Goodbye, Sue

Sue and that camera. Photo by Taylor Kallio.

By Bob Ike

I’m a VHS ’70 grad who left for bigger things but never got Vicksburg out of my heart. I didn’t get to know Sue Moore till this February, directed her way by my friend, Eric Durham, when I was looking for old Vicksburg Commercials. Sue would know, Eric said, being the daughter of Commercial publisher Meredith Clark. Sue delivered quickly: They were right on the shelves of the Vicksburg District Library, despite what their on-line catalogue said.

Sue was interested in the source of my curiosity. I told her of my interest in an October 1968 accident that had killed two of my classmates and three other Vicksburg boys. Sue helped me in my researches, directing me to persons I should consult. The effort piqued her interest to the point she asked to interview me and my wife about it and other things, culminating in a Sue Moore-written and -photographed article for the April South County News.

The SCN reminded me of the small-town charm of the Commercial which had me getting it sent to my dorm at Michigan, much to the amusement of my more sophisticated classmates. I get the SCN delivered now, something for which Sue asked only a donation. I’ve distributed pictures and stories to colleagues and friends. When I found the on-line May SCN did not include the cover photo of Tom Hardy and his boxer, Freddie, intently reading the SCN, I emailed Sue and she had the file to me in a day.

Sue and my dear high school English teacher, Joyce Pharriss, now of Menlo Park, California, were in the same “social circuit” in the ‘60s. Knowing what a spitfire Mrs. Pharriss was (and is), I’ve got to believe those were sure some parties. When I heard from Eric’s sister, Becky, on May 28 that Sue had died suddenly and unexpectedly the day before, I felt as if I’d lost a dear and close friend, someone I hadn’t even known three months ago. I quickly got the news to Mrs. Pharriss, who was equally devastated, despite having not had contact with her for over 50 years.

As I read the musings of others who have known her, I realize my appreciation of the chance to know her as someone truly special is hardly unique. Our little burg and its environs were blessed to have had her all these years. Now we grieve for and miss her, but we have the memories, themselves truly blessed.

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