Column: It’s a small world after all

Published 5:37 pm Friday, June 4, 2021

It’s a small world after all, I muttered to myself. Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley answered the question I meant to ask three weeks ago.

“Did you know a Stan Horton at Delta State,” I wrote. Three weeks ago, I was curious about a possible connection between a coach I cover and a Twitter follower who supported me as a student journalist.

Beesley confirmed Horton was a teammate of his in the early 90’s. He asked me if I knew what happened, and if I knew Horton.

Email newsletter signup

Horton died in a drowning in north Mississippi on Memorial Day. He was a volunteer baseball coach, cattleman, Mississippi State fan and father.

As I passed through Tensas Parish, my phone lit up, tweet after tweet rolled in from people sharing their experiences with Stan Horton. It was similar to how people in the Miss-Lou shared their memories of Clarence Bowlin and Tim Herndon.

I thought about the meaning of family. Growing up I thought family had to be related to you. In college I came to realize there are other types of family. Teams can be family, fan bases can be family and workplaces can be family.

Stan was family. He checked up on me when my uncle passed. He talked with me about life, work and sports. I never got to meet him in person, yet Twitter brought us together through a shared passion.

I’ll always remember our Ford vs Chevy banter. We didn’t always agree on things but he always had a kind word to say and I admired him for that. We didn’t have to agree on everything to get along, and perhaps this world could use the kindness of Stan in all of us.

Twitter connected me to many others who mourn his death. Maybe this world isn’t as big as we think. Perhaps we are more connected than we realized. I think death humbles us and unites us in profound ways we may never explain.

I am glad I’m not the only one in Natchez who knew Stan Horton. I know at least Beesley knew him, and who knows maybe someone else does too.

I’m going to miss you friend, your kindness and your love for your family was unmatched.