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Atmore's Myrtis Anderson was in the retail business with family for 61 years

By Staff
Senior Living
(This week The Atmore Advance spotlights Mrs. Myrtis D. Anderson. Mrs. Anderson is 89 years old.)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born in Andalusia, Alabama on September 27, 1916.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Brunson.
My father worked at Swift Meat Packing in Andalusia.
My mother was a homemaker. She taught us all we ever knew and about the Bible.
Q: Did you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I am the only one living out of eight children.
My oldest brother is Lawrence. He brought me back a dress from Paris after World War II and he made me take my first steps.
Then there was Red. He lived to be 87. Bob was next. And the youngest boy was James who lived to be 87.
They all lived in Birmingham.
I had three sisters, also. Annie Lou lived in Florida, Molly Mae lived in Mobile, and Cassie Rae lived in Pensacola.
Cassie and I looked so much alike that when she was working for our uncle in Andalusia and I was working here, a salesman came into my store and said, "I thought I just left you in Andalusia."
Q: Where did you attend high school and college?
A: I went to Andalusia High School and went up until the 11th grade. That's when I got married.
Marriage is like a grab-bag. You don't know what you have until you got it and then you just have to work it out.
Q: How did you travel when you were younger?
A: We had a 1927 Model-T Ford. We used to leave Andalusia and go all the way to Arkansas.
My brother ran a store there in Little Rock and we used to go visit him.
There was one place in Little Rock where on one side of the street there was water hot enough to boil an egg and on the other side it was cold. There was this place where you could go and take "hot baths".
While my mother did that my father would take us on a mountain that was called a diamond mountain and one time my father found a diamond.
Q: Do you remember your first vehicle?
A: A 1934 Chevrolet I believe. It had a rumble seat in it. Anything my husband and I ever bought, we sat down first and figured out if we could afford it or not.
Q: What jobs did you hold?
A: Well, my uncle opened a store in Atmore and my husband and I came from Andalusia to work in it.
We moved to Birmingham towards to end of 1934.
While we were in Birmingham Mr. Ballard kept calling us wanting us to come back to Atmore and work for him.
So, in 1936 we moved back to Atmore and opened "The Leader". After World War II we changed the name to "Anderson's Department Store."
Selling merchandise is all I know.
Q: Did you ever marry?
A: We went to school together from the first grade on. We didn't date until we got into high school.
We got married when we were 16. That was in 1933 and we stayed married for 65 years and 5 months.
My husband passed away in 1998.
Q: Do you have any children or grandchildren?
A: Dalton is the oldest. The war came around when he was born so I had to run the store and raise him by myself for 32 months.
Foster was born in 1947.
My grandchildren are Jeffrey Anderson, David Anderson, James Anderson, II, and Kristin Anderson.
My great grandchildren are Dalton Anderson and Amanda Kisser.
Q: Where do you attend church?
A: The First Baptist Church of Atmore. I accepted Christ in the 1940's. I've been going there ever since I've lived here. I used to teach Sunday School and I was in the WMU.
Q. What keeps you busy these days?
A: Being here at the store. I can't do much work at home because I am not able.
I still drive my car, though.
Q. Have you traveled much?
A: We traveled a lot when the boys were young. We went to Colorado, North Carolina, and a few other places.
We bought a place in Orange Beach. I really enjoyed going there when they boys where coming up.
I am too old to travel now. I would rather stay at my own house.
Q. What's your favorite television show?
A: Sunday morning and watching the preachers. I don't go to church anymore because I am not able to get up and down as easily.
The first thing I do in the morning is get up and read my Bible and pray and that is the last thing I do before I go to bed.
Q: What advice do you give to people on staying healthy?
A: Eat right, don't drink too many drinks, don't smoke or dip snuff, trust in the Lord and pray.
My favorite scripture is the 23rd Psalm. I say it and the Lord's Prayer every night before I go to bed.
(If you would like to recommend a senior to be spotlighted please contact Stacie Cofield at 368-2123 or e-mail her at composing@atmoreadvance.com.)