Thursday, September 29, 2022

Pinocchio Premier 1940

 February 23, 1940

Little people have been a part of the motion picture business since the earliest days.  Often feeling undervalued and dehumanized, little people actors developed a reputation for rebellion and rowdiness that made Barrymore look like a boy scout.

For the 1937 premier of Snow White, Disney hired little people to dress as characters in the film, which began the company's long history of costumed actors playing their animated characters for live performances.  For the 1940 New York premiere of Pinnochio, Disney executives thought they could use the same gimmick, so they hired eleven little people actors and provided them with costumes and porcelain heads to match the look of the animated Pinocchio to stand on the theatre marquee waving to the assembling crowd of children, awaiting the opening of the film.     

Being entertainment veterans, the actors negotiated to have food, toilets, and drinks available for them during the long day standing on the marquee waving to the crowd, including gin and wine.  By noon, the actors were visibly drunk and began fighting with each other.  One found his wool costume so uncomfortable that he took it off, which amused the others so much that they followed suit.  One actor accidentally dropped his puppet head over the side of the marquee, where it made a loud explosion hitting the ground below.  Soon the others were tossing their heads overboard as well to enjoy the spectacle of them hitting the ground.  

Soon, parents concerned about what their children were witnessing called the police.  Since the only access to the marquee was by ladder, New York police had to awkwardly climb up to try and calm the ruckus, only to find eleven drunk, naked, little people actors playing craps and swearing at the crowd below.  Wanting to cover their nakedness and unable to find the costumes they had thrown over the edge, police used pillowcases as togas to both cover and help restrain the rowdy actors.

Despite this experience, Disney continued to use and develop costumes and actors to portray their animated characters, which now has become standard practice among companies holding animated characters as an active franchise.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Watchin' The Ships Roll In

 I'm drinking tea and watching the Jackson City water lawsuits sail into port. After the judgment in Flint, they're becoming a popular hole to fish in. Jackson never had the resources of Flint, Michigan, though, and doesn't now.

We should offer t-shirts and barbeque for some of these guys because even if they win, that's all they're going to get. We should get one for Mayor Lumumba that says, "My daddy wanted to be mayor, and all I got was this lousy lawsuit." He could literally save orphans from a burning building now, and he'll still be known as the water crisis guy. It's not really fair. It was that way when he got here.

Most of these suits only list the last two mayors as defendants, which doesn't seem fair. They didn't create this, even if they did lowball how bad it was. Neither has very deep pockets, and I'm curious if their professional liability insurance covers this.

I have mixed feelings about class-action suits. I was part of involving Trustmark's auto loans once from a loan I co-signed with a girl (bad idea, huh?) and was awarded a massive $80. The money lasted longer than the girl. She never picked up her portion of the booty.  The firm in the delta who filed the suit couldn't tell me why I was in the class even though I never asked to be.  After arguing with him on the phone for over an hour, I asked what his billing rate was and informed him I had no intention of paying for the time I had just consumed.  

Like the suit I was in, none of this will provide much tangible benefit for the members of the class, and it certainly won't help the city of Jackson in any meaningful way.  It should help a few lawyers pay their rent though, while they hunt for more lucrative fishing holes.  

You Never Listen

 Southerners love to read, but sometimes they don't listen very well.

One of the first stories in the Bible tells of how enslaving a large population of foreign people ends up with a city full of frogs and the death of the firstborn.  You'd think that'd be a pretty good lesson, but the moment we saw the Spanish making some money on this African slave thing, we wanted in on it.  

Even after Nat Turner said he was inspired by Moses and operated on messages from God, we embraced slavery and believed we were righteous.  In the end, nearly three-quarters of a million of our firstborn lay dead, our homes and farms burned, our business destroyed, and our stores of treasure depleted or emptied, but the slaves were free.  We read, but we don't listen, and it costs us.

individuals of sacred worth

Responding to an increased awareness of the inequities visited on homosexuals, in 1972, the United Methodist Church proposed a statement in  The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church (the UMC official statement of law and doctrine) reading: "homosexual persons no less than heterosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth." meaning, homosexuals are loved by God as much as heterosexual peoples.

Some feared this was a step too far and might be interpreted as the church condoning homosexuality, so the phrase "though we do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian doctrine" was added, making it clear that homosexuals would not be eligible for clergy positions and the UMC would not condone homosexual marriages.  That is where we stand today.

