Page 1

November 2010

South Mississippi’s AGRICULTURE Magazine


Jim Braswell

Making the Most of GOD’S Gifts

Covering What’s Growing


November 2010


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November 2010

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November 2010


FFA Journal:

Courtney Cooper t Compe

Hello, my name is Courtney Cooper and I am from the Sumrall FFA chapter. I am a senior and I am also serving as my chapter’s vice president. I am a member of the Sumrall High School basketball and fast-pitch softball teams. I am also a student council representative and class officer and am involved with many other extra-curricular activities. So you can tell that I am always on the go and busy, but somehow I juggle it all and am successful.  I have been involved with FFA since my eighth grade year. I became interested in FFA by watching my brother, Eric, compete in various competitions. FFA is a tradition in my family and, as you can tell, so is competition. Not only do I compete in FFA and sports, but academics as well. Throughout my years of active membership I have competed in several different competitions. My first year I competed in Jr. extemporaneous public speaking and Jr. horse evaluation. I competed at federation, district, and state levels. As a freshman I competed on the Sr. horse evaluation team and placed first in state competition which led us to compete on the national level in Indianapolis. We received bronze medals at nationals. Then my sophomore year, my advisor, Mr. James Roberts, put together an all-girl team for poultry evaluation. We placed second at state. So, my junior year we stayed together and we placed first at state. Now we are busy preparing for national competition and hoping to bring home the gold. We are looking forward to the competition and different activities of the convention. For the future I will be taking Agribusiness in the Spring and am looking forward to more competitions. I plan to graduate in May and enroll in college in the Fall. I am undecided about where I will go or what I will major in but I know that FFA will always be a huge part of my life. The FFA has changed my life and has helped me to discover my true self. Through this program I have made life-long friends and have made so many memories. I encourage anyone to check out FFA and see for themselves the many things this wonderful program has to offer. I can promise you that you won’t be sorry.

iti ve

lle n g in g


a h and C


South Mississippi’s AGRICULTURE Magazine


No Farmers No Food

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HEY READERS, hidden somewhere in the magazine is a No Farmers, No Food logo. Hunt for the logo and once you find the hidden logo you will be eligible for a drawing to win a FREE InTheField® T-Shirt. Send us your business card or an index card with your name and telephone number, the page on which you found the logo and where on that page you located the logo to: InTheField® Magazine P.O. Box 17773, Hattiesburg, MS 39404 All Entries must be received by November 20, 2010. Winner will be notified by phone. You Too Can Be A Winner - Enter Now! 4


November 2010


From the Editor


Brent Davis

VOL. 1 • ISSUE 8

Cover Story

When October comes to a close, and the Harvest Festivals, costume clad children, trick or treating and all that candy is done for another year, my mind always turns to the holiday season. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are upon us. These holidays are a special time of the year. The food alone is worth writing about! What would the holidays be without our farmers and ranchers? What would we do without the pig farmer that supplies the ham or the turkey ranch the supplies the turkey? What would we do without the farmer that grows the potatoes we use to make the potato salad? What would the holidays be without the pecan farmer and those pecan pies? What would we do on New Year’s Day without the farmer that grew those black eyed peas that we eat for good luck? The list goes on and on. The simple truth is that our farmers and our ranchers touch so much of our daily life. We really couldn’t get along without them, could we? Take this holiday season to tell a farmer or a rancher THANK YOU. Tell them the holidays would not be the same without them. When you list all the things to be thankful for this holiday season, please include our friends in agriculture. We here at In The Field Magazine, South Mississippi edition want to take this opportunity to thank our readers, our advertisers and most of all, our farmers and our ranchers. THANK YOU. We wish you the best of holiday seasons.


Publisher / Owner

November 2010

South Mississippi’s AGRICULTURE Magazine


Karen Berry

Associate Publisher Brent Davis

Editor-In-Chief Al Berry

Jim Braswell

Making the Most of GOD’S Gifts

Covering What’s Growing


November 2010


Jim Braswell, Making the Most of GOD’S Gifts. 36 4 FFA Journal Courtney Cooper 6 Pine Belt Observation Get Off The Couch 9 The Garden Calendar: November 11 The Whipping Bowl 12 Raising Cane is a Sweet Tie to Southern Heritage 14 Farmer’s Advice 15 Business UpFront: LiL’ Butcher Shoppe

Senior Managing Editor Sarah Holt


Katherine L. Davis

Office Manager Bob Hughens

Office Assistant Megan L. Davis

Circulation Manager Terry L. Davis


Terry L. Davis Brent Davis Barbara Huckabee Keith Naquin

Art Director

Juan Carlos Alvarez


18 The Holidays in South Mississippi

Lourdes M. Sáenz

23 Mississippi’s Fishing Report By Ben Willoughby

Brent Davis Katherine L. Davis Johnny Cone Al Berry Hank Daniels

25 Local Gardner Wins National Award 28 Grub Station: Lenny’s Sub Shop

Remember His marvelous works which He has done. Psalms 105:5


South Mississippi’s AGRICULTURE Magazine

30 Rocking Chair Chatter Al Berry 32 Youth Hunting Opportunities Phil Difatta

In The Field® Magazine is published monthly and is available through local South Mississippi businesses, restaurants and other local venues. It is also distributed by U.S. mail to a target market. Letters, comments and questions can be sent to P.O. Box 17773, Hattiesburg, MS 39404 or you are welcome to email them to: or call 601.794.2715 Advertisers warrant & represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. In The Field® Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by their advertisers. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Berry N HE AGAZINE Publications, Inc. Any use or duplication of material used in In The Field® magazine is prohibited without written consent fromIELD Berry Publications, Inc. Published by Berry Publications, Inc.




Staff Writers

Contributing Writers Phil DiFatta Ben Willoughby Royce Armstrong Judy Smith

Guest Writers

Courtney Cooper


Royce Armstrong Brent Davis

November 2010


’ s i v a D t Bren

Get off the Couch!

I have heard a lot of people complaining lately about our country and our young people. My questions to those complaining are: When did YOU last write or email your congressman or senator about something YOU think should be done differently? Can you name YOUR congressman or senator? When was the last time YOU attended a local school board meeting? Can you name YOUR school board representative? When was the last time YOU attended a city council meeting? A board of supervisors meeting? You get my drift. Folks that sit on their couch and argue with their TV really rub me the wrong way. Get up off that couch! Don’t let the media lead you by the nose! Get involved and make a difference! Let me share with you four individuals I am blessed to know that are making a difference TODAY. EVERYDAY. These are regular people just like you and me that are busy making our world a better place to live.

A crew of volunteers fro m recently helped to constr Carpenter’s Helper that uct a wheel chair ramp.

Carpenter’s Helper was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Jarden consumer solution community fund. Tom Smith is on the far left

Tom Smith.

Tom is Executive Director of Carpenter’s Helper, which is a local organization that helps those in need with home improvements such as wheel chair ramps and remodeling a home bathroom to make it handicap accessible. Carpenter’s Helper is supported in part by the United Way and local contractors. The rest of their budget is supported by folks like you and me. Over the past four years, under Tom Smith’s leadership, Carpenter’s Helper has helped local folks with Hurricane Katrina repairs, installed wheel chair ramps and much more for people who otherwise would not have been able to have this much needed work done. You can learn more about Carpenter’s Helper by calling 601-582-3330 or at



November 2010

ttiesburg help Dr. Olga Some young people from Ha . distribute Bibles in Russia

Chris Tomlin in concert in front of 4000 First Priority students in Hattiesburg.

Dr. Olga interacts with

students in Russia

Barr and ett Favre, Nevil JD Simpson, Br ll at LSU ba ot played fo Steve McNair. JD aplain for the Oak ch and is the team Grove Warriors.

