Enjoying visiting a friend on 98th birthday

Published 3:23 pm Sunday, April 23, 2023

By Donna Traywick

Mt. Olivet News

I’ve had several more highs this week. They just keep coming, and once again I don’t smoke or shoot up.

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The Monday after Easter I met a group of my 1955 graduating class for lunch at Cracker Barrel. Although small in number this time, it did not stop the memories from flowing. Attending was Elton Jay, Maury Harris, Marilyn Crowell Taylor, Lloyd (cowboy) and Valerie McMinn Campbell, Cynthia McCurdy Bie, her guest cousin Wendy McCurdy, Marvin Ridgeway and I. 

Marvin shared memories from his years of playing football for Batesville High. It was not South Panola back then, and they did not get the high draw that South Panola gets today. 

Some of the outstanding players were Herman Caldwell, quarterback, Bruno White and Lloyd Ford. Melvin Mitchell and Cowboy Woodruff were juniors and played on the team. What Marvin remembers most about cowboy was his lightning speed. He went on to play professional football with a Canadian league, we plan to meet again in October, when hopefully more classmates will get to attend.

My next high came, when I attended the birthday party of 98 year old Elizabeth Childs Browning. My what an amazing woman. I went over Saturday afternoon to interview her for this article, because there would be no time at the party. I spent over three hours listening to her sharing about her family.

She was born on April 20, 1925, to Nettie Varner Childs and James Childs. She wwas the youngest of six children. She was the only girl in a family of four boys, after a little girl named Edith Virginia died at age 3. Her siblings were George, Milton, Lawrence, and Edward.

The Palmertree family and the Childs family were neighbors in the Mt. Olivet community near Dees store. No one had vehicles back and it was nothing for them to walk everywhere. Elizabeth recalled that she had two dresses that her mother made for school. One was black with stripes and the other green and white.

In 1942 Elizabeth Childs married a handsome young man, named Horace Browning in Mt. Olivet Church. Two weeks after the wedding he was drafted into the WW 2 army and was stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY, the entire time. 

Elizabeth and Horace were blessed with five children, Ann, Larry, Lynda, Jane, and Rickey. She has enjoyed two sets of five generation children. One set is from Ann, daughter Sandra, her daughter Heather and thirteen year old Piper. Heather and Piper gave a surprise visit on Saturday.

The other five generation set were in attendance at the party and were Larry, his son Michael, his children Diamond, Taylor, and James, Kyle, and their children. That is a rare thing to have two groups of five generations.

Elizabeth said that an interesting story was told as to how the Childs family came to America. Tradition is told of a Childs young man from Yorkshire, England, who was working on a ship that was bringing people to America. He had a severe accident and cut one of his arms off. The ship captain would not let him return to England. It would be interesting to know how they ended up in Mississippi.

Elizabeth’s philosophy of life is  “I never, never, worry, I leave everything in God’s hands” she said.

Do you suppose that’s how she has gotten to be 98 years old, and going strong? Don’t forget William Faulkner’s motto, “Everybody has a story.” Let me hear yours. Call or text to 901-828-8824.