The holidays then and now are a special time for folks all around DeSoto County to take to the roads and do a little traveling.
In late December of 1960, residents from all corners of the state’s most northwestern county were busy commuting to and from the homes of relatives during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
The county newspapers were filled with briefs about folks traveling from Grays Creek to Mineral Wells and all points in between for granny’s coconut cake and Aunt Sue’s blackberry cobbler.
Mr. and Mrs. B.J. Chain, Jr. and daughter Lynn of Olive Branch were spending the holidays with Mrs. Chain’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. T.W. Smith in Belzoni.
In Lewisburg, Mrs. Earl Rose of Horn Lake visited Mrs. R.B. Bryant of Lewisburg and Mr. and Mrs. Linden Lancaster and Jack of Houston were visitors of Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Ingram.
The Christmas Cantata at Olive Branch Baptist Church, “Love Transcending,” was presented on Dec. 18.
“More than 40 voices will be heard in the presentation of the cantata, which is being directed by Luther Clardy,” the DeSoto County News reported.
Miss America’s Mary Ann Mobley and Lynda Lee Mead, both former Miss Mississippi’s, were busy traveling around the state and nation making public appearances.
A musical program was being presented at Sacred Heart School in Walls. A festive Christmas party was set to follow the 7:30 p.m. performance.
In the athletic world, the Hernando boys basketball team defeated Sardis. “Coach Theron Long’s Hernando Wildcats drubbed Sardis by a score of 54-33 and the girls lost a squeaker to the Sardis girls 34-32.”
The Ole Miss Rebels were preparing for the Sugar Bowl and gridiron glory. The decade ahead would be a fortuitous one for the squad from Oxford.
The President’s Home at Northwest Mississippi Junior College was completed and the overall Mississippi economy was booming, as Mississippi led the Southern region in per capita bank deposit growth.
The 1960s would prove to be a time of prosperity and calamitous change.
It just goes to show that history is cyclical in nature. There is nothing new under the sun. Just the people and characters change, like pieces on a chessboard.
The Time Traveler wishes everyone a Happy New Year!
ROBERT LEE LONG is Curator of the DeSoto County Museum.