On winter weather and a senator that needs our prayers

By TIM BEELAND,

In Mississippi the term “layering” when it comes to winter attire no doubt has a completely different meaning than anywhere else in the world. Look at this past week. Mid 60s, sunny, rainy, windy, freezing cold, snow, sleet....don’t really know what else because the prediction of an incoming winter storm on Monday, forced us to send this paper to the printer a day early with very little warning.

Some folks don’t realize it, but this paper has not been printed in our building on Smith Ave. in Forest for 15 or 20 years. I’m not certain of how long it has been, because the presses were dismantled, and the printing moved to a print plant in McComb long before I came here 10 years ago this month. So, if it did come a big snow storm, and you are wondering why it was not featured on the front page of this paper, now you know.

Some things we simply have no control over and snow and winter weather is one of those things here in central Mississippi. We’ve made it through rain, and heat, and tornadoes, and even hurricanes, but when it comes to ice, the good folks that print and deliver this paper draw the line on when they will send their drivers out on the road. Plus, we don’t ever really know what the power situation will be and we depend heavily on the Internet and electronic transmission of this newspaper to the printer, so it always seems that the best plan is to stay ahead of the game.

As far as that dressing in layers thing goes, though, we really do have the market cornered there. At my house most winter mornings I put on a coat, scarf, hat and gloves to walk our two Chihuahuas in the dark, and the majority of those mornings there is frost on the ground and cars as well.

Then by the time I’ve had my morning coffee, caught up on the news, and showered and shaved, a long sleeve shirt and jacket are in order, or at the least a sweater, for the drive to work. By mid morning the jacket can be hung on the coat hook by the door and the sleeves rolled up to make life a bit more comfortable.

By mid afternoon I often find myself wishing I had added a layer of swim trunks and a t-shirt or at least put the same in my brief case for the ride home. My A/C isn’t so good! Only in Mississippi. Yep, only in Mississippi.

On a different note, our thoughts and prayers are certainly with Sen. Terry Burton as he recovers from the stroke he suffered last week. Just Terry C. as he is fondly known by us has been a family friend as long as I can remember.

Growing up in Newton, many times my friends and I found ourselves riding our bicycles in a cut-through alley in downtown. The alley ran behind WBKN 1410 radio station and often the back door was open — most likely to let the cigarette smoke escape.

Terry C. was a young disc jockey there, probably before he came to  WQST here in Forest. The man has a radio disc jockey voice as anyone that has ever spoken with him can attest.  Back in the ‘70s on one of our alley cut throughs we stopped to talk to Terry C. who was always willing to talk, and he gave us some albums that had been sent to the station as promotionals.

One of those albums featuring Billy Crash Craddock on the Navy Hoedown, singing the song Knock Three Times (on the ceiling), remains in my collection today. Every time we spin it, I remember those carefree afternoons of our youth and a simpler time and a simpler place.

Thanks for those memories Terry C. We’re all pulling for you. You get well real soon, you hear? And, just so you know, I’m gonna spin that album in your honor tonight while watching for all that snow.