Aug. 11, 2004 – Reflections on the Neshoba County Fair, week two: After a weekend hiatus at home, Jo Ann loaded the Blazer on Tuesday afternoon
and waited for me to return from dialysis at Oxford. When we arrived at Cabin 16 it was nearly dark, and a concert was in full swing at the racetrack arena as we again unloaded food, clothes, CPAP breathing apparatus and other personal items.
The CPAP is very important for close quarters like the fair cabin. Constant Pulmonary Air Pressure is a device consisting of a filtered air pump that
forces six pounds of air through a nose mask and keeps me from snoring. It also is the only non-surgical method of overcoming sleep apnea, which was causing me to quit breathing more than 200 times each night.
Before I was tested and fitted for the device, Jo Ann slept in one end of the house and I in the other.
When cabin mate Sid Salter and I both had apnea—he had his fixed surgically, I opted for the non-invasive solution—it created an almost echo effect. Our cabin fellows, meaning wives and children, would take turns waking us in hopes of getting a head start on sleep.
One night when we were up late, tending to business or something, we ended up sleeping on the porch when the cabin filled up. The next morning our neighbors were complaining about the noise.
Several years ago son-in-law Michael Adams and I were on the porch when the clean-up crew made ready for the Saturday Flea Market.
“They were laughing at your snoring,” Michael informed me when the sledge hammers began driving stakes for the tents and sunshades.
“I hope you threw something at them,” I replied.
“The only thing I could find were your shoes,” he said.
Thus, the CPAP is a necessity, especially at the fair.
Attendance was lighter than usual on Wednesday and Thursday when the politicos take to the podium in the Pavilion in Founders Square. I missed it
Wednesday afternoon while I was in dialysis at the Reservation, but listened from the front porch that morning when most of the speakers were candidates for the State Supreme Court.
I made up for it Thursday, as Russell Shipp of Calhoun City and I listened to all of them from the front porch—Sen. Trent Lott, Insurance Commissioner George Dale, Attorney General Jim Hood, Governor Haley Barbour and other statewide officials.
We had a procession of visitors including Jim Roberts of Pontotoc, Chief Phillip Martin, Calhoun Supervisor Howard Morgan, Former Calhoun Supervisor Robert Earl Clanton and his son Russ from Grenada, Jim Hood and his family, Judge George Carlton of Batesville and his family, and a host of other politicos and folks from the media.
I was asked by at least a hundred folks when Sid would be back from the Democrat Convention in Boston.
Bill Wheeler had sent me a Kerry-Edwards button by Russell, which I wore to the chagrin of Bush partisans.
Thursday afternoon, after the speeches Jo Ann visited the Romine sisters to get follow up knitting training, in addition to some inane card game they
had talked me into playing earlier in the week.
I left the porch for the second time during the fair, opting to visit with a few friends down Happy Hollow and beyond.
First stop was at artist Lala Perry’s cabin, but her daughter Piper said she was taking a nap. I told her I would come back by and continued to the end
of the Hollow and took a left to the cabin of Briggs and Dot Smith of Batesville. The Carlsons were making their departure as Dot and I went back
and forth in one of the front porch swings.
We had a long visit, and I made my way back up the Hollow. Miss Lala had finished her nap and was all dressed up on the porch, where she was sitting with her daughter Margaret, a Jackson architect, who had designed several projects in Oxford including the overhaul of the “Y” Building on the Ole Miss campus.
A young man came by pulling his young daughter in a red wagon. I introduced myself, but he said he knew me. He said he was one of the emergency services team that had extracted me from my wrecked Buick 15 years ago. He is William Bassett formerly of Oxford, who now lives in Jackson and is married to Barbie Bassett, weather lady for Channel 3.
Walking back through the Square I was stopped by a young lady, who said she was Linda Hill of Oxford and a daughter of former Calhoun County Deputy Sheriff Doyce Nolan. Her husband Kenny is with DEQ.
The fair proves it is indeed a very small world.