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Thoughts on the Spot That Ever Calls

yearbook-faulknerIn early 2004, I found myself in possession of 76 of the 107 Ole Miss yearbooks, and I needed 31 more to obtain a complete set. It took four more years, but I finally completed the task.

Probably the best sources to me were used bookstores and personal contacts. I personally found this more productive than the internet or ebay.

One of the best places that I found was Choctaw Books in Jackson owned by my friend, Fred Smith. Fred would receive annuals from time to time that would be placed for sale, and he would call and let me know about them.

I bought several single annuals that way, including the original 1897, which was purchased for $750.00. I bought a 1905 for $400.00, a 1908 and a 1912 for $200.00 each. A lady named Louise Sanders from Yazoo City left several with Fred, and I purchased a 1919 for $200.00 and a 1922 for $100.00.

The last group of annuals I bought from Choctaw Books were those left by the family of the late Chancellor
Alfred Hume, and I purchased a 1900, 1902, and 1923 for $600.00. I traded several duplicate annuals and old football programs with Anthony McMillon from Kosciusko for a 1901.

I bought a 1933 from Will Lewis from Oxford for $15.00 and my friend, Hugh Love, Jr., from Yazoo City gave me his father’s 1928 annual. Edna Lott Franklin from Greenwood gave me her father, Hardy Lott’s, 1932 and 1935 Yearbooks. My cousin, Nancy Stone Kimbrough, from Coffeeville gave me the annuals of her parents, which were 1913, 1915, and 1921.

I made several purchases from Jimmy Davis in Oxford, who had assembled the first complete private collection of Ole Miss annuals. From Jimmy I purchased a 1903 for $300.00, a 1906 for $1,000.00, a 1913 for $600.00, a 1927 for $100.00, and a 1930 for $600.00.

One of the reasons that the annuals in the early 1930s cost more than others of that time
are that when the Depression hit, students were required to buy their annuals in September
when they registered for school, and with money being tight, many students did not purchase
a yearbook. The University only ordered the number of yearbooks they had purchased and,
accordingly, there were not as many of them printed as some of the previous years of the
roaring 20s.

The late Herb DeWeese, then Director of the Alumni Association, knew of my annual search and
posted on the Internet several annuals for which I was looking. He called one day and gave me
the number of Susan James from Nashville, who had contacted him to say that she had bought two
older Ole Miss annuals at a yard sale and would like to see if she could swap them for a 1964 and 1965, which were her undergraduate years at Ole Miss.

I called her and we agreed on an even swap. I made a beeline to Choctaw Books and purchased the 1964
and 1965 for $100.00 and promptly mailed them to Susan. She then put her annuals in the mail to me and when I opened them they were 1898 and 1899, in great condition.

Annual collecting slowed down until September, 2005, when I was able to put my hands on a 1916 and 1917, which I got by trading 7 duplicate annuals that I had, which were 1911, 1914, 1918, 1936, 1943, 1944, and 1946. I then traded with David Wells of the M-Club for 1924, 1925, and 1926 in a trade for some later annuals which the M-Club did not have.

It was not until February 4, 2008, that I was able to complete my set for trading for 1904 and
1907 in return for 1908, 1912, 1930, 1933, 1943, and 1946. You can see that having duplicates
for trading came in handy.

Since then, I go by the annual office every year and pick up the new Ole Miss. I also have about 20 duplicates at this time. I keep 1897 through 1949 at my home in Belzoni,and my Oxford condominium has 1950 through 2013.

As I have often said, there is always something new and interesting in these books, and no matter what year you look at, everyone is permanently 21 years old. Those annuals truly are the fountain of youth.

Hotty Toddy!

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