Category Archives: Happening Now

An Updated, Non-Comprehensive List of Facebook “Don’ts”

Generally, 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 current shells, aged 25 years plus, those younger dudes are still floating around. However, all good things aside, I have identified, over the course of my eight 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 actually know, I have compiled 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.

Never post a 2nd profile-photo change in a single day or a 5th in any given week.

Never post political rants, unless you are an actual government official, in which case there is real entertainment value, and we thank you.

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.

Actually, NO gathering of older women at a beach on a girls’ trip should be posted. First, the use of the term “girls” is clearly misleading, a fact corroborated, with very few exceptions, by the subsequent photographic evidence.  And when these events do show up, I always catch at least a fleeting mental image of the poor “boys” 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.

Do not seek medical advice on Facebook by posting a picture of your injured, ailing or infected body part.

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 poetic. 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 rule.  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!

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2nd Saturday LIVE at The Claude Gentry Theatre

Something really neat is about to happen.

Last Monday night, a group of excellent singers and musicians gathered at The Claude Gentry Theatre in preparation for an upcoming production called “2nd Saturday LIVE.”  In total, there were eleven of us on hand.

And over the course of two and a half hours, those assembled hammered out faithful renditions of the classic songs of Pontotoc-native Jim Weatherly – a member of the Songwriter Hall of Fame – including Midnight Train To Georgia, Neither One of Us Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye, and The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me.

Why, one might ask.  I’m happy to answer.

Web_2NDSATLIVE-01“2nd Saturday Live” is a new live radio show which will broadcast once a month (every second Saturday night, hence the name) directly from the stage of The Claude Gentry Theatre.  The program will air, as it happens, on WFTA Power 101.9 in Tupelo, a musical sister station to the SuperTalk Mississippi radio group.  Each hour-long production will start at 6:00 pm, and local admission to the event will be free.

See, neat.

A wild idea formed, just a few months ago – an inevitable offspring of the growing body of theatrical, film, musical, and radio & television broadcast life experiences I’ve had, both as an observer and as a participant.  We could start a live radio show, one to showcase the talents and artistry of successful Mississippians … and we’d do it monthly … and we’d do it live.  We could have guests and a house band and a host … like The Tonight Show, except that we’d be in Mississippi … specifically, we’d be in Baldwyn … specifically, we’d be at The Claude Gentry Theatre at 110 West Main Street.

The light bulb brightened.

I placed a call to a local radio station manager named Steve Knight and made a proposal.  I talked fast to hide the holes.  I used my greatest power on him – the ability to sound like I knew what I was talking about whether I did or not – and he listened.  Then he came to Baldwyn and visited the theater, and we talked some more.  Then, after I sent him eighteen more emails and text messages, he said he liked the idea … he actually said he liked the idea “a lot.”  He was particularly keen on the fact that we would put on our big show from our little, rural Mississippi town, in our little theater that seats eighty-eight.  We could be the unexpected, he said, the thing that comes out of nowhere.  I took note that another good power, which Steve recognized in my proposal, was the ability to turn a weakness into a strength.  People always root for the underdog.  I didn’t realize I was the underdog, but I’ll take it.

Steve said go, and I started running.

And now with a little help from my friends, on August 11, at 6 pm, the first broadcast of 2nd Saturday Live at The Claude Gentry Theatre will occur.  Special guests appearing on our very first show will be star singer-songwriter Mr. Jim Weatherly himself along with the co-author of his new book “Midnight Train,” Ole Miss journalist and author Jeff Roberson.  Nashville recording artist and Tupelo-native John Milstead will also appear, as will Dick Guyton, the executive director of the Tupelo Elvis Museum.  And a house band, made up of local musicians Don Anderson (bass), Jeff Spencer (guitar), Dan Davis (keyboard, saxophone), Richie Lomenick (drums) and Terry Hayes (guitar), will back our special guests as needed, ably accompanied our own vocal group The Claude Gentry Singers – Toni Johnson, Clint Reid, Amye Gousset and Kiswana Green.

