Saturday, May 7, 2011

Three Interesting Things About my Mom

Since it’s Mother’s Day and I have a great mom, I thought I would share three interesting things about my mother, Shirley Lovelace Williams.

My Mom as a little girl soon to be disappointed
by missing a trip to Memphis
Interesting Thing One
One of my mom’s earliest memories took place when she was about ten years old. She was very much looking forward to going with her family from Brownsville, TN to Memphis to visit their cousin, Elsie McBride, in the tuberculosis hospital.

Unfortunately, the morning of the trip, my mom came down with a fever and had to stay home while the rest of her family got to go to Memphis without her. If you ask my mom about her biggest disappointment in life, she will likely tell you this story so, if we still had a tuberculosis hospital I would take her to one for fun.

Elsie McBride survived her bout with tuberculosis and only recently passed away in Haywood County. She remained close to my mom’s family throughout her life.
My mom at the Midsouth Fair around the time
she was working at Plough.
Interesting Thing Two
After my mom graduated from high school, she left Haywood County for good and moved to Memphis. She got a job as a secretary at Plough in the accounting department and apparently used her new income to buy clothes. In pictures of her from that time, she looks like an extra from “Mad Men.” In the late 1950s, Plough’s products included St. Joseph's Aspirin for children, Maybelline cosmetics, and Coppertone skin care products.

During the years she worked at Plough, my mom did something that warranted a special award although currently she isn't certain what it was. I remember seeing an old Plough company newsletter with her photo and, for many years, she had a trophy with the classic image of the girl with a dog pulling down her swimsuit bottoms. Growing up I thought that little Coppertone girl was my sister.

My mom in her office at Southwestern Seminary
Interesting Thing Three
Like Gutenberg, My mom typed part of the Bible. Some people may remember that between the invention of the printing press and the home computer was a thing called a typewriter. When my Dad went to seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas, my mom got a job as an administrative assistant for a group of professors there at the seminary.

Some of them happened to be working on the W. A. Criswell Study Bible (out of print) so she had to type and correct, multiple times, the commentary for the book of Jeremiah. And for the record, Jeremiah is the longest book of the Bible.

It’s fitting that one of the interesting things about my mom would include the Bible since I have very strong memories of her reading her own Bible. I remember many mornings, waking up and walking into the den of our house in Parkway Village to find her under her giant hairdryer with a cup of coffee in one hand and her Bible in her lap. To this day, I associate giant hair dryers with The Bible.

I was blessed with a very groovy mom whom I love and little things like tuberculosis, Coppertone suntan lotion and The Bible will always be for me closely associated with her life story.

Makes me wonder what my kids will remember about me and then I am very afraid.

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