Monthly Archives: June 2013

A Non-Comprehensive List of Important Facebook “Don’ts”

FacebookGenerally, I’m a fan of Facebook.

While the social media giant may not be perfect, Facebook is unquestionably a great way to stay connected with old friends and associates that are no longer in your “every day” circle. I’m glad to know that my cousins in Georgia, and their kids, are doing well. I’m happy to read witticisms posted by college classmates and be reminded that inside our shells, aged 25 years, those younger dudes are still floating around. However, all good things aside, I have identified, over the course of my five years with Facebook, several misuses of this powerful tool. Ladies and gentlemen, there ARE things that should NOT be posted on Facebook. So without further ado, and for the benefit of my 823 friends, many of whom I know, I have gathered a non-comprehensive list of important Facebook “Don’ts.”

First, do not post quoted country song lyrics that are unmistakably applicable to your own life.

Do not post a 20th pic of your baby wearing a cute hat, even if each shot shows the hat at a slightly different angle.

Do not post your check-in … anywhere!

Do not submit a post ascribing human qualities to your pet. When I find human beings routinely sniffing their own rear ends or eating vomit, I will declare dogs and cats “human.”

Never post a 2nd profile-photo change in a single day or a 5th in any given week. And to you violators out there: your narcissism is overwhelming.

Fake Bill Gates PhotoNever post political rants, unless you are an actual government official, in which case there is real entertainment value, and we thank you for documenting your ignorance.

Never post retractions. You said it. Don’t back away. “I did not mean it like that” should be grounds for immediate Facebook expulsion!

Do not post any tale in which your male child cries. Do not do it. I can’t speak for girl children – I have none, and I was not one – but I can tell you unequivocally that your son does NOT want that on Facebook. He’ll be 25 one day and some geezer will tell him “Yeah, I remember that time you bawled like a baby when your dog ate the action figure off your birthday cake. Saw it on Facebook.” Ladies, I’m telling you, men never forget crying males. It’s primal.

Do not post more than 5 “shared” pictures consecutively. We, your Facebook friends, appreciate what you find poignant or witty. But in moderation … please.

There are a few posts that are not wholly detrimental but are nonetheless irritating. For instance, a picture of anyone’s feet, besides mine, at a beach.

Beach ToesActually, NO gathering of older women at a beach on a girls’ trip should be posted. Beyond the fact that the use of the term “girls” is misleading, which I contend is corroborated by the photographic evidence, when these events show up, I just can’t get past that sad mental image of four hard-working guys back home steadily running out of clean clothes.

Do not post pictures of your frozen margarita glasses lining a bar somewhere AFTER having posted your “Bible Verse of the Day” earlier that SAME day.

Don’t post your Social Security Number.

Don’t post that your size 2 shorts are just “falling off you,” unless you are INTENTIONALLY seeking to be defriended by all your fat friends.

Along that same line, don’t comment on your workout regimen while “checked-in” at a Krispy Kreme.

If you are actively crying or medicated, do not post anything. Similarly, if it is later than 11 pm, DO NOT POST. Believe me. Nothing good can come of it. However, if you are intoxicated, disregard the previous two rules and post away. No baby in a cute hat can entertain like a drunk waxing eloquent, so long as you don’t have to be in the same room with them. 68.6% of people on Facebook are only there to watch others go down in flames anyway. Give’em their money’s worth.

Certainly this is not a complete and final list of things that should be avoided on Facebook, but it’s a start. If you know of other good ones, send them to me at my Facebook account.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important one! Do NOT be caught promoting your stupid blog on Facebook. Nobody wants to read it. It’s just filling up people’s news feeds. Come on!



Filed under Goings On In Baldwyn, Mississippi, Happening Now, Just For Fun

Mexican Tomatoes

TomatoesI rarely go to the grocery store, but last week I was called on by my lovely wife Rothann to stop after work and pick up a few items she needed for supper on that particular summer evening. One of the things on my list was tomatoes, and I quickly found a pack of six nice red ones in the produce section. As I was putting the boxed set into my buggy there at Food Giant, I noticed something that made me stop and consider. The package I was holding was marked “Produced in Mexico.” Now I’ve been to Wal-Mart plenty of times over the past twenty years, and I know that virtually none of our gadgets or sundries are made in this country anymore. But now I’m standing in my local grocery store in rural Mississippi, one of the most fertile places on the face of the earth, in the heat of summertime, and I’m holding a cardboard container of tomatoes produced in Mexico. I’m simultaneously shocked and appalled. As far as I’m concerned I am holding in my hands the complete and total failure of America.

