Elderly Friend Shares Memories With Kindergarten Class - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/15/05

Elderly Friend Shares Memories With Kindergarten Class

Gulfport children stepped into the past Thursday with the help of a new friend.

The kindergarten kids at Bayou View Elementary spent time with a woman who's 100-years-old.

"I don't think you can imagine how it was when I was a little girl," said Callie Davis, when introduced to the combined class of kindergarten kids.

"Miss Callie" helped her young audience imagine by recalling just how different life was back then.

"And we rode in a wagon. And the wagon had a seat up front and the rest of us would sit in the back on a quilt or something. And Daddy drove the horses," said Davis.

Wide eyed children listened as Miss Callie described a time with no cars, no television and no electricity.

"The phone we had was a thing about so big, like this, and it hung on the wall. Then you'd turn the little handle and pick up the receiver. That's the kind of phone we had," she said.

Born October 27th, 1905, she attended school in Perkinston, walking each day to a one room school house.

"Back then, we ate pretty much what we do now. My mother baked biscuits every morning. And we didn't have these that you get in a can. She made then from scratch."

Her audience may not understand what "made from scratch means". The difference in their worlds was dramatically emphasized with Miss Callie seated near a giant screen TV. Household items were more functional back then.

"They called them oil lamps. Everybody had to buy kerosene and put in the little base of the lamp. And that's what made the light," she explained.

She shared stories of making cane syrup, milking the cow and visiting the outhouse. Christmas was old fashioned too.

"They went out in the woods and cut a Christmas tree with an axe," said her young friend, Thomas.

After re-living childhood memories, she posed with her new friends, while a most modern digital camera captured one more moment.

Many coast residents would recognize Miss Callie as "the African violet lady". She loves gardening, and for years, sold her flowers along Pass Road in Gulfport.

By Steve Phillips

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