Some in the church, myself included, would like to retain the "individuals of sacred worth" statement as written but delete the "we do not condone" language, giving individual pastors the leeway to make their own decisions about homosexual marriage as they see guided by their own enlightenment and understanding of scripture. 

I tend to see pastors the same way I do doctors.  We require them to do significant work to develop the judgment necessary to accomplish their job, and I think we should let them use it.  The most likely outcome is that some UMC pastors will perform gay marriages, and some will not.  I think that's fair. 

Even discussing this change means that some want to leave the UMC and slander it.  In the twenty-first century, I don't see how an American or European Methodism can survive if homosexuality is gonna be a third rail.   In my heart, I know Christ would not want that.  I avoid using the phrase "I know" with anything regarding Jesus, but I feel strongly about this.  Jesus would not deny a sacrament to anyone that loved and, in his life, celebrated love, food, and fellowship with everyone, even those rejected by the church leaders.  

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Unwelcome immigrants

 In a nation made of immigrants, this current hate for immigrants confuses me.  When my ancestors came here, there were no signs saying "Fàilte Dhachaigh!" (welcome home) or "Is breá linn an Ghaeilge!" (we love the Irish).  Nobody tried to send us to Martha's Vineyard either, although I would have gone.  It's pretty cool there.  There's an awful lot of folks in the Choctaw nation who can attest to the fact that we weren't invited.  English speakers already here considered my ancestors vermin.  People were still calling the Irish "broom pushers" when Kennedy was elected, and some afterward.

I get that the number of immigrants is intimidating.  Their backgrounds are questionable.  They're beyond poor, and they don't speak English.  How different were the ships filled with desperate souls from Glasgow, Perth, or Aberdeen?   I'm Irish, Scottish, and Ulster-Scott, and I stand against this.  It's not right to deny others what was given to us.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Millsaps and HBCU

Before it even began, there was a bond between Millsaps and Mississippi's historically black colleges.  Major Millsaps arranged a land swap between the Jackson College For Negros and some land he held, putting what would become Jackson State University in what was the center of the city, and Millsaps' idea for a new Christian college, on the outskirts of town, dangerously near the insane asylum.  The larger piece of land allowed Millsaps to later construct the first golf course in Mississippi history.  It also put the gates of the new college at the entrance to what was then called "Silk-Stocking Row."

After the debacle of what happened at Ole Miss, Millsaps would be the first white Mississippi college to voluntarily open its rolls to non-white students two years later.  During the same time, a period of understanding and cooperation between Millsaps and Tougaloo opened up.  It was not universally well received.  This was the first real test of my dad's young leadership.  

Dad's perspective on race was formed at a young age when he met Ivan Allen, Jr. at a National Office Products Alliance convention.  Besides being a fellow stationer, Allen would run for and win the mayorship of Atlanta on the basis of his philosophy that "there are simply too many negros in Atlanta for us to prosper unless they do too."  This idea that beating down the black man kept everybody down became part of my early diet.  

The idea that Millsaps professors and students should cavort with their counterparts at Tougaloo caused irritation in some quarters.  My dad, a few key players, and most of the church believed it should continue, even if they personally didn't see any sense in it. It would not be long after that Galloway would split into two churches over similar issues.  Ultimately, some disgruntled souls would take the issue to the bank, where official Trustmark sources said, "This liberal teacher bullshit doesn't really matter.  We're not getting involved."  With that, the issue was settled.

There were a few times when teachers would have to be reminded that Millsaps paid their salary, not Tougaloo, and a few students had to be reminded that Tougaloo awarded no quality points to Millsaps students unless they were enrolled in a class, but on the whole, the Millsaps-Tougaloo cooperation was a success and continues to this day.  

Building Millsaps to the north was probably the first big nudge to developing Jackson to the North East.  The Major's primary concern seems to have been that it was more than twenty percent bigger and had better drainage.  He would soon build a home nearby.


A Return To Darkness

Hello Darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again

When I said I thought I had the flu, I was being optimistic.  I have a pretty solid case of Covid 19.  My health doesn't seem to be in any danger, but my comfort is now a secondary concern, and my schedule is shot.  I'm in isolation for five days without ballgames, visitors, or coffee with friends.  It's pretty intense isolation too.  I won't see a human face without a mask until at least Tuesday. 