J.D. Simpson. J.D is Executive Director of First Priority, an organization which assists local middle school and high school students to organize prayer groups in our local schools. The prayer groups are student led and gather prior to the first bell. First Priority students also share the gospel and the good news of Jesus Christ with other students. Many of these students are not in a position to hear the truth of Jesus Christ from anyone but their friends. All of this is done prior to school starting. J.D. and First Priority recently hosted a Chris Tomlin Concert, and my sources tell me that this concert was the first sold out concert at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center in many years. You might be asking, “Who is Chris Tomlin?” Well if your church sings “How Great is Our God” or “Indescribable” then you are probably a fan of Chris Tomlin Christian music and didn’t even know it. It was a moving experience to watch 4,000 young people (and some not so young) join hands and sing some great Christian music with Chris Tomlin. Good job J.D. and First Priority. You can learn more about First Priority by calling 601-268-9666 or by visiting Dr. Olga Lutsenko. Dr. Lutsenko is the Founder of the Kindness Foundation. When the communist walls were falling in the USSR, Dr. Olga recommended to the leaders of Russia to bring the Bible back to Russia. To say this was a somewhat controversial recommendation is an understatement. Dr. Olga’s

Coach Alex Davis works with some football players

supervisor suddenly died in a freak accident, Dr. Olga’s life was threatened and she had to flee Russia. Today she is a highly respected individual in Russia and through her efforts the Bible is approved (in writing) for use in every public school in Russia, a country four times larger than the continental United States. Yes… person CAN make a difference. You can learn more about the Kindness Foundation by calling 601-545-9090. Alex Davis. Alex is a teacher and a coach at Purvis High School. How important are those on the job mentors at our local schools? They are Very important. Alex teaches Government and Economics to seniors at Purvis High School. He also is an assistant coach for the JV and Varsity Purvis High Football team. He is the Head Soccer Coach and the Golf Coach at Purvis High School. Alex interacts with hundreds of young people every day while setting a Christian and morally sound example in everything he does. We all have memories of those mentors that made a difference in our lives. Alex is doing exactly that in many of the lives of young people in Purvis, Mississippi every day. Alex is Lynn and my oldest son. Are we proud of him? You bet your sweet bippie we are! These are four local individuals making a difference in our world today, making our world a better place. What can the rest of us do to make our world better? Think about it for a while then JUST DO IT. Remember, November 2nd is Election Day. Be sure to get off the couch and vote!


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November 2010


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The MSU Garden Calendar: November Garden Calendar: November Plant


• Put leaves and spent annuals into compost bin. • Add mulch to your garden and all ornamental beds for winter protection. • Repair and sharpen garden tools, store with light coat of oil to prevent rusting. • Build bird feeders and houses.

• Plant Shrubs and trees after soil cools • Plant summer blooming perennials: Iris, Daylily, and Daisies. Plant winter and spring annuals: Pansy, Pinks, Flowering Cabbage and Kale. • Root Rose cuttings.


• Water all newly planted trees and plants regularly.


• Remove dead limbs and prune evergreen shrubs. • Cut off tops of brown perennials, leave roots in the soil.

Do Not Prune

• Spring Flowering shrubs such as Azaleas, Hydrangeas, mock Orange, Spirea, and Flowering Quince Beacause flowers buds are already forming. • Delay pruning of most trees and shrubs until February since any new growth stimulated by pruningmay be killed by a sudden freeze.

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November 2010


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M A G A Z I N E Justin and Kim Young Hub City West Farm & Garden



November 2010 Please check out our online store at:

RECIPES Ingredients:

1 c. flour 2 T. brown sugar 2 t. baking powder ½ t. salt ½ t. cinnamon ¾ c. (plus 2 t.) milk 2 eggs (separated) 1 t. vanilla extract ½ c. apples (peeled, finely chopped) ½ c. plus ¼ c. pecans (chopped)


In a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in milk, egg yolks and vanilla.  Add apples and ½ cup pecans.  Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold into batter.  Pour ¼ cup of batter onto a hot, greased griddle or skillet.  Turn when bubbles begin to form and the edges are golden.  Cook until the second side is golden, then serve topped with remaining pecans and a favorite syrup.


Phyllo Dough 1 to 2 Bananas (preferably red bananas) 1 t lemon juice 1/4 cup butter, melted 1 T cane sugar 2 t cinnamon 2 t ground ginger Honey 1/4 cup pecans


If you are using frozen Phyllo dough, remove from freezer. It should sit at room temperature for at least an hour. Lightly toast the pecans in a 450F oven until they are just hot, about five minutes. Finely chop, and set aside. Reduce the heat on the oven to 425. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside. Slice the banana long ways into ¼-inch thick strips. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and set aside. Using a pastry brush, coat the bottom of your baking dish with a bit of the melted butter. Place one sheet of phyllo in the bottom of the dish, and brush with butter. Repeat with about three more piece of phyllo, lightly brushing after each piece. Add a layer of the bananas. Top with three layers of phyllo, brushing with butter after each piece. Add a layer of honey, squeezing or dribbling as you might to top a waffle. Top with three layers of phyllo, brushing butter, etc. Add a layer of pecans. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Top with three layers of phyllo, brushing with butter. Add another layer of honey. Top with three layers of phyllo, brushing with butter. Sprinkle the top with some of the remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture and chopped pecans. Trim any phyllo edges that protrude from the baking dish. Cut a few air vents in the top few layers. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool for a least 10 minutes before devouring. If desired, top with a bitNmore honey. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE ovember 2010 11

Raising Cane is a Sweet Tie to Southern Heritage

By Royce Armstrong

Crisp autumn mornings beg to begin with cathead biscuits piping and hot straight from the oven that are slathered with butter and dripping with golden-brown cane syrup and strips of crisp bacon or smoked sausage. “Cane syrup will tear a biscuit slap in two,” said Tinker Steede of Lucedale, Mississippi. Steede, 59, is carrying on a generations old family tradition of squeezing sugar cane and boiling the juice into syrup. The tradition conjures up memories of a mule harnessed to one end of a long pole and a cane mill at the other with the mule walking endless circles around the mill, crushing long stalks of sugar cane. The sweet cane juice was then boiled in huge iron kettles over a smoky lighter-wood fire and strained into used whisky barrels. “My father (Abner Toler “Junior” Steede) had a mill and made syrup,” Steede said. “I grew up with it. We’ve been doing it as long as I can remember.” Originating in Asia, sugar cane came to the Americas when Christopher Columbus made his second voyage to this continent. Cane syrup, usually as molasses, was an important Southern agricultural crop during the 17th, 18th and into the 19th centuries. The great southern plantations grew cane and cotton. Molasses is made from boiling the syrup a second and third time. Unlike refined sugars, cane syrup and molasses are sources of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. Requiring a tropical or subtropical climate, sugar cane grows well along the Gulf Coast. For years it was the major source of sugar and food sweeteners for rural South Mississippians. “At one time everybody grew their own cane and there was at least one cane mill in every little community,” Steede said. “People took their cane to the mill and had it squeezed and boiled into syrup.” That syrup was used to bake hams put on pancakes or biscuits or used in cooking, baking and making candy. For many the cane syrup was the primary source of sweetening for cooking and baking. Some of the syrup was further boiled to produce brown sugar. Although a modern John Deere tractor has replaced the mule, a propane jet has replaced the lighter-wood and a 12foot stainless steel vat has replaced the iron kettle, syrup makers from a century ago would have no trouble recognizing the process as it is done today. The Steede family grows about an acre of cane. It is cut by hand and stacked on a trailer in November, after the first frost.



November 2010

Maintaining the correct temperature is part of the syrup maker’s art. Tinker Steede rakes impurities off of the boiling cane juice.

A 100-year-old Mobile Pulley and Machine Works mill crushes the juice out of the cane stalks. The juice is collected in a vat and pumped into a holding tank where it is gravity fed into the boiling house. The juice flows into the end of the 12-foot stainless steel pan where it is boiled and impurities skimmed off. The cooked syrup is “pulled” from the other end where it is strained and bottled. Three generations of Steedes are involved. Tinker and his wife, Sandra, head up the operation. Sons, Steven, Archie and Fuzzie, along with their wives and children, stop everything else for one day to help make the award winning cane syrup. By day’s end, about 100 to 120 gallons of syrup will have been boiled and “pulled.” The syrup is bottled in 1-1/2 quart plastic jugs and labeled for sale. “It used to take us three days to do this,” Steede said. “It is easier to work one long day than to stop, clean up and start up again.” While growing cane and cane syrup was once a staple item in South Mississippi, it is a novelty food today, and processing the syrup is nearly a lost art. Sugar cane is no longer a significant agricultural crop. Cane syrup was largely replaced in Southern diets in the 1930s and 1940s when granulated sugar became readily available. The Steede family will sell all of the syrup they produce by Christmas, according to Tinker Steede. In fact, many of their customers buy it to give away as gifts, he said.

continued on the next page

The end product is about 100 gallons of syrup in 1-1/2 quart bottles

No Farmers No Food

Everyone gets involved with the syrup-making process as yet another generation of Steedes feed sugar cane stalks into a 100-year-old mill. While the numbers of syrup makers have diminished over the years, there are still a few people who raise sugar cane and keep the tradition alive. They are the ones who make it possible to enjoy buttermilk pancakes swimming in pure cane syrup like your grandparents once made. Royce Armstrong is a freelance writer from South Mississippi. Royce and his wife Linda live on a small farm with their dogs, horses and other farm livestock. He is a regular contributor to the George County Times, Sun Herald, and Hattiesburg American. His stories also appear regularly in The Journal of South Mississippi Business, Beach Boulevard and Our South Magazine.

