Gulfport High School – Gulfport, Mississippi
Seventy-First Graduation Exercises Planned
The seventy-first annual GHS graduation exercises will be held at the B. Frank Brown Gymnasium at 8:00 p.m. Friday, May 31. For the 1974 seniors, graduation represents a giant step in their lives.
An invocation by Mr. Harry Tartt will precede the presentation of special awards by Mr. W. L. Rigby, Superintendent of Gulfport City Schools.
Then two seniors that have been selected by competitive competition will give orations designed as commentaries and challenges to the graduating class.
Mr. Martin J. Gendron, Principal, will present the graduation class after which a member of the Board of Education will award the diplomas.
The recessional will be played by the Commodore band under the direction of Mr. Blain Curry.
Mr. Gendron would like to remind seniors that attendance at the two graduation rehearsals should be prompt. Those graduating should be at the gymnasium on May 28 and May 30, the seniors will practice in their caps and gowns, after which time their class picture will be taken.
SENIOR AWARDS DAY:
Wednesday, May 15, the annual Senior Awards Day was held in the auditorium honoring seniors who had achieved special recognition in scholarship and leadership.
Dennis Miller, president of the senior class, presented the class gift to the school. Then Mr. Rigby presented the awards to the graduation class.
Under the direction of Mr. Chris Lewis, the GHS choir sang a special selection and led the seniors in Gulfport High’s Alma Mater.
Officers of the Class of 1974 are: Dennis Miller, president; Sammy Cucurullo, vice-president; Robin Richardson, treasurer, and Pam McLendon, secretary.
— Donna Pearce
The Rock Island Argus
July 18, 1913
HUSBAND, 94, SAVES WIFE FROM FLAMES
Stairway Crashes as Aged Man Bears Helpmate Away from Burning House.
Muscatine, Iowa, July 18
Heroism which parallels that of genuine fiction was exhibited by Charles Blow, 94 years old, from possible death in a fire which totally destroyed the residence of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Contriman at Fruitland yesterday.
The aged people were in the home alone at the time of the fire. They have been guests at the Contriman home for the past several weeks, coming here from their home at Elgin, Ill. Their daughter, Mrs. Contriman was out in the pasture while Mr. Contriman was in the field.
The fire was discovered by Mr. Blow just as he had descended to the kitchen preparatory toward securing his breakfast. Considerable headway has already been made by the fire, a gust of flame enveloping him as he opened the kitchen door. Staggering from the noxious fumes he pluckily made his way upstairs where his wife was dressing. The aged woman was almost prostrated by the smoke which filled the upstairs portion of the dwelling and her husband practically carried her down the flight of the stairs. The passageway was dense with smoke and the two old people were compelled to fight their way to safety blindly. Flames singed the hair of both although neither was otherwise injured.
Barely a minute after they reached fresh air, the stairway crashed in.
The home was burned to the ground in its entirety. Nothing was saved. The loss to the furniture is estimated at about $1,500, while to the dwelling about $1,2000. The house was owned by Theodore Drake, a well known Muscatine Island resident. But a small amount of insurance was carried. The dwelling had recently been remodeled but since the improvements the insurance had not been increased.
Mr. and Mrs. Contriman had made their home in Fruitland since last February coming here from Chicago.
daughter of Charles BLOW
son of Maria Elizabeth BLOW
daughter of Frederick Judson “Fred” HOAGLAND
son of Helen Marie HOAGLAND
Me, the daughter of Frank Hunt BOSWORTH
Mr. Charles Blow and his wife, Lucy Flude Knott, are my 3x great grandparents.
Submitted by Tenderly Rose-Robin Melissa Bosworth Reininger
4 May 1915, Decatur, Illinois
The text insert located on the lower left-hand corner of this advertisement, just under the drawing illustrating Charles Blow, states:
“This is Charles Blow of Dundee, Ill., who tips the scales at 94 years. Mr. Blow is today, and always has been, a man who smoked his pipe liberally–and enjoyed it mightily. Mr. Blow qualifies for the Prince Albert “old-time jimmy-pipers club” and has been elected to full-fledged membership. We would like to hear from other old-time smokers.”
