Glen Eades' column in the Magnolia Banner News:

August 3, 1990

The Utility Man
Stops By

   While Billy Joe, Bubba Earl and I were having a garage sale before the summer heat did us in Tuesday morning, a gentleman who represented a utility company stopped by.  The stranger bought some squash, glanced at the other merchandise and then offered us a job clearing a right-of-way.  The man pointed to some axes in the back of his pickup when Bubba Earl asked him if his tractors were air conditioned.  No other words were spoken while the utility man hurried down the road toward Emerson.  We figured the fellow was a little embarrassed because his company couldn’t afford tractors or dioxin type brush killers like the other utility companies and highway departments use.

   We tried to pick peas for our garage sale, but the weather was too hot.  Anyway, we heard a report from a TV weatherman that a rare July cold front was on the way, so we figured we would wait.  Well, we did not pick the peas because the cool snap was 97 degrees.  Besides, we were too tired out from last week’s activities.

   Tommy Butler gave up on farming after five consecutive crop failures.  Every summer the weather got too hot for his business partner and mule, so the whole pea patch turned into a hay field that looked like it had more snakes in it than peas.

   Tommy purchased a few extra Purplehull Festival shirts last week.  Most of the shirts are already sold.  The shirts are expected to go quickly.  Tommy reports that he made a trip to the Chicken and Egg Festival and bought a watermelon from a former Brister Church pastor, Bro. Gordon Rogers, who resides near Hope.  The preacher reported that he has sold over 300 bushels of peas this summer, and plans to bring peas to the 1991 Purplehull Festival.

   Mary Frances Dodson visited Floy Fitzgerald at Haynesville Tuesday.  Mary and the Brister Baptist Church ladies traveled to a Magnolia nursing home to manicure nails and visit residents.

   Jack and Lillian Roden were in Magnolia to visit Janis and Wendel Stroman last week.  Robert Roden visited with his parents, Jack and Lillian, on Sunday.  Like most area gardens, Jack’s garden has been too dry.  Lillian reports a scant pea crop, but she said her tomatoes had done well.

   I understand how Lillian and Jack feel.  The drought got in my watermelon patch, the melons got no bigger than a two-quart bucket and I was ashamed to carry them over to James Earl to pay for pickup repairs.  If I ever have a good year, James Earl will be paid off all the years I owe him.

   Burt Yates of Springhill visited Charles Yates last week.  Mary Lee said she missed seeing Burt, but perhaps his former neighbors will see him next visit.  Mary Lee’s cousin, Juanita Barnette of Ruston, visited the L.E. Yates home last week.  Mary Lee and Juanita traveled to Magnolia several times to shop and visit Juanita’s sister and brother.

   Gina Hudson, Lurline Wilbanks’ granddaughter and daughter of Marjorie and Larry Hudson of Lewisville, was married Saturday to Steve Grant in Lewisville at the Hudson home.  Lurline, Rickey and Debbie Matthews and children attended.

   Friday morning at 3 a.m. my neighbor phoned me to inform me that hundreds of blue lights were blinking in front of my house and wanted to know if we were hosting a Kmart assistant manager’s convention.  I went outside and saw what must have been every lawman in the county.  As it turned out, the cops were waiting on bloodhounds to track a gentleman who had bailed out of his car in an escape attempt, took to the woods and was captured a short time later.

   Lurline, Debbie, Whitney and Matt Matthews, and Kevin McBride, attended a watermelon party at the Eades home Tuesday.


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