Think there's nothing to do? Read this
May 7, 2001
Who says there is nothing to do in the Meridian/East Mississippi area?
Anyone who thinks that certainly didn't get out of bed Saturday. With daughter Mary Lynn serving as my assistant, I hit the road early Saturday to cover and take pictures of the following events: 1) The Bonita Classic, 2) the Boy Scout Camporee on at the Central Mississippi Residential Center; 3) the 50th anniversary celebration of the 298th National Guard Unit in Philadelphia; and, 4) Collinsville Day.
Each stop offered me a chance to visit with folks and take a few pictures. It proved to be an enjoyable morning and my only regret was that I didn't make it to all the other events and happenings. Maybe next time. Here's a few items I picked up along the way.
I didn't realize it, but Meridian fire chief Bunky Partridge is a marathon runner. In the past 18 months, Partridge has run the San Diego marathon, one at Disneyland in Orlando, Fla., and the Marine Marathon in Washington D.C.
Okay, maybe the the Bonita 5K wasn't going to be that much of a push for someone who runs marathons. Partridge said he was running with his daughter, Jennifer, 24, and her fiance, Jonathan Taylor, who were running their first competitive races Saturday.
Another longtime runner, Brad Peets, was entered in the Bonita Classic. Peets, an assistant principal at Quitman High School, is originally from Vicksburg and has competed in the Run Through History 10K. That road race winds through Vicksburg's (very) hilly Military Park. That's a challenging course to walk, much less run.
The Bonita Classic, sponsored by the Meridian Restaurant Association, is a special fund-raiser for the Wesley House Community Center. Wesley House provides many needs to those would be without here in Meridian and East Mississippi, and executive director Nell Grissom said funds from the Bonita Classic really help.
Moving on down the road, we found the area Boy Scouts "roughing it" this week at the Central Mississippi Residential Center in Newton.
Most people remember that the center was once Clarke College, which was run by the Mississippi Baptist Association. Its alumni fought in vain to keep the college open back in the early 1990s, but still have many fond memories.
The center is under the direction of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. Dr. Mark Yeager, director of the center, is also a longtime Boy Scout and serves the area Choctaw Council as district commissioner.
I enjoyed looking at the different campsites. All looked great, but Troop 9 had that classical look of what you would think of a Boy Scout camp site under a row of trees.
Most of the members of this troop had been with it for a year or more, and I wondered if they'd had any "adventures" in the Boy Scouting careers. It turns out that they did, concerning a trip they made a year or so ago, according to patrol leader Lucas Maxwell.
The troop tries to go camping each month, and on this particular outing, they went to Shiloh, Tenn., the site of a famous Civil War battle. Part of the trip involved a hike along a trail where they learned different facts about the battle.
All went well until they took a wrong turn, which added to their seven to eight mile hike. Then after lunch, it started raining.
It didn't get any better when they got back to camp, one scout noted. It seems that the wind blew the tents down during the storm and everything got wet. That probably wasn't funny then, but it made for a great story later.
Congratulations are certainly in order to the men and women of the 298th in Philadelphia, past and present, who have served and kept this unit going strong for the past 50 years. It's nice to know they are there when our country needs them.
Big news from Collinsville. Co-authors Jerry Ethridge and Linda Cook report that their book, "Windows to the Past," sold out very quickly during the 13th Collinsville Lively Arts Festival.
It was also obvious at the Collinsville Community Day that most all fried chicken plates were sold, too. I'm told they started cooking early Saturday morning. Believe me, the food was good.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.