My first memory of the Cecil Phillips sawmill out at Oak Grove was a fenced plot of land a few hundred feet from the mill, just off the gravel road.

That’s where you could pick up firewood for your stove in the winter time.

I remember the smell of the sawdust and the whine of the big saw under the metal covered barn. I never got close enough to be in any danger. The sound of that saw was terrifying enough for young ears.

What I don’t remember is the sign out front having a slogan. I noticed one though this past weekend on the side of a Phillips truck.

“You should see what we saw.”


What a catchy slogan for a business that’s in the business of forest products.

That reminds me of a whole list of other slogans and mottos that are associated with the hometown.

There’s the old slogan of the De Kalb Volunteer Fire Dept:

“You light em. We fight em.”

I was told the old saying was abandoned out of fears of encouraging arson. I can understand that, but I was sure sorry to see it go.

Another one that’s gone is the old De Kalb Body Shop and it’s slogan:

“You bend em. We mend em.”

When John Garner retired from the body shop (and as Assistant Fire Chief), all that remained is the building on East Street and the sign with a goodbye note painted out front.

Another great motto was from the Fannin Dairy out near Big Woods and Hodgson:

“All we have, we owe to udders.”

Then there was one that I remember from traveling through Mississippi. I don’t remember where I saw the funeral home sign, but it easily could have fit in with these from west Bowie County:

It’s better to know us and not need us than to need us and not know us.”