Letters to the Editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

Springfield delegation liked Tupelo’s methods
About three weeks ago, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce led a delegation of 52 business and community leaders from Springfield, Mo., to Tupelo on our 18th Community Leadership Visit. These trips have proven beneficial for us as we have identified unique ways of tackling challenges we also face in our community, and this trip was no exception.
Our delegation was most humbled by the gracious hospitality your community extended to us. We were welcomed most enthusiastically as we met and interacted with dozens of your community’s leaders during our brief stay.
People are talking about what they learned in Tupelo and what that means for the challenges and opportunities we face in our community. We left Tupelo energized with the possibilities ahead for our own community. Your community has so much to be proud of.
To quote one of your community leaders whom we thought summarized it very well, “The Tupelo spirit is a serving spirit and one that looks at the horizon but dares to jump over it.”
The commitment of the public and private sectors to create a better Tupelo and the collaboration that allows that vision to materialize was impressive. From Fairpark to the Renasant Center for IDEAS to the innovation occurring at all levels of education, it is clear that there is a desire to make Tupelo a place where others will come, live, work and raise a family.
The success of the Toyota story was also remarkable.
On behalf of our Springfield delegation, we would like to thank the business and community leaders we met, and particularly David Rumbarger and his staff at the Community Development Foundation for the warm and cordial Tupelo welcome that led to a most productive and enjoyable community leadership visit.
James B. Anderson
president, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
Springfield, Mo.

Pontotoc Countians helped in hours of greatest need
On Sept. 4, 2011, in Pontotoc, my life and the lives of my children were forever changed. My husband, Bro. Ernie Perham was driving to preach the evening service at Victory Baptist Church with Bro. Doug Jones. He had four of our 10 special-needs children with him when the van veered off the road and hit a utility pole. My husband had died instantly from a massive heart attack.
One of the children was injured and required medical attention. The other three were in shock. Unless you have been in a similar situation, you can only imagine what thoughts a mother has at a time like this, being 700 miles away and helpless.
“Thank you” is so inadequate when I attempt to convey my feelings to so many people. To the young man who called 911, to the Registered Nurse that tried to revive my husband, to the first responders, to the many pastors and members of the local churches who took my children in and loved them as their own, to the hospital staff who were so very kind, I can only offer “thank you,” but please try to read the underlying appreciation that entails.
One first responder, Cody Taylor, travelled back and forth from the scene to the hospital, and to Victory Baptist Church where some of the children had been taken, to check on them and be sure they were doing all right.
Pontotoc County can be very proud of the coroner it has. Kim Bedford assessed instantly that my husband had not died in the accident, but had indeed died of a heart attack.
Upon obtaining lab proof of this, she was able to release his body immediately to be brought home.
Thank you for the comfort and help you have given us; thank you for being there in our greatest time of need.
Linda Perham
Springfield, Ken.