“Howdy, it is so nice to be here!” That is what my late friend Sarah Cannon aka Minnie Pearl used to say. Sarah was actually a lovely well educated person. She grew up near Centerville, Tennessee and as a young high school student entered a talent contest. She wore an old dress, a straw hat with a price tag hanging on it and carried and old black pocketbook. She sang and danced, told funny stories and bragged about coming from Grinder’s Switch. (That was actually the city dump.) Well Minnie won the high school contest, graduated from the local high school and later from Ward Belmont College for Young Ladies.
Sarah married a great fellow named Henry Cannon and for fun she went on with her career of entertaining. She appeared on the Grand Ole Opry radio show for nearly 50 years, traveled America to county and state fairs, visited and entertained the troops in Korea, Vietnam and other foreign countries and in later years was a regular on local and national television shows. She came to Logan County on at least two occasions.
On one occasion I sat with Sarah Cannon on a flight to Washington, D.C. She was on the way to testify before a committee of the US House of Representatives. She was wearing a black dress with white pearls. She looked so elegant. Hardly anyone on the plane recognized her. Then one flight attendant did recognize the lady, who became Minnie Pearl, and called her by that name. Suddenly there were 25 or 30 autograph seekers. Since I was sitting in the aisle seat I got to hand the signed cards, notes and even a large t-shirt to Mrs. Cannon and then back to the anxious . That was a memorable day.
Over the years Sarah Cannon aka Minnie Pearl brought joy to millions of people with her joking, terrible singing (she couldn’t carry a tune) and dancing (she couldn’t dance either.) She made millions of dollars, invested well, lived in a mansion next door to the governor’s mansion in Nashville. (Each governor of Tennessee use to brag that they lived next door to Minnie Pearl.)
In her senior years Sarah Cannon developed cancer. She chose one of the hospitals in Nashville for her treatments and later left much of her fortune to the “Sarah Cannon Cancer Foundation” .
Likewise Sarah Cannon’s good friends the Ingram family, owners of the Nashville Bridge and Barge Company, set up the Ingram Cancer Foundation. That foundation recently built a new facility on the grounds of North Crest Hospital in Springfield, Tennessee. That wonderful treatment center is available to citizens of Logan County. I know because I am now a patient there.
I ran into a great lady the other day. Her name is Wonda Haley. She and her husband Donny own Haley’s Restaurant in Donmoor. She told me they have a great catfish buffet on Friday nights starting about 5:30 p.m. I plan to try it out tonight.
I had two young boys, under 10 years of age, to help me unload my shopping cart at Wal-mart last week. They were so nice and they helped put the bagged groceries back in my cart so I could take it out to my truck. Their sweet mom was watching over the process and offering suggestions. I have miss placed my card with their names. If their mom will call me I will put their names in my next article.
People who know me know I like music where I can understand the words being sung. I still like Doris Day, Dinah Shore, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney the Mills Brothers and others from my childhood and young adult life. I am a little up to date so I like Elvis Presley and some of the country stars. I just do not care for the screaming and shouting of words that you cannot understand. Hard Rock is just not my thing.
The other day I was talking to three teenagers about music. They named three music groups they liked and I had never heard of any of them. Then I named three groups I liked and they had never heard of them. Years ago when I was teaching in high school and later college I was up on what the kids liked. I am sure behind now. The kids have never heard of most of the movie stars that I liked either. So much for being totally up to date.
Sherman Price is celebrating 100 years on earth. There will be a birthday celebration for him at Granny’s Kitchen, in Russ3ellville, this Saturday morning from 8 a.m. till 9 a.m. Everyone is welcomed to attend. I understand that Mr. Price loves women and oatmeal. Happy birthday to this grand gentleman!!!
Business of the Week – This week I want to mention Granny’s Kitchen behind the old court house in down town Russellville. The owner is James C. Whittinghill. He has operated the restaurant successfully for about 10 years. All of his food is home cooked. He is open for breakfast and lunch. His three hour cooked green beans are some of the best in the county. He has great fried catfish every day. Several meats and many home cooked vegitables are the order of the day. He offers at least three kinds of fresh homemade cakes daily. (His sister Gail Wynn makes all of the desserts.) The restaurant is non smoking and I understand business has increased since the policy went into effect.
James is very proud of his three children. Son Mac manages Matrix Computerz in the Bethel Shopping Center. Son Wayne has his own building and repair company and works in investments and insurance. Daughter Toni is one of the great cooks at Granny’s Kitchen.
Next time you get a chance stop in the restaurant and have a great meal.
I have run out of time and am facing a deadline so I will be closing.
Till next time good night to all the guys at the Davis Hardware Store in Adairville, Sweet Bertie Angel and Mrs. Calabash where ever you are.