I dare say that genes play a great part. I am sure that early life comes into the picture. When we see an 86 year-old still working in the public, we ask those questions. When we search for answers, we find many interesting stories.
I know one such woman by Granny. I met her while she was (and is) working behind the counter at Guthrie’s Home Cooking Restaurant off Walston Bridge Road. She has become a familiar face as she dishes up food to the long lines that form. I asked questions and got tidbits of answers. I corresponded with one of her daughters and asked her help in piecing her story together. It just makes more questions form to cover a long span of life. One of the very few things she has failed to conquer in her lifetime is driving a car. Give her mules, plows, and she can stand with the best of them.
By Tammy Basting
My Mother was born Ruth Bell on Nov. 21, 1923. She is the daughter of Andy and Grace (Noles) Bell. Ruth was one of seven children. Two died at an early age but the rest went on to lead great lives as adults.
The others were Marvin, George, Ruth, Nettie, Mattie and Gaynell. Some have passed on since this writing but I will say all were wonderful.
This is about my Mother but I must mention the others. Marvin and George were good men. George looked so much like my Grandpa that it was scary. Marvin was just a good man. I remember when he and my aunt took me shopping when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I got to get all the great stuff at the Dime Store (Woolworth’s). Nettie was fabulous. My other aunts are great as well.
My Mom . . . she grew up in Nauvoo. My Mom started out plowing fields and she has never stopped. She gets up every day at 86 years old and goes to work. How many of you plowed a field? I sure didn’t. She can also tell you how and when to plant your garden each year.
I moved out of state to Wisconsin in 1995. My Mom could not rest until she saw I was doing OK. Mom took her first plane ride ever at a ripe old age. I worried the whole time but when she arrived she said it was just like sitting in a chair in her living room. Mom was fine and I was the nervous wreck.
One of my favorite memories was going to my niece’s wedding in Opelika. I talked her into going to the Little White House in Warm Springs, Ga., where F.D.R. died. After much badgering she went on Sunday after the wedding. We arrived and were scheduled to watch a film. My Mom wanted no part of that; however, after we watched I was amazed. She was was enthralled by that film. When it was over she was like a Superstar. She had an audience. Mom explained to everyone there that she knew what those days were like. The people there were great and even let her sit in FDR’s car. We were doing OK until one of the people asked her if she needed a scooter chair. That did not work at all. Mom informed them she could walk perfectly fine! We proceeded to go through the house and she pointed out all the things I have missed in my life.
A few weeks ago my brother and I went with her to get tomatoes and peppers. We brought back so much stuff that I barely had room to sit in the backseat. I was tired, my brother was tired. Guess what? Those tomatoes and peppers were all done the next day.
This past Saturday she worked much harder physically than I ever have worked.
My Mom gets up at 4:30 a.m. every morning. I drive her to her job. She is the most wonderful woman ever.