I was invited by a cousin to attend the Leakesville High School Class of 1972 Reunion last month. He knew I needed an evening out of Dodge (all expenses paid) and, being everyone's little sister, I knew all the folks in the class - even if they were seven years ahead of me. The reunion was held in Gulfport, Mississippi. Attendees lodged at the Courtyard Marriott across Highway 90 from the beach.
Salute was an excellent venue for the evening; the restaurant is right beside the Marriott and the terrace is on the fourth floor. It was beautiful! I'd love to tell the meal was memorable. It wasn't.
The stories, though...the stories are unforgettable.
I was temporarily jealous of then-young mustangs, forty+ years ago, deciding on the spur of the moment to see Lynyrd Skynyrd at Ladd Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. Actually, they'd gone to see the Allman Brothers.
Skynyrd was there debuting their new song "Sweet Home Alabama." Seven years. Seven years separate the Allman Brothers from the Beegees. I should be older: theirs is the good music.
Annnyways. The best story told concerned a then-local land-based communication proprietor. He'd been riding the roads late one evening checking phone lines. I hear Wylie giggling -- he can hardly tell it for laughing. The phone fellow came into the sheriff's office pale-faced and almost panic stricken, saying he'd almost hit the biggest frog he'd ever seen with his car. It was bigger than a cat. A dog. Maybe a goat! He wanted the law to go back with him and find the thing and destroy it right then!
Wellllll, the sheriff put him off 'til the morning when he came back in. They all loaded up in an official car to check out this
The communications proprietor knew exactly the spot where the monstrous amphibian had impeded his vehicular forward progress. Surely enough, the sheriff, deputy, and fellow found a set of odd tracks in the ditch. They followed the tracks back to a branch (branch = little creek) where they found a two-legged hog! The hog's hind legs were missing!
Upon startling the limb-lacking critter it hopped off into the woods, never to be seen again. The porcine fellow had learned to walk and hop on his front legs, partial hind hams hitting the earth every couple of hops! It was the darndest thing any one of the had ever seen...and an even taller tale some forty years later.
It was almost as dazzling as the white beaches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast the reunion weekend, where memories shone as brightly as the sun on the ebb tide waves, creating shimmering ripples in time...