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November 2010



Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” “I love sleeping in on Saturdays and I love college football games, I love not acting my age and good barbeque.” Nathan Nelson “I live back in the woods, you see, a woman and the kids, and the dogs and me I got a shotgun, a rifle and a 4-wheel drive, and a country boy can survive, country folks can survive.” Hank Williams, Jr. When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. We asked for strength—and GOD gives us difficulties to make us strong. We asked for wisdom—and GOD gives us problems to solve. Thank you GOD for answering our prayers I asked for prosperity — and God gave me brain and brawn to work. I asked for courage — and God gave me dangers to overcome. I asked for love — and God gave me opportunities. I received nothing I wanted— I received everything I needed. My prayer has been answered’.

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November 2010

Business UpFront

By Judy Smith

LiL’ Butcher Shoppe When You Want the Best for Your Family

When you step into the Lil Butcher Shoppe, you’re treated like family and you can always be assured that you’ll be getting only the best in meat, produce, and groceries that the area has to offer. The Lil Butcher Shoppe is family owned and operated and offers a warm, homey atmosphere for shoppers looking for quality products at very reasonable prices. The business was established in 1991 by brothers, Steve Dyer and David Lawson in an effort to offer quality meat and produce to the Hattiesburg area. As the business grew, it was relocated to its current location on Broadway Drive almost 13 years ago. Steve Dyer’s son, Brian Dyer, has been the manager of the shop for eight years and continues the tradition of excellence in picking out only the best meats and produce for his customers. “Bringing only the best types of meat and vegetables to our customers was always important to my dad and uncle, and I’ve tried to continue that tradition today,” Brian said. “I want to make sure that our customers get only the best when they shop with us.” Brian receives most of his meat from midwest producers, and he is very specific about obtaining premier quality products for the shop. Brian offers rich, beautiful meat ranging from charcoal steaks, ribeye steaks, chop steaks, lean ground beef, and much more. At the Lil Butcher Shoppe, customers know that the poultry and seafood are always fresh and of the highest quality. The Lil Butcher Shoppe offers family freezer specials of assorted meats that are affordable and convenient for the family shopper. All meats are always custom cut just like the customer wants. If customers don’t see a product or meat that they want in the store, Brian encourages them to request it, and he will do everything he can to get the products for his customers. Although the Lil Butcher Shoppe offers produce and seafood galore, their specialty is their meat. Fresh, high quality meat is what the Lil Butcher Shoppe is known for. They carry 13 different flavors of smoked sausage and other specialties that can only be found in the family store. At the Lil Butcher Shoppe, shoppers are treated to a variety of stuffed potatoes that are made on site and will top off the perfect meal for any family. The Lil Butcher Shoppe is the first and last place to stop for all your dinner time needs. Bringing only the freshest and best cuts of meats to their customers is what Brian and his staff focus on. Giving shoppers premier products at reasonable prices is a main priority for Brian. “We work hard to bring only the best to our customers at affordable prices,” Brian said. “We don’t want our customers to have to break the bank to bring a good meal home to their families.” The Lil Butcher Shoppe receives its produce primarily from Gulf Coast farmers, and customers can be reassured that they will be treated to a wide assortment of fruits and vegetables grown in the region. Brian stocks his shop with fruits and vegetables that are in season and always has only the best produce on hand for his customers. If you’re looking to throw together that Sunday dinner for the family or thinking

about that holiday dinner, the Lil Butcher Shoppe is your place to shop to receive superior meats and veggies that the whole family will love. At the Lil Butcher Shop, you’ll also find the perfect accents and groceries to top off that perfect dinner, and you just might find a few products that other stores don’t offer, such as Country Girls Creamery Milk. Another specialty that the Lil Butcher Shoppe offers is homemade smoked sausages, stuffed pork chops, meat loafs, stuffed potatoes, and so much more. Brian and his staff make a mean, mouthwatering seafood gumbo that is sure to please any crowd from tailgaters to the family get-together. Making its own products has always been a major priority for the Lil Butcher Shoppe. During the holiday season, Brian and staff offer tasty smoked spiral hams and delicious fried turkeys that will win over the toughest holiday crowd. Brian said that these specialties are major sellers for the shop and estimates that he sells about 100 pounds of each per week during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. “We try to make as many products as we can, like the smoked sausage and gumbo, because we want to make sure that our customers are getting only the best,” Brian said. “If we can make it, we’d rather do that than buy it from some place else to make sure that our customers know that they are getting good, quality products when they come in to shop with us.” Brian receives daily shipments of fruits, vegetables, and meat, and all meat is cut fresh everyday to ensure that shoppers receive prime quality meat every time they stop in. Brian has many customers that shop every day at the Lil Butcher Shoppe because they know that they will be getting fresh, high quality products that will not break the pocketbook. Bringing quality products at reasonable prices has always been a driving force behind the Dyer family. “We don’t let price dictate what we buy or offer to our customers,” Brian said. “The key to our business has been to bring only the best in meat, produce, and groceries at affordable prices for all families. That’s a promise that we send from our family to the families that shop with us.” That concern and care for the customer is what keeps shoppers coming back to the Lil Butcher Shoppe. Shoppers value the old-fashioned, laid back atmosphere of the Lil Butcher Shoppe, and its attention to detail can’t be beat. “Customer service is a number one priority for us,” Brian said. “Our customers are important to us, and we want to make them feel welcome and cared for every time they shop with us. We appreciate their business and try to show that to them every day.” You’d only give the best to your family, and that’s what Brian and his staff promise to all shoppers that venture into this traditional little store with the great prices. The Lil Butcher Shoppe is located at

1910 Broadway Drive in Hattiesburg, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

November 2010



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November 2010

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Full Service Garden Center


Two Locations To Serve You! In Purvis:

781 Hwy 589


In Sumrall: 62 Railroad Ave.


Feed Dealer November 2010


By: Judy Smith

As a brisk nip in the air finally starts to blow away the sweltering heat of another southern summer, I often flip through the pages of my memories and reflect on the holidays of my yesterdays. Growing up in Laurel, Mississippi, my memories of Thanksgivings and Christmases past are not colored by a shimmering blanket of snow or sprinkled with the sounds of sleigh bells ringing out in the countryside in a trek to grandmother’s house for a harvest meal. Even though my remembrances do not resemble a cozy Norman Rockwell painting or Currier and Ives print, that doesn’t make them any less special. When the calendar is turned to November, we are graced with a cooler breeze that signals the beginning of a season of many grand things. As a little girl, I always loved the changing of the seasons and walking under a canopy of brilliant, warm yellow, red, and orange leaves as the trees began their transformation into autumn attire. Nothing beats running through falling leaves and hearing the crunch of dried leaves and acorns under your feet as you’re met with a breeze tinged with the smoky scent of burning leaves. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I loved (and still love) breathing in the warm, delicious scent of roasting turkey that floats throughout the house. Every year, my mother always picks out the biggest turkey she can find, and I would help her coat the bird with butter in preparation for our annual feast. Whenever I caught a whiff of that turkey cooking, I knew that the holidays were finally upon us. On Thanksgiving morning, I would pad out of bed in my fuzzy, footed pajamas as I clutched my slightly tattered but much beloved Teddy bear, Gary, to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with my family. I always loved seeing the huge balloons shaped like Snoopy and Kermit the Frog, but I was always more interested in the star of the show that would signal the finale. Hardly able to restrain my anticipation, I would edge closer to the television to get a better look at the true star of the show -- Santa Claus. As soon as his white beard and red suit would flash on the screen, my older brother, my two older sisters and I would wave at Santa on the TV screen and yell out what we wanted Santa to bring us because I knew that he was the real Santa Claus and could somehow hear exactly what I truly wanted. That is a tradition that has been passed down in my family to my nephew, Josh. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if I missed seeing Santa or the chance to let the big guy know exactly what I’d like to see under my tree. After many hours in the kitchen on the Thanksgiving meal, my mom and sisters would put the finishing touches on a few chocolate and icebox lemon pies. Then, we would load the food into the family car and head for my grandparents’ home.