Charles Blow was married to Lucy Flude Knott
“Wings of Angels”
Charles BLOW (1820 – 1919)
My 3rd great-grandfather
Maria Elizabeth BLOW (1854 – 1953)
daughter of Charles BLOW
Frederick Judson “Fred” HOAGLAND (1880 – 1961)
son of Maria Elizabeth BLOW
Helen Marie HOAGLAND (1907 – 1965)
daughter of Frederick Judson “Fred” HOAGLAND
Frank Hunt BOSWORTH (1933 – )
son of Helen Marie HOAGLAND
Tenderly Rose-Robin Melissa Bosworth
the daughter of Frank Hunt BOSWORTH
I recently lost my best friend of over sixty years. She apparently died in her sleep leaving all of us who loved her dearly in complete shock and grief. I include Dona in my family history because she was as much a part of my family and in some cases more like family to me all my life. Dona Elise Sanders Richmond became my friend when she was born a year after I was. Our mothers were best friends, having attended Perkinston Jr. College together in the year of 1955-56. The photo below shows my mother, Janie Morris seated on the left and Dona’s mother, Shirley Reeves, seated on the right. This is the only photo I have of the two friends together, although, I believe there were quite a few others in my mother’s photo collection.
The earliest memories I have of Dona and me together were probably preserved by the many times our mothers discussed our early history with us as we grew up. We were told about the times we were just little toddlers when we would accompany our mommas to the beach and we played in the sand while they caught each other up on their lives after college. I seem to remember those trips to the beach – the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast – with our mothers. But, do I really, or are they from my imagination? Time has taken its toll on my memory after so many years, but, suffice it to say when Dona joked with me about being friends since she was “in utero” I readily agreed, and we would smile really big.
Dona grew up in the Orange Grove area of Gulfport – what I called “the country”. We didn’t get to see each other as much as we wanted because it required our mothers to navigate Highway 49 to get to our respective homes. There were some miles between us and we didn’t attend the same schools. So, if we got to spend the night with each other it was a big deal. We mainly saw each other when our mothers got together for various functions and life events.
Our mothers raised us in the Southern tradition of calling our elders by somewhat formal names. Dona’s mother was “Miss Shirley” or “Miss Sanders” to me as deemed appropriate by my mother and Dona called my mother “Miss Janie”. Her home was kept neat and clean, unlike my mother’s home (complete disarray). A trip to Dona’s home was like a breath of fresh country air to me. A trip to my house provided Dona with a bit of the city life, although Gulfport was not a big city, it still lent a sophistication Dona seemed to crave. I went to church with Dona every time I spent the night at her house. It was the law. It was always fun for me to hang out with Dona, thought, because she and I knew each other better than anyone else in our lives. We held secrets, dreams and heartaches deep in our souls that were shared forever.
When our dog, Hustler, a pedigreed boxer sired an “unofficial” batch of puppies with the neighbor’s mixed breed dog, Dona’s family adopted one of the puppies. Her daddy named him Cassius. Dona and I recently had a conversation about Cassius and how sweet he was. Loyal and fun to play with, just like his dad, Hustler. We loved that we had dogs that came from the same family. We loved out dogs. Cassius was the first dog I remember Dona’s family having.
The day I learned Donald Sanders, Dona’s daddy, died momma picked me up from West Ward Elementary school and we cried so hard I thought our eyeballs would fall out. He built our playhouse in Mamaw’s yard, as well as the house Dona grew up in. I knew him as a loving father to his kids, devoted husband to “Miss Shirley” and dedicated friend of our family. I remember being so shocked that Dona’s daddy had died, just as mine had a few years earlier. It just could not be. I don’t really think Dona was the same after that. She was so sad most of the time during our childhood. But, we laughed a lot, too, in spite of the sorrow. I enjoyed going to Dona’s to spend the night and play Barbies. Dona had her own room with a canape bed – white French Provincial and she had a great collection of Barbies that did not have their leg chewed off by her dog, like mine so often did.
