Christmas in the Pass
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A CASTLE TO BUILD A DREAM ON…

by Dan Ellis

James M. Sherman in 1921, at age 67, solely with the assistance of a young Negro to help him pour concrete, the horticulturist, agriculturist, and author of several books, designed the solid cement steel-reinforced castle located at 1012 West Beach, Highway 90. At the time of his death, he had completed most of the structure with walls that are nine inches thick. It was one of three structures along the West Pass Christian beach front that survived Hurricane Katrina’s wrath in 2005.

His books included “Road I Came” and “Fragrant Beauty of Flowers and Trees.” He also wrote a column for Pass Christian’s Tarpon Beacon in the 1930s. “Flowers are God’s greatest gift to the world, and they mean everything that is sweet and lovely. If you have any flowers, although I am sure you want to help, please send them to Biloxi for the Reunion of the Confederate Soldiers in June; and continue to send more throughout that time so that our welcome will not show any fading.”

“Where ever you are on the Mississippi please send fragrant flowers in honor of our men in the faded grey suits.” Kissing under the mistletoe has for ages been one of the greatest games for children to play at Christmas, and this has endeared this plant to every one who played that game when they were young. It is a very pretty decoration at that time with its many clusters of ivory white berries.

A bunch of mistletoe with its flashing white berrihanging over the portal in a bouquet hall possesses a seemingly magnetic influence to cause any of the pretty girls to hesitate when they unconsciously walk under it – or long enough for some young man to rush up and kiss her, while wishing that it would be the right one.

Notwithstanding this little tree top shrub’s association on so many occasions of budding love, history has no place in the language of flowers for it. The mistletoe is a parasite which grows on the branches of trees, the seeds sown there in some way or another by nature. It is cruel in its endeavor to live – for it sinks its roots deep into the very heart wood of the tree to draw its nourishment.

Every flower has a wonderful lesson to teach, and no doubt the mistletoe can tell us, something well worth knowing, but until we know what that is, and that it is worth the sacrificing of so many trees, that it may live, our sympathy ought to go to the tree, at whose table this pretty little parasite sits as and uninvited guest. Gold fish in a pool, as a part of some gardens, are so very interesting that they should be given a home where ever any plants or flowers are growing for their mossy and fern bordered habitations give material for much thought, and further beautification.

Oh! See the little ones! – from a visitor attracted by the fountain pool, and sure enough there were four baby gold fish, one marked with a black spot on the back, and three all red. On closer examination four more young fish were seen in the pool with black markings. Then another fish showed up, it was so black, or as someone remarked “blue” it had been overlooked.

Three years ago, this pool was made and seven golf fish put in it. Two of these were black, two white, and three red. All of the seven except one white and one red were lost, strayed or stolen.

The artesian wells water supply coming from the ground is very soft and of a not too cool temperature throughout the year. It is ideal water to keep gold fish in, out in the open without any fear of them being killed by the cold weather in winter.

The Pass Christian Historical Society will host its next luncheon Monday morning at the 201 E Scenic Drive location to discuss the Historical and current status of the LaPointe-Krebs House in Pascagoula. This historic place becamse known as “The Old Spanish Fort.” The name of this structure was derived from the Spanish control of the Mississippi territories in the 1700s. In Jackson County and Pascagoula, this property has become a historical museum. Contact the Pass Christian Historical Society at (228)452-7254 or info@passhistoricalsociety.org for more information.

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