Lo and behold, on January 16, 1931, a child was born down in Winston County, Mississippi. She was named Lucy Bradford and she became the apple of her Daddy’s eye. Yes, a Daddy’s girl.

Lucy was born on what is now the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge, which was not established until 1940. This was farmland and Lucy and her Aunt Dot, who was about the same age as Lucy, picked cotton when they were little girls. They were like sisters. Lucy stood up for Dot if anybody at school picked on her.

Lucy’s Momma sometimes had a hard time handling the headstrong little girl. One day she decided that she was not going to school. Instead, she went down to a nearby fishing pond.

When her mother Bertha went down to the pond to get her daughter to go to school, Lucy just circled the pond, keeping the body of water between them. Her Momma could not catch her.

When her father Hubert (nicknamed “Buddy”) came home from work, “Daddy’s girl” ran to him and hugged him around his legs, telling him, “Momma was mean to me today!”

Lucy was a depression baby like me. When she wore holes in the soles of her shoes, her Daddy cut cardboard to put in her little shoes to keep out the cold.

Lucy’s Aunt Rose made her little dresses out of material saved from flour and feed sacks. Not many store-bought clothes then. The country stores had bolts of cloth when an upgrade from flour sacks was needed.

Lucy played basketball in high school, but she always fouled out. She was too rough for the girls’ game, since she had been playing basketball with the boys. Lucy quit school in the twelfth grade, being embarrassed by not having any nice school clothing.

Lucy went to Memphis, lived in a baording house with soem other girls, and worked for an attorney. She bought herself some nice clothes and went to Arthur Murray Dancing School. She loved to go dancing at the rooftop of the Peabody Hotel.

She dated a dance partner who looked like Jackie Gleason. They new all the dances including the Rhumba, waltzes, and the Jitterbug. People would stop dancing to watch them.

Lucy later married Dr. Harry Goldben, but were divorced when their son Derrick was a little boy. She got a job with the Federal government starting at the GS2 level and working her way up to a GS12.

She was an auditor part of her career, traveling for audits in six states. She later got her G.E.D. and took college courses at DeKalb Junior College, when she could arrange the time. Lucy retired after completing thirty years with the U.S. government.

I was lucky to marry this beautiful lady May 29, 1987. Our lives have traveled some parallels. I have come “up from Hanging Dog,” as she has come “up from Noxubee.” We have traveled many places together these past thirty-two years when we attended the National Association of State Farm Agents (NASFA) board meetings and conventions.

We have traveled to the Caribbean islands, Mexico, Alaska and the Greek islands. We’ve had great times together, living in seven different houses and condos, including our vacation houses.

After Lucy’s retirement, she helped me with my insurance agency, managing employee records and taxes. After my retirement October 31, 2015 Lucy has put up with my writings.

I have written a poem about you-know-who, “Ode to Miss Sassy.” The first stanza is;

My wife is quite sassy

if you know what I mean.

She’s just about the sassiest

that you have ever seen.

(By the way, sassy is good.)

Today and forthwith we will follow the words of a slightly more famous poet Robert Browning:

Grow old along with me

The best is yet to be,

The last of life

For which the first was made

Oh, before I forget… Happy Birthday, Lucy Bird! Look, I know that you are not thirty-nine and neither is Jack Benny! Love you!