Under the impression that a bathroom break at the Martin and Sue King Heritage Railroad Museum was needed, Jane Dunlap walked through the doors and was unexpectedly greeted by dozens of family members and friends to celebrate a surprise birthday party.
Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell said, “Paul (Janoush) has been around Ms. Dunlap for 30 something years and I’ve been around her regularly for 17 years and I can assure you that (former mayors) Martin King and David Work would say anytime Jane Dunlap says to do something, you say yes.
“We all know that,” he said to laughter in the crowd.
Lisa Miller, director of the museum, wrote the following proclamation:
“Whereas, in April 1927, at Scott, Mississippi, the levee broke, flooding a vast territory and unleashing a powerful force never before seen, and for a while,the year 1927 became known as the year of the Great flood, and
Whereas in December 1927, in North Carolina, Mississippi, the arrival of one baby girl, Dorothy Jane Farrish, also unleashed a powerful force never before seen, and
Whereas, Jane would grow up in those hill but ultimately would become enlightened, move to the Delta to attend Delta State University, embark on a teaching career, and marry Charles Ellis Dunlap, but all of that is not what we are proclaiming about here today, and
Whereas, Jane Dunlap, unhindered by need of such things as permission, or anyone else’s opinion, convinced a City of Cleveland employee to hook one end of a chain to a truck and the other end to the ugly half-dead hedged that grew alongside the railroad tracks, and one by one removed each of the offending hedges, and
Whereas ugly half-dead hedge removal was only the beginning of her beautification of Cleveland, as Jane Dunlap had other partners in crime, namely Mrs. Jo Beth Janoush and Mrs. Clemmie Collins, and together they conspired--strong-arming downtown merchants to pay for crepe myrtles to plant along the tracks where they still grow today, thought the tracks are gone, but no one would dare touch one of those crepe myrtles, and
Whereas Jane Dunlap has has so many good friends through the years, along with some well-known co-conspirators, and she one actually belonged to ahang referred to as the “Six Pack,”
A name given to them by a Baptist preacher, no less, supposedly a reference to the number of women in the hang and not a beverage of any sort, and
Whereas Jane Dunlap’s teaching career has never been confined to the classroom, schooling individuals on how to build a rose bed and schooling more than one young police officer on how she will so park where she chooses, regardless the law or actual parking places, and
Whereas Jane Dunlap’s remarkable driving skills warrant further mention here, as she can jump a curb in her silver Cadillac or her old Chevrolet truck equally well, allowing her to drive on what the rest of us know as the walking trail, and
Whereas Jane Dunlap has in fact stated that she no longer care that passerby honk at her “behind” as she works in the rose garden downtown, and it has been suggested that should a statue of Jane Dunlap ever be rendered, it would have to depict her in the bending over position so that people could recognize her and
Whereas through the years, Jane Dunlap has done more to beautify this town than any ten people put together, and we are forever grateful to her for the many years of commitment and love she has given us.
On behalf of the Board of Alderman and the entire City of Cleveland, Mississippi, we wish her the happiest 90th birthday today, and many happy birthdays forthcoming.”
Dunlap was celebrated with food, drink, a large cake, gifts, and many friends