Climbers host local author, MHP Mounted Division

Published 12:30 pm Saturday, March 23, 2024

The Climbers Club met for its February meeting in the lovely home of Mrs. Dudley Lampton, and she was assisted by her fellow hostesses, Mrs. Cecil Estess, Mrs. James McKennon, and Mrs. Marty Cooley.

Refreshments reflected a Valentine’s theme with heart-shaped egg salad and date nut sandwiches, chocolate-covered strawberries, pink and white macaroons, and spiced tea.

President Mrs. Mike Said enlightened the club with the flower of the month — violet.

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The guest speaker was Sha Walker, businessman and author from Brookhaven. Mr. Walker is the founder and CEO of JumpStart Test Prep. He explained his writing process of his recently-published book, French Horns. His longtime mentor and fellow co-founder of the test preparation company, Dot McClendon, helped edit the book.

The multi-talented Walker enlightened the group with his many travel stories.

MHP in March

The Climbers Club met for its March meeting in The Ole Towne Church in Brookhaven. Hostess and venue owner, Ms. Mimi Roberts Howard, was assisted by Mrs. David Calcote, Ms. Barbara Davis, Mrs. Pete Corkern, and Mrs. David Strong.

Seasonal refreshments included a chocolate Easter basket and carrot-shaped chicken salad croissant.

The featured program was the Mississippi Highway Patrol Mounted Division, headed by Col. Ellis “Lee” Morrison. Col. Morrison is from Lincoln County, and his farm serves as the home for horses.

Public Affairs Senior Staff Sgt. Bryan McGee presented the program, outlining their mission: first, search and rescue; second, outreach in communities, particularly working with special needs children.

The Mounted Division has been in existence for three years, with nine patrolmen and eight trained horses, plus one mascot pony. There are two additional horses at the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Sgt. McGee explained the two-year process of bonding with the horses, which includes desensitizing training of noises from dogs, gunfire, helicopters, etc. Although search dogs are usually first on the scene, horseback rescue is extremely effective because of the height and stealth of the horses.

The Climbers had a firsthand view of the Mounted Division, as Trooper First Class Stargell Catchings and Col. Morrison rode into the backyard of Ole Towne Church on horseback, with Sgt. McGee walking their mascot pony.