The whole shebang will be graciously sponsored by Family Resource Center of North Mississippi, Farmers and Merchants Bank, and Sherwin-Williams.  And a few others to be named later.

And I’ll get to talk a little bit on the radio.  It’s about to happen.

See, neat.  I told you.

Web_2NDSATLIVE-05

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Music & Optimism

It looks like winter is just about over on Main Street.

And with the birds chirping in the morning, and the people pulling out their short pants, and the flowers and ideas daily stretching from bud to bloom, a substantial layer of optimism has taken its annual place alongside the pollen of the spring air in our little Mississippi town.

Things are happening.

The 4th Annual County Line Music Festival is approaching at a rapid pace.  Our #2 local festival (after October’s Okeelala) will complete its solar cycle on April 21st and sprawl across downtown from The Claude Gentry Theatre to the Azalea Court Main Stage.

There will be a first-time music video film festival going on at the theater starting at 2 pm.  We already have entries from Mississippi filmmakers in Jackson, West Point, Clarksdale and Clinton, expecting plenty more.  Couched around those original works will be three or four classic movies about music – think Elvis, the Beatles, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles – showing at 10 am, 12 pm and 4 pm.

An independent film called “The Gift” will also play during the day.  This critically-acclaimed short was shot on location in Tupelo in 2015 by Scottish filmmakers Gabriel Robertson and Ken Petrie (and co-stars local actress Amye Gousset).  You can take a guess as to what musical figure it might be based on.  Tupelo … know anyone from there?

Even our own Six Shooter Studios will get into the act as we release Marietta-native Chance Stanley’s debut video “Crosstie Town” to close-out the theater day.

Down on the Azalea Court Main Stage, the festivities will start bright and early at 9 am.  Baldwyn High School’s marching band will open the day with the national anthem, followed immediately by a stage full of talented and unique musical talents from across Mississippi. Ronnie Caldwell & JoJo Jefferies, The Sean Austin Band, Rust Bucket Roadies, TomFoolery, The Paul Tate Trio, Chance Stanley & The Michael Brothers, Of Warriors & Poets, Mark “Muleman” Massey & grammy-winner Billy Earheart, AND the 1st Baptist Church children’s choir will all entertain, from 9 to 5-ish.

Baldwyn’s Eric Nanney of the band Twenty Mile will host the Main Stage, and when he’s not doing that he’ll run down the street and help Paden Bell at County Line Music with their annual Singer-Songwriter competition, another huge part of the day’s events.

And the coupe de grace, for me at least, will be the All-Day Karaoke Contest at Tom’s Drug Store.  Yes, that Tom’s Drug Store.  The one with the big neon sign.  Bimbo Griffin, Stuart Cockrell, and I have been working on restoring that historic icon for, I think, 80 years now.  And finally – good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise – I’m actually going to let the public come inside.  The answer to whether or not patrons will truly have an option of drinking a milkshake or buying a hamburger made there that fateful day remains somewhat murky.  We’ll see.  But I know we can sell you a Coke, and you can sing your heart out with Scott Bratton and his karaoke machine, and you can look around at some of the neat things on display, graciously passed down to us by local historians Simon Spight and Claude Gentry.

Mixed in with all of this are a bunch of new businesses from one end of Main Street to the other that weren’t there last year.  Nothing but good in that.

So … spring has sprung, I guess.

I asked Eric Nanney if I could get in his singer-songwriter contest – I play guitar and fiddle around with music myself – and he said “sure.”  He said, “Just brush up a couple of the songs you’ve written and come on down.  We’ll have you a spot.”

I actually hadn’t written anything yet – I just figured I could do that sometime before April  21.  Maybe on the walk over.  Maybe I don’t have too good of a chance of winning, but I’m optimistic.

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12 Angry Men get Jury Duty while Wives Vacation at the Beach

My recent involvement with the community theater group Baldwyn Main Street Players may have unintentionally started a social experiment.

