Bishop celebrates her 90th birthday

By Dottie Dewberry

For the WPT


”I believe in loyalty. When a woman reaches an age she likes, she should stick with it.” ~Eva Gabor

Friends, family and other interested parties converged on the fellowship hall of Double Springs Baptist Church on Aug. 3 to help Frances Louise Chambers Bishop celebrate her 90th birthday.

Mrs. Bishop, who was born Aug. 2, 1923, married a local gentleman by the name of Wyman Bishop from Maben. According to Wyman, they met at the craft show at Batesville back in 1980 or thereabouts. On June 28, 1981, they were married and are still happily married today.

Now Wyman is still 89 but has been quoted as saying he prefers older women because he can catch them quicker. He must be pretty spry on his feet as Fran goes strong all the time. There is no hitch in her “git along.” To know these two “old folks” is to love them.

Fran, as she is called, was born and raised in Memphis, Tenn., to the parents of Frank and Louise Jones Chambers. Fran’s mother is from Missouri and according to Fran, her mother was related to former President Harry Truman.

Before she married Wyman, she was married and has three grown children: James Ashton, John Steven Garavelli and Gay Garavelli Bowen. Wyman has one surviving child: Glenda Bishop Palmer, who with her husband, Bill Palmer, has two sons: Brad and John. He has one son, deceased, named Kenny Bishop.

The afternoon hostesses were Glenda Palmer, Tanya Thweatt, Beth Palmer, Gay Bowen, Apryl Butler and Robyn McCarty: they are all related someway or the other. Fran treated all of the afternoon hostesses with a potted begonia.

The hall was decorated with memorabilia of Fran’s life: flowers, favorite books, the Holy Bible, watering cans, pictures of her and her family down through the ages, and various and sundry mementoes reflecting things that Fran loved. One favorite little statue was of an old lady who “loves to play in the dirt.”

She also likes Ziggy characters, which decorated the luscious caramel cake on the buffet table, of which, the afternoon guests were invited to partake: caramel cake, dip and chips, fresh figs from Glenda’s tree, cheese squares, watermelon and a tiered serving rack filled with strawberries, pineapple squares and blueberries, and some delicious tomato biscuits. Recipe will follow the article.

As with any party there were hugs, kisses, flashing cameras, gifts, cards, and more pictures and more hugs and kisses. Friends from miles around came to visit and to renew friendships as the afternoon gala progressed. It would be safe to say that a fun time was had by all. As for me, it was great seeing my Baptist friends in such good company.

Recipe for tomato biscuits: Cook one package of Mrs. Bee’s biscuits on 400 degrees for 17 to 20 minutes. Slice small tomatoes into thin slices. Mix mayonnaise with finely chopped basil, fresh garlic clove minced and add some lemon juice. Mix well. Spread on the biscuits and then add the tomato slices. YUM! YUM!

Wyman and Fran Bishop at her 90th birthday celebration

Wyman and Fran Bishop at her 90th birthday celebration