Letter to the Editor from Peggy Haines
Jan 27, 2014 | 902 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A "Blast From The Past:"

Cleveland, Miss. is an interesting, unusual, thriving small town in the Delta. Beautiful old houses in family oriented neighborhoods with sidewalks and low traffic flow. Art and sports are readily available with a positive influence emanating from Delta State University. Nestled in the center of this is a "Blast From The Past," Byrd's, a unique small family-owned full service station.

It doesn't offer self-service fast track trade but is a full service station. Widowed two years ago, I am fortunate to live in an MIL apartment attached to my younger daughter and husband's house. Throw in two precious grandsons, Spencer 5 and Finn 9, for me to enjoy and watch grow. The nine year old, Finn, is becoming an accomplished swimmer, with the advantage of competition as a member of Delta Aquatic Club at the impressive Aquatic Center at DSU.

Monday, December 30, 2013, I went to Walmart, and when, after two hours, I got in my car to leave, it would not start. As we say in Missouri, "it was deader than a doornail."

I have a motto now: "think to turn off lights before you exit your vehicle!!"

I panicked!! What to do, who to call, how to call… My cell phone was at home, dead itself, as I had left my charger adaptor in Tennessee on Sunday after a family visit. It was around 1 p.m. and I had a doctor appointment scheduled for 2:30 p.m. I went back into Walmart and Customer Service and frantically motioned to a busy young clerk with a line of waiting customers. She took time to come to my assistance. I asked her if she could call an outside line on her phone, after describing my situation. Fortunately, "the lightbulb come on" to call All State, my insurance company. I explained my helpless situation to the All State employee and without hesitation, she gave me the phone number for Byrd's full service station. I called the station, and after asking where I was parked at Walmart, they told me the service man would be driving a dark green truck. He arrived about 10-15 minutes later and I flagged him down. He jump started my car and charged an unbelievably nominal fee. He told me to drive to Byrd's station to get a receipt for insurance reimbursement. After that, I had time to take my groceries home and arrived at 2:30 scheduled time for my doctor appointment. What a blessed relief! I was completely amazed and impressed at the fast service and low cost!

I received not only "Southern Hospitality" but also a huge dose of "Southern Comfort" from the Walmart and All State employees and especially Byrd's fast service, spelled with a capital "S," station.

I am so thankful, and appreciative, for these people who came to my rescue. I just have to give them recognition for their kindness and much needed help.

Needless to say, I am now carrying a list of emergency phone numbers in my wallet, with Byrd's Full Service Station heading the list. And Byrd's just acquired a steady new customer for more than a place to buy a fabulous watermelon without getting out of your car.

Cleveland, Mississippi, in the heart of the Delta, and residents, certainly deserve their distinction of being ranked number 2 of 100 small communities in the nation.

A grateful thank you and God bless you all.

Peggy Haines