In December, I signed on to direct the classic play 12 Angry Men for BMSP.  This particular show has a 13-member cast, entirely male – twelve “angry” jurors and one jury room guard, who does NOT become noticeably angry during the production.  (So the count in the title comes out right, you see.)

This latest BMSP show opens in the Claude Gentry Theater on Thursday, January 23rd, at 7 PM, and will have a total of six performances.   We expect sell-outs.  It’s a good one.

12 Angry Men - Jak SmithAppropriately enough for this courtroom drama, Jak Smith, a practicing lawyer in Tupelo, has been cast in a featured role – Juror #4.  Expect Smith, a newcomer to our stage, to masterfully deliver the character originally portrayed by E.G. Marshall in the award-winning 1954 film.  He has been doing just that, night after night, for the last two weeks.

As for the demanding lead role of Juror #8, accomplished BMSP regular Bentley Burns more than ably meets the challenge.  Juror #3, a dangerous sadist and the story’s chief antagonist, will be handled, against type, by lovable local ham Anthony “Frog” Buse.  This deadly-serious role will be the first of its kind for the gifted Buse, who’s played the more light-hearted roles of Rodney Dangerfield, Thurston Howell, and Hee Haw’s Gordie Tapp in recent shows.

12 Angry MenBurns, Buse and Smith won’t be flying solo.  Talent abounds throughout the show’s cast.  Veterans Craig Gaines, Steve Collins, David Jenkins, Greg Lominick, and Jonathan Hancock return to action for BMSP in this one, and they’re joined by first-timers Gregg Tucker, Ricky Murphy, Ken Anderson, James Rinehart and Jamie Gray.

BMSP also tapped well-known Booneville native Marshall Dickerson for the role of Juror #10, a harsh and intense bigot, played by Ed Begley in the old movie.  Dickerson told me he expected as much from a “Baldwyn” community theater group.

“Sure, you HAD to put someone from Booneville in the villain role,” Marshall lamented.  “I’ll have to have a police escort to get out of town when this thing’s over!”

12 Angry Men - Stage RightI didn’t intend it that way … but it does seem sort of appropriate, don’t you think?

“So, what about that “social experiment” thing you referred to earlier,” one might ask.

Well, THAT allusion has to do with THIS fact:  I am also directing a “chick-flick” in May – called The Dixie Swim Club – which, ironically, has a cast made up entirely of WOMEN, five of ‘em.   (Auditions for DSC will be held February 9th, a Sunday afternoon, at 2 PM … for you ladies who might be interested.)

I suspect that I will find a significant amount of material for future columns as I compare the two experiences – directing an all-male cast on the one hand and an all-female cast on the other.

Dixie Swim ClubI can already say that directing the men through a holiday-compressed rehearsal process has had a “military” feel to it.  While scripts were passed out in December, rehearsals really didn’t start in earnest until after New Year’s Day – with a production opening night of January 23rd!  That’s tight.  But we all knew it going in, and the guys have worked hard to bring out every nuance of their characters.

In contrast, the ladies of Dixie Swim Club will have more than three months to perfect their show.  The men have brought this point up to me on more than one occasion.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that discussions among the men have generally moved to a conclusion like this one:  “Well, of course, you know men can get done in two weeks what it will take those women three months to finish … because we don’t have to stop and talk about every little thing.”

I look forward to The Dixie Swim Club’s response to a comment like that.  I’ll keep you informed.

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A Good Life, A Great Uncle

Gabe & JackMy great uncle, Jack Hamblin, Jr., is a World War II veteran.  He saved a dozen or more men from drowning when his ship was sunk in the English Channel during the Normandy invasion.  Jack Jr. and my grandfather Mort Gardner were my employers from the time I was 10 until I graduated high school at their Sinclair, Arco and Phillips 66 service stations here in Baldwyn. 

Jack told me a funny story several weeks ago.

