Memories of our county

Nannie Maude Reynolds shares memories and thoughts about Winston County’s past.

Most of the memories that I have from my youth are centered around the church. In the early years we had no car so we drove to church in a wagon. I remember riding in the wagon when the temperature was almost at freezing and being covered up in quilts. I remember one night as we came home from church, there was a meteor shower. Stars were shooting all across the sky. We lay on our backs and watched as the stars crossed and crisscrossed across the sky.

It was in the summer after the crops were laid by and the canning done that we had the opportunity to attend the protracted meetings which were held every year in our Baptist Church. We always had a visiting preacher and we had services every morning and every night for a week. The kids in the church would all get together and plan the week. We went to one home on one day and to another the next day all week long.

We went home with the host family from morning service and stayed until the evening service. There usually were about 10 – 12 kids whose families welcomed us into their homes. That was the time when many of us gave our hearts to the Lord. At our house we planned for the revival from one summer to the next and everything we did was done with the revival in mind.

Every piece of clothing was bought as Sunday Clothes and then used for every day after it was worn out. Mama always ordered 25 baby chickens to raise to have to fry during the revival to feed the preacher. It was a standing joke around our house that the Baptist preacher liked fried chicken. The chickens came through the mail in a box with holes in it to allow the chickens to get air during their trip. The little chickens came with their heads sticking out of the holes and chirping their little hearts out. Daddy always planted a pea patch to ‘come in’ while the revival was going on. Mama made pies and cakes the day before she needed them.

There was no air-conditioning and in the early years, no electricity. Our lights at night, in the church, were carbide gas, produced by a carbide pit which was located behind the church. We used kerosene at home for lighting. We called it Coal oil.

Aunt Fannie Young was Methodist and she and her family all went to Camp Ground Methodist Church. When they had their revivals she always invited Dot and me to come stay the week with them and go to the revival with Waheece, Rolene and Artie. On this particular night as we were attending the revival at Camp Ground the preacher was a Bro. Stevenson. ( I think) It seems that he came from Attala County to hold the revival there. I do not remember who their pastor was.

At any rate, as he preached, he painted a picture. He set up an easel and with some kind of crayons or chalk, he painted a beautiful painting. It was a stormy night scene. The waves were raging and a small ship was tossed to and fro on the waves. There were gagged rocks in the foreground and his sermon topic that night was “Peace Be Still.” I must have been around 8 or 9 years of age and the message of that sermon still remains vivid in my memory. After he was finished with his sermon, he took down his painting and gave it to a child in the front row. I remember thinking, “I can do that.” That night has served to be the catalyst that began the yearning in my own life to paint. I still paint. All of these memories serve to remind us that children remember things much longer than adults. We should always remember to be kind to children. Lessons learned in childhood last a lifetime.

Editor’s note: Nannie Maude Reynolds is an author and Winston Countian. She has written four books including “Home For Christmas”, “The Road South”, “A New Generation’ and two histories of Noxapater with Betty Suttle. To purchase one of her books contact 662-724-4631.