Country Living

Possum Valley

Kay Craig Malan

I must begin this week’s column with a correction and apology. In last week’s column I incorrectly stated Mr. and Mrs. Leo McCarty’s anniversary that they celebrated on May 3 was their 60th when in fact it was their 62nd. I sincerely apologize for the error.

I have really been loving the weather we’ve been having this week.  Even if it’s been a little cold in the mornings the days have been just perfect.

The Brown family held a family reunion at the Possum Valley Community Pavilion on Saturday. I attended a baby shower for Kristin and Mark Stanley Saturday afternoon. They are expecting a beautiful baby girl, Emmaleigh, in just a few weeks.

Saturday morning, while I was at home I hear a loud, harsh “Wheeep! Wheep!” and looked outside just in time to see a pair of Great-crested Flycatchers alight in the oak tree out back. They eat insects instead of bird seed so I’m not sure what attracted them to our backyard but I’m glad they decided to visit, if only for a little while. While I was on my Sunday morning walk I heard a “zee-zee-zee” out in the woods. I’d been hearing this bird for several weeks but just couldn’t place it. I hoped that if I waited long enough the bird would show itself. And, sure enough, I was finally rewarded with a glimpse of the bird. It wasn’t very close but I was able to get a picture of it and, after zooming it in determined that it was a Prairie Warbler. Neither of these birds are lifers for me but they aren’t regulars either so it was a treat to see them both. I really, really want to see a Painted Bunting!

Bethel’s morning attendance was down slightly but we enjoyed a wonderful service. Bro. Kevin’s message, “When God Turns His Back”, was taken from the entire 59th chapter of Isaiah. I enjoyed getting to hold little Alex Hewitt during the preaching.  

Leigha and Bo joined Jason for supper Sunday evening and came over for a visit while their food was cooking on the grill. Bo helped feed the birds, pick strawberries and some peas. He really had fun ‘crackin’ the peas and yielded just enough for a very small mess.

Wanda and Ronnie Crockett have welcomed a new member to their household. A cute, little Toy Australian Shepherd.

Oh, speaking of new pets, my daughter Meghann and husband Tim are getting two little Siamese kittens as soon as they are old enough to leave their mommy. They also adopted a stray cat that showed up at their house and decided it was just the right place to live. So, that makes three grand-kitties for us.

Don’t forget that Bro. R.V. White will bring the morning message on Sunday, May 25, and Bro. John Hall will be presiding at the evening service which will be held at The Woods nursing facility at 6 p.m. Y’all come join us!

That’s the news for this week. Y’all stay safe, be happy and pray for those who are sick, lonely and hurting.

Vinegar Hill

Mae Cavaness

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” — Matthew 11:28.

We had a beautiful Sunday school lesson May 18 entitled, “Jesus’ use of scripture: Get it right,” taken from Matthew 15:1-11, 15-20.

The revival at Brooks Chapel M.B.C. May 10-14, was very well attended. On Monday minister Justin Barnes and the Ash Street M.B.C. family of Dermott were the guests. Tuesday’s guest were Minister Omar Davis and the St. Peter’s Rock M.B.C. family of Dumas. On Wednesday night Pastor Mike Jones and the Revival Center C.O.G.I.C. family were the guests. There was a guest to speak to the men and a guest to speak to the women. The revival concluded on Saturday at Jordan Park. The Brooks Chapel members and family would like to extend their appreciation for everyone’s support during the event.

I was sorry to hear of the passing of Mrs. Bertha Tucker Hews. She was funeralized on May 17, at the Mt. Olive M.B.C. in Star City and laid  to rest in Oakland Cemetery in Monticello.

On May 18, the Effie E. Brooks Civic Club held its 60th anniversary at the First M.B.C. on N. Bailey Street in Monticello, where Rev. Henry Richardson is pastor. Mrs. Brenda Binns is president of the club and the guest speaker was Mrs. Lisa Reed, of the abundant Faith Ministries of Crossett. Her address was enjoyed by all. Mrs. Joyce Taylor gave the guest a warm welcome. Binns presented Mrs. Christine Riley, Mrs. Ivanell Handley and myself a service award for their news coverage in the communities of Wilmar. Lacey and Vinegar Hill.