Jack Hamblin Jr. & Charles Sidney SpainWhen he was a boy in the early 1940’s, Jack worked at the Union Drug Store, for Len Rowan and Archie “Fat” Frost, on Main Street in Baldwyn.  One day a local man named Bishop came in and approached Frost at the counter.  Archie, who was nearing 40 and balding, had had a long day.  He was seated behind the counter with his arms propped up, leaning forward. 

Bishop thought there was a little fun to be had.

Walking over to Frost, he clapped his hand down on top of Archie’s head, and loudly proclaimed “Archie, that feels just like my wife’s butt.”  And he laughed it up.

Archie Frost made no immediate response except to reach up and pat the top of his own head a couple of times.  Finally, he brought his hand down, looked up at Bishop, and dead-panned, “Damned if it don’t.”

Jack said Bishop never came in the Union Drug Store again. 

Certainly, Jack thought that was a pretty funny story.  In fact, he thought it was funny enough to relay it to his nephew more than 70 years after it happened.

Jack Hamblin, Jr., & Clark RicheyAs I debated this past week whether or not to write up the tale Jack had told me – I’m not sure the Baldwyn News will even publish the word “butt,” which is not really the term he used anyway – I realized I’d forgotten something.  Jack had told me what the Bishop man’s name was.  It was Claude, or Clarence, or Carl – something that started with a “C.”  But as I prepared my column this week, I couldn’t think of it for the life of me.  I had jotted it down on a piece of paper at my office, but that was months ago.  That scribble’s long since been discarded.  But I know that Jack knows it.  And I can get it from him later. 

Jack Jr. will be 90 this spring, I think.

Before Christmas, I sat with Jack at my niece’s wedding, and we talked about how he and my grandfather had started their service station business.  It was after the war, and they bought someone out – I can’t remember who he said – but he said they only had one tire tool in the place.  He told me one of the guys who had the station would wash someone’s car and then take the money and go straight to the pool hall.  He gave me the person’s name.  I can’t remember it.

Jack told me that when he and my grandfather thought about going into the service station business, people around town told them they were crazy.  Their competition – Brownie Coggins and Harless Rutherford, who in typical small-town fashion were also their brothers-in-law – had the gas business “sewed up” at Blue Top and Standard Oil. 

“But we did it anyway,” Jack said.  “Mort said, ‘I think it’ll be all right.’”

Jack Hamblin Jr., Claire & Hallie Goodson, Reggie RicheyJack told me how they saw that no one in town offered credit to black families in those days … and how he and my grandfather decided that they would.  He said they went to several solid men in the black community and told them directly that they wanted their business and that their credit would be good with “Mort and Jack.”  He called the men’s full names.  One was a Stewart, and I just can’t remember who else he mentioned.  Jack said when he and my uncle Dan closed the station 50 years later they had more business than anyone in town and that it had been basically 50/50 black and white all the way from the start.  I had never heard any of that before.

I’ve talked a lot over the past couple years with Jack Jr. and other elder statesmen around Baldwyn – Annie Laurie Arnold, Jimmy Cunningham, Wallace Pannell, Taylor Lindley, many more.  These golden souls are the ones who put flesh and bones on historic local names like Archie Frost for me.  They called him “Fat,” Jack told me.  I try hard to remember the details, to capture it all.  I don’t think I can.

But I called Jack back on Sunday anyway.  It was “Roy Stewart.”  He was the man Jack went to in the black community, in the fall of 1946, to offer credit.  He worked for the railroad.  And “Clarence” Bishop was the man who thought it’d be funny to pat Archie Frost’s bald head.  That was in 1941 or ’42, Jack thought.

At my niece’s wedding a month ago, my great uncle Jack Hamblin, Jr., told me, “You know, I’ve lived a good life.” 

Damned if he hasn’t.

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Batman versus Superman: Geek Food for Thought

I have long been a comic book geek.

Finally, at 45-ish, I have reached the level of self-confidence sufficient to combat any ridicule I might receive from hunters, athletes, mechanics or other stereotypical roles of masculinity regarding my love for the superhero genre.  Therefore, I am at last comfortable revealing that I know the difference in “a cyborg,” a being who is part-man and part-machine, and “Cyborg,” a member of DC Comics’ Justice League who is … well, part-man and part-machine.

