Sunday, May 30, 2010

Christiansen Comments, Hinds County Gazette May 27 2010

Today, Monday, May 24, The Vietnam Veteran’s “Run for the Wall” will be passing by Edwards. This is an annual memorial event, veterans of the Vietnam war band together… the event begins on the west coast and they pick up riders all along the way and ride to Washington to the Vietnam War Memorial Wall…. to honor their dead…those thousands of young men who died fighting for a cause that many of us of that generation….did not understand and grew very weary of…and began to ask questions…. Why? Is it a just war?

But no matter what conclusion you came to personally….It does not take away from the reality those men and women who went to Vietnam and died ….died for this country. This is America the president is the commander and chief of the armed forces, he can send our troops to the far end of the earth, he did …and they went.

It was a heartbreaking time in America’s history….the veterans of that war were not treated as heroes…no ticker tape parades for them as had been in previous wars. Many Americans treated the returning soldiers with distain….They blamed the soldiers….soldiers who thought they were fulfilling their duty to America.

And on into that long, long war…it became more and more unpopular among Americans…protests broke out in the streets. Protesters too, were wounded and some died for their cause…remember the young students at Kent State? Many young men of draft age went to Canada to avoid serving,

I shall get up from here in a few minutes drive to the Edwards, I 20 overpass, take photographs, and cheer for those aging, tattooed, pony tailed, bike riding, ole’ soldiers. On their way to Washington, to pay tribute to their dead. There will be hundreds of them…odds are I would know a few. Because my John was career army…. a Vietnam war veteran ..two tours….

At the time of the war, he was a soldier, but, he was also a father of a young boy. Once in a discussion with some of his army buddies, about the war, the protests and the protesters …John said, “I chose this… I will go where the tell me to go…but I will send Adam to Canada.” It was not an uncomplicated time for anybody….who was trying to be a patriot.

The war was hard for some the men who went, fought and came back too ….it did something to their mind… Many of the men, when they got back to the states were never the same. A few years after the war finally ended… John and I were driving past a food kitchen….scores of homeless men waiting on the sidewalk for the doors to open, waiting to get a hot meal. John said, with sadness in his voice, “Lots of those guys are veterans…that would be me if it hadn’t been for you and the kids” John’s heart went out to those men, he felt like they too give their life for their country.

When we began sending troops to the middle east, John and I were watching the news one evening, as young men were boarding planes to go…John began to cry…his big heart went to hurting again…War is hell….

I’ll see you next week

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Christiansen Comments, Hinds County Gazette May 13 2010

Jerry Gibbens passed away shortly after noon, Wednesday, May 5, at the age of 92. When Paula called to tell me about Jerry’s death, my mothers words on the death of old people came to mind, “ we can’t live forever, just because our kids want us too. We are tired and want to go live with Jesus.” I can not tell you how much comfort mother’s words have brought me.

And Jerry’s death like mother’s was not long and lingering, both were at peace and ready …Just a few weeks ago the little children from the church traveled to Raymond to Riggs Manor, to sing for the residents…Jerry was too weak to come down…so they went to her room to sing for her, weak as Jerry was she sat up on the edge of her bed and sang “Jesus Loves Me” with the little children. I did tear up and had to reach for a tissue when Reverend Rydbeck told that story at her funeral.

Jerry was such a lady, she and her husband Julian sat in the pew front of me at church, and they came to church nearly every Sunday, until just a few months ago. Jerry was a petite little lady, I doubt she was 5 foot tall, and she could not have weighed 100 pounds. Jerry, at all times, was dressed beautifully…. Jerry was at always flawlessly attired in her little pastel suits and high heels, and not a hair out of place. And Jerry was accessorized beautifully too, pretty scarves, handsome purses, I always told her, she looked like a little doll, somebody had stood on a stool and dressed….Jerry was a girly girl for sure. But Jerry’s loveliest accessory was her charming smile and sweet southern nature.

Jerry loved parties, so for the family meal after the funeral…When Jacqueline I were discussing what we were going to do, I declared, “We got to make it look like Jerry!” Jacqueline agreed…. I called Robert Edward asked him to come, and help me get the fellowship hall ready…we set up tables and spread on the sparkling white table clothes. Jacqueline came with buckets of pink roses, and queen Anne’s and when she finished her magic with flower arrangements…. the fellowship hall at the Edwards Presbyterian church looked more like we were fixing to have a tea party then a funeral meal.

I wish I had taken a picture of the room when the meal was being served…of two of the men, farmers, Jerry’s son, Lewis Montgomery, and one of the pall bears, Russell Cannada, in their suits and ties, sitting at the girly girl, prissy tables. I thought to myself, “Jerry got Lewis and Russell to a tea party“ It brought a grin to my face…

Love to all

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hinds County Gazette, May 6 , Christiansen's Comments ..

Busy week in Edwards Mississippi,

Tuesday was the Grand opening of our newly renovated city hall….I didn’t get an invitation …But, I am sort of the press, remembering “freedom of the press” and all that… I went anyway.

I got down there at two…Tiffany, the water clerk, Leon (doctor Dirt) Goldsberry, alderman from ward 3 and Mayor Perkins…were the only ones at city hall…they all seemed quite happy to see me and my party crashing self…Alderman Goldsberry gave me the grand tour. It is a lovely building. And I saw the yummies on a table back in the boardroom. You all there was a cake, it was frosted…well it looked like city hall…I don’t know how they did that.

Way on after while, 2:15 then 2:30 ….nobody else came, it was still just, the mayor, Tiffany, the alderman and me…and to my disappointment they were not cutting cake…here I was the only one to show up and they were not offering me cake.

