February 16 '08
Volume 611

Annie Up Close Celebrity Encounter

I have never been fortunate enough to be near enough to a celebrity to rub shoulders, so to speak, and by celebrity I’m thinking of movie star, professional athlete, a governor, or the President of the United States. But then, I don’t go looking for them just for an autograph or photo opportunity. Oops…I thought of a pro athlete.

Tim McCarver of the St. Louis Cardinals was at the Sunflower Food Store #43, on East Main Street in Tupelo at the time I worked there in 1963. He was autographing 8 by 10 glossies, and I had him sign one for my then little brother, James. And, I was in within a few feet of Ernie Haase of Signature Sound fame, the other night at the Gaither Concert in Tupelo, but that’s all the famous people I can think of that I was near enough to have touched, until I ran into Annie last Thursday.

Annie, for those of you who don’t have email or haven’t heard of "you tube," is something of an Internet celebrity. She arrived in my inbox a couple of years ago as an attachment to a forwarded message. Okay, she didn’t arrive in my inbox, but she was the subject of the humorous video clip in which she was featured.

The video clip was named "Why I Quit Court Reporting." It is approximately two minutes in length, but it’s very apparent that the title fits the situation.

Annie, who lives in Ruleville, Mississippi, is sworn in for a legal deposition, the nature of which is not revealed, but she is asked to verify whether the signature on a certain piece of paper is hers.

Annie may have a speech impediment or else she may be a special-needs individual, and if either is true, I apologize for any humor I find in viewing the clip and would have her know I’m not laughing at her but rather laughing at the predicament of the court reporter.

Annie, when asked to raise her right hand, raised her left hand, and when asked a second time to raise her right hand, she raised it and kept both arms held high over her head.

When asked if she promised to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it was evident she agreed to do so, but her answer which I would perceive to be along the line of "Yeah, I promise to tell the whole truth," is unintelligible speech, and my translation is purely guesswork based on the circumstances and the question she had been presented.

The rest of the clip consists of the exchange between the defense lawyer and Annie. He asked her if she could write her name, and she commented she could, again, almost completely unintelligible.

She was asked if the signature he showed her was in her handwriting. Her reply included, "My baby sister wrote that," but I can’t understand more than a couple of the words. However, the lawyer understood her, and then asked if her sister’s name was Nennie. Annie answered, affirmatively, and then rolled off another sentence I could not decipher.

With that, the defense attorney quickly concluded, "I believe that’s all the questions I have."

Of course, it’s not known if the court reporter quit, but the humor of the piece lies in the fact that the speech of the "depositionee" is beyond the realm of understanding by the average person, and would perhaps be sufficient to drive a court reporter to despair or worse.

What is known is this writer was in Ruleville, MS, on February 07, 2008, and chanced to encounter the one and only Annie.

I was standing in line at the checkout of a convenience store with one customer ahead of me. I would likely not have recognized Annie, who was wearing a heavy jacket a knitted-cap on her head, but I heard someone speaking.

"I know that voice," I mused to myself, "I’ve heard it before."

When I glanced in her direction, I could see her face, and then I knew I was looking at the same person I’d watched numerous times via the video clip.

"Should I get her autograph?" I wondered to myself. "Would she allow me to make our picture or to get a photograph of her?

I was still mulling over the possibilities as I walked by her and out the door. By the time I was inside my car, Annie had walked outside and was standing in front of the store’s entrance.

As I drove past her, it crossed my mind to use the camera in my cell phone, as I made a get-away but thought better of it. Anyway, as the only white man for two hundred yards in any direction, I thought it best not to draw any attention to myself. So, as an autograph hound, I failed miserably. As a camera-toting paparazzi, I didn’t take the shot of lifetime. But as a human being, perhaps, I did okay, since some celebrities prefer that others respect their privacy, and I’ve the feeling Annie’s one of them.

Once on the highway, I reached for my cell phone to call Barbara.

"You’ll never guess, who I just saw in a convenience store in Ruleville, Mississippi," I gloated.