Batman and RobinI can tell you the secret identity of almost any costumed, comic book hero – a gripping game I like to play on long road trips.  Believe it or not, my family very seldom wants to join me.  My youngest child Maddux WILL occasionally indulge me in a “name ‘em” game where we spread out a drawing of multiple comic book characters and then try to call the correct names of each one, no matter how obscure.

Look, I already said I was a geek.

One must admit that Hollywood, over the past decade, has validated MY position – that comic book heroes are the modern-day analogies of ancient mythological characters like Hercules and Beowulf.  Inarguably, Tinseltown has discovered that my fictional, spandex-wearing, new titans are very, VERY marketable.

I was way ahead of the curve on that one.

From pre-school days, I’ve been a fan of Batman.  Like many from my generation, I became aware of the caped crusader by watching him on television in the BIFF-BAM-POW campy creation that ran on ABC back-to-back weeknights from 1966 to 1968.  Even today, the show’s star Adam West, in his gray and blue long underwear, defines the Batman character for millions.

I was in elementary school before I found out that Batman was not just a TV show.  There were these picture books called “comics” for sale at Hopkin’s Big Star or Cunningham’s Grocery that painted a much fuller picture of the Batman and his teenage sidekick Robin.

RobinBatman was more, I found out, than a melodramatic, goody-two-shoes who chit-chatted with celebrities as he climbed Gotham’s buildings via the bat-rope.  The Dark Knight was a brilliant detective and a vicious but virtuous vigilante who could find ways to succeed regardless of the odds stacked against him – not comically like on television, but semi-realistically.  The bottom line:  comic-book Batman was cool.

Apart from the dynamic duo, I also discovered “others” out there, a whole DC Comics’ “universe” of characters.  And in that universe was, of course, the ultimate superhero, Superman, the granddaddy of ‘em all.

The red-caped, Kryptonian Man of Steel had a TV show of his own, too, I later learned – The Adventures of Superman – but his series was gone from the airways, along with its star George Reeves, long before my time.  I did eventually pick it up later in childhood, syndicated on Saturdays, but the strange visitor from another planet never could penetrate my psyche like Batman.

Frankly, I think it all came down to the idea that a regular person – if he was driven enough, talented enough, crazy enough – could theoretically BECOME Batman, at least as much as he could become Tarzan, or James Bond, or the Lone Ranger.  Because Batman was a man.

On the contrary, no matter how much Popeye spinach I forced down, I would never be able to defy gravity and fly or shoot red laser beams out of my eyes.  To be Superman was simply unattainable.

In the comics, I discovered another difference between Batman and Superman, more subtle but just as profound.

Superman sees human beings as inherently good, while Batman views mankind as untrustworthy, at best, and psychotically depraved, at its worse.

BatmanThat’s geek-food for thought.

One would want to see it Superman’s way.  From his vantage point above squeaky-clean Metropolis, a pinnacle of human civilization in the DC Universe, Superman looks down on people as generally noble beings, who in their heart-of-hearts desire to do right by one another.  It’s only the few bad apples – Lex Luthor, Toyman, Parasite, etc. – who are out there actively trying to spoil the bunch in the Man of Steel’s worldview.

On the other hand, Batman, whose parents were gunned down in an alleyway in gritty, dirty Gotham City, views mankind quite differently.  People are selfish, belligerent and dishonest or far, far worse – take the homicidal lunatic the Joker, for instance.

In black and white pre-school terms, Batman and Superman are both certainly out there vanquishing evil.  But the difference is Superman believes that ultimately he can win, that he can expunge evil completely.  The Batman, for his part, understands his quest is a never-ending battle against depravity which can spontaneously recreate itself anywhere human beings exist.

Batman’s realism versus Superman’s idealism is just one of the heady philosophical considerations that keep my status as a comic book geek intact after four decades as a fan.

