By Terry Harpole
MABEN — The quiet town of Maben had a surprise visit June 21 by a Starkville High School teacher who is involved in writing a book.
The Maben visitor was Pittsburgh native Norman Mellin, who teaches string instrument classes at Starkville High School and whose students included members of the group Nash Street.
Mellin visited Pat Harpole’s home, where aviator Charles Lindbergh slept in 1923 after he landed off Highway 15 south of Maben.
He also visited the spot where Lindbergh landed, which is near the old Moody boat trailer business and where there is now a pool, and the nearby sign on Highway 15 South commemorating his landing..
What really caused this interest in Lindbergh in the mind of Mellin? A few years ago, he began a study of old-time fiddlers in Mississippi. Mellin made trips to Cumberland in Webster County and visited with Charles T. Smith of Cumberland, now 90 and living in Tupelo.
In visiting in Smith’s home in Cumberland, and even making DVDs of his fiddling, Mellin went around the area, finding other people who were fiddlers and musicians in the area in the 1920s.
Mellin found connections of some of the musicians in this area with people who were in the area in 1923 when Lindbergh landed south of Maben.
Mellin spent his evening at Maben visiting various places and meeting many people, and is working on a book that we hope will some day be available, and will really be interesting reading.