Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Trip to Visit the Easter Bubba

*Look for a new posting each Tuesday and Friday*

Jimmy and his beautiful Mother 2013
Yesterday, Marty and I returned from a short trip to Tiptonville.  We had a good visit and found both Mother and Sue in good spirits.  We did the usual things ending with a nice Easter Church Service at the Tiptonville Presbyterian Church.  With the help of The Lord, the good folks there have gotten a fine retired Pastor, Rev. Walter Lockhart from Trenton, to come and preach two or three times a month.  The demise of this landmark church was greatly exaggerated a year ago; the congregation may be small in number, but their resolve is strong.  Wonderful experience, great piano playing by Mrs. Lockhart, beautiful Easter Lillies filled the Sanctuary, and the church's oldest member graced us with her presence; no, not 97 year-old Catherine LeDuke, it was Virginia Council who was there with daughter Lu Wynn.  At 104 she was greeting everyone by name with a bright cheerful smile.

Catherine holding her
wedding dress
Of course, while I was at Mother's house I had to do a little foraging.  Two postings recently mentioned Catherine's wedding dress so I went digging into the cedar chest that has been at the foot of her bed for many years.  Sure enough I was able to come up with the dress.  I had incorrectly described it as being neatly folded.  Actually it was rolled up in some wrapping tissue and then rolled inside a linen cloth.  Marty took a few pictures of it.  I would love to say that when I placed it in mother's lap she immediately smiled in remembrance of that 1936 event, but alas I cannot report that.  She did express interest in the story I told her about the "beautiful, fair maiden" that made and wore the dress 77 years ago.  When I told her that she was the heroine of my story, she accused me with a lovely smile of making it up.  I choose to think there were at least a few "circuit boards" in her head that actually lit up for a moment or two.

White Satin will wrinkle
when rolled up tightly
Marty and I brought the dress home with us.  She says she intends to take the dress to a seamstress to see if she can restore it properly.  I can't really imagine that any of our granddaughters would want so simple a dress for their wedding.  Perhaps when I tell their fathers that they can have it for only $10, one of them might be persuaded.

Our trip ended with a trip to Lakeview Restaurant on Reelfoot Lake; a Sunday tradition for Sue and Mother.  They usually sit near the door so that Catherine does not have to walk too far.  That also provides her a convenient "throne" from which to hold court. as her many fans stop by and greet her on their way in or out.  By now, most everyone knows that Mother is not really sure who is talking when her "subjects" come up to the table, but I must admit I am amazed at the multitudes that come by anyway just to give a "peck" on the cheek or a pat on the back to one of their favorite teachers and friends.  She may not be fully aware of their names but she still tells everyone that she is glad to see therm.

In May Sue will be making two short trips out of town and that will be allowing me the privilege of caring for Mother around the clock while she is gone.  I have been doing this a couple of times a year for the past several years and this time alone always provides me with my best opportunity to dig for more "treasures."  See the posting made in February called "Angels Abound" to see what a typical day is like for Mother and me.  The Dairy Queen will have to stock up for my visit.

Hope everyone had as good an Easter Holiday as I just did.  No egg hunt though; my Easter Bubba was just not up to dyeing eggs this year.


Jimmy LeDuke (I'd love to hear from you...feel free to comment below, or click HERE to send me an e-mail.)



  1. Thanks for the updates on these 2 wonderful ladies. I always loved going in Mrs. Council's store. Of course, your mother was by far one of my favorite teachers. She actually took a college class on photography with who was my boyfriend at that point in time. I still look at my yearbook where she inscribed "good luck with George" only of course it is in Spanish!
    Karen Johnson

  2. Anita Armstrong--1956 THSApril 2, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Jimmy, Monday Danny and I went to Lakeview Dining for the Relay for Life people waiting on people and the tips went to that good cause. There was a pretty good crowd attending. The Simmons, Sue and 'Miss' LeDuke came in. Had not seen her in several months--I could see the changes in her. I stopped to say something to her, told her who I was but don't believe she remembered me but I understand. She asked where I was telling her I lived in Tiptonville. She held my hand saying "don't leave me" and began to cry a little--this broke my heart. I told Sue I was sorry and didn't mean to disturb in that way but she said that all the noise seemed to be bothering her. It was good seeing 'Miss' LeDuke again. And I understand what has happened to her body and mind over these years--but so sorry because she was a brilliant lady and great teacher,class sponsor, friend and retired teacher partner. Enjoy the days you will have with her in a few weeks. Enjoying the articles and letters you are sharing with us. Thanks.