Leachville Grand Marshals looking forward to parade

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Leachville Christmas Parade Grand Marshals Nell Dean Blackwell and Bernice Jackson.

Bernice Jackson, 93, and Nell Dean Blackwell, 86, will serve as the grand marshals in the Leachville Christmas parade.

Parade co-chair Moba Lee Miller made the announcement of the selection of the two outstanding Leachville residents to lead the parade.

"They have been a part of Leachville for many, many years and we are proud to honor them as our grand marshals," Miller said.

The two women have known each other for a long time.

The parade will be held Monday, Dec. 28. Line up will start at 5 p.m. at the school. The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. Jackson and Blackwell invite everyone to come out and join them to help kick off the Christmas season. Following the parade there will be cookies and soft drinks, along with free pictures with Santa, at the Melody Theater.

Mrs. Jackson is a retired hair dresser. She had a business in Leachville from 1962 until she retired in the 1990s. She enjoyed working in her shop.

"I made a lot of great friends," she said.

When asked what has changed most from her years of working, she was quick to say the prices. When she started she cut hair for $2.50 and when she retired, the highest permanent was $20.

She is the mother of three grown children, two daughters and a son. She has six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Jackson taught Sunday School at First Baptist Church for 51 years. She still fills in when needed. She enjoys cooking Sunday dinners for her family.

"I feel very blessed," Mrs. Jackson said.

She has seen a lot of parades in her 90+ years but this will be her first to actually be in a parade.

Mrs. Blackwell is a retired school teacher. She said she got a late start graduating from college when she was 40 years old. She enjoyed her years of teaching the second grade.

"When I run into my former students they still remember me," she said.

She said there has been a lot of changes for teachers.

"I feel honored to be asked to serve as grand marshal," she said.

She has two grown daughters, one in Jonesboro and one in Leachville; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Blackwell said her favorite hobby is reading. Through the years she had crocheted and cross-stitched, but reading is how she enjoys spending her spare time.

Both women agree they are looking forward to the Christmas parade.

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