November 2010

We didn’t have to go over the river or through the woods, but it seemed like an awfully long ride for a little girl that couldn’t wait to greet her grandparents with a hug or play with her cousins in the yard. My grandparents did not believe in letting anyone leave their house hungry, and they would have a table full of mouthwatering dishes. We would squeeze our dishes on the already full table next to the piping hot candied yams, delicious cornbread, sweet pecan pies, and a landscape of food as far as the eye could see. I still remember those wonderful smells floating out of my grandparents’ kitchen. Seeing all of my family gathered around the table is still one of my favorite memories. After a huge meal and several insists that we couldn’t eat another bite, the adults would gather around the television to watch the annual Thanksgiving football games, while we would head outside for our own Thanksgiving Day bowl game. My big brother and I would team up against my sisters, and we always beat them every year in a very competitive game of tag football. My sisters never stood a chance against us. As years have passed, some of our traditions have changed, and others have been added. Now, everyone comes to our house for Thanksgiving dinner for a feast big enough to feed any army. When my nephew, Josh, was born, we began to add new traditions that we all look forward to. My dad began making us bonfires in the fire pit in the yard, and we would gather around fire, breathing in the comforting scent of burning logs and leaves, while we roasted marshmallows. When Josh was in the third grade, his class studied different Native American cultures, and he made a tribal drum out of a coffee can. Covered in bright orange construction paper and designed with tribal accents, the drum has become our Thankfulness Box. Every year, we write down one or two things that we are most thankful for that year and put the little slips of paper in the drum. We leave the older notes in the drum, and it’s always funny to look back on what we were thankful for in years past. Some are sweet and some are funny, ranging from being thankful that my mother was cancer free after a scary bout with colon cancer to several notes stating thankfulness that I was finally finished with my dissertation and earning my PhD. Although we laugh about some of our past notes of thankfulness, the box has served a much greater purpose, as it requires us to stop and take a moment to truly appreciate what we have been blessed with throughout the past year. When I was a little girl, I always looked forward to the day after Thanksgiving, not because of any sales in the local stores, but because of the celebrity that was about to drop into our neighborhood. Early, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, my brother, sisters and I would bundle up and walk to the alley be-

hind our house where we had a clear view of the shopping center behind us. I shook with anticipation as we listened for the sound of an approaching helicopter. Before too long, the helicopter would finally appear and would circle the shopping center. My eyes were glued to the sky as we watched Santa Claus parachute out of the helicopter and land in the middle of the cheering crowd that waited to greet him. I would clap my hands and breathe a sigh of relief that Santa had made a safe landing. That event truly signaled the start of the Christmas season, but for me, it just began the countdown to a huge celebration during the month of December. I began the countdown to my birthday on December 7, Pearl Harbor Day. Amid decking out the house with Christmas trees in almost every room and shimmering lights and garland lined around all the windows and eaves of the house, it was hard to contain my eagerness for my big day. After a party of cake, balloons, and presents, my family would take me riding around to see Christmas lights. I always looked forward to that night because I loved to see all the beautiful lights and Christmas displays around Laurel. That is another tradition that we continue to practice today. It just wouldn’t seem right if I didn’t get to look at all the Christmas trees, manger scene displays, and lighted flamingoes around our South Mississippi town. Christmas has always been a huge family holiday for the Smith house. We always decorate the trees together while listening and singing to our favorite Christmas tunes, usually Elvis Presley. We decorate the house and yard together, lining the garden with twinkling lights and putting out our wooden and lighted sculptures of Santa and Winnie the Pooh donned with a Santa hat as he holds a gift for someone special. We always sit in the same spot at the annual Christmas parade. We stake out our spots early beside the First United Methodist Church of Laurel as we eagerly await the Laurel Sertoma Christmas parade. It’s always funny to see the same families in the same locations year after year. It’s like there are invisible lines drawn designating reserved spots for each family. You know that the years are passing too quickly when you see the little ones that once played in the grass next to church now stand patiently with their families, but even the passage of years cannot take away the smiles of joy and anticipation as the decorated cars and floats come by. The air is filled with the scent warm syrup, pancakes, and hot cocoa from the annual Kiwanis Club breakfast as little and older hands wave in the air at Smoky the Bear, the local church floats, families and friends, and, of course, Santa Claus. Throughout the month of December, our home is filled with the delicious scents of sugar cookies, cakes, and pies baking in the oven. Christmas has always been such a magical time in my family. I remember always writing my letter to Santa and including a picture that I had colored for him because I was sure that the gift would somehow get me more presents beneath the tree. I would always go see Santa personally in the local stores or mall to tell him what I wanted. I’ll never forget how long the lines always seemed as I waited and the look of wonder as I looked up into his cheery, warm face to tell him exactly what I wanted. Waiting for Christmas seems to be the hardest part of the holidays for a little girl -- that and trying to always be on your best behavior because you knew that Santa had spies that would report back to him on any of your misdeeds. When Christmas Eve would finally roll around, my mother and my sisters would hit the stores for some last minute shopping, and many times I

would go to my grandparents’ house for the day. Those are some of my sweetest memories. I loved playing checkers with my PapPaw and eating apple and candy canes because he told me that it would taste just like a candied apples when you did. My PapPaw would crack pecans and walnuts for me, and we would spend the day watching movies together. My MamMaw would be in the kitchen baking pies and cakes, and she would let me help her. My favorite chore was helping her dye the coconut red and green for her coconut cake and then licking all the bowls when she was finished. When my parents would pick me up, we would help wrap presents for my grandparents and would load up the car with the packages, heading back to their house. With arms loaded with bright packages and sparkly ribbons, we were always met with the warm, spicy scent of pecan pies right from the oven. My grandmother would have each of us a huge slice of pecan pie waiting on the table, and those were the best pecan pies I have ever tasted in my life. After that, I would urge my mom to hurry home, and I would hop in the tub for a quick bath. Dressed in my fuzzy, footed pajamas, I would write a “thank you” letter to Santa and pile a plate high of cookies and a carrot or two for the reindeer. I would place the plate and a big glass of milk down by the tree, giving twinkling lights of the tree and furry stockings one last look before I hurried off to bed for what was always one of the longest nights of my life. It was always hard for me to fall asleep as I waited in the dark for the sound of sleigh bells and the stomps of hooves on the roof, constantly praying for the miracle of a white Christmas. As the first rays of early morning light would peek through my window, my big brother would tiptoe into my room and quietly wake me up. We were not supposed to go see what Santa had brought us until everyone was awake, but he would sneak me into the living room to get a peek. My eyes couldn’t see to take in all the colorful packages, Teddy bears, Barbie dolls, and overflowing stockings that greeted me. Christmas morning was always like a magical land for me as mounds of presents and special gifts always awaited me in the still quiet that only a Christmas morning can bring. But I was always careful never to reveal that my brother and I had taken a peak at what Santa had brought us because we would have been in big trouble. Later when the rest of the family had finally stumbled out of bed, the living room would be filled with miles of red and green paper and hundreds of sparkling bows and ribbons as we tore into our presents. Those are some of my sweetest memories -- of hearing the beautiful sounds of Christmas carols floating in the air while the room was filled with hugs and kisses and boasts of “This was the best Christmas ever!” Later in the day, we would meet at my grandparents’ house and exchange presents over yet another huge meal. My grandparents’ faces would light up as they saw us tear into our presents or when someone asked for another piece of pie. They loved the holidays and loved sharing them with us. I miss those times -- sharing the most precious times of the years with my MamMaw and PapPaw and seeing the special joy that only the holidays can bring. Although our sleepy little hamlet in Jones County, Mississippi was not painted with frosted window panes or covered with a fresh blanket of snow, our family holidays contained just as much magic, joy, and love as any classic holiday film from The Bishop’s Wife to the cartoon classics of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Grinch that Stole Christmas. As the year came to a close, we would always gather together again to reminisce about the memories of Continues on page 34


