Perennial memories of inspiring women
Published 6:00 am Sunday, April 2, 2017
By Allen Brewer
As I mistakenly predicted in my last column, the warm weather is back and hopefully to stay.
Around this time of year, the countryside is dotted with patches of yellow jonquils. To me, these spots of sunshine are none brighter than in the hills of my little community of Dog Town. Located near the Lafayette/ Pontotoc county border on Highway 334, this stretch of road has been the place of my childhood.
As you drive around the curve entering Dog Town, you are met by three houses each spouting rows of jonquils in their front yard. While the average driver sees these flowers as a sign of an early spring, they remind me of the three remarkable women who cared for me as a child.
My Grandmother Corinne Brewer, Aunt Marry Brewer, and Grandmother Lucille Bratton adorned their yards with these flowers years ago, and although they all have passed away, their flowers grow back every year. Every time I see these flowers it brings back fond memories of squeezing as many stems into a mason jar as possible to give to them.
As you make the curve into Dog Town, my Grandmother Brewer’s house is the first thing you will see to the right. She was a hard working woman who spent most her life in the fields, but she was also an amazing artist.
My grandmother loved to paint in oils. Sometimes she painted local people, places and things while other times she was inspired by paintings she saw hanging in stores. Though she never sold many paintings, her work remains a treasure to our family.
I spent many summers at grandma’s house going on walks with her, eating Sunday lunch and chasing her chickens around the yard. Grandmother was well known for her creativity and perseverance. I thank her for inspiring me to be myself and for becoming interested in the arts.
My Aunt Marry, the daughter-in-law to Grandma Brewer, lived in the next house on the right. You can find flowers growing in about every inch of her yard.
I always think about Aunt Marry walking down the road with her one-eyed dog, Dink, stopping and talking with her neighbors. She was a very outgoing person and everyone in Dog Town loved her.
I would always go fishing in the pond behind her house. When my father worked on his car in his shop, I would go talk to her and ask to feed her goldfish. Each spring her yard overflows with jonquils and daffodils bursting around her driveway.
My Grandmother Bratton lived in the house on the left side of the road. She took care of me the most as a child and I spent every Friday night over at her house for more than six years.
Grandmother loved flowers, but after suffering from severe arthritis pain she was unable to dig in the ground. With my grandfather’s help, they were able to plant a lovely garden that she could enjoy from their front porch.
She loved everything and everybody no matter who they were. When I think of her, I think of the wisdom and love that is beyond years that only a grandmother can know. While this will be the second year for our family without her, I see her reflection in the garden and the flowers that grow around her house.
Although these great ladies are no longer with us, you can still see their lasting effect on the landscape. Next time you are driving down Highway 334, look for the signs entering Dog Town. While the wildflower may be the gift of Mother Nature, the flowers of Dog Town are thanks to three amazing mothers.
Allen Brewer is currently the news editor for Northwest Mississippi Community College’s newspaper, the Ranger Rocket. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.