I'm no stranger to isolation or seclusion.  It was my chosen way of life for almost twenty years.  This is different, though.  It's prescribed rather than a retreat, and its purpose is to protect those around me, not allow me a place to bleed my wounds out in privacy.  Darkness may not be my friend, but he's not my jailer, either.  We have: an understanding.

There's power and security in solitude.  You control everything you see.  Any enemy entering your realm is immediately detectable.  If your kingdom isn't all that presentable, who cares?  You're the only one that sees it.  What I'm experiencing now isn't that kind of solitude, though.  I know it ends Tuesday at six P.M., and that gives my old companion no sway over me.  He seems to be begrudgingly accepting his new role.

My new companion checks on me when she's in-between mommy duty.  She makes sure I'm not lonely, which is important, and do as I'm told, which is more important, and something of a challenge.  I say that as I stare at my lonely exercise diary, wondering how much I can get away to make sure I don't lose any progress in my workouts without risking my recovery from Covid.  

I was hoping I had the flu rather than Covid because I was nervous about facing the abject isolation that comes with Covid, but sitting in the belly of the beast, I am not afraid.  We know each other.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022


Why do they call it V-8?

Each can of V-8 contains juice from the following 8 fruits and vegetables.

1) Tomatoes
2) carrots
3) celery
4) beets
5) parsley
6) lettuce
7) watercress
8) spinach

I prepare it like this:
In a 24 oz tumbler mix:
1/4 tsp. Celery Salt
1/2 tsp. Parsley flakes
6 shakes of black pepper
6 drops Tobasco
12 oz can V8
Add ice to top
Drink with straw

Vodka/Tequila optional as desired

Monday, September 12, 2022

Tabasco and Eggs

 Don't be surprised if my first book isn't about breakfast.  Piecing together the words for this letter, I uncovered ideas for at least a dozen more.

When I was young, getting a private audience with my dad was something of a challenge.  There were seven of us at home, plus the maid and the dog.  At its peak, there were almost five hundred Missco employees, plus Millsaps, plus Trustmark, plus Unifirst, plus St. Dominics, plus Galloway, plus whatever else Daddy got himself roped into, so if I was going to see him, I had to be clever.  When he turned fifty, the Dominican Sisters gave him a two-by-four so he would have another board to sit on.  When they get together, nuns can be some of the funniest people you'll know.

Being a voyeur of other people's habits, I discovered that Daddy liked to eat and he liked to get up early.  That was my inside track.  Breakfast would be our time together.  If I could manage to meet him around six-thirty in the morning at either LeFleurs or Primos number two, I'd have my dad to myself for half an hour or more.  My sister had him for half an hour before that when they'd run together.  She's pretty clever about watching people's habits too.

My dad was never the kind to teach me things by saying, "do this, this way."  He was too subtle for that, and I was too stubborn.  To teach me, he performed the behavior he wanted me to learn when he knew I was watching (which was always) and waited for me to say, "why do you do that, Daddy?"

Fatty, sugary, creamy, breakfast foods are usually comfort foods.  That's not necessarily what you want to start a work day, though.  Daddy had a routine that turned fluffy scrambled eggs into a spirited wake-me-up to rival the blackest coffee.  

"Daddy, what are you puttin' on your eggs?"

"That's Tabasco Sauce.  They make it in Louisiana."

There are probably five thousand different kinds of hot sauce between Texas and Louisiana.  There are posters showing all the colorful bottles of Lousiana hot sauce, but I stick with Tabasco.   Tabasco chili peppers are filled with capsicum, one of the greatest gifts of the people we stole this land from.  As a young man, I took the Avery Island tour where they make Tabasco and saw an alligator, so that's maybe why Tabasco imprinted on me; plus, there were days when I shared a bottle with Daddy, Deaton, Wingate, Bass, and Taylor before we went to see if there were any fish in the water.  When it comes to tradition, the Jews in Fiddler on the Roof have nothing on us Southerners.  

There are a lot of health benefits to Tabasco sauce.  It adds virtually zero calories, is very low in sodium, and the capsaicin in it somehow raises your metabolism by almost ten percent for a little over an hour.  It quickens your mind and body at the time of day when you need it most.  It doesn't hurt if you miss the eggs and hit the bacon a little, either.

