No way, this lady could skip tonight's 'Toast'

When the 1959 Rebels are celebrated tonight at the Renasant Bank Toast to the 1959 Rebels 53-year-old Rose Hopper of Madison will be one of those toasting.

“How could I not?” Rose Hopper said this morning when she purchased her tickets.

When you read her story you will understand.

Rose Hopper was born in Meridian on Halloween Night, Oct. 31, 1959. That was the night of the one of the most famous games in the history of college football. That was the night Billy Cannon ruined an otherwise perfect season with his 89-yard punt return.

Rose Hopper’s mother, also named Rose Hopper, had been in labor all day. She was an avid Ole Miss football fan. So was her husband, Bruce. So was the late Dr. John Lindley, who delivered little Rose.

“Nobody was happy with me,” said the elder Rose Hopper. “They wanted me to go ahead and have that baby so they could listen to the game. I wanted to listen to the game, too, but I had a little something more important going on.”

The younger Rose Hopper would be the first child and first grandchild. The family was excited, but they were also excited about the game that was going to feature two of the top three teams in the national polls.

Kickoff that night was set for 8 p.m. About 7 p.m., the younger Rose Hopper decided to make her entrance into the world.

What the elder Rose Hopper remembers is this: “I was in the recovery room and my husband and my daddy and the doctor were over in the corner of the room listening to the game. Meanwhile, my mother was over taking care of me. The men were lots more interested in the game than they were me. I wanted to say, ‘What about me?’ And then the game ended and they were so mad. I wanted to say, ‘Hey guys, cheer up, I just had a beautiful baby girl.'”

The younger Rose Hopper naturally became an avid Ole Miss fan as well.

As she said, again, “How could I not?”

“I shared my birthday just about every year growing up with both Halloween and Ole Miss-LSU,” the younger Rose said. “My birthday parties always had to contend with Ole Miss-LSU. It was just part of my life.

“When I heard about this event tonight, I knew I had to come. I mean, how could I not?”

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