BILLY McCORD: As I see it

MUG-Billy-McCord-CMYKI trust each of you have gotten a shower or two this week which is wonderful for making grass grow. At our home in Bruce we received 4.1 inches of rain from Thursday through Saturday morning. I mowed our back yard just before the rain started and had I not done so our back yard would have been a jungle.

I have always prided myself with growing good tomatoes but this year has been a different story. I got started early as has been my practice and picked some nice early tomatoes. After transplanting some of the prettiest plants I have seen my luck suddenly turned. Leaves began to turn yellow with black spots and the plants began to give way.

When we realized they were surely to die we pulled them up and destroyed the plants away from any other plants we had. I planted two other plants in another place and they also gave up. Two more were planted in a different place from any of those mentioned and they are alive and look great. I have been rescued this year by the Amish folks near Randolph. My First Cousin, Ms. Doris Ferguson Pickens lives in Randolph near the Amish farms and has been very good to me in securing tomatoes. She reads this article in “The Calhoun County Journal” and I always appreciate her input.

You readers know how often I mentioned Wood Junior College in my writings. The school was owned by the Methodist Women of Christian Service in New York. These ladies always came during Spring break to have their business meetings. As a result of that we were required to move out of the dormitories during spring break. Nothing could be left in the dorm rooms.

A lot of the young ladies fussed a great deal about the trouble. I did not have that much to move out. As I often tell all I had to do was “Pack my Kroger sack and go home.” I understand the property at Wood Junior College will or does belong to Holmes Community College. I regret that the College had to close while it was owned by the WSCS of New York but I am glad that an Institution of Higher Learning will now put it to use.

While on the subject of school I remind everyone that students return to their classes in Calhoun County on August 7, 2014. I can’t imagine why I would want to print the fact that Itawamba Community College begins classes on August 18.

Students may move into the dorms on August 17th. I read last week that Northwest Community College and Itawamba Community College are the schools that receive more of Calhoun Students.

Someone told me recently, “We started to school after Labor Day when I was in school.” That was true for me also. However few and very few students are needed at home to harvest the crops. Farm Machines now take care of what was child labor and I think students benefited from it. My brother, the youngest in the family, was too “little” to work so he rode my mother’s cotton sack.

My sister thought of ever excuse not to go to the fields including cooking supper and cleaning the house. Her excuses rarely worked. We came home from school, got us a biscuit and sausage left over from breakfast and made our way to the field. We would be there until darkness threatened.

My best wishes to students everywhere. Remember we now live in an age where more education is required than ever before just to make a living. Remember, students you don’t have to go to the fields when school is out for the day. Use that time to study.


Billy McCord is a retired school administrator and a United Methodist Minister. He is Pastor of Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Calhoun County. He represents District 3 on the School Board, and is  President of the Calhoun County School Board. Contact him at P.O. Box 337, Bruce, MS 38915 or by e-mail at


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