Pages from the past: A look back with Charlotte Buchanan: Update on Dennis Smith


100 YEARS AGO, JULY 1919

The beautiful home of Mr. and Mrs. Will Baird located about three miles East of Indianola was totally destroyed by fire on Wednesday. The first Mrs. Baird knew of the fire was when live coals dropped from the ceiling. She and Mr. Baird barely had time to escape.

Louie Labella was taken to the hospital in Greenwood Monday where he was operated on for appendicitis. We understand that he is getting along nicely.

NOTICE FROM MAYOR J. W. GILMER; As mad dogs are running at large and a menace to children and grownups, this is to notify everyone to muzzle their dogs or they will be killed.


JULY 1969

Miss Carol Rogers, 19 who is Indianola’s Miss Hospitality will compete for the state title in Biloxi.

WNLA Radio announced that Marie Dailey cashier at Peoples Bank, is “Our First Lady of the Day” Mrs. Irene Richardson of Flowers by Irene presented her with a corsage and a gift certificate.

Army Lt. Colonel Samuel Vincent, son of Mr. and Mrs. Tony Vincent of Indianola has graduated from the U. S. Army War College in Pennsylvania.

MRS. GUS NOBILE, MOORHEAD NEWS: The weather has been awfully hot lately. Thus, could be the reason for the uninvited guest at the Willie Nobile home Monday night. Mama Nobile was writing a letter while the rest of the family watched television. All of a sudden, the screen to the fireplace popped forward and revealed a full-grown opossum.

Burke Fisher of the Holly Ridge 4-H Club placed first in the state with his sheep documentary called “Blue Ribbon Every Time”.

AD Lee’s Shoe Store: “Jessie says I apparently bought too many spring and summer shoes. I have a great selection on sale”.

Roy Stubbs was recently elected Vice-President of the Area Jaycees which includes Grenada, Greenville, Shelby, Cleveland, Rosedale and Indianola.


JULY 1994

Increased vandalism in Indianola parks is causing Parks and Recreational Director Ora Parker Johnson to wring her hands. She cited the theft of the new aluminum bleachers from the Kiwanis Park behind Walmart. She said that someone apparently used a blow torch to dismantle it.

Two Indianola police cars collided as they were answering a call about a fight on Brantley Circle. The two newest cars were operated by Officer Allen Blake and Sgt. Carl Street.


JULY 2004

The Indianola City Board gave a nod of approval to the request of Joan Ely to repair the flagpole at the intersection of Highways 82 and 49. The flag has been down for several months. Ely told the board that there were private funds to replace the pole and she was not asking for money just the board’s approval

The Linn United Methodist Church will have an Independence Day Musical Sunday. The music will be provided by Dennis Smith


Dennis Smith is a lifelong lover of music. He started taking piano lessons from the late beloved music teacher, Mrs. Paul Woodruff of Indianola. After graduating from high school, he attended Mississippi State University and Delta State University. He started out in veterinary medicine, but his love of music overcame, and he ended up majoring in music at both colleges.

It was at Delta State where he took piano from the renowned Mrs. Malcolm Norwood.  For the college recital, she assigned him a long Chopin piece. “I told Mrs. Norwood that I didn’t think I could do that, it was very long and very difficult,” Smith said. Mrs. Norwood insisted. Recital time came and he did perform and brought down the house, but Mrs. Norwood was not happy “I had memorized the first few lines, but then I threw in a lot of gospel and blues. The students thought it was great and funny, but Mrs. Norwood was very unhappy. She told me she couldn’t fail me because I did play but I would get the very lowest grade she could give,” he said.

Dennis now plays for the Christ United Methodist church in Indianola where he and his family have been members for over ten years. “We didn’t have a patriotic program per se, but I did play a few patriotic songs this past Sunday.

Smith retied from South Delta Housing after 35 years. Other than his music, despite a stroke in the last few years, he still mows his own yard and enjoys helping children raise goats to exhibit in 4-H Clubs. He proudly pointed out that he has a little great granddaughter, Emma Steelman who is a 7th generation family member living in Sunflower County.


Basketball practice has already started for some at North Sunflower Academy.

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