Monday, July 26, 2010

Issues with Dell

Excuse me while I use this space to gripe about my recent experience with Dell Computers. When asked what brand he would recommend as a new replacement for my broken laptop, the guy at the computer repair shop immediately said Dell. I immediately went home and, using my husband's computer, ordered what was an essentially out-of-the-box laptop with no added bells or whistles. The website said this computer was available for shipping within 24 hours and gave the next day's date as the date of shipping.


As it turns out, this was a sales gimmick. My confirmation e-mail, which I immediately received, indicated that I should receive my newly ordered laptop on or before August 3rd. I rationalized at the time that probably all orders had a couple of weeks tacked onto the estimated delivery date.


I waited until 48 hours and then tried to reach Dell through their online chat service. Nope, it wasn't working.... so I called their support number and reached somebody somewhere across the ocean. After a few minutes of trying to communicate my concern, he transferred me to a department that he said could check on the status of my order.


He actually transferred me back to the support call center because I had to go through the same song and dance with that operator, again somebody somewhere across the ocean. This operator informed me that Dell didn't make out-of-the-box computers, that each computer was specially built for the customer, and that she couldn't help me since she was only the operator and that I needed to talk to somebody about cancelling my order.


She transferred me back to the original call center where once again I was asked for the same information. This time I hung up and looked for another telephone number, one for the sales department, my reasoning being that sales folks are much eager to help you than folks in the customer service department. Bingo. I reached a very nice young lady, obviously American, who sympathized with my plight. She was very familiar with the 24 hour "fast track" shipping of certain computers but could not tell me why the status of my laptop changed immediately after I ordered it from a 24 hour fast track computer to a 13 day slow track computer. I asked her to find me a substitute computer that was on Dell's "Fast Track" program. She gave me a model number and description, and I thanked her, told her I would check it out and call her back on the direct number and extention that she had given me.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the laptop she told me was part of their "Fast Track, 24 hour shipping program" was identical to the one I had ordered, down to every little wire, except that Dell would ship it within 24 hours for an additional $64. I called the very nice young lady back to tell her thanks, but no thanks, but her extension was busy and the answering machine said that my call would be directed to another person who could help me.


After being placed on hold for about thirty seconds, a voice informed me that my call could not be completed and that I would be disconnected.

I placed a very strong comment on Dell's online support site and received the usual, canned response that I would be hearing from them.


Haven't heard a peep. My order status still shows "in production." I've been told that I will be able to send the computer back to Dell once I receive it, for a full refund. We'll see. Hope I am not wrong about that.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


It is my hard drive, an expensive repair, so I've opted for a new laptop that will have a better battery life and faster processing speed. My old computer was a good one, and I'm going to miss it like an old friend, but am looking forward to making friends with the new one. Thankfully, I had a current backup done through Mozy. Mozy is a great service that allows you to schedule online backups of specific files and folders on your computer, and the backup is stored with Mozy if you ever need it. I've needed it once, with a former laptop, and the restore was easy enough.

Maybe I'll be back in business by the end of next week.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Time Out

Sorry, folks, for the lack of posts. July has been a busy month for the Mills Family. There has been lots of moving about.... all kids moving to different accomodations..... plus new calves, a house trailer renovation (yep), and the endless watering of plants and flowers that comes with a hot, dry summer. During last week's visit to New Orleans to visit my daughters, get Rebekah settled in her new digs and do a little research on the side at the New Orleans Public Library, my computer went down. Thankfully, I was able to eventually get it rebooted long enough to get a backup of my data and precious old photographs, but as soon as I got home to Oxford, Mr. Laptop went to the computer doctor for tests and a diagnosis. They are supposed to let me know something in the next day or two, and hopefully it will be something that can be fixed. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Until I can get my laptop back, I'm out of the blog business! In the meantime, there's still lots to be done including another weekend of moving. See you soon!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Harriet Reid Bowen's sister, Jane

The woman in the above photograph is Jane Reid Pritchard, sister of Harriet Amandaville Reid Bowen. The Reid sisters were two of twelve children - all daughters - born to South Carolina natives Joseph Reid and Dorothy Philadelphia "Delphia" Littlejohn who moved to Pontotoc County about 1845. As far as I know, only daughter Harriet moved to Itawamba County after her marriage to William Elisha Bowen.

