April 3, 2008 – We had planned to have a quiet Easter, but as it turned out there were a couple of rare exceptions. On Thursday the week before Easter, I came out of the dialysis center to an almost empty waiting room. There was Jo Ann sitting with a much overdressed couple for visiting the dialysis center. I recognized Lou Hanson first, because maybe she has changed the least, or maybe because she was closer and I had been asleep for several hours. But it was wonderful to see Newt and Lou Hanson, now of Diamondhead, but who once lived across the street from us in Bruce in the house where our daughter Lisa and her husband now live.
They had been to a funeral in Memphis, thus the attire, and we quickly decided to find a place to eat.
Jo Ann suggested Newk’s and I enjoyed telling Newt, who is/was a professional forester what I knew about the namesake of the fairly new place on University Avenue in Oxford.
We first knew the Newcombs at Ole Miss, when my Jo Ann, had a class under Jo Ann Newcomb. That fall we moved to Hattiesburg, me to teach at Southern Miss, my Jo Ann to nourish our first born, Jo Ann Newcomb to work in education and Leslie Newcomb to work as a chemist with a plywood plant in Laurel. I don’t remember the name of the company, only that he was working with a group trying to develop an inexpensive glue to use to make flake board. I remember him speculating that the process was about to the bottom line, and they would have to wait for inflation to make it feasible.
And as I recall he was right. I haven’t seen him in 40 years, but I know it is him from news stories when the place opened.
We visited with the Hansons until they had to leave for a stop or two in Bruce and a long trip home.
We recalled that the last time we had visited in Oxford I had just gone on dialysis, which would make it about five years ago.
•Jo Ann and I agreed to go together the next night to Good Friday services at the Bruce United Methodist Church. It was the fist time I had been to church with my new oxygen tank, so we sat in the back where no one could hear it giving me a burst of oxygen from time to time.
I’m not sure how it works, but apparently when I breathe in just right I get a short burst of oxygen. With the dial set on “2” a bottle of oxygen will last about six hours. It takes an hour or so to refill the bottle on the device that fits on top of the machine that condenses room air to various oxygen levels from zero to five liters, whatever that means.
•On the Saturday night before Easter we were to help our good friends, A.D. and Erma Spratlin, celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
Lisa and Joel, who were taking pictures at the affair at the Downtown Grill in Oxford, picked us up after I had been to dialysis and had a quick shower.
It was mostly family, but when you think about A.D. being the youngest of several children–all girls–it was about all the private dining room would hold.
In his remarks, A.D. told how he been driving up to Blue Mountain College on Friday nights to see Erma. Exactly 50 years ago on that same date, they had decided to get married by a minister in Blue Springs, MS, a place I don’t think I had ever heard of until Toyota decided to install an assembly plant there for their Highlander SUVs.
A.D. has grown the building supply business his father had located on the railroad spur on Railroad Street to cover the entire block of land north of the Weyerhaeuser plant here.
•Easter morning Jo Ann had meant to go to sunrise service at the church, but ended up sleeping in like I did.
That afternoon daughter Deanna and her three children from Tupelo came to visit. On most years we have had to hide eggs in the yard, or when it was raining, in the house.
This year Samantha settled for a couple of boiled eggs and Eli for a waffle warmed in the toaster with a lot of syrup on it.
I can’t say that I missed hunting eggs in the front yard. Every year about this time I remember that President Teddy Roosevelt is said to have had “egg rolls” on the White House lawn, and once again I pledge to determine exactly how an egg roll would be conducted.