Perkinston Homecomings through the years meant Dona and I accompanied our mothers to the gatherings and football games. We met all her mother’s friends and my mother’s friends, the administration of the college and the families associated with the college. It was homecoming for me and Dona, too. I don’t remember any of our siblings attending the festivities – just me and Dona and Janie and Shirley (Reeves). We loved the bulldog mascot out on the field at the football games and would laugh so hard at him. He just sat there, not moving, like he just was concentrating so hard on the games. We vowed to have bulldogs in our future lives.
There were photos take of us when we were growing up that I remember seeing in our mothers’ photo collections. I have none of those photos now, and Dona did not have any of them in our possession, either when we discussed this earlier this year. She told me she was going to go threw her mother’s stuff and see if she could find any. My mother’s stuff went through numerous hurricanes, so, I don’t know what she ended up with when she passed, but, they are as good as gone to me now. I do have this one photo of me, seated on the right side of the photo looking on as Dona blew out the candles on her 18th birthday cake.
Our friendship was anchored on the Gulfport shores to be sure, but, our friendship stretched thousands of miles as I left Mississippi in 1976, when I was 19 years old, to live in Wisconsin.
In 1977, I was preparing for my wedding to begin in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, when the florist entered the area of the church where the bride and bridesmaids had gathered to help each other get dressed. She was carrying one long-stemmed red rose. She told me her instructions were to present the rose to me just before I went down the aisle. I opened the card that was attached to the rose. It read, “I gave you the first rose when you were born, now, I am giving you a rose when you get married.” It was one of the more amazing moments of my life. Miss Shirley had sent a message from thousands of miles away that she loved me all my life and always would. She was there with me even though she was unable to be.
I was down on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1982 visiting my mother when I got a chance to talk to Dona. She told me she wanted me to come to her baby shower. I was pregnant with my daughter at the time. I was so honored to be at her baby shower and we pledged to betroth our two unborn children to each other and laughed! We kind of meant it, though. The photo below is from Dona’s shower.
When my grandmother, Rosie Smith Morris, died Dona was there when I came home to Hungry Hill for the funeral. I made sure I took photos of Dona and her sisters were in the ones I took of my family because they were my family in my heart, too. While momma and Miss Shirley were in the house, we young adults gathered outside to socialize a bit. The Sanders family were as much a part of our family as anyone born to our family. They were there to help us through the tough times of life as well as the good. Dona is seated in front of the hutch in my mother’s dining room at Hungry Hill in the following photo.
Memories have flooded into my mind and heart the past few weeks. Dona was my chosen sister and I’ll miss her like crazy for the rest of my life. She was one of the better angels of our world. Someone who supported and loved me all my life. I feel lost without her. My soul mate.
I’ll probably have to add stuff and update this post many times as I think of things to share. I know I’ve probably been repetitious in some respects, but, my mind feels foggy from the mental and heartfelt pain. I can’t imagine what her husband, kids, grandkids and friends are going through at this time. I am selfish and quite alone in my emotions right now. I just feel this huge void and little else. If I wanted to share my feelings with, it would be Dona. And now, she’s gone. I’m all alone with this grief because I live far, far away from the Gulf Coast and her loved ones.
This blog post has been sort of rambling and I know it is long, but I find the writing difficult because I find it hard to focus. How do you write about such an icon in your life and narrow it down to one blog post? So, I wrote about Dona here on my blog. She loved the written word ever bit as much as I did. Our favorite book was To Kill A Mockingbird and our favorite movie was “Gone With the Wind” — she called me “Mellie” for the character Melanie, and she called herself “Scarlet”. We shared so much about literary works and wrote our feelings out in journals all our lives. Writing is therapy for some folks and that is just another way of coping Dona and I shared.
Peace be with us all…
I’ll end this by providing a link to Dona’s Blog so you can read for yourself what a special gift she was to our world:
And just a few old photos I have to share…
“If there ever comes a day
when we can’t be together,
keep me in your heart,
I’ll stay there forever.”
