R. J. Amerson joined the Navy at an early age, served in Washington D.C.

Published 2:16 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2006

By Staff
Senior Living
(This week The Atmore Advance spotlights Atmore resident R.J. Amerson. He is 80 years old.)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born in Bratt, Fla., at home in my grandmother Wiggins house on May 4, 1926.
Dr. Hill from Canoe delivered me. My parents named me Robert Jefferson (R.J.).
Robert was my grandfather Amerson's name and Jefferson was grandfather Wiggins name.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: My dad was R.P. Amerson and my mother was Lottie Wiggins. They were both raised in Bratt, Fla.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I had one sister, Vera, who is now deceased and had five brothers.
Pete and Gerald are both deceased and James, Leo and Dewey all live around here.
Q: Where did you attend high school and/or college?
A: I started elementary school in the first grade at Bratt. I went there through the 10th grade.
I went into the Navy at the end of the 10th grade because I didn't want to get drafted into the Army.
Q: How did your family travel when you were younger?
A: We mainly traveled with a mule and wagon until a little later when my daddy got a Model A Ford Truck.
We were really uptown when he got that. There were very few vehicles in Bratt at the time and all of the roads were still dirt.
Q: Do you remember the first vehicle you bought?
A: It was a Model A black Ford in Washington, D.C. when I was 20 years old.
Q: What jobs have you held?
A: I went into the Navy out of high school to miss the draft.
I was sent to Camp Perry in Virginia for basic training. After that I was transferred to Putuxen River, Md.
I worked in the Naval Air Transport Service for four years in the supply department.
I discharged from the Navy in 1947 in Washington, D.C. and came back home to Bratt.
I started working as a carpenter and painter for a contractor in Atmore. His last name was Brown. I worked with him for six years.
After that I worked at Daniel's Construction at Monsanto for 21 years and retired from there in 1991.
I then picked up on my own doing the same work.
I still work at least two days a week painting and doing some carpentry work for friends.
Q: Did you ever marry?
A: Yes, I had to go all the way to Washington D.C. to find a wife.
Her name was Margaret Himewright. She was from Washington and she worked in a department store selling records.
I went in the store and saw her spinning records and went over to talk to her.
I ended up buying two records and I didn't even have a record player to play them.
I gave the records to one of my buddies on base. I never did tell her about that!
After that we started dating and within about eight months we got married in a place called Leonard Town, Md. in January of 1945.
She must have loved me a whole lot to leave Washington D.C. for Bratt, Fla.
She was a good and faithful wife and mother.
We were married for 57 years before she passed away two years ago.
Q: Do you have any children or grandchildren?
A: We had three boys together and one step son and one daughter.
Our daughter, Sandra lives in Bratt with her family and Bobby lives in Bratt with his family also.
Danny lives in Stapleton and Eddie, who lived in Bratt also passed away several years ago.
My step-son Jimmy also passed away.
We have 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Q: Where do you attend church?
A: I have been a member at First Baptist Church of Bratt for about six months.
I have been elected to serve on the buildings and grounds committee.
I enjoy working on the committee and doing things in the church.
Q: What keeps you busy these days?
A: I am what you would call semi-retired. If a friend has a job to do I will help them out. I try to work a couple of days a week and spend the others loafing.
I also have to be the housekeeper and groundskeeper now.
Q: Have you traveled much?
A: Years ago, we owned a house on top of a mountain in North Carolina and we would go stay every summer.
After I sold it, we started going to Beckley, Va., to visit my stepson and his family.
Q: What is your favorite television show?
A: I don't watch a lot of television. Mainly just the news and weather.
I do like to watch the History Channel and enjoy watching a good Western.
Q: What advice can you give on staying healthy?
A: I would tell them to stay busy. It is important to always s have something to do. Stay off drugs and alcohol and put their faith and trust in God.
(If you would like to recommend a senior to be spotlighted please contact Janet Little Cooper at 368-2123 or e-mail her at lifestyles@atmoreadvance. com

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