I got to thinking, When there is a cake involved and nobody shows something is wrong in Edwards Mississippi….Well…. come to find out the festivities didn’t start until 3. It was a lovely reception and lots of folks did come….Edwards citizens, government officials, preachers, bankers, and politicians.

Former mayor Narissa Smith was on hand for the festivities, Narissa was Edwards first woman mayor….I was glad to see her I hadn’t seen her in a long while. Narissa Birthday was last Friday she turned 94.

Front street and the area around the new bridge is looking so nice…..I do not know who is responsible for the beautiful knockout roses planted around the bridge…but, I have, from time to time, spotted Ruth Ann Schnell tending to them. The trees in the square and the flowers in pots on front street, Alderman Goldsberry planted.

Saturday was May Day in Edwards, there was a parade and lots of food being cooked up and down Main Street….The Bar-b -q at the bottom of hill was delicious…Jo Gayle went and picked up some plates and brought them up here and over to the Durens…Nancy has a broken arm…Jo Gayles grand daughter Stephanie and I were in the shop working on a project… is just swell being one of Jo Gayles friends…

I love a parade…Calloway High Schools band came and played….I was thrilled to see them…music/band should be a part of every school’s curriculum….as should speech, art and drama…But of course the folks in charge of Mississippi schools don’t care what I think for sure…..

Are the voles destroying your lawns, trees and flower beds? Do you want to know how to get rid of them? Do you know Fredna Dent over in Bolton? Have you noticed all the black plastic plant pots turned upside down around her place? Well, Frenda knows how to eradicate the pesky creatures…

Now, I might not have procedure precisely right….It is hard to listen carefully when you are laughing so hard that tears are streaming down your cheeks…and wine spewing out your nose…It was the way she told it… had to be there.

But what you do is…get a rat trap.. bait it with a pecan,(shelled or unshelled? I don‘t know .. missed that part) ….But when the voiles come to get the pecan and the trap slams shut …. Ending his gnawing career. Now about the black pot….Frenda to her distress found that if you don’t cover the trap and pecan with a pot all you trap is birds….so Fredna covered the baited trap with a black plastic pot……and as of Thursday, April 29, she had sent 100 voles to R.I.P.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jery Gibbens obituary

Geraldine Lovelace Montgomery Gibbens

Geraldine Lovelace Montgomery Gibbens, 92, died Wednesday, May 5, 2010, at Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland, MS

Mrs. Gibbens was a lifetime resident of Hinds County having graduated from Central High School, class of 1936, in Jackson and attended Jackson Business College. She was a member of Edwards Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Gibbens was preceded in death by her parents, John Edwin Lovelace and Willie Mae Lovelace; brothers, John Edwin, Jr. and Winsel Marion.

Survivors include: husband, Julian Louis Gibbens of Edwards; daughter, Barbara Mellon (Joe); son, Victor Lewis Montgomery, Jr. (Kay); and six grandchildren, Scott Mellon, Allison Mellon, Lisa Maddox, Drew Mellon, Victor Montgomery (Leigh), and Angie Zadrozny (C.J.), and Molly Montgomery.

Funeral services will be held at 11:30 AM Saturday, May 8, 2010, at the Edwards Presbyterian Church in Edwards, MS. Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow the service in the Edwards Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to: The Hard Places, International Outreach Ministries, P.O. Box 2140, McComb, MS 39649.

Mrs. Gibbens granddaughter, Allison, founded the Hard Place Ministries in Cambodia to intervene in the exploitation and trafficking of young children.

Published in Clarion Ledger on May 7, 2010

                                     The Edwards Luncheon Club in 2007
Left to right    Peggy Hubbard Ditto, Jo Ruth McClain, Jerry Gibbens, Katie Angelo, Lucille Harpole,
Not pictured  Peggy Cannada

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hinds County Gazette, April 27, Christiansen's Comments "Knocky is Gone." ..

Sydney Knox Askew died the way he wanted to die, in his sleep, the morning of Friday April 16, at the age of 84. It came as a shock to the community…even though we knew he was having some health issues…he just that week had been to the doctor for tests….But Knocky was the Energizer Bunny…he never stopped. How could he be dead!?!

Mr. Knocky fo had an ailment that caused his bones to deteriorate, so he had been getting shorter for some years…But he kept on going. However, Knocky had begun to moved a bit slower… but never stopped. Edwards Cemetery Day he had commenced using a golf cart to direct the work being done. Then a year ago…he gave up the chairmanship of the cemetery. Just the week before Mr. Knocky died, Peggy Ann and I while strolling the streets of Edwards, saw Knocky and Roma in their beautifully manicured yard, we commented on how lovely it was…Knocky grinned, Roma said, “Knocky does it all“.

Knocky was part of a ever diminishing breed of men …who know what is good for the community… is good for him and his family….Knocky took his church, civic and community duties seriously. Knocky did not do his work to be in the spotlight…he did it, because it was his duty and responsibility

But, Knocky was a humble man…Under Knocky guidance the Edwards cemetery was transformed in to a beautiful, well care for, a final resting place….but he never took credit, he gave the praise to the guys who showed up with the heavy equipment to do the work, the people who sent memorial money to make the work and up keep possible …I said to him “But Knocky somebody has to get us organized, send out the cards and tend to the details“

His answer was, “Roma does that.”.

To hear him tell it…he did nothing. Knocky brought to mind this quote, “It is amazing what can be accomplished, if you do not care who gets the credit.”

Knocky’s funeral was at the Edwards Presbyterian Church, it was standing room only….and the lines were long at the visitation the evening before….

Reverend Whitworth began Mr. Knocky’s funeral service with this very appropriate and comforting quote from the Bible. Ecclesiastes 7:1 “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death better than the day of one's birth“.

Sydney Knox Askew, was buried in his beloved Edwards Cemetery , April, 19, 2010.