May 03 '08
Volume 622

Beardens Visit Pop And Gaga

For a number of years I had the privilege of working with Lamar Bearden. Lamar and I were counterparts in our respective divisions of SUPERVALU, when I began as manager of the Retail Systems department in Indianola in 1990. Lamar worked at the Anniston, Alabama division and later moved to Atlanta.

When the process of regionalization began in earnest in 1995, neither of us was interested in the Director position at the regional office. Lamar didn’t want the responsibility, and I didn’t want to relocate to Atlanta. We ‘sweated’ though the whole downsizing process, kept our jobs, and received different job titles. We became specialists, but since the pay went up, we didn’t mind. Through our association, we became friends, and if it can be said we looked forward to regional meetings, it should be noted we saw them as opportunities to spend time together.

Later, when further consolidations occurred within SUPERVALU, Lamar was given the opportunity to retire. Though now retired from SUPERVALU, Lamar continues to work. He found a twenty-seven store retailer in Atlanta who needed his technical skills. Lamar schedules himself to work Monday through Wednesday, but his wife, Charlene, tells us his typical week exceeds that, and a three-day workweek is the exception not the rule.

If Lamar misses working for SUPERVALU, he never lets on that he does. In fact, he told me a few years ago that he makes more money and has more time to enjoy life than before his retirement.

I can’t remember the year I told Lamar about my newsletter, but after reading a few issues, he and Charlene (Pop and Gaga to their grandchildren) became fans of RRN. Lamar has contributed at least one article to this newsletter. Longtime subscribers may recall Lamar’s story on the annual egg hunt at his house, held primarily for the grandchildren.

I remember that Lamar and Charlene really wanted to attend one of the RRN backyard parties of recent years, but something always came up at the last minute to spoil their plans.

Earlier this year, Lamar phoned me regarding a project involving his group of stores and SUPERVALU Atlanta. At some point in the conversation he stated he and Charlene would be driving through Tupelo on their way to Branson, Missouri in the spring.

"We’d like to stop over and see the Carters on our way," he stated. "We’ll stay the night in Memphis, but we’d like to visit you and Barbara since we’re going to be so close."

"Hey, just let us know when to expect you," I stated. "Y’all can spend the night at our house if you like."

A few weeks ago, Lamar emailed me on a Thursday afternoon to let me know they would be passing through that Saturday afternoon. When Lamar called with an update Saturday morning, Barbara busied herself making a pitcher of tea and a peach cobbler. All was ready when the Beardens arrived around one o’clock.

Our granddaughter, Anna Butler, came over to visit, also, bringing Zoey, the dog. While I had met Lamar’s wife in the nineties on a business trip and had visited in their home in Villa Rica, Georgia, just a few years ago, it would be Anna and Barbara’s first time to meet Lamar and Charlene.

We were able to visit for almost two hours before the two were ready to drive into Memphis for the evening. Lamar and Charlene seemed to enjoy getting to visit our home and see the neighborhood both of which they’ve read about for several years. Barbara and I thoroughly enjoyed having them stop by our house, and we look forward to a time of reciprocal sharing if we happen to be traveling near the Bearden’s present home just south of Atlanta.

Hard Drive Seagate FreeAgent

In an effort to help the boost the economy, patriot that I am, I decided to purchase an external hard drive for my computer and spent eighty-nine dollars in the process. Oddly, the stock market did not react to my purchase.

My new hard drive is a whopping 500 gigabytes (gigs for short). While that may not mean much to those who can’t converse in computer terminology, it’s a sizable amount of storage space. My corporate-issued laptop has seventy gigs, and I’m no where close to using all the disk space on it. Five hundred gigs is more than I expect to need for the remainder of my life.

While the capacity of my new external hard drive is such that the information on all three of my computers would utilize less than one-fifth of the disk space, I only plan to transfer those files and programs that I don’t want to lose to a computer failure or other disaster.

Of all the files and data that I count as necessary, none are more sacred than the electronic copies of this newsletter. I have a paper copy of every issue of Ridge Rider News, and I have a web copy of each issue. What I don’t have is an electronic copy (Microsoft Word document) of each paper copy. I’m missing about two and one-half years of Word documents from early 1998 through 2000.

It will take more than a little effort to copy text and pictures from my Internet site and recreate the copies of Word documents that are missing, but I plan to do a few each week until the collection is complete.

