A beautiful story in Clay County

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?)

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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.

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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.

11 thoughts on “A beautiful story in Clay County

  1. I truly enjoyed reading your article about my terrific brother. He has always been a very caring, charitable man who has a special place in his heart for the helpless. He is my hero today as much as he was during his baseball career (little league through professional league w/Cincinnati Reds). I have so many fond memories of cheering for him at games with my family members.
    As for the trifle, I actually surprised myself and enjoyed making it. Maybeee, I’ll start cooking more and exercising less!!!

  2. What a great tribute to Frank. This would be a berrer world if
    we had more Franks!

  3. Frank did an outstanding job with the BBQ and with the animal shelter. It would have never happened without his persistence. Debra Myers, who is running for Clay County Tax Assessor, made the fabulous flag cake! It was amazing! I am sorry I didn’t get any of that trifle before it was gone…maybe next year…

  4. These arer the things you miss when you live in Little Rock. Looks like fun.

  5. What a terrific story! I think this was Uncle Pete’s lake, and if so, my boys enjoyed fishing there when they would visit West Point! John Paul, my youngest, still loves to fish….and this was his first fishing spot!

  6. Thanks to you and Marie. I enjoyed the article you wrote and all the pictures that Marie posted on F.B. I always feel a little more connected to W.P. with all the updates you give those of us who live away from home.
    Especially glad to know that Frank is such a great friend to all the little helpless creatures. It’s a thankless job and a very expensive one, also, but very rewarding.

  7. What a wonderful story Emily!! It was a wonderful day and well worth the trip home to enjoy it. I am certainly NOT use to the Mississippi heat anymore. I do not think there is any place in the US as hot as MS in the summertime. LOL. Even the wasp are very angry in the heat, I know this well as I had the misfortune to get on ones bad side and boy did he lite into me!!! Marie said it all so well and I second what she said!

  8. What a great story. Beautiful place. Makes me homesick for the days I lived in West Point. Wish I could have been part of it. Saving and rescuing animals of any kind is fantastic and anyone who has a hand in doing this is a beautiful person inside and out. I am going to forward this to my brother Ben because i know he will be interested in this. Thanks Emily for this page. It is fun and entertaining and informative. Hope those who read this remember me or some of my family. I know Emily does.

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