Good gardening with help from friends and family

Sheila Scogin

Gladys and Cletus Russell have been gardening as long as I can remember and that turns into many years. Gladys reported they have had lots of tomatoes, corn and peas. Both of them are in their early-90s and still keep going like the “Pink Bunny,” but at least they do have help from their daugthters Nancy and Billy Ray Allen and Janice Brooks.
* * *
I made another tomato run to Clayton and Helen Duren’s one morning and they had helpers. Jessica and Danielle Gillespie were busy working the pea-sheller. They had several bushels of peas yet to shell. I am amazed how many modern tools help make farming, plumbing, house-building and cooking much simpler than when we had to do so much of it. Jessica and Danielle are the granddaughters  of Lloyd Gillespie, who went to school with us. They were certainly nice young ladies and Helen said they were hard workers, too.
* * *
The Durens enjoyed attending longtime friend Charlie Mae Conner Herrington’s 85th  birthday celebration. A host of her family and friends were also there for the fellowship.
* * *
One of our classmates, Memphis Crawford, called one evening and we chatted for a while to catch up on the past 30 years. It had been that long since any of us had seen him. He started to school with us in the third grade and there are not many of us who are still around. Death has taken too many of our class.
* * *
Pat Garrett was in College Station with her son and his family. Reilly, Danielle and Ryder Garrett are always happy to see her arrive, especially 3-year-old Ryder. Pat works at Lufkin ISD and will be startgin back to work in a few days.
* * *
Neal Denman was in Eddyville, Kent., at his cabin and one day he walked in to find a long, black snake stretched the length of his dining table. The snake slid off onto the floor and Neal held the door open and out went the snake. A couple of days later he went inside to find one of those striped lizards going crazy in the house. We always called them “blue racers” and I hate those things. I doubt I could have laid down and gone to sleep after finding all that in the house. Neal also spent several days in Dry Branch, Ga., with his daughter Rhonda nd Randy Meiers.
* * *
Beamon and I visited at Highway Baptist Church Sunday and to me it was like having a reunion. There were so many friends and family to greet. Brother Lamar Denby is pastor and always so welcoming. Lynn, Sundra and Josh Denman were ever so happy to see us. Seems just a few years ago that Josh was just a baby and now he and Lori have two babies.
I almost did not recognize Linda Crain Durham and Pat Hopson Anderson when they were not wearing their Carroway Funeral Home clothes. It had been a while since we had seen Steve Phillips, neighbors Lester and Othal Lowery, Ethel Havard, former classmates Margie and Jack Green and Jenny Harris Mosley, Gladys Harkness Mayes and daughter Jan Beasley, Pat turner Casper, Frances Denby, Virginia Duggan Sheffield, Sarah Lewis, Johnnie Sue Hill, Holly Denman Howard, Sue Bonner Kirkland and her son Dale, Letha Nell George and her daughter Theresa Marshall, Betty Grissett Truett, and Delton Smith.
Beamon is always happy to see former coworkers Allen Forrest and his brother, Garvis and Wanda Hall Forrest.
Every day we older folks see things happen that rarely happened when we were younger. At the doctor’s office one evening the waiting area was full when I went in. Every chair was filled with grownups and young children. I was the oldest person in the room. I signed in and prepared to stand when a man got up to give me his chair. Nothing would do but I sit down.  I thanked him profusely.
Not one kid offered to give up a seat, nor did a parent tell them to do so. Had that been me with Randy he would have sat in my lap or on the floor. Manners are too often not being taught at home. People rarely speak in the store and are shocked when I speak. As an afterthought, some speak when the surprise wears off. Many times an older man will hold a door open or let me enter first. Teaching children to be polite and courteous should be as automatic as breathing for parents.

Sheila Scogin contributes this weekly column about Huntington-area residents.