An update from my loving, caring community

Published 9:38 am Friday, September 20, 2019

Last Monday, my friend, JD Brown, and I were sitting on my front porch when our former pastor at St. Mary’s, Fr. Joseph Jessing, drove up, bounded up the steps at 85 years young and broke out singing “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” Of course, he was singing about St. Mary’s. And he had just decided that morning to drive up from Pine Bluff to visit his old parishioners and came with names and numbers.

He is on temporary assignment in Arkansas, but still in active ministry in Texas where he started learning Spanish a decade ago to serve the Hispanic community there.

This is after spending most of his ministry in Indonesia by way of his native Germany and learning to sing likes Ray Charles. It doesn’t get better than this. Welcome back, Fr. Joseph, and come again soon.

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It’s been a few months now, but our dear friend, Chris Slaughter, came in the height of the heat, to restore and replenish the air-conditioning at The Jacqueline House when it had all but gone out. And he didn’t charge us a thing. He said it was his gift to the community, and us. It was generous indeed.

In their quiet way, both he and his wife, Joyce, do so much for our community and church. Joyce is a master chef and a generous soul, something the rest of us can only be grateful for. Time and again we have feasted on her skills and relied on his for making things work. Much thanks to you both.

And speaking of good neighbors, I have many. Willie Green and his nephew cut trees down for me when they were imperiling my roof. They told me the danger if the growth wasn’t curtailed and they volunteered the work. I’m so grateful.

My Main Street neighborhood is filled with people like that. When the porch swing fell with me in it, Mr. Mayfield and friend, Bobby Blackmore, waited ‘til I was gone, then came and re-hung the swing for me so I’d be surprised when I came back. And what a delight that was. I sat for hours. I’m so grateful.

And Bobby always comes over and chats with me whenever he sees me outside. We have a lot of the same interests and have read a lot of the same books. And his conversation keeps me cued in.

Then, of course, there are the kids who eat my chips and ask for occasional quarters, sometimes dollars. They know to speak to me when they pass. Otherwise, good luck with the quarters.

Finally, I need to apologize to Linda Tolliver and her friends from The Eastern Star who seeded and grew a bountiful garden this summer and shared generously with me and others. I caused the garden to be weeded wrong and thus lost a lot of the crop. I apologize. And I hope we can collaborate again.

Thanks to all the Episcopal Churches in Vicksburg and Warren County who supported their effort.

I’m sorry.


Yolande Robbins is a community columnist for The Vicksburg Post.