The Little Miss Rosebud 2014, Khare Block, did a great job. Everyone had a joyous time.

I would like to thank all of my guests for coming and supporting me.

Anyone connected with the Union Ridge Cemetery is asked to give their donations to Melvin Veasey, Mae Cavaness, or Lawrence Fisher. All donations will be appreciated.

The foster grandparents ended their work for this term on May 15 and will be idle until school starts again. Mrs. Jackson. Drew Central principal, gave each of us a gift. We all would like to thank the teachers for helping make this term pleasant. We will take our third annual trip to Degray Lake on June 3.

Hope everyone has a blessed week .

We all really missed Christine Riley’s news from last week.


Chris Riley

Praise God, its good to be back in the media as I missed writing the past week for I was with my children for Mother’s Day. What a joyous time.

We attended Sunday school and worship at I.H.P.W. Ministries, where Elder Kevin L. Riley is pastor, and Lisa Riley brought the message. After service we all went to dinner and had a delicious meal.

Willie Riley remained as a house guest but his nephews Dennis and Yit kept him company until I returned and prepared him a “down home meal” before his return to Detroit, as he was here for the last rites of his baby brother “Popeye” Riley. Tina and Kevin, and Donald and Corey, of Bryant, Mabelvale and Little Rock were also home for their uncle “Popeye’s” last rites. Continuing prayers for strength for his wife Erma, sons P.J. and Sidney and their siblings. Just know family Earth has no sorrows that Heaven cannot heal. Only trust and believe.

I visited with cousin Fannue Rowlett at Answood over the past week. She’s doing OK at age 101.

Sympathy and prayers for the Bertha Tucker family. Ms. Tucker was eulogized Saturday at St. Ollie M.B.C. in Star City, where Minister Melvin Harrison is pastor.

I received calls from Maxine and Sandra, of Memphis, looking forward to coming down for June Dinner. I also got a call from Donovan with a late Mother’s Day gift.

We at Morning Star M.B.C. were blessed with a message Sunday from Elder Brandon Bolden. His text was taken from II Timothy 4:5 with the subject “Go to work”. The Choir sang selections of inspiration. The Effie E. Brooks Civic Club hosted their 60th Anniversary at 3 p.m. Sunday at First M.B.C Recognition was given to two young ladies by Sister Josephine Buffington. They were Kelsi Thompson and Kennedi Brown, who were awarded scholarship by the club. Brenda Binns, club president, also presented recognition to Mae Cavaness, Ivanell Handley and myself for community service. Wow, what a pleasant surprise. It’s good to know that your labor is not in vain. Thanks again to the Effie E. Brooks Civic Club. The speaker for the event was Evangelist Lisa Reed, of Abundant Faith Ministries in Bastrop, La. She is a dynamic woman of God. Her message was taken from Genesis 1:26-28 and it was well delivered. Afterwards, a delicious meal was served by the civic sisters in the church fellowship hall.

I was glad to see a portion of my Morning Star M.B.C. family namely: Erskine Rogers, Monique, Mildred Williams, Viola Binns, Pauline Phillips and of course Josephine Buffington, who is one of the civic sisters.

I almost forgot to mention that I received many Mother’s Day gifts from my children and grandchildren. I also received Happy Mother’s Day wishes from my Godson Tyree Nolen, who never forgets me as his Head Start Social Worker/teacher. I love you Tyree. It’s good never to forget where you got your start. It really does mean a lot. I love all of you. May God richly bless each of you on your road to success.

Happy birthday to Xavier Riley, May 22, and to his mom Lisa Riley, May 23.

Lisa will enjoy her birthday dinner at Sweetie Pie in St. Louis compliments of her husband Kevin, who will be taking her there.

Happy belated birthday to Frank McCoy, May 19.

Prayers and get well wishes to Roosevelt Harris. Some of Morning Star members visit him after church services. His sister Vickie was by his bedside at Drew Memorial Hospital.

