Annie Pearl Nettles knows value of dedication, work
(This week The Atmore Advance spotlights 84-year-old Annie Pearl Nettles. Mrs. Nettles worked in private homes and at the Atmore Advance until April.)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: My birthday is July 23, 1924. I was the first child born in our family. We lived in Frisco City in Monroe county.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: My parents were Elizabeth Washington and Cleve Brown. They were from Frisco City. My daddy moved to Atmore when I was a child and my mother worked in private homes to support us.
Q: Did you have any brothers and sisters?
A: I had seven brothers and sisters. Two of my brothers are dead and one sister. I have one brother who lives here in Atmore and and all three sisters live here too.
Q: Where did you attend high school?
A: I went to school in Frisco City. I finished either the sixth or seventh grade. I had to quit to work. Our school had a big wood heater in it. When it would get really cold, our teacher would make us wash our hands in cold water before we put them up to the heater to warm. If you didn't do that it would make your hands hurt when the heat hit them. I used to see kids cry because it made their hands ache so bad.
Q: What activities were you involved in during school?
A: I remember when we took exercise. We would get so sore from that first day, but after doing it a couple more days we would get over it.
I enjoyed everything about school. Once a year, our school went to a field day at Monroeville. I remember them cooking fish in the big iron pots.
Q: How did you travel when you were younger?
A: We walked everywhere. My family didn't have a wagon or buggy. We walked a long way to school. We had to walk through town and I can remember turning a corner and that cold north wind hitting us. We would freeze.
One day, I played hookie with some of my girlfriends. We played in a pasture all day. That was my first and last time to do that. I sure was wishing I hadn't have done that when my mama got ahold of me.
Q: Did you work after you got out of school?
A: I had to quit school to start working on the farm and in private homes. We did a lot of housework at home and in the field too.
Q: What jobs did you do?
A: I started working when I was 12-years-old and just quit a couple of months ago. I worked in private homes for people, doing laundry, cleaning and working in the fields picking cotton and potatoes.
I started washing clothes early in life and learned how to do it on a washboard.
I started working at the Atmore Advance when they built the new building. I worked there until April 2005. I had to quit because of my health.
Q: What was your first car?
A: The first car I ever had was a green Chevrolet. I was married and had kids before we got it. I still have my drivers license, but no car to drive.
Q: Did you ever marry?
A: I married Thomas Nettles when I was 15 years old. He was 10 years older than me. We were married for 42 years before he died in the late 1960s. I never remarried. He and I met in Frisco City. Thomas worked at a dry cleaners in town and our families had always known each other. We moved to Atmore after our first two children were born. We lived on Jack Stallworth's place and Thomas farmed for him and then he went back to work in a dry cleaners in town before he retired.
Q: Do you have any children or grandchildren?
A: We had four children. One boy and three daughters. My son lives in Mobile, one girl lives in Virginia and two girls live here in Atmore. My youngest daughter lives here with me.
I have 13 grandchildren, six great grandchildren, 22 great-great grandchildren and four great-great-great grandchildren. I am in my fifth generation now. God has brought me a long way and has blessed me.
Q: Where do you attend church?
A: I have gone to Liberty Missionary Baptist Church for over 50 years. I visited all the churches in the area and we built a house right here close to the church and that is where I ended up becoming a member.
Q: What keeps you busy these days?
A: I sing in the choir at church. I just love going to church. I can't do as much now as I used to could, but I try to keep the house clean and do for myself. God has been so good to me. I thank him everyday when he wakes me up and allows me to do for myself without having any help.
Q: Have you traveled much?
A: I haven't done much traveling at all. Just local mostly.
Q: What's your favorite television show?
A: "The Price is Right" and "Wheel of Fortune" are my favorite. I watch "Days of our Lives" and "The Young and The Restless" when I can. I have watched the show "Survivor" before, but I'm not sure what to think about that one.
Q: What advice do you give to people on staying healthy?
A: People need to pray to the Lord all the time. The way I see it is we have 12 months in a year. We need to take six months to worry about our business and spend the other six months staying out of other people's business and go to church. Then we might be okay. And love everyone and treat them like you would want to be treated.
(If you would like to recommend a senior to be spotlighted please contact Adrienne McKenzie at 368-2123 or e-mail her at lifestyles@atmoreadvance. com)