Perhaps these trees do talk back! In January 1971, Astronaut Stuart Roosa selected seeds from five different trees to take to the moon on Apollo 14. Upon their return to earth, some of the seeds were sent to Bill at the Harrison Experimental Forestry Station in Gulfport, Mississippi. The seeds were planted, celebrated and continue to share their story; “moon trees” and their direct descendents (baby moons) are planted across the world. Some trees were planted in 1976 to celebrate our Bicentennial. Another moon pine was planted in honor of Bill Mauldin in McHenry, Mississippi at the George Austin McHenry House and yet another in honor of Astronaut Fred Haise on the Perkinston Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College — his alma mater.
The “moon trees” continue to flourish, a living monument to our first visits to the Moon and a fitting memorial to Stuart Roosa, Bill Mauldin, and our space program.
“This story was told in its entirety as part of the Telling Trees story gathering project in Stone County, MS with assistance from the MS Humanities Council and the National Humanities Council.” Kathryn Lewis, project director.
Jed O’neal came from a long line of Stone Countians. His grandfather Van O’neal donated 40 acres of land to help establish the Harrison County Agricultural High School (HCAHS). Over the years. HCAHS became first Perkinston Junior College and later the Perk Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
Jed’s parents, Ford and Jewel O’neal were well known Stone County folks. Mom Jewel for years taught in the Wiggins and Stone County Schools.
Perhaps one of the best examples of the initiative within Stone County folks is the story of how Jed got the new steeple for the Little Creek Baptist Church in the Ramsey Springs Community from the manufacturer to the church. Smile as you read the story here.
From the Stone County Enterprise …. Oct. 13, 1927
PERKINSTON JUNIOR COLLEGE NOTES
“Bull Dogs Defeat Goodman“
The first championship game was played Saturday on the court at Perkinston, Miss. between the Perk Bull Dogs and Goodman Junior College. The Goodman boys put up a hard fight, but were defeated in the end, the score being thirty-one to nothing, in favor of Perk.
The weather was so unpleasant that everyone was afraid the game would be postponed, but upon questioning Coach, the following answer was given as the boys yelled over the campus… “we are going to play if we have to swim”. The rush began and the students could not be checked… Then standing in a torrent of rain, every student put his heart and soul in the game, and showed a clean one, and everybody enjoyed it.
Among the coaches of the 1984-85 championship Tomcat football team was Coach Ode Burrell. Coach Burrell was an athlete from an early age excelling in football and track. He received a degree from Mississippi State University and played with the Houston Oilers from 1964-1969 as a tailback. He received many awards including Senior Bowl MVP, Liberty Bowl MVP, Blue-Gray Game MVP, MVP of Houston Oilers 1967,Pro Bowl 1967, College All American to name a few. He coached at various schools Bogalusa High School, Holmes Community College, Vancleave High School, Stone County High School, St. Stanislaus High School and Gulf Coast Community College where he retired. He was a member of the MSU “M” Club, Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, Mississippi Coaches Association, Holmes Community College Hall of Fame, Mississippi State University Sports Hall of Fame, Mississippi Junior College Sports Hall of Fame, NFL Alumni Association