(from Winnie the Pooh)
And that’s what Dona and I did…
Submitted by Tenderly Rose-Robin Melissa Bosworth-Estrada Reininger
Chicago Daily Tribune
May 05, 2937
CHICAGO POLICE HUNT MISSING BILOXI DENTIST
Wife Delays Operation and Flies Home.
Chicago police were notified last night of the disappearance of Dr. Wilder M. Bosworth, 34 years old, a Biloxi, Miss., dentist who has been missing since Sunday night when he started for Chicago by automobile to be at the bedside of his wife, who was to have had an operation in the Presbyterian hospital.
When the dentist did not appear Mrs. Bosworth had the operation postponed and flew home to Biloxi to join her two small children and aid in the search.
Finds Husband Gone.
Upon her arrival there she learned her husband had gone to visit a friend, Dr. W. C. White, in Birmingham, Ala., on Saturday and had left Dr. White’s home on Sunday and had left Dr. White’s home on Sunday evening for Chicago, saying he was going to drive all night.
Both the dentist and his wife are members of prominent Elgin families. Dr. Bosworth’s parents died a few years ago. Mrs. Bosworth is the daughter of Mrs. G. Mabel Hoagland, 225 Walnut avenue, Elgin, who said she had heard nothing from her son-in-law.
Shot in Roadhouse Gunfire.
Eight years ago Bosworth, before going into dentistry, had a narrow escape from death while entertaining a party of friends in a roadhouse on the Lincoln highway in North Aurora. He was shot and critically wounded by Emmett Lyons, moonshine crazed caddy master of the Aurora Country club.
From another newspaper clipping about this fiasco in my collection, I learned the Bosworths had moved to Biloxi from Florida a year earlier and Mrs. Bosworth was the president of a coast committee for the advancement of world peace.
This story was picked up by the Associated Press and went nationwide. Some of the newspapers I’ve found it in are: Anniston Star of Alabama, Centralia Evening Sentinel of Illinois, Register Republic-Rockford of Illinois, Freeport Journal Standard, among others.
As reported in a 1941 Biloxi Daily Herald, a divorce suit was docketed for Wilder Morris Bosworth and Helen Hoagland Bosworth stating “Cruel and Inhuman Treatment Listed as cause for complaint”. I learned the date of their marriage from this newspaper clipping, I had searched for quite a while for that. My father Frank had listed their divorce date in his family history notes.
Dr. Wilder Morris Boswoth , D.D.S. and Helen Hoagland Bosworth were my grandparents.
Submitted by Tenderly Rose-Robin Melissa Bosworth Reininger
A Little Parable for Mothers
By Temple Bailey
The young mother sat her foot on the pathway of life.
“Is the way long?” she asked.
And her Guide said: “Yes, and the way is hard, and you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.”
But the young mother was happy and she would not believe that anything would be better than these years. So she played with her children and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed with them in the clear streams, and the sun shone on them, and life was good, and the young mother cried, “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”
Then night came and storms, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle and the children said, “Oh, Mother, we are not afraid for you are near, and no harm can come.” And the mother said, “This is better than the brightness of the day for I have taught my children courage.”
And the morning came and there was a hill ahead and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary, but at all times she said to the children, “A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed and when they reached the top, they said, “We could not have done it without you, Mother.”
And the mother, when she lay down that night, looked up at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today, I have given them strength.”
And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth – clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the Mother said, “Look up. Lift your eyes to the Light.” And the children looked and saw, and it brought them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”
And the days went on, and the weeks and months and the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent, but her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough they lifted her, for she was light as a feather. And at last they came to a hill and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and the golden gates flung wide.
And the Mother said, I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children walk alone, and their children after them. And the children said, “You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates. And they stood and watched her as she went alone and the gates closed after her, and they said, “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.”
“My grandmother, Rosie Smith Morris, told me she wanted this read at her funeral. When it came time for her funeral, there was not a copy of it available and her daughters were not aware of her wish. It was not read. So, I have put it with her genealogy information in hopes it will from now on be a part of her legacy. She is certainly a living presence through me and always will be. Hopefully, my children will appreciate this and pass it on to future generations. Motherhood is the most difficult job.”
January 22, 2008