Our community is in shock this week after learning of the death of one of our “favorite sons.” Gary Bailey, a lifelong resident of Reilly Springs, was found dead in his home on Sunday afternoon, apparently from from a massive heart attack. Just about all of us have special memories of being reared in the community with Gary, and it seems like we all have a favorite “Gary Bailey story” that centers around his dry sense of humor, fun-loving personality and jocular demeanor. Gary was always ready to have a good time and enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family and friends. Funeral arrangements are with West Oaks Funeral Home with visitation tonight and the service Thursday at Spence Chapel of First Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Reilly Springs Cemetery.
Our sincere sympathies are extended to Artie Mae, Kerry, Grant, Aftin and the entire Bailey family as we share their loss with them.
I attended the swearing in ceremony Saturday morning for the newly elected county officials in the Hopkins County Courthouse. Among those being sworn in was our own Yvonne King, Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace. Yvonne was also involved in swearing in newly elected Precinct 2 County Commissioner Mike Odell. Yvonne and Roy were accompanied to the ceremony by four of their grandchildren and by Delores Miller. On Sunday they were busy returning grandchildren to Mississippi, as they met Kari and Billy halfway.
I visited with Vera Harrington Tuesday, and she reported being thankful “just to be alive” to see the new year and to enjoy the blessings of life. She reported enjoying the holiday with calls from the granddaughters and having an extensive “to do” list for 2011.
Marilee Fisher reported that the Fisher family celebrated Blake’s birthday on New Year’s Eve and had plans of “making it to usher in the new year.” However, both she and Bryant proved their advancing years”and were sound asleep long before the ball dropped in Times Square.
Meanwhile, Rhandi Stribling Fails was also celebrating her birthday on New Year’s Eve, and although she’s reached that “Big 30,” she still managed to stay awake and welcome in the new year. She and several of her girlfriends had celebrated on Thursday by going out to eat and having a wonderful time.
A report from Sandi Wallace revealed that she and Kenni Jo were more like Bryant and Marilee and had a more sedate welcoming in of the new year. She also reported that they had to get both Hunter and Straton ready for the return to school on Tuesday, but they were both excited about going back to school and telling classmates about their hunting successes. Both Hunter and Straton had killed a deer, and Hunter also bagged a turkey this season.
Meanwhile, both Hunter and Straton received hunting traps from Santa Claus and are getting theirparents and grandparents up early every morning to go run the traps before they leave for school. So if you meet a bleary-eyed woman in a coonskin cap early one morning in Reilly Springs, think nothing of it. It’s just Sandi going and checking the traps with the boys.
As for me, the new year rolled in quite sedately. I was more excited that I got a good night night of rest than I was about seeing the official first minutes of the new year. Maybe that says something about getting older, but I’m to the point that a good night’s sleep is awesome and well deserving of spending quality time.
A group from Sulphur Springs rented the Reilly Springs Community Center for a New Year’s Eve party and reported having a wonderful time playing games and sharing a great meal.
Enola Gay asked me to remind everyone of the Reilly Springs Jamboree on Saturday night, Jan. 15. She has a quality show lined up for that night. Then, on Jan. 22, Enola will again host the 5th Annual Crock-Pot Chili Cook-Off in the Hopkins County Civic Center. Make plans to get your best chili recipe out and enter the contest or come and eat some good chili that night. Proceeds will be used to host the National Day of the Cowboy this summer.
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