Mildred had a knack with words and people
Joy Graham
If you followed the series on Mildred Luckey Harris Baker’s Musings for the past weeks, according to your age, you either reminisced, or learned something about life over the past 94 years.

For me, it was a little of both, memories and how telephones worked in the country.

Mildred was a very special person to me. She was my mother’s (Mary Ethel Simmons) best friend. They carried that friendship through their entire lifetime, calling each other joking about who was the oldest, as mother was eight months older than Mildred.

I can hear my mother today, calling her and saying; “Happy Birthday Mildred, now you are as old as I am.”

Mildred had a great talent for writing and “Mildred’s Musings” exemplifies that statement. She had a knack for using free verse to communicate with others.

• “I like old people, young people, fat people, skinny people, black people, white people, rich people, poor people and all other kinds of people. Wouldn’t it be dreadful, dull and tiresome to be restricted to, or restrict one’s self to only one kind?”

• “I guess a pencil and paper is about my favorite thing in the whole wide world.”

• “I’m glad I’m Mildred. And being Mildred in Rockdale is about as good as things get.”

• “ I try to live my life in such a way that when I get to the Pearly Gates, the folks up there will say ‘Oh good, here comes Mildred,’ instead of ‘Oh God, are we going to have to tolerate her up here, too’?”

Mildred’s children, Kenny, Gordon and Leanna, and extended family have a legacy to follow. She was a remarkable person to say the least. I am proud to have known her.

Thank you to her family for allowing me to share Mildred’s writings with others.

Since my mother’s family settled in Pleasant Hill I, too have memories of that community.

My parents needed to attend a funeral at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. This was before Alcoa located here and it had come a big rain. My mother was insistent on attending the funeral, so my father agreed to drive her to the cemetery.

He was employed with H.H. Coffield and drove a large work truck in his job. He got permission to use the truck to attend the funeral.

They took what is now FM 2116. As they drove along the dirt road the mud became deeper and the truck stuck up to the running boards.

I don’t remember how they got back home, but I do remember that the sun was shining and the roads were dry when we traveled out to Pleasant Hill thereafter.

Technology moves so fast today that it is hard to imagine the way people lived in the past.

But, with the technology we do have and enjoy in the present, it makes it easy to record, document or just leave your family with records, writings, pictures and history of your lifetime.

After all, how can you know who you are, if you don’t know something about your family. Leave your family a legacy.

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2010-08-19 digital edition

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