James Pearson enjoys playing guitar, singing
By Adam Prestridge
(This week The Atmore Advance spotlights 84-year-old James Pearson of Atmore. Pearson enjoys visiting the Atmore SAIL Center and playing gospel music on his guitar)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born about three miles outside of Wallace. I was born in 1924.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: Ed and Lee Pearson
Q: What did your parents do for a living?
A: Daddy always logged. He cut sawmill logs and hauled them to the mill for lumber. My momma was a housewife.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I had two brothers and a sister. My sister was Eva Mae and my brothers were Clyd and Fern. They have all passed away.
Q: Where did you attend school?
A: I went to Deer Range School. They didn't have a high school. I went through the fourth grade. They did not teach any higher than the sixth.
Q: Do you do a lot of traveling?
A: Yeah, I went to Gatlinburg, Tenn. back during the summer. We had a family vacation – me, my son and his wife.
Q: Where did you work?
A: I was in the three Cs (Civilian Conservation Corps). That was a government job. I joined the CCC and they sent me to Charleston, S.C. and I worked there on the road and put out fires just before World War II started. They tried to draft me, but my eyesight failed.
I worked for Alger Lumber Company in Century, Fla. and then Swift Lumber Company where I was the mill saw operator. I retired from Swift after 20 years.
Q: Where have you lived?
A: I've lived in Atmore for 35 years. Before that, I lived at Barnett Crossroads.
Q: What do you like most about Atmore?
A: I like Atmore because it's a small town and is easy to get around in. It's still small, but it's growing a lot.
Q: Did you ever marry?
Q: What was your wife's name?
A: Agnes Lucille. She was 16 and I was 20 when we got married. She passed away Aug. 28, 2005. We were married for 61 years.
Q: What made Agnes the one for you?
A: She was countrified, which is right down my alley. We had a lot in common.
Q: What advice do you give married couples for them to have a long, healthy marriage like you did?
A: Give and take. You've got to do that to have a good marriage.
Say your wife says something you don't agree with, just turn your back and walk off for a little bit and think about what she said. She might be right and you may not understand it right then, so think about it and walk off and go outside. Then go back in and apologize to her. That's what we done and it worked for us.
Also, keep your eyes off the other women out there.
Q: Do you have any children?
A: Two boys and two girls. Ollie lives in Mobile, Thurl lives in Atmore, Lillin lives in Brewton and Francis lives in Evergreen.
Q: Do you have any grandchildren?
A: Yes, I have nine.
Q: Where do you attend church?
A: I go to New Beginning Church on Bream Street in Atmore. I've been going there since my son, Thurl, has been the preacher.
Q: What keeps you busy these days?
A: I keep my yard mowed when I'm able to do it. I enjoy going to gospel singings and picking the guitar. I've been playing guitar all my life. I taught myself how to play, I play by ear. I've never taken any lessons.
Q: What is your favorite TV show?
A: I watch a little bit of the news in the morning and the afternoons.
Q: What advice would you like to give people on staying healthy?
A: Stay busy working or doing something. Exercise and eat healthy.
(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)