson, for years, was an official with the D.L. Fair Lumber Co. when they had a big operation here. The mill was located about where the Piggly Wiggly is now, and the dry kilns and a few other brick structures are still standing.
Brunson, who continued to live here after the mill closed, often told me how he had been instructed to “close her down" should a labor union attempt to organize the plant.”
The E.L. Bruce Co. arranged for its workers to organize, so the story goes, when during WWII labor unions at shipping docks refused to handle materials produced by non-union labor. The union continued until the mill closed.
•This year’s crop of moonflowers on the front deck is now history--not a victim of the extreme heat but from Jo Ann’s reading of Scott Smith’s best selling novel “The Ruins.”
She had carefully nurtured the seeds under the fluorescents under the kitchen cabinets, not knowing that there were also morning glory seeds in the mix. The sprouts were transplanted to several large pots on the pool deck, under the shade of the Wisteria vine that controls the corner of the fence.
Moonflowers have large white blooms that open at night and are unusually fragrant. The blooms open fast--so fast that you can actually watch the process if you are patient. Jo Ann has been planting them for a number of years so the grandchildren can watch the progress of the flowers from the bud stage to the full-blown flower. Occasionally some of the flowers will be as large as a saucer when they are completely open.
The moonflowers did fine, but the morning glory went wild. It went everywhere, mixing with wisteria and generally taking over. I wondered aloud about what would happen if the vines should become genetically or otherwise entangled.
If you haven’t read the book, I won’t spoil it, but let me just say Jo Ann developed an attitude about vines.
She went bonkers when several wisps of wisteria crept into the swimming pool and a few days later had Carl Hayles, her handyman since I have been on the disabled list, remove everything except the wisteria.
Things are back to normal now. The passionflower, which she says is not a vine, is doing well and she is safely, I hope, reading Fanny Flaggs’, “Can’t Wait To Get To Heaven.”
I paused in my reading of Anderson Cooper’s biography, “Dispatches from the Edge,” Larry King’s “In Search of Willie Morris,” and Nick Kotz’ opus on Lyndon Johnson, to read “The Ruins.”
I sort of agree with her about the vines.

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