Now, until we meet again by paper and pen, get ready, get ready, get ready, school is about to end.


Ivanell Handley

Sympathy and prayers for the family of Mrs. Macine Hagood Lankford and others that have lost a loved one.

Prayers for B.J. Grays, Charles Jacob, Margie Franklin, Rosie Grays and others that are sick and shut in.

Horace Junior visited his friend Perry Powers after church on Sunday.

Services were blessed at Promise Land Sunday morning as Pastor Steward’s thought was taken from I Kings 9:20, “Driving under the influence”.

A Family and Friends’ Day Program will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 1, at Promise Land Baptist M.B.C. in Lacey. Guest speaker will be Elder Kent Broughton. Everyone is invited to join us for a day of celebration and worship.

On Monday, May 12, the pool ladies went to Wendy’s for lunch. We celebrated Mrs. Mary Minor’s birthday.

On Sunday I attended the Effie E. Brooks Civic Club’s 60th Anniversary. Two young ladies were acknowledged and received scholarships. Additionally, Christine Riley, Mae Cavaness and I were honored with community service awards. The entire program, beginning to end, was absolutely remarkable. The song selections by the community choir were wonderful and spirit filled evangelist Lisa Reed, of Abundant Faith Ministries in Bastop, La. was the guest speaker. Her topic was entitled “Women can’t live without them,” and was taken from Genesis 4:26-27; 2:18-28. She based her message on how God made woman to help man’s needs. It was truly an inspirational word for all in attendance. I would like to thank the Effie E. Brooks Civic Club for my award. It is truly an honor. Furthermore, I would  like to thank my husband, Floyd; my daughter Yolanda and family; my sisters Vernie Childress and Patricia Staple; my sister-in-law, Mary Franklin; and my pastor, Terrance Steward and his wife, Kim. Your love, support and prayers mean the world to me. A special thanks also goes out to the Lacey community as well as to the Advance Monticellonian.

Pastor Daniel, Don Franklin and I chatted Wednesday.

Thought for the week: If God never does anything more than redeem us, he has already done far more than we deserve.

Have a blessed and safe holiday weekend.


Jana Wright

What a crazy week last week was! I had two graduations, one senior program at Second Baptist Church, and numerous trips to Bradley Memorial Hospital. Every night but Friday night, I had somewhere I had to be. Thank goodness it has slowed down this week.

I forgot to mention one of the community’s graduates: Michelle Moseley graduated from Monticello last week. Congratulations! Also congratulations to Pete Brunson, Amy Brunson’s son, for graduating from OBU (if I heard correctly).

I also forgot to mention that Jamie Martin and I visited with Lisa Schmidt, S.T., and David Roark weekend before last. I saw Lisa in Walmart last night, and she said that Mr. S.T. had been sick last week. I hope he is well soon.

Aunt Vivian Brewster also had a stay in the heart hospital. She had to have a stint put in. The last I heard she was on her way home. I pray you have a speedy recovery!

Glad to hear that Ashleigh Temple and her finance’ Stephen Beatty are okay. They were involved in an ATV wreck this past weekend, but are doing fine.

Shawn and I attended a wedding Saturday afternoon for Jeremy and Jennifer Calhoun. The ceremony was very elegant with Jennifer looking stunning in her dress. I visited with Jo and Gerald Calhoun, Charles Laneheart, Chuck, Regina, and Tripp Laneheart, Judy Parker, Judy and Lynn Tipton, Codie Martin, Jerry Word, and Nena Thomas, Chad Word, and I am sure there are many more, but I cannot remember them all. I wish you many years of happiness together.

Saturday evening I met Jamie Martin, Kelly Gilliam, and Koby Bayliss for a late lunch. We had a great visit.

Happy birthday going out to Alison Barnes, Angela Rawls, Mary Sturdivant, Tom Wooten, and Chris Chambers. I hope you all have wonderful birthdays. Happy late sixth birthday to Addi Kate Stafford. I hope it was a special one!

Well, enjoy the rest of the week. Call 224-3383 with news or e-mail

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