It happened here, years ago

Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Herb Vannada, of Herb's Café, as he was featured in The Piggott Times in 1987, shortly after the 40th anniversary of his business. Herb opened the doors of his café on Oct. 7, 1947. (Piggott Times file photo)


Clay County sheriff Burness Dalton, along with deputies Troy Howell, Liddell Jones and Noal Turner, were kept busy 40 years ago this past week. They reported the arrest of two men for the burglary of Clovis Moore's gas station at McDougal, investigated two deaths (both of which were of natural causes) and removed a Success boy from his home due to malnutrition.

In other news, Piggott High School announced their annual "Who's Who" with Harry Bare and Marilyn Bellers named as Mr. and Miss PHS. In other school news, the 1967-68 basketball season got underway in the past week, with the Mohawks dropping both their senior "A" and "B" games to the Risco Tigers. Up next will be a pair of games with the Campbell Camels.

Deer season, which got underway Nov. 13, was off to a good start with state officials estimating that 21-25 thousand deer would be harvested during the three hunts. The next session would be Nov. 24-25, though dogs won't be allowed this year. The final hunt of this year is set for Dec. 11-16. In a related note, duck season is set to open on Nov. 22.

An ad for the local Western Auto store featured several Christmas gift ideas. A youth football helmet from Wilson was $2.99, while a 23-inch "kiddie" rocking chair was $3.33 and a "Wonder" palomino spring-horse was just $11.66.


There was a five-car pileup investigated 30 years ago this past week, though the most serious injury was a broken leg to a four-year-old boy. The mishap occurred on Monday, Nov 21 about two miles south of Piggott on Hwy. 49. Two mail carriers, with some 57 years of experience between them, have retired from the Piggott Post Office. Ermal Crossfield had worked at the facility for 31 years, while John Ed Lingle retired with 26 years on the job.

At the Carolyn Theater this week, "Charlotte's Web" and coming soon was "Rolling Thunder". The late show feature was "Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Sheiks".

In sports, the Mohawk boy's basketball team swept Campbell in both "A" and "B" action. Ernie Hodge led the "B" team with 16 points in their win, while Kevin Knauts paced the "A" squad with 29. Meanwhile, the Lady Mohawks beat Rector behind Susan Wallis' 26 points.

The Greenway Tigers also got a couple of wins in the past week, as they swept the CRA Falcons and the Lake City Catfish.

And, finally, the undefeated Piggott pee wee football team was honored with a banquet at the high school cafeteria. Keynote speaker was PHS head football coach Joe Black. (if memory serves, his son Lee was a member of the squad)


This past week brought the sad news that Piggott businessman Boyce McCord, owner of McCord Agri-Services, had died Nov. 18 at a sales meeting in Cedar Rapids Iowa.

This week's paper also included a front-page feature on Piggott native Craig Morris, as he prepared to perform in Paragould. Morris was a member of the Ronny McDowell band, and had been touring with the group for about a year playing piano and synthesizer.

The story also talked about the friendship he had developed with Cardwell, Mo. native Doug Phelps, who played bass in the band. (Phelps, along with brother Ricky would later form "The Kentucky Headhunters"… Morris has recently moved back to Paragould from Nashville and, along with his family, was the featured entertainer at the recent chamber of commerce banquet in Piggott.)

Piggott Middle School announced this year's "Who's Who" recently, the honor of Mr. and Miss PMS went to Todd Doty and Angela Wright.

At the Carolyn Theater this week the feature was "E.T.", while the late show feature was "Double Your Pleasure".

And finally, an ad for the local Ben Franklin store featured Christmas toy specials. A 12-inch "Jelly Belly" doll was $8.99, you could get your choice of an "Annie" or "Garfield" game for $5.99 each or you could get a "Duke's of Hazzard" General Lee car and a 13-inch jumping ramp for a low $8.88. (yee-hah!)


It was reported 20 years ago this week that Dr. Gordon Duckworth, chief of surgery at Piggott Hospital from 1956 to 1986, had died of cancer at the age of 60. It was also reported that 52 year old Paul Harrell of Piggott had undergone a heart transplant at Methodist Hospital in Memphis, the 15th such surgery at the facility so far this year.

This week's issue of The Times also included a feature on 78 year old Herb Vannada, and the 40th anniversary of Herb's Café. The business had opened on Oct. 7, 1947, and remained open daily despite the fact that Mr. Vannada had lost a leg to diabetes.

In sports, the Mohawks swept Marmaduke to open the boy's basketball season. Keith Beaver led the senior squad, while Stacy Speer paced the 'Hounds. Leading the way for the junior Mohawks was Mark Box, while Marmaduke's top scorer was B.J. Smith.

Also from the world of sports, Kim Grimes and Tina Jones were named All-District for the Lady Mohawk volleyball team with Deanna Conley getting an honorable mention.

Named as All-District performers for the Mohawk football team were, Tim Muse, Todd Self, Shawn Parker and Neil Parrish, while honorable mentions went to Bryan Sample and Darrin Moore. Self and Parker have also been named as candidates for consideration for all-state honors.

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