Jane Campbell Reid married Robert J. Pritchard on February 12, 1867. They made their home in Pontotoc County and are buried at Bethel Cemetery. One of Jane and Robert's descendants shared the photograph with me. Thanks, Ginny!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Elvis in New Orleans

You never know where Itawamba-connected Elvis Presley will show up next! I am in New Orleans for several days, and this past Saturday there was the New Orleans version of Pamplona, Spain's "Running of the Bulls." This year's festival was the third such event in New Orleans, and along with its usual participation by the city's all-female roller derby team enacting the role of the bulls, the Rolling Elvi Krewe also were around for added color. Look closely, in the middle of the above photo, for one of the krewe on a roller bike. This photograph was made at the end of the parade route.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kirk!

Kirk turns 50 today!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer in Peaceful Valley

Rebekah and I took the following pictures during Saturday's fishfry at Aunt Tootsie's. The scarecrow is doing too good a job in her garden -- there is a blight or virus that has ruined her tomatoes and watermelons. The problem started last year, but this year has really grown. The plants are stunted or wilted, and the fruit undersized or inedible. Not sure what is going on, and the county's extension service, although consulted, doesn't appear to be able to help, or want to help. It's a shame because there won't be as many tomato sandwiches this summer, and no tomato soup or stews this winter.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fish, Elvis and Fireworks... Peaceful Valley style

Saturday in Peaceful Valley, Aunt Tootsie hosted a fishfry under the shade tree behind her house. Friends and family gathered to enjoy the bounty of food and discuss their various relationships with Elvis. You know the one, that Presley fellow. Mike made the mistake(!) of announcing that since it was Elvis's 75th birthday, he would have a piece of lemon icebox pie. As he later remarked, how many family gatherings would have the number of people within the group that actually knew Elvis's birthdate (January 8)?! He was loudly corrected by several folks, all at once, that Elvis was born in January, on the 8th, and not in July, and then there was a discussion of who among us was related to Elvis and how. Mike stirred up a hornet's nest with his remark, but what he actually meant was that this was the year of celebration of Elvis's 75th birthday (if he were still with us, that is). Any excuse for a piece of Hoyt's pie, I say.

After the food and fellowship, it was time for fireworks, --Peaceful Valley style. Cousin Garrett, out of school for the summer and with time on his hands, built a potato launcher, and the crowd was treated to explosions of potatoes, tomatoes and leftover french fries across the pasture.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

William Reid - Old Poplar Springs Cemetery

Recently at this site, I blogged about the Old Poplar Springs Cemetery located on the Pontotoc-Union County line. This cemetery has been abandoned, and although my attempt to find it was successful, the cemetery was so overgrown and snake-y that I had to abandon any thoughts of photographing the grave of William Reid.William Reid was my husband's great-great-great-great-great grandfather. That's a lot of greats! The descendancy goes like this: William Reid --> Joseph Reid --> Harriet Reid Bowen --> Amanda Bowen Johnson --> Fisher Johnson --> Glader Johnson Mills --> my husband. Harriet Reid Bowen, and her husband William Elisha Bowen, came to Itawamba County from Pontotoc County following the Civil War.

Imagine my surprise when I was looking for the grave of William's son, Joseph, and found a photograph of William's grave at Find-a-Grave. How wonderful! The photograph was made in the fall of 2006, and the cemetery looks a lot cleaner than when I found it a few weeks ago.