By this time next year, Daddy will be out of my life a few months longer than he was in it.  He taught me so many things.  Things that made me what I am.  Some lessons were very serious, some not so much, but my favorite (and his) was how and what to eat.  Sitting in a house Daddy helped build with Sister Josephine, trying to regain the strength I lost, there's a plate with the remains of scrambled eggs and Tabasco behind me.  If that doesn't make me better, nothing will.


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Editor's Letter

Editor's Desk
Mississippi Free Press
Jackson, MS

Dear Editor,

I am not, what you would call, a supporter of Mayor Lumumba.  I try to be neutral on all politicians.  This is government, not football.  When he does something I agree with, I say so.  When he does something I don't agree with, I say so too, but either way, I put my name to my opinion.  I respect what few readers I have enough to say who I am and what I believe.

Recently, someone has been mailing flyers very disparaging of the mayor to what appears to be almost entirely residents of the 39211 zip code.  The flyers, so far, have been sent anonymously.  If you're from here or have been here any length of time, then you're undoubtedly aware of Jackson's often troubled history.  Many of these dark times involved anonymous political speech.  It was a favored tactic of the Klu Klux Klan.  These anonymous mailings remind me of that dark part of our history.

From a personal perspective, my father sometimes received anonymous letters and phone calls from people who didn't agree with the decisions he made or how he stood.  I know how threatening they can be.  I also know there is no effective response other than to stand up to them without engaging them.  Anonymous political discourse is meant to be intimidating.  It's the only reason to be anonymous.  It makes the speaker seem more powerful than he really is.  

Some of these mailings single out Donna Ladd, which I do not understand.  She's a writer, not a politician.  She makes none of the decisions you're upset about.  She also has multiple platforms where she not only accepts but welcomes your comments and challenges but not if you're going to whisper and hide behind a mask.  I don't think you're going to intimidate her.  Your tactics might motivate her, though.

Nobody on any side is happy about what's happening in Jackson right now.  The mayor is not above criticism, and I'd like to understand what happened as much as anyone.  These anonymous mailings don't help the situation in any way, and I honestly don't think they're hurting the people you want to hurt.  Whoever you are, you are invited to join the political discourse here in a stand-up way.  Whatever your opinion, I will fight for your right to have it.  Whatever your opinion, I may agree more than you realize.  Don't whisper anonymously in my ear, though.  That's bullshit.


Alexander Boyd Campbell II
Jackson MS

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Getting Published

 Everyone keeps telling me to publish.  I want to, and I am, but putting pen to paper and getting someone to publish it are two very different tasks, so bear with me.  It's coming, but I can't say when.  With the exception of my sister and brother, I've been secretly writing longer than I've known any of you, and I'm pretty sure my sister and brother only became aware of it recently.  

I owe my ability to Martha Hammond, my beloved neighbor, who knew I had trouble reading but continued to give me books anyway, and to my mother, who didn't give up on me and, instead of sticking me in a special education class, taught herself the Montessori Method so I could learn to read despite my dyslexia, and one day had the brilliant idea that if I couldn't learn to write properly, maybe I could learn to type instead.  I also owe a great deal to my teacher, Madora Mcintyre, who said, "Boyd's not stupid.  Something else is wrong." and got me tested for dyslexia.  

Writing is my strongest art, and making art is my strongest motive.  Writing is also my therapy.  Sometimes I have to write things down to get them out.  That means I sometimes write about painful, uncomfortable, or embarrassing things.  If it's about me, I'll let you read it.  I don't care.  You can look at my spleen if you want to.  If it's painful or embarrassing to someone else, you may never see it.  I'm not out to expose or exploit anyone.  I've seen writers who did that, and I don't approve.  Sometimes, I can't change the names or the details and keep people from knowing I'm telling their story, so those stories may exist in my computer somewhere, but you'll never see them.  No one will.    

Friday, September 9, 2022

My Friend Tim

  If you're lucky, and if you live long enough, there will come a day when it's your turn to watch over those who once watched over you. For most of the world, we were just kids, but my very first friends, who were also grownups, were named Sarah and Tim, and today it was time to say goodbye to Sarah.

