What’s your YMCA story? Here’s mine

Published 7:04 pm Thursday, April 4, 2019

The assignment was not on my schedule.

But since our photographer at The Vicksburg Post was double booked on Wednesday, I filled in and took the pictures for the YMCA expansion groundbreaking ceremony.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to be there.

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I knew many of the folks in attendance, and from the opening prayer offered up by Holy Trinity’s new priest, Andy Andrews, to the symbolic ground breaking itself, it was a very moving and uplifting event.

Especially when the executive director of the YMCA Phillip Doiron made his opening remarks and asked the crowd, “What is your ‘Y’ story?”

At that point the wheels in my head began spinning, because when I was young girl, being involved at the YMCA was only second to going to church for my family.

I am not sure if that was because of all the family-friendly programs that were offered or the fact my dad, and the then-YMCA director, Herb Wilkinson, were such good friends.

However, whatever the case, my family was active.

Dad had been a member of the Y’s Men group, and as far back as I can remember, he spent many a Wednesday night attending their meetings.

I also recall the pancake breakfasts the group sponsored. Mom would get my brothers and me up early, and we would go downtown for the meal.

There were also the annual Halloween parties that were held for the members’ families. The parties included booths with games for the children, a big tin barrel set up for apple bobbing, and my favorite, the all-important costume contest. I never won, but it was still fun to participate.

The Vicksburg YMCA was also the place where my brothers and I learned how to swim.

In fact, I can still recall the smell of chlorine when you walked into the lobby of the facility that was located on Clay Street.

The Y was also where my brothers got their first taste of playing football. I even tried my hand at softball one summer.

And then there was the YMCA camp — Warner Tully — which if you have ever been fortunate enough to attend will know that it is, “the best camp in the land that was made for you and me.”

From its horseback riding sessions to shooting bows and arrows, I loved everything about Warner Tully.  And that was back in the days when there was no air-conditioning.

However, I can truly say attending Warner Tully remains one of my fondest childhood memories.

Our family was so involved at the YMCA, one year we were even selected as “The Family of the Year.”

It had been such an honor and we even got our picture in the newspaper.

The YMCA tradition continued with my children. They played soccer, football and basketball through the Y.

And now, my grandson is part of the YMCA in its after school and summer camp programs.

For four generations, my family has taken advantage of many of the worthy offerings at the Y.

And with this new expansion on the horizon, I feel confident this family tradition will continue.

This is my “Y” story and I think it is a good one!

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at terri.frazier@vicksburgpost.com.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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