Goodbye, Dear Friend

I had a goal for today: finish up a PowerPoint Presentation and get it to my friend JA for editing. It happens to be a beautiful day here, but I was going to ignore the call of the garden in order to meet my goal. Focus...that was all I needed to get the job done. Not that difficult, really, since it's too wet to work the soil anyway. And then...

My BFF from Henning days, ATT, messaged me on Facebook as I was finishing my second cup of coffee and the online USAToday. She'd heard that Miss Caroline Hanson had died and wondered if I knew. Sad news, indeed...but not entirely unexpected.  Miss C and I usually spoke by phone every week or so, but the last time I'd called her (about 3-4 weeks ago), she'd been too ill to talk long.

You may recall that I've posted about Miss C being Momma's contemporary, who had taken on the role of my second Mom over the past 18 months. She and Momma graduated from Ripley High in 1938 and remained friends for the rest of Momma's life. They were neighbors in Henning until 1976 when Daddy and Momma moved to Covington.

Miss C was so very fond of my Uncle Edward, who was younger than she and Momma by five years.  When he married in Holly Springs, MS, in the late 40's, he asked her to sing at his wedding at the Holly Springs Methodist Church...which she did, with great joy.  For years, she would recount the details of that weekend (of singing in the historic church, of staying at one of the antebellum "pilgrimage" homes, and of the whirlwind of parties the bride's friends and families invited her to) with great enthusiasm and clarity.  The fact that her stories outlasted that marriage never deterred her from the memories.

She tried her best to teach me how to sing and to play the piano (I took lessons from age 5 to about age 10 or 11)...but my talents were more in the organizational area than in the musical arena. While she was very gracious in not reminding me that I'm tone-deaf, she always praised me for making her yearly recitals go "like clock-work." Heheh.

She did succeed in instilling a love for classical music, though.  Bless her! I may not be able to sing it or play it...but I can certainly appreciate it and enjoy it! (I've been playing Ode to Joy in the background while composing this post...:). My life has been immensely enriched for having known Miss Caroline.

You also may remember I made a trip to Tennessee last November to see Miss C in her nursing home in Ridgely and to visit with AD, my 104-year-old cousin in Dickson. Put a lot of miles on my car...and my body...that week. But, now I am so glad I got to see Miss C that one last time.

So instead of working on that PPT that is due today, I ditched that effort for searching old photos to scan and share with you. I may be the only one that still has these particular photos, taken 50 years apart. With Miss C's passing yesterday, I suppose the whole group is now catching up in Heaven.

The older ones are when the Henning Friends (Momma, Miss Caroline, Sidney Anthony and his cousins, Rose Anthony and Margaret Anthony, among others) were seniors at Ripley High School (1938).

Mary D, Rose Anthony, Sidney Anthony, and Caroline Hanson (RHS, Class of '38)
L to R: Mary D and Margaret Anthony (seated); Caroline Hanson, Rose Anthony, and Edith Keaton (Momma) - 1938
L to R: Margaret Anthony, Edith Keaton (Momma), Caroline Hanson, and Ducks (?); seated: Mary D

These "newer" ones were taken at their class' fiftieth Class Reunion.

L to R: Margaret Anthony (Jordan), Sidney Anthony, Edith Keaton (Lunn), Frances Drake, Rose Anthony, and Caroline Hanson - RHS Class of 1938's 50th Reunion in 1988
L to R: Rose Anthony, Margaret Anthony (Jordan), Caroline Hanson, Edith Keaton (Lunn), Sidney Anthony, and Frances Drake - RHS Class of 1938's 50th Reunion in 1988
Miss Caroline and my Daddy, Sidney T. Lunn (1988)

Seeing that last one reminds me I have some other photos I wish I could put my hands of parties at our house in Henning, when Miss Caroline would play our Turkey Red piano (that Momma and Mrs. Mary Lois "antiqued" one fine, Fall day) and Daddy would sing the Tennessee Waltz. Among other things...ahem. We may have lived in a dry county, but that did not put a damper on the fun. After all, "wet" Tipton County was just over the Hatchie River Bridge, don't you know? The pictures will resurface at another time, and I'll share...

But, for today, I enjoyed a trip down memory lane through old photos...and I made up some ham salad for sandwiches...and pimento cheese for stuffed celery sticks.  Thinking about all those parties we had...and the tasty buffets Momma prepared with what was considered "party food" in the 60's...made me hungry for some situational "comfort food," shall we say? Only wish I could have tasted some sausage 'n cheese balls and tiny country ham biscuits. Mmmmm...makes my mouth water...:-)

So, I'll say goodbye Miss Caroline...and thank you for all you meant to me over the years. I can't cry too much for your death, as I know you were in a lot of pain in the last few weeks, and you have left me with too many happy memories to stay sad. Any tears I am shedding are solely for me, knowing that my second Mom has gone to join my Momma, and I've lost a friend.

I sure hope the Turkey Red piano in Heaven is tuned up and ready! They've been waiting to get the party started!!

Link to Miss Caroline's obit on Garner Funeral Home's site: 
Obituary For: Caroline Hanson | Garner Funeral Home


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