November 2010


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November 2010

No Farmers No Food

By Ben Willoughby

MISSISSIPPI’S FISHING REPORT There is a new business in the Pine Belt that I felt fishermen in South Mississippi would want a heads up about. It is a fishing tackle shop that carries all kinds of salt water fishing lures and other items that folks who chase speckled trout, flounder, white trout, red fish and other saltwater species are in need of. The Salt Marsh store is located at 916 Timothy Lane just off Corrine Street in Hattiesburg, In case you are not familiar with Hattiesburg, get on Broadway Drive and turn east on Timothy Lane (toward Courtesy Ford). Salt Marsh is located about three hundred yards in front of The Ford Place. It is a small yellow and red building that is hard to miss. The owner is Chris Morse and his assistant is Bennett Burris. The Grand Opening was September 24 and store hours are 8 – 5 Monday thru Friday. Chris can be reached at 901-277-3777 or The Salt Marsh line has some outstanding looking lures with excellent colors. They have spinner baits, gold spoons, buzz baits, jig heads, as well as wading belts, wading bags, and cork stringers. While the Salt Marsh line is new to the Pine Belt, they presently have their lures in over 50 stores from Port Charlotte, Florida to the Texas Coast. In fact, the day I dropped by for this article they were bowed up like a collard worm trying to get out a huge order for Academy Sports. Some of the upcoming events Chris is planning are monthly seminars on all aspects of salt water fishing. Different charter captains will be available on the third Thursday of each month. There will be a fish fry starting at 6:00 p.m. with the seminar to follow. These very informative seminars will last about one hour. Just one of the captains that will be available is Chad Dufrene. Chad is an excellent fisherman and guide. He lives in Purvis but is from the Larose, Cutoff area of Louisiana. He can be reached at 601-4360088. Other Charter Captains will be available for seminars on the third Thursday of each month. There is no charge for the fish fry or the seminar. Salt Marsh will also offer a rather interesting fishing trip. They will furnish a guide, a box of baits and any other items needed for a half day fishing trip. These trips will be basically a guided fishing class. The boat, gear, bait, etc…everything needed plus instruction on how to use the rods, reels and lures, etc. to catch fish. This is a doozy….Salt Marsh will also offer a full scale outfitter service. This will cater to corporations that would like to send customers or potential customers on a fishing trip where about all

they will have to do is be breathing and show up at a given time. Salt Marsh will arrange everything….a guide, lodging, boats, fishing location, food, gear, etc., the complete package. I guess they would arrange for someone to take the fish off your hook if that was needed! The complete package from location to fish, guide service, lodging, food, etc. all tended to by Salt Marsh. The areas to fish will be from Key West to Padre Island, Texas. This sounds pretty good to me. Salt Marsh will take all the worry out of planning a trip and all you have to do is just show up! Chris will also have a bulletin board in his shop for displaying fishing pictures. Anyone who has a good fishing trip can put up a picture or two and we will also give you a shout out on the Outdoor Report which I do each weekday morning at 7:45 am on Rock 104.5 FM. Salt Marsh will also be offering fly fishing trips and kayak trips which are becoming very popular all along the coast. These small little boats allow folks access to areas where larger boats can’t go and some outstanding specks and reds are being caught. Blast and Cast will also be offered. This will be duck hunting in the morning and fishing in the afternoon. That is an interesting concept and will be available soon at Salt Marsh. This new business in the Pine Belt is up and going very well. They have an excellent line of salt water fishing lures and have several exciting additions to their line of lures coming. Seminars and planned outings for almost any fisherman or someone who thinks they might like to catch a bull red, a 26-inch speck or a flounder the size of a dinner plate, Salt Marsh has the lures and the expertise to get it done!

Until next time be sure to keep your hooks sharp and wet!

Ben Willoughby is a native of Liberty, Mississippi where he grew up on the family farm. Today Ben lives in the Oak Grove area of Hattiesburg, Mississippi with his wife, Tommie. They have two daughters and three grandsons. Ben writes for several outdoor publications and newspapers. He can be heard each weekday morning at 7:45 AM on ROCK 104 RADIO with his outdoor report. Ben is an avid hunter and fisherman. He also enjoys looking for Indian artifacts.


November 2010


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6156 US Hwy 98 West (Next to Talbots) Hattiesburg, MS 39402




Earl Watts is pictured with his winning flowers which garnered him the coveted Ophelia Taylor Horticulture Award.



One of the highest and most prestigious horticulture awards in the nation, The Ophelia Taylor Horticulture Award, has been made to a local gardener, Earl Watts. The award is one that can be received only once in a persons lifetime. The award is made possible through Region 12 (Florida) of the American Hemerocallis Society and given in daylily shows accredited by the AHS. The award is made on the basis of a critical analysis by Senior Exhibition Judges on the five flowers entered in this award category. To be a winner, each of the five flowers entered must receive 95 points or more from a possible 100 points in this special scoring category. A description of Watts winning entries with flower name and supporting data and daylily categories are as follows: ‘Suburban Clainey’ (Watts ’06) 36” MLaRe 10.5” Light rose pink above yellow to green throat. Unusual Form; ‘John Euchler’ (Stamile ’09) 32” EERe 11.75” Lavender self with a green throat. Spider; ‘Loose Reins’ (George, T. ’05) 29” EMRe 9.0” Pink with chevron darker pink eye above green throat. Unusual Form; ‘Titanic Tower’ (Lambertson’06) 42” MRe 10.5” Pink lavender self above green throat Unusual Form; ‘Suburban Alice Essary’ (Watts ’06) 23” EMR 4.5” Bright golden yellow with ruffled gold edge above deep green throat. Watts is a member of the Hattiesburg Area Daylily Society (HADS). He is the third member of HADS to win this coveted award. Other winners are Randy Preuss of Monticello, MS, and Cecil Daniels of Jackson. Watts and his wife, Barbara, own Suburban Daylilies on Serene Meadows Drive off Cole road in west Hattiesburg.

Janet Green, Bassfield, President of the Hattiesburg Area Daylily Society, presents Earl Watts, Hattiesburg, the once in a lifetime Ophelia Taylor Horticulture Award. The award was made as the result of daylily entries in the Hattiesburg Area Daylily Society Annual Show in June. Looking on, from left, are prior recipients of the coveted award: Randy Preuss, Monticello, and Cecil Daniels, Jackson. Randy Preuss, Monticello,MS was the first in the Hattiesburg Area Daylily Society to win the award.


November 2010


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1. Myth: Sugary sweeteners make kids hyper. Scientific research published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed 23 studies where children were given foods or drinks containing either sugar or a placebo. The participants were double-blinded, meaning that neither knew which foods or drinks had sugar and which did not. The study looked at the reactions of the children and concluded “sugar does not affect the behavior or cognitive performance of children.” Hyperactivity can be caused by a sharp spike in blood sugar levels. Whether eating a food causes a quick increase in blood sugar can be measured using the glycemic index (GI). Foods containing simple sugars that quickly convert to blood sugar have a high GI (such as baked potatoes). Apples, on the other hand, have a low GI. Table sugar itself has a moderate (not high) glycemic index. 2. Myth: Sugary sweeteners are “empty calories.” Fundamentally, all sweeteners are carbohydrates. Whenever we eat foods with carbohydrates, such as table sugar, honey, or a potato—the body breaks these foods down into usable energy. Sugar itself generally has trace amounts of nutrients, but people rarely eat spoonfuls of sugar by itself. Sugars like glucose or fructose are often part of foods like fruits, which contain a variety of vitamins and other nutrients. 3. Myth: Brown sugar, “sugar in the raw,” and honey are healthier than normal table sugar. Brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses. The added molasses does provide a few trace nutrients not found in white sugar, but these nutrients are too few to provide any nutritional benefit. The same is true for honey and its trace nutrients. The simple truth is that sugar is sugar. All different kinds of sugar are broken down into simple molecules that the body uses as energy.

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November 2010

4. Myth: Some sugars are “more natural” than others. All major caloric sweeteners require some processing before use. This includes table sugar and brown sugar. After all, sugar cubes don’t grow on trees. The Food and Drug Administration considers cane sugar, beet sugar, honey, and high fructose corn syrup “natural” meaning “nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food.” 5. Myth: Molasses is better for you than other sweeteners. Molasses can be made from sugar beets or sugar cane, just like table sugar. The juice from the plants is pressed out and then boiled to create molasses. Molasses is a source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron. But the amount of these nutrients in molasses is not significant enough to make a difference in your diet unless you eat an abnormal amount.If you eat too much molasses, of course, you will gain weight. The same goes for eating too much of any caloriecontaining food. Source:

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November 2010


By Judy Smith If you had to describe Lenny’s Sub Shop in one word it would be fresh, healthy, and fast. Oh, wait, that’s more than one word, but you can’t seem to pick out just one word to best describe Lenny’s to someone who’s never eaten there. But when you stop by for a taste, then you’ll understand. For a lunch, dinner, or snack that is healthy and ready in a hurry, you don’t have to look any further than Lenny’s Sub Shop located in the heart of Hattiesburg. Randy Martin has owned Lenny’s for ten years and has made the business a family affair. His wife Michelle, brother Ray, and daughters Miranda and Heather assist Martin in the shop, and they all work hard to ensure that all customers receive only top quality choices. Lenny’s offers a variety of sandwich selections, ranging from cold subs such as roast beef, turkey, and club, to hot sandwiches such as the Philly cheesesteak, grilled chicken Philly, and grilled half pound hot dogs. All sandwiches come with heaping portions of meat and cheese topped with all of your favorites, and each sandwich is made exactly to your specifications. Lenny’s also offers Kaiser combo sandwiches and a variety of salad choices. Another Lenny exclusive is its signature hot pepper relish that is sure to spice up any dish. To top off the meal, customers can indulge in an assortment of mouthwatering, freshly baked cookies. The only problem you’ll face is which one



