If you hear bombs bursting in air surrounding your Fourth of July celebrations, it’s really the steady heartbeat of Frank Portera (above) who daily demonstrates all the good things that happen in America every day.
Frank threw a party tonight for about 150 of his best friends. All are folks from the Golden Triangle who answered his call to dig deep into their pockets and contribute valuable time to establish a humane society in my hometown of West Point.
The county couldn’t afford to do it, so Frank decided it would be up to the citizens to step up.
The response was overwhelming. Tonight he invited all those who helped, to a barbeque dinner on his picturesque farm south of The Point – in the area you Pointers will remember as Tibbee. It’s a beautiful place – 100 acres and a farm house with a lake, teeming with brim and bass.
Even on a hot July day in Mississippi, an unheard of north breeze blew up just in time to make the perfect summer day. Frank can be very persuasive, and he apparently made arrangements with Powers Above to make the celebration complete.
Frank is arguably one of the great humanitarians to come out of West Point High School. While we were getting our hair tinted and trying to keep up with the Joneses, Frank had a more lofty agenda. He wanted to help the helpless.
His farm has generally been kept a beautiful secret. It serves as a sort of rehabilitation center for abandoned animals, especially horses who were left to die by their owners. Today, he has six beautiful horses merrily munching on the foliage across the lake. All came injured, starving and sick. Today, they are healthy and obviously happy, tails switching in the breeze to the tune of America the Beautiful.
Frank even had one horse adopted recently by a family which dotes on the animal. (Even got him a mink collar.)
I could go on and on with the heart rending stories of neglected and abandoned animals the new Humane Society has managed to get adopted. It is a “no kill” facility and should set an example for other communities. Frank and his “committee of friends” managed to raise the funds to purchase a building, once a part of the former Bryan Foods, to house the small animal operation.
Our friends Jane Scott, Jimmy and Lisa Henley, Mr. and Ms. Baby Doll Pearce (sorry Baby Doll, I don’t think I’ve ever heard your real name) , and so many others have answered the call and worked tirelessly to keep things running smoothly.
Of course, no story of mine would be complete without mention of the food, which was outstanding. Marie Portera, Frank’s sister and my adopted Susta, had one of the hits of the pot luck table. Her kiwi and strawberry trifle disappeared almost before I could get a taste! It was as beautiful as it was tasty.
I KNEW Marie could cook! I bet she’s been complaining that she couldn’t cook to keep from HAVING to cook. Well, the cat’s out of the bag now, sweetie. Your trifle will be a regular at any future party at my house– just hold the bananas okay?
(Think about it. Bananas are monkey food. Do we really want to eat Ape Chow?)
I was very impressed with the huge American Flag cake made by a lady from West Point. Can someone tell me who made this? It was fabulous.
Frank and Ann, I missed the fireworks. But I think I can hear them now from my front porch in Starkville. Thank you for going way out of your way to make this world a gentler place for all of God’s creatures to thrive.