Most goodbyes have little impact on me. They mean: "Good to see you! Let's do this again soon! Tell your neighbor I said hey!" But, there's one goodbye that means: "I'll never see you again. We'll never do this again. Your neighbors are here with me."
Final goodbyes are more than difficult for me. They make my weak parts tremble and make my strong parts irrelevant. I've avoided many of these, believing they were just too much and it'd be better for everyone if I weren't there, but when I heard my friend Sarah crossed over, something inside said I had to go. I needed to go. My first thought was to go and sit with my sister. I'm a lot stronger with her, but she would be out of town. "Alone," a voice inside me said. I had to do this, and I had to do it alone. It was time for that. This is important.
I lied and told the nurses at St. Catherines, where I'd been convalescing, that my family would be there to take care of me, so they approved and made arrangements so I could go to the funeral. There would be dozens of people I knew there, and I wasn't that far from my apartment if anything happened, so it wasn't a total lie. They also knew that the strength that completely left me just months before was now returning faster every day. They're not just my nurses, they're my friends, and by now, they know there are times when I will not be denied. Still in a wheelchair because my returning strength was so new, I looked improbable, but I knew I could accomplish this, and I needed to do it. I thought I'd be alone, but sometimes life has other plans.
My plan was to sneak in early and sit in the back where nobody could see me, then slip out quietly. That way, I could say goodbye without a ripple and satisfy the urge that made me come. Whatever I felt, whatever happened, no one would see me, and I could return to the safety of anonymity soon. After I settled into a far corner, some misguided soul saw my wheelchair and came to me and said, "Hey, we need you to sit up front."
By "up front," he meant the very, very front where everyone could see me, and I had to tilt my head back just to see whoever was speaking at the lectern an arm's length away; then he said, "we're going to move Tim next to you." Hearing that name, the pieces fell into place. I came to say goodbye to Sarah, but my heart would also be with Tim, and he would be next to me. I knew he'd been ill and didn't know if he'd be at the service with us, but once I knew I was to sit with him, it didn't matter who could see me or where I was sitting; it was my turn to watch over him as he'd once watched over me. Being next to Tim was where I needed to be. Tim was in a wheelchair like mine, but his was more permanent. Together we sat and said goodbye to Sarah.
The service began. One daughter delivered remembrances of her mother in what I couldn't help but hear as her mother's voice. I hadn't seen her since she was a teenager, and today she delivered her mother, my friend, to another place. Another daughter, who was our class favorite from childhood, said a prayer. Her voice quavered. She was once the very first girlfriend for two of my teammates, and her smile often delivered us all. Today she did what she must do. This was a difficult transition, but she was always one of the strongest amongst us. A third daughter, now the age her mother was when I got married, sat behind me with her family. When she was barely two months old, her mother, Sarah, asked if I wanted to hold her. My arms had moved thousands of pounds of iron and, through the years, would move more, but they'd never held a baby before.
The priest who said the prayer before most of our football games and later officiated the service that married me delivered the sermon for our mutual friend Sarah. This was a very personal service, not only an important moment and connection for me but for my entire class. Many of them were with me. We met more than fifty years ago, and today we gathered together to say the last goodbye to our class mother.
I could tell the friend next to me was in distress. His hands fidgeted, and his eyes watered. So did mine. He was in pain. I patted his knee, but it didn't help. A young man, I learned, was Tim's grandson, pulled him to the side, away from the front, where he could have some privacy. A young woman I'd never met but recognized immediately as Tim and Sarah's granddaughter came to comfort him. I moved my chair next to his. "It's ok, buddy." We held hands.
Only Sarah Nelson could arrange such a class reunion at a funeral. There were so many faces I knew before they could shave, now with white beards and hairless scalps like mine. Somehow only two of us still had hair. Maybe there was something in the water at St. Andrews in the seventies. This was the best service and farewell for our friend Sarah, surrounded by those she watched over when they were small.
I stayed with Tim until the driver from the VA drove away with him. Together, we'd said goodbye to the mother of his children, friend, and mentor to us all. Today I visited with more of my classmates than I'd seen in twenty years or more. It wasn't an ideal reunion, but it was somehow perfect for us.
After everyone was gone, I sat alone, waiting for my ride, having said goodbye to those I'd loved so long. Through the years, I've learned to restrain my tears because it's embarrassing, but it makes my nose run. I brought an extra handkerchief, just in case. The technique isn't foolproof, and the tears still came anyway. What a sight I must have been, in my convalescent wheelchair, crying alone across from the Governor's mansion, in front of this ancient church. An office worker stopped to ask if I was ok. "I'm fine. Thank you. I'm stronger than I look." I'd listened to the voice inside me and reconnected with my past. I should listen to that voice more often. I watched over my friend Tim while a man drove him away to a place where they take care of him. Somehow, a circle that started long ago was completed. I was home.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Homeless in Jackson