November 2010

d e e t n a r Gua to choose. Will you go with the chocolate chip, white chocolate chip macadamia nut, or oatmeal raisin? Freshness is an important aspect that Lenny’s emphasizes. There’s no day-old bread or cookies around here. Martin and staff bake their own bread and cookies every morning. When customers order their subs, the meat is cut right before them, ensuring them that they are getting only the best quality there is to offer. “I would have to say that our biggest priority is to make sure that everything is as fresh as possible,” Martin said. “We think that’s what our customers really value, and we try to offer only the freshest selections. We want customers to know that they aren’t getting anything that was made in advance. All of our selections are fresh and made while you wait.” Besides a wide range of sub choices, Lenny’s also offers fresh, delicious chicken salad. Like everything else, the chicken salad is made fresh every day. Whether it’s nestled in a bun or on a crispy, green salad, the chicken salad is always fresh and delectable. The chicken salad and chicken salad subs are major sellers at Lenny’s, and Martin estimates that he sells about 250 pounds of chicken each week. “We work really hard to offer only the best and freshest choices to our customers, and that is why we make it fresh every day,” Martin said. Customers always know that they will


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be getting only the best when they stop at Lenny’s, and that’s what keeps them coming back for more. Jim Roseberry of Roseberry Insurance eats at Lenny’s almost every day and sometimes twice a day. The shop is located about a block from where he works, but the convenient commute is not what keeps Roseberry coming back. “They offer good healthy food fast,” Roseberry said. “You know that you’re always going to get the freshest foods that taste great, and you always get excellent service.” Roseberry counts the Philly cheesesteak sub as one of his favorites. Martin makes sure that all his cheesesteaks and warm subs are hot straight from the grill or oven and made especially to each customer’s specifications. Roseberry also appreciates the warm, welcoming environment of the restaurant. He enjoys meeting and talking with fellow Hattiesburg workers that frequent the shop, ranging from local business people, bank employees, hospital workers, and University of Southern Mississippi coaches. “It’s a great central location and always very sociable,” Roseberry said. “It offers a clean environment, and I really enjoy eating there and seeing people from around the community there. You always get a great meal and great company.” A friendly, family-oriented environment is a major priority for Martin and his family. “We try to offer a comfortable, warm atmosphere that families and business people can feel right at home while they enjoy their meals,” Martin said.

Lenny’s brings to mind visions of the types of diners and restaurants from years past where diners could meet with friends and coworkers and enjoy a great meal and a great time. Besides being a friendly stop for diners, Lenny’s also offers a variety of catering options. Lenny’s party platters can feed up to ten people and can feature up to three types of subs made fresh on the day of delivery. The deluxe party platter includes sandwiches, ten bags of chips, ten cookies, and a gallon of refreshing iced tea or lemonade. Lenny’s also offers hot catering. The food is prepared the day of delivery and comes complete with equipment to keep the food piping hot along with precut subs and all the trimmings. Lenny’s catering is an excellent choice for office luncheons, birthday and holiday parties, and most any type of group function. Lenny’s catering is also a very popular choice for tailgaters. Lenny’s party platters are sure to please any crowd. Martin makes sure that his party platters are packed with the best he has to offer at reasonable prices. “I try to make it a priority to offer quality food at a very competitive price,” Martin said. “That’s important to me and my business.” Lenny’s is the little shop with lots of personality. Diners can be assured that they will be offered a variety of sandwiches, salads, and desserts that always taste as great as they look and are good for them. Lenny’s Sub Shop is a healthy, fast alternative for any crowd. Lenny’s Sub Shop is conveniently located at 3704 Hardy Street in front of University Mall, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Their phone number is 601-296-0088.

HUB CITY WEST FARM & GARDEN 31 Pioneer Dr. • Hattiesburg, MS 39402


Justin & Kim Young 601-268-9400 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

November 2010


I must admit I get amused at how news is reported on TV, radio and newspapers. For example, in August of 2010 WFLA-Ch. 8’s lead story for their 5:30 pm news was about three dogs being stolen from a kennel. Must have been a bad news day, what with McCollum and Rick Scott obviously not have new mud to sling. USA today does a pretty good job of keeping up with the news all over the US. On Friday August 27 in their “Across the USA,” that has news from every state, they had some startling news. For instances, in Bismarck, North Dakota the City Commission passed a law making it illegal to jump from bridges within the city limits. Violators would face a fine, if they are still alive, of up to $500. Now this is BIG news. In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina a coastal night spot for bikers will soon be a Dollar General store. In Somerset, Massachusetts about 50 people were excited at Fox Hill Cove, after someone said they saw a shark fin in the water, but the local law enforcement discovered the so called “shark fin” was a piece of fin-shaped Styrofoam sealed with duct tape. In Falmouth, Maine a teenager passed over a “bait car” with a laptop, cell phone and other valuables in it in the city park, and instead broke into the police surveillance van and took a bottle of water. The town of Oakwood, Illinois will celebrate the opening of a grocery store after being without one for more than a year. And in Los Angeles a civil rights group is protesting the county’s sheriff’s plans to install a high-tech unit that shoots a high beam at unruly jail inmates. In Orlando a police sub-station was evacuated when an elderly woman walked in with an old hand grenade. She said she found it while going through a relative’s belongings. My friend Bruce Rodwell knows how much I enjoy reading these newspaper goofs. He recently emailed me a few that I think



November 2010

you’ll enjoy. “Toilet out of order. Please use floor below.” Sign in a Laundromat: “Automatic washing machines, Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out.” In a London department store: “Bargain basement upstairs.” Memo on the office bulletin board: “Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday please bring it back or further steps will be taken.” “After the tea break staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the draining board.” Outside a second hand shop: “We exchange anything – bicycles, washing machines, etc. Why not bring your wife along and get a wonderful bargain?” Sign on a health food shop window: “Closed due to illness.” Seen at a safari park; “Elephants please stay in your car.” Sign at hotel during a business conference: “For anyone who has children and doesn’t know it, there is a day care on the first floor.” Sign in a farmer’s field: “The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges.” Message on a leaflet: “If you cannot read this leaflet it will tell you how to get lessons.” Notice on a repair shop door; “We can repair anything! (Please knock hard on the door - the bell doesn’t work.)” Ever read the wedding announcements? They can be hilarious at times. Sometimes it would be better to use the couple’s entire name instead of hyphenating them. Examples: “Looney–Ward,” “Hardy-Harr,” “WendtAdaway,” and lastly “Dunnam-Favors.” This past year they had a referendum on the ballot in Union County, Georgia to allow the sale of beer and wine. It passed, and one old timer that had been sipp’n a little shine made by some of the locals quickly converted to the legal stuff. When the beer and wine went on sale, Gaston J. Feeblebunny (don’t laugh-that’s his name) who lives just outside of Blairsville, staggered home late the first night it was legal to sell the spirits. He quietly took off his shoes so as not to wake his wife, Belcher. Then silently tiptoed toward the stairs that lead to their bedroom. He misjudged the first step. Immediately he grabbed the banister, as his body quickly swung around and he landed on his rear end. The beer bottle he had in his back pocket broke as he landed and cut his rear end up pretty badly. He covered his mouth instantly so as not to yell, jumped up, pulled down his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that the left side of butt cheek was cut and bleeding. He found a box of Band-Aids and as best he could, looking in the mirror where he saw blood, he the applied the Band-Aids. When finished he hid the almost empty Band-Aid box and stumbled his way to bed. The next morning he woke up with a sore rear end and a terrible headache. Across the room was Belcher his wife staring at him. “Well, you were drunk again last night, Feeblebunny,” she said! He smiled and said, “Sweetheart, why would you say such a thing?” “My goodness,” she said. “It could be I found the front door was open when I got up, or it could be the broken beer bottle at the bottom of the stairs, it could be the drops of blood trailing up the stairs to the bed, it could be those bloodshot eyes I am looking at now, but mostly it’s all those Band-Aids stuck on the hall mirror. I’ll leave you with a couple of thought to ponder. Why do we put suits in garment bags and garments in a suitcase? Why is it that bullets ricochet off of Superman’s chest, but he ducks when the empty gun is thrown at him?