"Billie Curbow," Barbara responded rather quickly with probably the only person we know in Ruleville and that’s because she and her late husband spent part of their careers in education in the Pontotoc City School District.

"No," I replied, adding, "this was a black woman."

When my clue left her clueless, I stated, "Annie."

Still, my hint stumped her, so I shared, "Annie B. Holesome or something like that…you know…the woman on "Why I quit court reporting."

"Yeah, yeah," I remember, Barbara exclaimed.

I shared with her the encounter described above, and she acted as though she was thrilled for me. This would be a good place for the reader to pause and consider what simple, inglorious lives Barbara and I live that we find reason to delight in one of us recounting our brush with a celebrity, even an Internet celebrity from the Mississippi Delta.

Lots of folks make a list of the 100 things they hope to do before they die. I’ve never made such a list, not because I can’t think of a hundred things to do, but because, I’m afraid I might actually do all of them and then where would I be? If I did have such a list though, I’d be able to cross-off "Meet a Celebrity."

Concert Goers Getting There

Around the middle of the afternoon of Christmas Day, our home phone rang, and Barbara answered it. She spoke excitedly, but I didn’t have a clue as to whom she was talking.

"That was Miss Virginia Dillard," Barbara announced after hanging up the receiver. "She just got home from Christmas Dinner at Paul and Ina’s. Her children gave her three tickets to the Gaither concert in Tupelo and she wants us to go with her. She said, ‘They told me I should get the Carters to take me, because they’re always doing something for you.’"

At eighty-seven, Miss Virginia is still going strong except for her bad knees that limit her mobility. But, she assured us the tickets were near the stage and on the ground floor of the arena.

Across "Baptist-land," as church music has slowly moved away from traditional hymns and high-church choir anthems, I’ve gained an increased appreciation of the music presented by Bill Gaither in his popular Homecoming Series. The Gaither Vocal Band, a quartet that includes Bill Gaither, is always a blessing of harmony to those of us whose ears are increasingly exposed to praises sung in unison. And, when I heard that Ernie Haase and his group, Signature Sound, would be special guests, I knew we were in for a treat.

Not many weekends passed without Miss Virginia and me reminding each other of the event we planned to attend on February 9, 2008 at Bancorp South Arena in Tupelo. I even tried to get Sister Sue interested in going with us, but she complained that all the singers she loved to hear on the Homecoming videos had all gone on to Glory. Of course, at the last minute, when she learned that Signature Sound would be there, she was remorseful in that she didn’t buy a ticket.

Saturday, February 9th was a long day, not all of which was consumed in anticipation of the Gaither concert. I managed to make my usual Saturday morning route of dropping off a few newsletters and visiting a few friends along the way. Routinely, this activity takes approximately two hours. Miss Virginia reminded me to make sure before we left for the concert she had our concert tickets and her handicap-parking permit to hang from my rear-view mirror.

Barbara and I scheduled ourselves to leave Pontotoc shortly after noon in order to be in Belmont that afternoon for the Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary of Charles and Beckie Adams, our daughter’s in-laws. Furthermore, we planned to be back in Pontotoc before four o’clock, then pick up Miss Virginia and be on our way to Tupelo for the 6:00 p.m. concert. Somehow, things fell into place without us having to rush.

Not knowing how long the concert would last, we decided to eat something light (lighter than a full meal), before driving to the arena. We stopped at Pepper’s in Tupelo and ordered coffee and desserts. After placing our order we found a seat. We observed several persons being served who ordered after we did. I inquired about our order as it was then five o’clock, and we hoped to be at the arena no later than five-thirty. The manager apologized for the delay and quickly had us served. Fortunately, we made it to the arena before five-thirty.

I don’t know what time all the handicapped parking spaces were filled, but obviously it was some time before we got there. Here I’d looked forward all day to parking in a handicapped parking spot and all were occupied. I let Miss Virginia and Barbara out near a side entrance and went off to find a parking space. I found one a few hundred yards away in front of the Hilton Garden Inn, where all the handicapped spaces were also filled. It should have occurred to me that old people go to Gaither concerts and old people have handicapped parking permits and old people arrive early wherever they go, unless a young person transports them.