Of course, I also like to see Lex Luthor and the Joker just get punched in the face.  So there’s that, too.

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Signs of the Times

Claude Gentry TheatreLast weekend, Thursday through Sunday, the Claude Gentry Theatre & Simon Spight Auditorium opened its doors on Main Street for the first time, and with great success – four sold-out shows.  The new 90-seat venue presented a Relay For Life, fund-raising variety show, produced by the 1st Baptist Church RFL Team, entitled “A Really Big Show.”

As the 500 or so visitors to Baldwyn’s Historic District – a total including audience, cast and crew – enjoyed the reemerging nightlife of Main Street, they passed under two new signs erected on the theater’s front, signs that had been carefully designed to evoke feelings of both nostalgia and progress.

The Claude Gentry TheatreThe Claude Gentry Theatre sign is an internally-lighted, steel replica of a neon sign that once hung just across the street at Audie Coggins’ Baldwyn Theatre.  When Claude Gentry purchased the theater in 1944, he changed its name to “The Ritz Theatre” and operated it into the 1960’s.  It was Mr. Gentry who changed the T-shaped sign to read “Ritz,” rather than “Baldwyn,” horizontally across its top, but he retained the “THEATRE” lettering running vertically down the leg of the “T” as it was originally created.

The sign that now shines over the new theater, 20-feet above the street, was matched to old pictures during its design process, and the exact perimeter shape and coloration was mirrored as closely as possible to Coggins’ original, the clear intention being the re-creation of an iconic sign on the street in Baldwyn.  Even the sign’s aesthetic effect on other storefront features, especially the historic Tom’s Drug Store sign hanging three buildings to the east, was considered before its final position was set.  As Baldwyn-ites pass on Main Street for decades to come, the Claude Gentry Theatre sign, shining bright white through acrylic panes, will provide a reminder of eras past while ushering patrons into new creative entertainment of the here-and-now.

Simon Spight SignAlongside the Gentry sign, just to its west, a Simon Spight Auditorium marker was erected on the same brick storefront last week.  The late Simon “Buddy” Spight, more than anyone, carried the torch of Baldwyn history into the present with his writings and collections of artifacts.  Donations from Mr. Spight’s estate, in fact, made the accelerated opening of the Claude Gentry Theatre even possible as curtains, lights, sound equipment and other theatrical necessities where specifically acquired with funds left for those purposes by Spight.  Simon Spight loved to write, not just for content, but to show off the flourishes of his penmanship.  The sign erected on the western side of the theater front is a burned steel duplicate of Simon Spight’s actual signature nested on top of the word “Auditorium,” presented in a western-style font.  Simon’s autograph was taken from the funeral registry of long-time Baldwyn alderman and post master Bruce McElroy.  A digital picture was made and copied into a mechanical design program at Quail Ridge Engineering.  The signature was carefully digitized with only a minor adjustment or two being made to hold all the pieces of the name together.  QRE then fabricated the sign in its Guntown facility, and Quail Ridge Properties erected it last Friday.  Now when people say that Simon Spight left his mark on Baldwyn, they can look at the south-facing wall of 110 West Main Street and point to the literal proof.

Tom's Neon SignThis week the Tom’s Drug Store sign is coming down – but not permanently.  The most iconic symbol of Baldwyn needs a make-over, and Quail Ridge Properties will begin refurbishing the sign immediately, along with the two building facades at 104 and 106 West Main where it has been posted for more than half a century.  It is unlikely that the broken neon tubes which once lit the pharmacy entrance will be restored at this time, but an original paint job, a more stable erection method, and supplemental external lighting will all be a part of this renovation.  The ultimate, overall goal for this property is the recreation of Tom’s soda shop which would operate hand-in-hand with a new Baldwyn History Museum.  More details are just around the corner on this project.

Soon signs for The Claude Gentry Theatre, The Simon Spight Auditorium and Tom’s Drug Store will all stand in an orderly row on the north side of Main Street, inspiration from the past, shining towards a bright future in Baldwyn.

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