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Left: Billie Davis “This is the best my young crop has looked in 45 years Right: Bob Groulx “On my left, treated with Bio Soil, on my right, it was not. Next year, I will treat my entire crop with Bio Soil.

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By Phil DiFatta

Youth Hunting Opportunities

I can’t remember how young I was - probably seven or eight - but I can remember everything else about my first hunting experience. That’s quite an accomplishment, considering the fact that now sometimes I can’t recall what happened three days ago! Nonetheless, my brother Chuck was home on leave from the Air Force and he offered to take me squirrel hunting. It was freezing cold, and I had no cold weather clothing, not that it mattered. All I knew is that here was a chance to go hunting with my brother. Killed a squirrel, too. Never mind that my toes and fingers were numb from the cold. And never mind that Chuck let me pick up my not-so-dead squirrel, which promptly bit a hole through my numb thumb. It was a learning experience all right, and I loved every minute of it. Then there was my brother-in-law, Benny, who later took me coon hunting with him. He didn’t believe in turning on his light until necessary, if at all, which made for some really spooky times for a snot-nosed kid following close behind his brother in the pitch black dark. But I loved it all. Otherwise, I would never remember those times. And I learned valuable lessons each time I hunted with my “heroes.” Those lessons have stuck with me over decades, and I have passed them down to my son. Not to brag, but I must have done a fair-to-middlin job teaching my son, because the little twerp kills more and bigger deer than I do now, seldom misses getting his limit of turkeys in two states and I won’t even mention how badly he outshoots me in the dove field. But that’s OK. In fact, it’s great. Sometimes, a dad doesn’t mind playing second fiddle to his son. With that in mind, I must say that hunting opportunities are even greater now than when I was a kid. Squirrels are abundant. Rabbits are thriving. Raccoons are almost everywhere. Deer are extremely plentiful here in the Magnolia State, possibly even too plentiful in some areas. Back when I first started trying to write outdoor articles (some say I am still trying), I’d always suggest that you start out a kid in the squirrel woods. Give him or her a .410 shotgun, or maybe a .20 gauge, teach ’em gun safety and take ’em huntin’ the bushy-tails. But now, with the population explosion of whitetails in Mississippi, I’m gonna stick my neck out and say if you really want to



November 2010

introduce a kid to hunting in a big way, take him or her deer hunting. In a sense, it’s easier than rabbit or squirrel hunting. Now there’s nothing wrong with hunting small game, but with the bountiful deer population here in Mississippi and the fact that for the youth, female doe deer are legal game, deer hunting may be the way to teach your youngun’ about hunting. Just plant a suitable food plot in deer country, construct or purchase a shooting house or blind, then take the kid and wait. Of course you’ll want to consider the kid’s comfort first and foremost. Make sure they have proper warm clothing and maybe a snack and something to drink for those waits in the shooting house. The LAST thing you want is to have a kid lose interest because he or she is cold or hot or hungry or otherwise uncomfortable. As we all know, kids become impatient quickly, so it would behoove you to have scouted enough to know that under most circumstances, deer will come in to your food plot. I realize even the best laid plans sometimes go awry, but when it comes to introducing a kid to hunting, you must do everything you can to insure a successful hunt. Note here: A successful hunt does not always result in the taking of a deer. Time spent with that precious young person is worth more than its weight in deer meat. Proper planning is the key. Oh, and other than ammunition, probably the last thing you’ll want to forget is a camera. In the field photos of a child’s first critter will last a lifetime and do wonders in helping to add another individual to the sportsmen ranks. And though I might be a “little” prejudiced, I think sportsmen, both young and old, are the greatest! Opportunities abound (The 2010 Mississippi youth deer season). Youth Gun Season - Nov. 6-7 -- Antlerless deer and legal bucks on private and authorized state and federal lands. Youth 15 and under. Youth Gun Season - Nov. 8-19 -- Antlerless deer and legal bucks on private and authorized state and federal lands. Youth 15 and under. Phil DiFatta is a veteran outdoor writer who now resides in Purvis, Mississippi. He writes for numerous regional and national publications, as well as a weekly column for The Hattiesburg American and The Clarion Ledger Online. Phil may be reached for questions, comments or story ideas at


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November 2010


Christmas at the Smith house was always an enchanted affair. Donna Smith, 8, Judy Smith, 18 days old, Louise Smith, 10, and Ray Smith, 12, celebrate their baby sister’s first Christmas as she keeps her eyes glued to her baby doll.

Continued from page 19

the past year and look forward to another year together. On New Year’s Eve, it is our tradition to have a huge bonfire in our backyard that we huddle around against the shivering cold as we roast hot dogs and marshmallows. As the clock ticks closer to midnight, we start our annual firework show and begin our countdown to the New Year. When the New Year is finally upon us, we greet it with shouts of joy, blowing horns, and the traditional 200-count firework salute as the air is filled with homemade confetti. Over toasts of grape juice, we offer up thanks for our blessings throughout the year and officially proclaim our new year’s resolutions. New Year’s Day is filled once again with every television tuned to a bowl game, while my family enjoys the traditional Southern meal of black-eyed peas and cabbage coleslaw to ensure that we have luck throughout the New Year. From November to January, our family is engaged in a constant celebration filled with lots of fun, food, and family. Growing up in the deep south has given me a different perspective of the holidays, but one thing that is always a constant throughout our holidays is family and keeping traditions alive. As our family has grown and changed, we have added new traditions or modified older ones in our celebrations, but we have never strayed away from those constants -- family and tradition. The traditions have helped to build us into a strong family that looks forward to these sentimental rites of the holidays. As I close the book on my holiday memories for the time being, I am met with a bittersweet feeling of joy and happiness that I have enjoyed during those times of holidays past and a little bit of sadness for those that are no longer here to celebrate with us. But despite any sadness or melancholy feelings, I am grateful for all the wonderful memories that have colored my past as I look forward to new and exciting times that are sure to grace my future.

Judy Smith celebrates the first of many magic al holidays with her family. Althou gh the stocking an d baby doll are almost bigger than her, she’ll soon grow into them .

Judy Smith was born and raised in Laurel, Mississippi and graduated from Laurel High School in 1991. She continued her education at Jones County Junior College where she received an Associate’s of Arts degree. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism and Paralegal Studies.  In 1999, she graduated with a Master’s of Science degree in Mass Communications from the University of Southern Mississippi where she also received a PhD in Communications in 2005. While as a student at Southern Miss, Ms. Smith covered sports for the Student Printz.  As a graduate student, she wrote for the Talon, the Southern Miss alumni magazine. She has also had articles published in the Laurel Leader-Call, Hattiesburg American, Mississippi magazine and Beach Boulevard magazine.

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November 2010


Jim and some of the lumber he has cut from trees blown down by Hurricane Katrina

By Katherine L. Davis Cleaning up fallen trees and cutting them from his property, Jim Braswell has managed to produce enough lumber to build the dream home he and his wife Peggy have long waited for. Not a small project, their dream home (including the carriage house) has well over 5,000 square feet of living space and about 2,000 square feet of deck space. Jim Braswell, a pilot with Delta Airlines for over 20 years, and his wife Peggy, a Mary Kay Consultant for over 20 years, have been working on a labor of love for over a decade. Working hard and getting things accomplished have been a part of Jim Braswell’s life even before he started elementary school. Sun up to sun down, Jim has always worked hard. Jim shared that his grandson Austin recently told him, “Papa, you work too hard for a man your age!” Jim and Peggy are both graduates of Mississippi State University. After graduation Jim spent four and a half years in the Air Force flying B52 Bombers with the Strategic Air Command and 20 years in the Air Force Reserve. Jim started flying for Delta Airlines 20 years ago. Both Peggy and Jim love the fact that Jim is a co-pilot with Delta Airlines. Jim flies overseas routes to Europe, South America, and to Asia. Peggy has had the opportunity to fly to many overseas places as the wife of a pilot, flying stand by or space available. This schedule means that Jim flies with Delta 12-13 days a month. When he is home in Hattiesburg he stays very busy working on their dream home, managing rentals for his mother, and being actively involved with their church. Jim’s parents, Rex and Mary Alice Braswell, used to own Southern Cleaners. Jim remembers working at the dry cleaners before he ever started first grade. “Mom and dad had three sons and my dad nicknamed us “Jimmy Don’t, Johnny Quit, and Jerry Stop.” My dad also co-owned University Handbag just north of Hattiesburg off Interstate 59. He placed a piece of paper with a typed Bible scripture in every handbag he sold. Dad sold handbags from New York to Florida in stores such as Macy’s, Wal-Mart, and the Dollar Store. Yes, a Bible scripture was in every handbag he sold!” “My mom and dad eventually owned 52 rental units in the Mississippi area. Since my dad’s death we sold some of the rental properties and invested in forestry land. Our son-in-law, David Johns, of Mississippi Land Company has advised me and helped me find some very good deals on forestry land,” Jim said. Jim has been investing in timber properties because he feels these properties are excellent long range investments with a minimal amount of work and headache. Jim is not afraid of hard