Returning afoot to the place I’d left my traveling companions, one of who had my ticket, I discovered I could not enter the side entrance. Barbara and Miss Virginia were long gone.

"You’ll have to go around to the main entrance," an attendant instructed, opening a glass door to explain the procedure, "No one can come in here."

"I left a handicapped individual and my wife right here minutes ago. Did they enter here?"

"No Sir. Everyone has to go through the main entrance."

"This is a fine fix," I remember thinking. "I didn’t bring a cell phone, because Barbara brought hers. How in the world am I going to find the two of them?"

I could see beyond the glass enclosures, but I couldn’t see either Barbara or Miss Virginia. They were not in the lines outside, either. The best I could hope for was one of them was inside and would spot me. Finally, at a distance, I saw Barbara’ head bobbing as she peered between concert-goers making their way inside. She worked her way toward the doorway to hand me a ticket. I didn’t know it at the time, but a more desperate situation would soon present itself.

Entering the main floor of the arena, I sought an attendant to ask for directions to our seating.

"You’re in the mezzanine, up there," he gestured toward the other end of the building.

"This is not a seat on the main floor?" I asked, still holding my ticket stub and completely ignorant of the meaning of mezzanine.

"No sir!"

"How do I get there?"

"You’ll have to exit this area and walk around to the stairs."

"I’ve got someone with me who has difficulty walking, especially going upstairs," I shared.

"Well, there’s an elevator that goes to the third level. You could use it then walk to the other end and walk down the steps to the second level."

It wasn’t what I needed to hear, but I thanked him for the information, before explaining the situation to Miss Virginia and Barbara.

Miss Virginia’s children had paid top dollar for the tickets, supposedly in the best seats. Learning our seating was not on the floor was disappointing for all of us, and I had no idea how I was going to get Miss Virginia up a flight of stairs and up to the eighth row of seats in section 202.

To be continued…

Maunder Minimum  Questioning Al Gore's Science

Not all scientists are on board with Al Gore’s global warming mythology and accompanying hysteria. In fact, many scientists are currently seeking funding to research the possibility that we may be on the verge of a new ice age. The Danish Meteorological Institute released a study in 1991 showing that global temperatures follow solar cycles.

Canadian scientists are planning to analyze the impact of the sun on the earth’s climate and the possibility that another ice age is imminent. Solar activity occurs in cycles of 11 years, and thus far, in the current cycle, the sun has been unusually quiet. The sun’s inactivity could indicate the beginning of what is known as the Maunder Minimum. This event occurs every few hundred years and lasts possibly as long as a century.

The last Maunder Minimum occurred in 1650 and was marked by 50 years of terribly freezing winters and cool summers. These findings prove once again what should be blatantly obvious: that Al Gore’s man-made global-warming circus is not scientific, but rather is a scare tactic used for the promotion of class warfare and the redistribution of wealth. Liberals hope that, in addition to piling up political capital with global warming, they can also guilt-trip Americans into surrendering their quality of life.

Source: The Patriot Post, Vol. 80 No. 07


Bodock Beau President Hillary Clinton

It is hoped the following will be understood as political humor and nothing more.

One sunny day in 2008, an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue where he'd been sitting on a park bench.

He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, 'I would like to go in and meet with President Hillary Clinton '

The Marine replied, 'Sir, Mrs. Clinton is not President and doesn't reside here.' The old man said, 'Okay,' and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, 'I would like to go in and meet with President Hillary Clinton.'

The Marine again told the man, 'Sir, as I said yesterday, Mrs. Clinton is not President and doesn't reside here.'

The man thanked him and again walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same Marine, saying 'I would like to go in and meet with President Hillary Clinton.'

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, 'Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mrs. Clinton. I've told you already several times that Mrs. Clinton is not the President and doesn't reside here Don't you understand?'

The old man answered, 'Oh, I understand you fine; I just love hearing your answer!'

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, 'See you tomorrow, sir!'

Shared by Ralph Jones


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