McKenzie collects trinkets from all over the world
(This week The Atmore Advance spotlights Lois McKenzie. McKenzie has traveled not only all over the United States, but oversees as well. She has picked up several items such as sculptures and figurines from Germany, Turkey, London, Austria and Switzerland. She was born in Atmore, but has lived in many different states before moving back to the South.)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born in Atmore on March 22. I don't ever tell people what year I was born in. I was probably born by midwife.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: My parents were Grady Brazzell and Ida Belle Nelson Brazzell.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I have one living sister and one brother. My sister is Dorothy Blalock and she lives in Ohio and my brother is Harold Brazzell, he lives here.
Q: Where did you attend high school and college?
A: I went to high school here at Escambia County Training School. I came out with the class of '59. I took some college courses in California.
I have spent seven years in Hartford, one and a half years in Jersey City and was in Los Angeles for 34 years.
Q: Do you do a lot of traveling?
A: Yes I do. I just got back from Memphis, Tenn. I'm getting ready to go to Los Angeles and Hawaii.
I am going to Los Angeles because I have two sons and grandchildren out there so I'll spend time with them and visit with old co-workers.
My stepdaughter is a doctor and she's going on a medical convention in August to Hawaii so I'll spend time with her there.
I have been around the world. I've been to almost every state in this country. In foreign countries I've been to Germany, Turkey, London, Austria and Switzerland. All of the trips were vacation trips. My favorite place to visit was Germany. I really liked Frankfort. I traveled alone but I visited my son in the military at these different places.
I picked up a lot of figurines and sculptures and things from the different places I've traveled.
My favorite place in the states was Los Angeles because I lived there a long time. I didn't know how much I liked it until I left. It's so beautiful there.
Q: What jobs have you held?
A: I've only had one or two jobs. I had a job when I went to New Jersey in laundry for a short time. Then I moved to Hartford and worked at an aircraft division working on air plane parts. I then remarried and moved to Los Angeles and from there I went to working at a postal service as a letter carrier then clerk and then to management. I retired from there.
Q: Did you ever marry?
A: Yes, two times. They both are deceased.
Q: Do you have any children or grandchildren?
A: Three boys, the oldest is the retired 1st Class Staff Sgt. Ronnie Taylor in Memphis, Tenn. The next one is Reynard Taylor, he's a private investigator in Los Angeles. The youngest is Richard Taylor, he's a letter carrier in Santa Monica, Calif.
I also have four stepdaughters.
I have four grandchildren and five step grandchildren.
Q: Where do you attend church?
A: First Mount Triumph. I grew up in that church, I went away and came back and rejoined that church.
Q: What keeps you busy these days?
A: A whole lot of nothing. I help out my uncle and aunt when they need me. I go walking almost every evening. I assist some older people to Mobile to doctor's appointments sometimes and I do like to travel.
Q: What's your favorite TV show?
A: My favorite TV show could be "Judge Judy." I like a lot of talk shows, I like Jay Leno. I like CNN to get the world news.
Q: Do you like to cook?
A: No, I used to but now since the kids are gone there is nobody here but me. I do most of my baking around the holidays.
Q: What advice would you like to give people on staying healthy?
A: Plenty of exercise, watch your diet. Have a physical at least once a year. And, don't put everything in the body, don't eat everything you see.
(If you would like to recommend a senior to be spotlighted please contact Adrienne McKenzie at 368-2123 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org)