November 2010

work but does have his eye on retiring, one day. “Rental properties are a great way to plan for retirement but they are labor intensive. The pine trees on our timber property are growing everyday. While timber does require some work and effort, it does not compare to working with 50 plus rental properties.” Jim recognizes that the market for new houses has slowed and the demand for timber is down, but he says, “High school and college students are graduating every year. These young folk are joining the work force and sooner of later, there will be a need for new housing. Timber will be in high demand again. I just think timber properties are a great place to invest.” During the 1980’s Jim and Peggy lived in Lamar Park and began to plan a dream home on some acreage on a lake. “We looked around in Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama for the place to build our dream home and the Lord paved the way in 2000 to purchase six acres on the lake in Hickory Hills Subdivision (a gated, private lake) in Hattiesburg. “A storm came through the Hattiesburg area in 2000 and blew down quite a few trees in the Lamar Park area. I told my neighbors, I can’t get the stump out but I can cut that tree into logs and remove it from your yard. This is how I began getting oak, pine, and hickory trees to cut up for lumber to build the first phase of our new home,” Jim said. Jim and Peggy have been living in “The Carriage House” on their new property since 2004. The Carriage House has 1,500 square feet of living space with two bedrooms, two baths and a great room with fireplace sitting atop a three car garage. “Most all the lumber in the carriage house came from the trees that I cleaned up in Lamar Park. In 2005, when hurricane Katrina came through the storm knocked down about 50 trees on our six acres. The trees the storm blew down here and in other people’s yards that I cleaned up gave me enough of a stockpile of lumber to start the main house,” Jim said. “The main house is still a work in progress. The outside is completely finished and we are gearing up to start hanging drywall in the interior of the house.” The main house has over 4,000 square feet of living space and a two tiered deck on the back of the house with about 2,000 square feet of deck. Peggy said, “We love to entertain and that is why I wanted a large back deck overlooking the lake. We are very involved with the College and Career, Couples, and Youth Groups at 38th Avenue Baptist Church in Hattiesburg. We have had many church group and family get-togethers here at our place in Hickory Hills and there will be more to come when the main house and the deck are

Jim is working in their back deck overlooking the lake.

The Carriage House. This is where Jim and Peggy have lived since 2004.

completely finished.” “Brandon Smith with All Square Construction has done a lot of work for us on the house and the deck,” Jim said. “Brandon is quite knowledgeable about the construction business and has done a great job for us. I would recommend his work to anyone.” One story that Jim and Peggy enjoy sharing goes back to the days when they were dating. They had dated about two years and Peggy was teaching high school Spanish. Peggy had graduated from Mississippi State University and Jim was still in college. “I would come down to Hattiesburg to visit with Jim and his parents who had a guest room I stayed in. In that guest room was an heirloom engagement ring that was kept in a box sitting on the dresser. No one ever knew but at night I would put on that engagement ring and dream about being married to Jim Braswell.” Peggy continued, “On Fridays, when the day was over and I was through teaching Spanish, Jim would pick me up from work and we would stop by a local store to get a coke and a snack. One day Jim suggested I should buy a box of Cracker Jacks by the register for a snack. When I opened the box of Cracker Jacks I found that the prize was a ring. My first thought was that this was a really nice toy ring, but I quickly realized that is was the heirloom ring that I had been wearing at night when I visited Jim’s parents house. Once I realized the ring was real Jim looked at me and asked if I would marry him. Happy and excited, I said yes. Jim later told me he had come by the store earlier, bought the box of Cracker Jacks, took it to his dormitory, steamed it open, put the ring in the prize package and sealed it back,” Peggy shared. “Being married to Jim has been quite an adventure!” Jim and Peggy call their new home in Hickory Hills Subdivision, Promise Land. “When we were working hard and moving around with the Air Force and then with the commercial airlines, and keeping up those rental properties, Jim promised me one day we would have a house on a lake, and that is how it got the name,” Peggy shared. Jim and Peggy have two daughters and five grandchildren, all of whom live in the Hattiesburg area. “At one time my family was spread all over the south,” Jim said. “One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalms 37:4, Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Today my family all lives here in Hattiesburg, our dream home is becoming a reality, I have made a living flying and working a job I truly love. I

am married to a woman that is my best friend and the love of my life. The Bible has always been a blueprint for my life. I am living proof of Psalms 37:4’s promise.”

Brandon Smith with All Square Construction can be reached at 601-606-0204. David Johns with Mississippi Land Company can be reached at 1-888-777-5263 and Peggy Braswell; Mary Kay Consultant can be reached at 601-261-9046.


November 2010


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For Sale By Owner, 127 acre pine plantation, included with property is a very well maintained 2002 3 bedroom 2 bath double wide mobile home and a newly constructed 30’ by 50’ metal barn. Property is located at 214 Deavers Road five miles southeast of downtown Purvis. $3600 per acre. Please call 601-818-5211


37 acres hunters paradise 3 shooting houses and food plots, 4 wheeler trails. 84 West in Collins. Beautiful home site $135,000 OBO 601-270-6565

CubCadet LTX1040 Lawn Tractor w/19hp Kohler engine and 42”Deck $1399. Call 601-268-2647.

Barn Style Storage Building (8x12) New, in Purvis, has all pressure treated materials underneath and on outside, pressure treated 5/8” decking and walls, 16” O.C. wall studs, will deliver up to 50 miles, formal set up and proper tie down NO EXTRA CHARGE. Includes foundation materials: ONLY $1,850.00 before tax!!! Call anytime: 601-436-0868

Great deal. Charming 4/2 home on 10 acres. Must sell. Near interstate. Ellisville. $129,000 OBO 601-270-6565

Updated and ready to move in. House sits on 9 secluded acres with storm shelter in Beaumont just 30 minutes from Hattiesburg. $145,000 601-270-6565 PETAL 3 / 2, single carport, built in 2004. $114,000 LEFAN REALTY CO., LLC ANNITA 601-408-5360

Discover paradise! Only one hour north of Hattiesburg. Lake Eddins is a 700 acre gated ANGUS HEIFERS lake community. Lake front lots and lake front Angus Heifers for sale Lane Smith, Purvis, MS homes available at reasonable prices. Please Call 601-606-7859 call 601-917-2781 for more information. ANGUS BULL FOR SALE

MOSELLE - FIXER UPPER 3/2, den, 3 ac. Lane Smith, Purvis, MS Call 601-606-7859 mol. $89,900 LEFAN REALTY CO., LLC ANNITA 601-408-5360 Bad Boy ZT50/60 zero turn mower w/27 Kohler engine and either 50 or 60” Deck. $4999. Call 601-268-2647

Hunting Lodges, Fish Camps and Outdoors Enthusiasts Get-A-Ways; All ready to be finished. Rent to own or Purchase. Ask about NO PAYMENT FOR 90 DAYS and NO CREDIT CHECK!!! 601-436-0868 Cub Cadet I1050 zero turn mower w/25 hp kohler engine and 50” deck $2599. Call 601-268-2647

BadBoy MZ48 zero turn mower w/26hp engine and 48”fabricated deck. $3499. Call 601-268-2647.

2007 Harley Davidson Dyna Glide Street bob, Cobalt Blue on 368 miles. Excellent Condition. Extras added!!! Ready to Ride $11,000 Serious Inquiries Only (813) 659-3402

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Soups, Salads, & Sandwiches

Country Girl Milk Red Rind Cheese, Homemade Butter A large selection of Old Timey Candies and Food Items Place Your Orders For Fresh Baked Goods

Pumpkins, Indian Corn and other Fall Decorations Old Timey Hard to Find Items: Dish Pans, Foot Tubs, Etc.

Rocking Chairs and Buck Boards

(In Season )

New & Used Horse Drawn Equipment




November 2010


Proud Sponsor of the Mississippi High School Rodeo Association

On Hwy 49 one mile South of Interstate 59 on the right


6467 Hwy 49 • Hattiesburg, MS 39401 40 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE November 2010

In The Field South Mississippi  

Your Agriculture magazine