Imagine my greater surprise to see that William's grave is marked by a Loyd grave marker. The William P. Loyd family were potters in Itawamba County who obtained a patent in 1879 for their unique style of grave markers. These grave markers can be found all over Northeast Mississippi and into neighboring Alabama counties. The inscription at the bottom of William's marker reads: "He was a soldier in the war of 1812 and drew a pension for his gallant service until his death at age 78yrs, 10mo, 29dys."

If you've never visited Find-a-Grave, please do so. It is amazing what volunteers all over the country have done in creating a central location for contributed information about graves and cemeteries. I've even uploaded some pictures of my own to the site and should do even more. The photograph of William Reid's grave was added in the fall of 2009 so it gives me hope that when I return later this year I can get some pictures of my own.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I've been reading a couple of books on the history of Baptists in South Carolina. Why South Carolina? South Carolina was probably the most tolerant of the original thirteen colonies when it came to religion, except for tolerance toward Roman Catholics. Followers of the Baptist faith were run out of the northern colonies, by the colonies' Puritan leaders, for their beliefs regarding infant baptism and their insistence on separation of church and state. Massachusetts and Virginia passed laws that prevented its residents from refusing to have their infants baptized, a direct blow to the Baptists. In South Carolina, however, the provincial government was much more tolerant. Because of this tolerance, it can be argued that it was in South Carolina that the Baptist faith really began in America.

Of particular interest to me right now is the Baptist church that was originally formed at Shoal Creek in Franklin County, Georgia, across the Tugaloo River from what is now Oconee County, South Carolina. It is very possible that our Thrasher and Dulaney families may have worshiped at this church, or one of its many offshoots. Since the books I've been reading include a short history of the Shoal Creek church, I'm hoping to track down a transcription of the church minutes. Eventually, there were so many more South Carolinians than Georgians that the Shoal Creek church was moved over the river into South Carolina. In addition to Shoal Creek, there are a couple of other churches that I'm interested in: Bush River (Davis family) and Holly Spring (Clayton family).

The books make mention throughout of exhortations by various preachers. Seeing exhortation used frequently in both books made me look up the definition. To exhort is to strongly urge, using compelling and stirring arguments. An exhortation is a speech that encourages or incites its listeners. Seems that there was a lot of exhorting going on back in those days!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Itawamba sends cows to Greece

In 1946, the country of Greece was in the midst of a famine caused by a civil war that followed on the heels of World War II. The Nazi armies of Germany, Italy and Bulgaria occupied Greece during much of the war although there were several resistance groups that fought the occupation. Following the war, these resistance groups morphed into competing factions for control of the country.

Both the Nazi occupation and the subsequent civil war left the country in ruins. There were thousands of deaths of Greek citizens during World War II from the disruption of farming activities and confiscation of food that led to a serious famine occurring in 1941 and 1942. Things didn't get any better after the defeat of the Nazis and their removal from Greece. Food shortages continued to be a problem, and famine conditions remained.

Itawamba County responded to the crisis in Greece by pledging to contribute twelve cows towards Mississippi's boatload of cows to be sent to Greece under Governor Tom Bailey's program to assist with the famine and suffering in that country. In June 1946, a committee was formed in Itawamba County with Sheriff Newman Reece named chairman and Phillip A. Sheffield as secretary-treasurer. Immediately, Rev. L. C. Lawhon announced that he had secured three cows from the donations of "Fulton's public-spirited citizens."

The June 20, 1946 issue of the Itawamba County Times reported that enough money had been raised after only a couple of weeks to send nine cows to Greece. The community of Tremont had rallied together and raised enough for one cow among themselves, and people of other communities were urged to do the same. Other cows came from the Fulton Lions Club (one), Fulton Methodist Church (four), Fulton Civic Club (one). Employees of the Fulton Garment Company raised $43.35 for the effort, and fund-raising activities were continuing, the paper reported.

Rubber tags were being purchased which would be placed on each cow telling who gave the cow and where it came from.

Just imagine, there are probably descendants of those Itawamba County cows still in Greece today!