Remembering: Lydia Mill friends

It is amazing what thoughts will run through one’s mind while waiting to pick up the grand boys after school. Yesterday, while waiting, I was thinking about some of my schoolmates who have died and remembering some of the good times I had with many of them. One of the first to die was Joe Fuller, Mr. and Mrs. Bud Fuller’s son (one of them) whom I spent a lot of time with. Joe had five other brothers who were friends also; Bobby, Bootsie, Wayne, Freddie and Donnie and three of these five have died, also -- Bobby, Bootsie and Wayne. All of these boys were good athletes, but I was closer to Joe than the others. One thing which I remember about Joe was how he had another friend of ours, Peggy Grady, would fight many days after school. I use to wonder how they could fight like dogs and cats and be friends a while later. As I got older, I realized that the “fights” were just their way of hugging one another without being accused of being girl and boyfriends. Only those two knew that for certain. Another good childhood and school friend to die at an early age was Jerry Coker. Jerry lived up the street from me at Lydia for several years, then his step dad, Earnest wells and his mama, Dot, moved to Jefferson street at the Clinton mill village. While I was in service, Jerry had a bad car wreck just a short time after we graduated high school, and he died several years later never completely getting over his injuries. Another friend who died about two years ago and was the first friend I ever had at the Lydia Village was Larry “Fargo” Motte. He was given the name “Fargo” by another childhood friend, Roger “Big Mama” Whitmire because of how fast Larry could run. It was said that “Fargo” could outrun a Wells Fargo stagecoach, and so Larry Motte was “Fargo” from an early age. Within the past three or four years, both of my childhood, next-door neighbors “sisters” have died and there were Linda Faye and Martha White “Pie” who became Linda Pasco and Martha Gardner. As I have said many times over the years, the two girls were as close as sisters growing up and even now I still feel closeness to them. There were two other girls who grew up with us at Lydia, and both of them have died also at a young ago. They were Tonita Harvey and Joyce Wyatt and both of these girls graduated high school with me and went all the way from the first grade through high school together. Tonita had a sister named Cathy and I think she had died also, but I hope I am wrong about that. There was another girl who lived on Pine Street with her sister and Mama and Daddy, she was Dianne Templeton, the sister of Darlene Templeton Horger and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Templeton. There were two other girls who grew up with us at Lydia, but they did not finish high school. But they too died at an early age; they were Shirley Polson and her cousin Linda Estes Black. Another girl who just recently died and lived in front of us at Lydia until the “Mill Company” moved their house to Cedar Street was Naoka Sprouse. She was the daughter of our mama’s best friend, Mrs. Ben Sprouse. All of the ones who I have mentioned were the ones who had a connection with me at Lydia, but in closing I would like to mention one other fellow who was one of the best athletes to ever attend CHS. He, too, died at a very young age. He was not only a gifted athlete; he was a marvelous piano player and most of all a good Christian, all around wonderful person. That was Phil Rogers, one of the best and nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I am certain that I have overlooked someone but I was not on purpose and with that thought, others just came to mind; Billy Walkers, Johnny “Skeet” Bailey, Nancy and Martha Hughey, Geraldine and Martha Puckett, Mitchel Wigley, Tommy Lawson, Johnny Oakley and Otis Emery “Smokie”. Anyway with all of these mentioned, I have good memories of each of them. Still remembering, (Tommy Kitchens lives in Clinton.)

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