Jack is loving the figs; Dr. Keenum didn’t care for our umbrella

The fig tree has been in our back yard for as long as I can remember. Every year, I have big plans for those figs, but it never seems to work out.

Way back when Mrs. Mona Drake, my side neighbor was alive, I would share the figs with her, knowing at least some of them were getting used.
Typically, the figs get ready while we are back and forth to Philadelphia to the Neshoba County Fair, so they are neglected and enjoyed by the birds.
A couple of years ago, they were ready later. So I got my bucket, gathered some figs and attempted to make Raspberry Orange Fig Jam. It didn’t work out too well.

Lisa McNeece

This year, with the strange weather we have had– very cold winter and rainy summer, it seems the figs are later than usual getting ready this year, too.
I had made up my mind to try making the jam again. But when Joel and I were sitting out on the patio Sunday afternoon, another problem emerged with the fig tree.

Our yellow Lab Jack was plucking the figs off left and right eating as he went. He would get right up in the middle of the tree and snatch the ripest ones.
I can’t win for losing as far as the fig tree is concerned.

Highlights of the last week of the fair–
Thursday morning the fairgrounds were packed in anticipation of Sen. Thad Cochran speaking and fears there would be trouble with the McDaniel camp.
Extra security was brought in and SuperTalk Radio even hired security for the day.
The weather was perfect. A stray raindrop or two, but otherwise, not your typical fair weather.

It seemed one time that the rain might pick up. So MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum, who had been at our cabin with daughter Tori, came back inside to get an umbrella from the hanging hook on the mirror. We have acquired several umbrellas over the years in all sizes and colors, all of which I’m sure have been left by fair-goers.

When Dr. Keenum came back in a few minutes later to check on his daughter Tori, I noticed he had one of the small, cheap umbrellas. I thought he needed an upgrade and offered him one of the larger ones in the corner– this one royal blue and white stripe.
He was very appreciative until he got out on the porch and opened it.
I heard Tori say “Daddy, that’s an Ole Miss umbrella.”

Uh-oh. In every white panel on the umbrella was a 12” tall Colonel Rebel.
I don’t think he had it in his hand long enough for anyone else to see. We all had a good laugh. I swore I didn’t realize it was an Ole Miss umbrella, but I don’t think he really believed me.

The crowd listening to Sen. Cochran speak was huge. Joel had gone down to the pavilion to try to get a seat before the speech. I waited too late, and ended up at the back door of the pavilion which is a great place for photos as candidates arrive there prior to their speeches.
I got photos of Gov. Phil Bryant visiting with Rep. Scott Bounds and Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn. I also got Cochran right after he arrived.
In between, I visited with Bruce natives, Kent and Tammy Moore with son Tyler who were at the pavilion to watch daughter Olivia dance with a Philadelphia dance group.

Other locals we saw at the speaking were Robert Earl and Betty Clanton, Judge Jimmy Vance and Sheriff Greg Pollan, Popie Pope, Earnest Fox, Fred Nabors and Hal Reese Jr. We also saw David and Lib Sansing of Oxford. David was my Mississippi history teacher at Ole Miss. Lib is a native of Vardaman. She was a Hawkins.
That night’s concert was a good old country band the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. They were awesome.

Friday afternoon, I was sitting at the Grandstand watching the last of the horse racing and waiting to video our crew chair racing for the Easton Corbin concert that night.
In the final race of the day, two horses got tangled up and one hit the ground, throwing the jockey over the fence. He was fine, and immediately got up walking around, but the horse did not. He suffered a broken leg and had to be euthanized.

Granddaughter Addi Claire told me last week that she was going to get a puppy.
“It’s going to be my puppy,” she said. “I’m going to take care of it, and feed it and love it. And it’s going to stay at your house, Grana.”
I told her we already had a dog at my house that she could feed and take care of and love- Jack.

“But he’s not a puppy,” she said.
No, but he acts like one.
Addi Claire is starting school this week and I can hardly stand to think about it.
It doesn’t seem possible that she is old enough to go.

E-mail Lisa McNeece: lisamcneece@gmail.com follow her on twitter @lisamcneece