Thursday, May 26, 2005


(Originally run 11/26/03 on the old site)

Mary Kay James, SHS class of 1956

Hey Anita,

I also worked at Birdseye the summer after my Freshman year at ASTC, 1957, poking okra in holes to cut the tops off! Camelia Chambless and Kay Young and I worked the graveyard shift. We had to listen to the radio, KWCB, at 5:00 each afternoon to see if we were to work that night! We took a sack lunch and ate at midnight.

One night during our "lunch" time, the fire whistle blew and since we were practically downtown, we jumped into my 54 Chevy and headed to the fire. It was a building on Market Street, behind Anthony's. To this day, it is an empty open lot where people park their cars.
Occasionally we would work until 5:00 a.m. and go to the truck stop on the by-pass for breakfast. On one occasion, I wanted to do something else, so my mother worked for me that night. She loved visiting with the women.

Can you believe that? Those days were practically harmless. I have lots of fun memories .

Mary Kathryn Van Patten James (1956) Posted by Hello
Marian Daniel Ingram

I, too, worked at the Birdseye Processing Plant with Anita and Judy, and we were processing okra. I sat before a "wheel" that went round and round, and was supposed to make sure I stuck the end of the okra in each hole that went by so the ends would be cut off and the okra would fall on the conveyor belt. I still don't care too much for okra.

I remember our "lunch hour" would be spent at Peck's and a footlong hot dog. I kept working after Anita left and had clothes money for college. Bought a mouton coat with part of it. By the way, Anita should have stayed, 'cause I got promoted to Quality Control before I left for school. Am enjoying the memories.

Mary Kathryn adds:

Check out my brother and sister-in-law’s site. They have posted photos of a reunion their class had last summer. It’s

From Anita Hart Fuller, in reference to reunion photos posted earlier

I hate to tell you Tom, but that's ME with the red vest, white shirt, jeans. AND the cigarette is a candy cigarette I brought, along with some of our old candy we used to buy at The Little Store across from the high school: those paraffin bottles with juice in them, red paraffin lips, Kits (in flavors of banana, chocolate, strawberry). That's Bob (Bobby Scott) next to me with the cig.

From my co-webmaster, Ernest Simpson:

I loved both these stories, from Anita (good gracious, what a trooper), and your mom. (Now I know where you got your moxie). I know a little about both those places: after dad died, mom got on at Birdseye. Long hours, hard work.

I was proud of her.

The shoe factory? My dad worked there up until about 1958; he had a hard job too, but made the best of it. Larry Maness got a summer job there in '56 or '57. Larry and my dad became friends.

They agreed on the personalities of some of the women there, namely one dad coined the title of "that old heifer." Larry was amused at this country phrase my dad used, (I explained that was a stubborn old cow) but kept the name of that lady, "that old heifer", as long as he worked there, too. Larry and I discussed later when we were teaching about how my dad defined personalities at work, and Larry marveled that he was right on.

Both those men were heroes to me. I will write about them, soon.

Now, a voice who has not before graced this site, Roland King:

I remember a couple of years ago you said you might write a book about Searcy. Well, my friend, I think you've done even better. Everyone loves to read and remember the good times and hear from old friends from and in Searcy.

I remember your Grandmother's strawberry shortcake. I had not, and have not, seen one that was that large: it was delicious!

I remember the old Plaza theater. I went to several movies there.

That was nice of Anita asking about old football stories. I'll try to send some later along with track and FFA.

Please do, Roland and, meanwhile, dear readers, what’s YOUR story?


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