Home to Mississippi, - 1966-1969
By Nancy Sue Reeves
On our way home from Norfolk, we decided to go through Kentucky, and visit the Craigs, who we knew from Newfoundland. We bought a large tent, to use for camping, on the way home, and Joe had built a fold out trailer to put it on. It turned out really well, as we could put our sleeping bags and camping equipment in the tent, fold it down on the trailer, fold up the trailer, and cover the whole thing with a tarp. Then when we stopped, we'd just fold out the trailer sides and erect the tent right on the trailer. The Craigs had liked our trailer so well, Joe built them one while we were there. Shortly after we got to the Craig's, I came down with the mumps. I had forgotten that I hadn't had mumps, as a kid, and apparently had been exposed by Bruce. We were there for three weeks while I recovered. When we left, they went with us as far as Mammoth Cave NP and camped with us there for a couple of days.
We returned to Mississippi in July 1966 and moved into the house my grandfather built in 1908. Joe got a job teaching Math and Science at Ethel High School, a commute of 35 miles one way, and I went to work at the local Sears catalog store. Bruce was enrolled in second grade at Carthage Elementary, and Mama kept Nita, while I worked at Sears. In the fall of 1967, Nita started first grade at Carthage Elementary. Joe rejoined his old helicopter reserve unit at NAS New Orleans. When school was out, Joe would do extra drills and attend schools, with the reserves, for extra money, as school teaching hardly paid a living wage and it was necessary for teachers to work in summer.
Joe bought 100 acres of land in the Pearl River swamp, leased 92 acres from my brother, James, and bought 50 cows and calves. For the next few years, all his spare time was spent fixing fence, chasing cows, cutting, raking and baling hay. Sometimes he would rake hay with one tractor while I baled it with the other. The next year he taught Biology at Kosciusko, 27 miles away. The third year (1969-70), he taught Biology at Carthage, just 5 miles away, and I left Sears for a job there as a teacher's aide. That way, the kids could go to school and come home with me. When the school year ended in 1969, Joe got a job with Petroleum Helicopters, flying in the offshore oil fields. We continued to live in Freeny. Joe worked 7 days on, 7 days off, so was gone one week and home the next.
Go to The 1970s