Another Birthday And The Passing Of Alline Jackson

March 6, 2002 – Well, I have done it. I have lived far longer than I ever expected to as a young man. The idea or reaching the 60s slipped up on me. What with retirement and
beginning to draw social security and other adjustments, I was sort of
distracted. Then came 66. When you are half way through the 60s you have to come to the conclusion that you are getting old.


March 6, 2002 – •Well, I have done it.
I have lived far longer than I ever expected to as a young man.
The idea or reaching the 60s slipped up on me. What with retirement and beginning to draw social security and other adjustments, I was sort of distracted.
Then came 66. When you are half way through the 60s you have to come to the conclusion that you are getting old.
Someone tried to console me with the old line, “If you are getting older, it means you are still here. And you know the alternative…”
Yes. The one that consoles me the most, however, is “You are as old (or young) as you feel.”
That, I hope is true. For I feel as though I am about 46 and still trying to decide what I am going to do when I grow up.
•The birthday and birthday eve were primarily spent in Belmont, in lower Tishomingo County, at the North Half Girls’ Basketball playoffs.
Granddaughter Abby Hillhouse, who is generally the sixth player on the team, was the main attraction, but I like to think we would have been there anyway.
On the day before my birthday, we lost to an inspired Mound Bayou team in a hard fought and very close game. Belmont also lost to Shelby.
Then on the big day, Bruce managed to defeat the hometown favorites on their own turf. It was the best gift I could have asked for, and made the drive back much shorter than the 100 miles had been the night before.
I have yet to determine how the playoff sites are chosen, but no consideration seems to be given to a central or neutral location. It should be.
The Bolivar County teams drove at least twice as far as we did, and there are a lot of good places to play basketball in between where we were and where they came from.
This is not only true of basketball, we remember, for several years ago, when grandson Marshall Bailey was playing with a summer Calhoun City baseball team, we drove to Belmont every night one week—five nights in a row. Three of the games we played were with Ackerman, which is 50 miles south of Calhoun City.
At least it wasn’t on my birthday.
•On the day of my birthday, funeral services were held for one of Bruce’s matriarchs, Alline Jackson, 81.
She and her family have been longtime friends of our family, and we have missed seeing her out and about in recent years due to her failing health.
She is most well known for her progeny, which includes 11 children, 39 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren and 21 great-great grandchildren.
A few years back I wrote something about her flock, and precipitated the wrath of several of her family. Within a few weeks four more children on the way were acknowledged and she and two of her daughters said it was because I had written about it.
We stayed on good terms and a few years later, when she was suffering with arthritis in her knees, I shared a walking stick with her from the collection accumulated over the past dozen years.
Along about that time I drove up on a one-car wreck on Highway 9W north of Bruce, and saw Miss Alline sitting in the car.
She was on her way to the emergency room at Oxford after a small stroke, when her driver lost control of the car.
She said her family was on the way, but agreed for me to carry her on to Oxford, which I did and waited with her until they arrived.
One of her daughters, Mary Jo, had helped us with our older children when they were very young. A part of her assumed duties was seeing that I ate a good breakfast every morning, for which I still claim contributed greatly to my increase in weight.
Mary Jo still helps us at the paper from time to time, and her grandson Fred Thomas, who is a cornerback for the New Orleans Saints, is a frequent visitor at the office.
Miss Alline lived a long and productive life and left a real legacy. She will be missed by her family and lots of us in her extended family.
May she rest in peace.

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