There's a perception that part of the "problem" with Jackson is that there are so many homeless people.  When I was fourteen, my church and six others joined together and created an entity that became known as "Stewpot."  My mother volunteered to be the first manager of Stewpot, which meant she volunteered for us four kids and my dad as well.  I literally grew up coping with the homeless in Jackson, and here is my perspective:

1) The homeless go where you go.  Food doesn't fall from the sky like it did for Moses, so at some level, just like you and I, the homeless must be around enough people for them to find food.  Many would rather not socialize or have difficulty socializing, but no matter how you cut it or who you are, food comes from other people; it's the same for the homeless as it is for you and me.  If you haven't noticed, the homeless are now in Ridgeland, and soon they'll be in Madison.  They go where the people are.

2) Many of the "vagrancy" laws that used to keep the streets clear of the homeless were struck down in court, making it difficult to keep them off the streets.  To be honest, many of these laws and practices were cruel.  Often the only legal way you can keep the homeless out of your neighborhood is by gating it, which is one of the reasons why gating has become so popular.  

3) This isn't a liberal issue.  Jackson was a very conservative city when the downtown churches banded together to do something to alleviate the homeless problem.  Being conservative doesn't make the homeless go away, and being liberal doesn't attract them.  They go where the people are.  As Jackson's population shrinks, the homeless have been moving to cities in Rankin and Madison counties, very conservative cities in Rankin and Madison counties.

4) I've known hundreds of homeless people, and I've yet to meet one that I thought was lazy, and I've never met one that I thought was evil, not even the one that shot Matt Devenney.  Having a stable home means you're able to regularly complete complex and difficult social tasks, and some people aren't capable of it.  As a person who's had difficulty socializing at times, I can appreciate this.  They're not all addicts, either.  Some are, but sometimes the addiction is a symptom of another disease.  

5) In his last sermon to the people of Israel, Moses says: "the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land."  I'm not asking you to believe Moses is real or God is real or anything like that.  You have to make your own decisions in that regard.   I am telling you that people hundreds of years before Julius Caesar was born were concerned enough about the homeless to include instructions about it in their sacred texts, and you see this all over the world in every culture.    I've spoken to people infinitely wiser than I about this, and they don't know a solution to the homeless issue either.  It is a condition of our life together and has been for thousands of years.  

Monday, September 5, 2022

Goodbye Friends

 I'm no good at obituaries, so let me tell you a story.  I had kind of a rough week.  My best friend was out of town, and I lost two women who featured heavily in my youth.  I had a loving family and the best friends in the world, but I was a painfully shy kid.  I had a significant stutter that made it difficult for me to talk in front of people unless I was cutting up, and a reading deficiency kept me in constant fear of being moved to special education classes.  Finding a way through that prickly shrubbery made it difficult for most adults to reach me, but there were two who made it effortlessly.  

If you're on my list, there's a good chance you knew both of these women.  The first was Sarah Jones Nelson.  Sarah was our perennial class mother.  When you're small, most grown-ups treat you like children, but Sarah treated us like friends, like somebody she knew, and that made a huge difference.  She was with us on field trips, camping, and cross-country journeys by bus to the nation's capital.  She helped us through the rough years between childhood and the universe of teenagers.  Sarah ended up moving next door to my sister and her family, where she spent her final years.  I'll be there Friday when we say goodbye to Sarah.  I probably won't say much, but I'll be there.  

I never met the other woman, but I saw her every Saturday night.  Her name was Annette Stutzman, and every Saturday night when I was a kid, she drove to the WAPT studios between Jackson and Raymond, where she played the role of Scarticia on Horrible Movie.  In 2009 I wrote an article about her on my blog that, even now, is the most viewed page on the blog:

I was a devoted Scarticia fan, even though she was something of a mystery in those days.  Through people who read my blog, I would learn that her name was Annette, and she was the secretary for the station manager at WAPT.  She was a few years younger than my mother and involved in what was then known as Hinds Junior College.  She loved music and participated in coral music most of her life.   Annette retained several friends from Jackson but made her way to California, where she made a living in television production and raised a family.   I never knew her, but she has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  

I commit these friends to the hearth of memory.  You made life much better for a frightened little boy, and you live in the hearts of my generation.  

Official Ted Lasso