George W. Owens of Pontotoc was a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1936 when he met Icey Day, the state’s first blind legislator. Six years later, Owens helped Day pass legislation to establish the Mississippi Industries for the Blind.
In 1946, Owens began working as a vocational counselor for the M.I.B. In this episode, he recalls their humble beginnings and looks back with pride at how their efforts helped remove the stigma associated with blindness.
During his 20 years as a Rehabilitation Consultant and 30 years as a member of the Lions Club, George Owens worked to better the lives of the blind and visually impaired. He passed away on March 3rd, 1975.
Ellen McCarley grew up in Port Gibson, but sent summers with her family in rural Claiborne County. In this episode, she recalls helping her mother load the car with food and supplies for the weekly trip to the old homestead.
Much of their time was spent at a favorite swimming hole on Bayou Pierre creek. McCarley remembers catching rides there on her uncle’s Model T and eating tomato sandwiches.
Although conditions were primitive by today’s standards, McCarley explains that summers in the country provided her with simple pleasures and cherished memories.
In the 1930s, Nathan Jones of Russum provided for his family by raising cotton part of the year and cutting timber the rest of the time. During hunting season, Jones and his brothers would also supplement their incomes by selling animal pelts. For them, it wasn’t hunting for sport, it was hunting for survival.
In this episode Jones explains how they would ship the pelts to St. Louis for export to Germany. He discusses the effect that war and changing weather patterns affected the fur trade.
Libby Hollingsworth grew up in Leland, Mississippi, but spent summers with her grandparents in Port Gibson. In this episode, she remembers the quiet routine of reading, crafting, afternoon visits and long evening walks they kept during those summers. According to Hollingsworth, the lifestyle of Port Gibson residents in those days was peaceful and orderly.
Years later, Hollingsworth moved to Port Gibson with her husband. She explains that while life there isn’t so orderly anymore, much of the peacefulness remains.