I’ve grown tomatoes myself in years past, and I know that just a few plants can produce more tomatoes than a family could possibly eat in a year’s time. I’ve seen my mother’s and grandmother’s kitchen counters stacked so full of tomatoes, and okra, and peppers, and eggplants, and cucumbers, that you could not find a place to lay the mail. Standing here now looking down at these Mexican tomatoes, I’m ashamed that I have a pasture just behind my house that does not have anything growing in it but grass and weeds.

Over time – decades – we have allowed “corporate America” and “big government America” (that would include both Democrats and Republicans) to prod us, like cattle down the sale chute, into a belief that we can’t even feed ourselves. We have been convinced of something that is not true. It is so untrue, in fact, that to accept it as the modern way of American life is a dark joke. With a handful of seeds, a few animals, and small plots of land, north Mississippi families, with dozens of children, fed themselves for a hundred years right here when this place was nothing but a wilderness without electricity or running water or paved roads. But now we pay $2 for a bottle of water and $4 for a chicken sandwich, and we don’t bat an eye. Follow that $6 to its final resting place, and you will find the perpetrators who have pulled this fast one on us. And the group most distressed by this development in American society may very well be the chickens themselves. At least when they lived in people’s backyards they had a chance of avoiding becoming the main course at Sunday dinner by being faster than the next guy. Now they live their whole lives seated in a factory crate, pumped full of some sort of breast-growth juice. Pasar el pollo frito!

We have a town that has a lot of people who don’t have gainful employment. We have land and sunshine and rain and the grace of God. A Baldwyn produce co-operative to supply Food Giant and Super Valu grocery stores, or a local farmers market, with fruits and vegetables is a good idea. Somebody do that.

Or we can just keep buying Mexican tomatoes. Viva la Mexico.


Filed under Goings On In Baldwyn, Mississippi, Happening Now

Elephants On Main

Elephant on MainIn the fall of 1963, almost 50 years ago, the “Miller Brothers Famous Circus” came to Baldwyn. The Miller’s travelling show held two performances each day on October 9th and 10th – right on Main Street – and boasted of clowns, 20 cages of wild animals, monkeys, “diving dogs” (whatever those are) and “Eddie Frisco and His Comedy Hot Rod” in a full page spread in the local newspaper. City merchants of the day sponsored elephant rides for young and old, providing discount tickets to those who attended the shows. A photograph of the performing pachyderm plodding down Main Street, with a buggy full of kids in tow, is included in the October 10th printing of the Baldwyn News.

The circus came, entertained, and went near the back-end of downtown Baldwyn’s heyday. Hundreds of pictures exist of Main Street from that era – the late 1940’s to the mid 1960’s – showing people sardine-packed up and down the street so thick that there is little room to move.

Baldwyn Christmas Parade 1950Twenty-seven businesses are listed in that edition of the Baldwyn News. Those named as sponsors of the Miller Brothers Famous Circus were: Hopkins Furn. & Appliance, Miller’s, C.S. Poole Contractor, Buster McElroy & Co., Bryan Rogers Auto Parts, Shellnut’s, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Blue Bell Inc., Baldwyn Milling Co., Tom’s Drug Store, Baldwyn Concrete Works, Golden Rule Store, Western Auto Store, Houston Drug Store, Gentry Insurance Agency, Davis Lumber Company, Lucky Star Industries, Hopkins Big Star, Ritz Theatre, Baldwyn Farmers Co-Op, R & W Cleaners, Baldwyn Implement Co., Big $ Center, Hill Auto Supply, Cunningham’s Grocery, Baldwyn Dry Goods, and M. Gorden.

A quick scan of these businesses with respect to local records indicates that 15 of the 27 were located inside the current 4-block historic district, and ten others were only a street or two away. Only the garment factories Lucky Star and Blue Bell were to be found any considerable distance from the heart of Main Street. Yet of all the businesses listed, only Farmers & Merchants Bank and Houston Drug Store are still working in Baldwyn today under their 1963 names. Perhaps as many as six others may still point to a “descendent business” that continues operation here in Baldwyn or the general vicinity, but even so, the count reveals, obviously, that at least nineteen circus sponsors of 1963 have ceased to exist entirely. Small Town Mississippi died with those 19 businesses and others like them at some point in the last four decades.

But now, it’s 2013, and Baldwyn, against all odds, is in resurgence. The Blonde Pistol, Silly Sisters, and The Tin Roof are selling retail clothes and gifts right on Main Street and a lot of doubting, old-school business-types are amazed. Even better, more complimentary stores are on the way, as growing evidence in several long-vacant store windows will attest. Even a Baldwyn community theater will open for business by August and host three productions before the year ends. So what come’s next?

Can Baldwyn return to days of packed city streets … filled with shoppers … and diners … and those looking for entertainment?

Watch out for elephants crossing Main in the near future.


Filed under Genealogical research, Goings On In Baldwyn, Mississippi, Mississippi History, Uncategorized