Evil Weevils By Ralph Jones

Do you remember when the boll weevils started becoming such a threat to the farmers in Pontotoc County? I remember it being about 1948? My grandfather, Warren Phillips, and my uncle, Frank Tallant, both raised cotton in the Randolph community at this time. Granddad’s fields were closer to Randolph, and his house was where the Post Office stands today. Uncle Frank lived and farmed over near the Oak Forest Cemetery, in fact the road that borders the east side of the cemetery led directly up to his house.

Somewhere along this time DDT was introduced to kill the confounded boll weevils, and every person who raised cotton used the pesticide liberally. It came as a white power and was applied with a hand cranked (powder) blower. I can remember both of my relatives using the pesticide on their fields. Walking down the middle of the cotton rows and the two forked neck allowed the dusty power to blow on both rows of cotton at the same time. When returning from "putting out DDT," they would be covered, head to toe, with the white powder. They did tie a bandanna or cloth of some sort around their nose and mouth to keep from breathing too much of the stuff.

They found out, early on, that the poison was good to kill flies and bugs of other description as well. Since there was an abundance of the little flying beggars, Granddad would dust his porch and the "dog trot" through the middle of his house with the powder. It did help keep the insects and flies down.

It was used sometime in the garden on the vegetables that had other sorts of bugs. He, and the community, used it in their barns and anywhere flies would tend to congregate.

While driving down the country roads sometimes the car windows would have to be rolled up because the area would be so heavy with DDT dust. No telling how much of the poison was ingested from milk, water, garden vegetables and by simply breathing the air. It had an odor and could be smelled for some distance. It was not a particularly bad smell, but a distinguishable one to most folks.

There was even a song written about the boll weevil entitled "Just Lookin’ for a Home" or more commonly called the "Boll Weevil Song." The author is unknown and several different singers recorded it at one time or another. It had many verses, some probably made up by country folk along the way. One of the verses went something like this:

First time I saw the boll weevil,

he was sitting on the square,

next time I saw the boll weevil,

he had his whole family there,


Jis’ lookin’ fer a home,

jis’ lookin’ fer a home.

Now, fast forward to today. Since about 1971, we have been told by the powers that be, DDT might just kill you, and for all practical purposes they have banned its use in any form since that time! They tell us that if it gets into your system, it never goes away, just sits there like cold grease in an old frying pan. It hides there in your innards somewhere, year after year, or so they say.

I am hereby warning you about my latent problem with DDT! I’m bound to have a lot of it in my system, so be careful around me.

If you jostle me too much I might just explode right there on the spot! The mushroom cloud would be seen for miles, and well, the fall-out would be beyond belief. If I don’t blow up before then, tell the mortician to be careful embalming me. One false move on his part and the entire mortuary and surrounding building might be blown into the next county, leaving only a large crater where they once stood. Heaven only knows what it might do to the Ozone Layer.

Al Gore would have a field day at my expense; he might even get to run for president again. Stranger things have happened, you know.

All this information is from our government that knows all about each and every danger known to mankind. With a government as smart as this, why can’t they learn to live within their budget every once in a while? But I digress.

Meanwhile this old geezer is a living time bomb, walking upright and still taking nourishment. However, he still sprinkles a little of the dastardly dust on his fresh garden salads now and again, giving it that unique "days gone past" flavor, don’t ‘cha know?

Ralph Jones lives in Germantown, TN

Bodock Beau The Service

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names with small American flags mounted on either side of it.  The seven year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, "Good morning, Alex."
"Good morning, Pastor," he replied, still focused on the plaque.  
"Pastor, what is this?" he asked.
The pastor said, "Well, son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service."
Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque.
Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear, asked, "Which service, the 8:30 or the 10:45?


Reverend Boudreaux was the part-time pastor of the local Cajun Baptist Church, and Pastor Thibodaux was the minister of the Covenant Church across the road. They were both standing by the road, pounding a sign into the ground that read: 'Da End is Near! Turn You self Around Now Before It's Too Late!'

As a car sped past them, the driver leaned out his window and yelled, 'You religious nuts!'  


From the curve they heard screeching tires and a big splash. Boudreaux turns to Thibodaux and asks, 'Do ya tink maybe da sign should jus say 'Bridge Out'?'

Submissions by Ed Dandridge


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