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Move successfully completed

So they loaded up the truck and they moved to… Well, you know the rest of the verse.

Patti and I have made it to Brookhaven. The moving van arrived earlier this week and with the help of friends and family, “almost” all the boxes have been unpacked and items put away. So far not a single dent, scratch or chip has appeared on any of our belongings.

Thankfully, the rain finally stopped leading up to our move-in day. Up to this point, nearly five inches of rain had fallen since my arrival here the first of December. I was beginning to wonder what type of rain-forest climate we were relocating to.

Since then, however, we’ve been enjoying the unseasonably warm days. I understand that in Mississippi, as in most places in the South, if you don’t like the weather you should stick around – It will soon change.

Patti and I are looking forward to getting the last of our things situated and beginning to enjoy our new neighborhood. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few of our close neighbors, but we’re anxious to begin a regimen of walking and bicycling the quiet streets under the canopy of pine.

We enjoyed a delightful evening of fellowship and laughs at the King’s Daughters Medical Center Foundation dinner Thursday night. Renowned local artist Wyatt Waters and his good friend and co-conspirator, Chef Robert St.John demonstrated their talents at the first PaLate fundraiser at the Lincoln Civic Center.

Wyatt put his watercolor brush to paper and in a matter of mere hours produced a beautiful still-life masterpiece appropriately featuring for the occasion: a panther owned by Karen Sullivan, a doctor’s bag belonging to long-time Brookhaven physician Dr. Frank Massengill and cookies from Janie’s Bakery, along with a stethoscope and a coffee mug. The piece was auctioned off at the end of the event for the tidy sum of $2,100 – all of which goes to the foundation.

The auction price was a bargain according St.John, who jokingly said that Waters was no spring chicken. Explaining that everybody knows an artist’s work is far more valuable once that artist has passed on. Waters seemed to take his good friend’s investment advice to would-be bidders in stride.

Concurrently, St.John, the celebrated South Mississippi Chef and owner of The Purple Parrot Café, Tabella and Crescent City Grill, among other interests, demonstrated his culinary prowess. St.John cooked up a homemade salad dressing, pasta and bread pudding before the crowd of approximately 240 guests.

Lively conversation ensued between Waters and St. John, revolving mostly around their recent travels together though the Italian countryside, painting and testing a variety of new dishes for an upcoming cookbook collaboration.

From my attendee’s point of view, the event seemed to have gone off without a hitch. The food was fantastic, the mood festive and the demonstrations entertaining, and all while supporting a good cause.

As is often repeated, Brookhaven is uniquely blessed with exceptional medical facilities and services for a community this size. Let’s not ever take for granted what good health care means to our individual and collective well-being.

My thanks and congratulation for a job well done go out to the foundation board, and all those who have selfishly served before them, in building this valuable resource.

Rick Reynolds is president/publisher of The Daily Leader. Contact him at rreynolds@dailyleader.com.