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Open Features: A Tribute To Our Parents

The maiden name of Mollie Mercer's mother was Browning.

Every year the Browning family held a reunion in Twin Lakes, Georgia. Mollie wrote this moving tribute to the "early'' Browning for the 40th of these re-unions.

To read more of Mollie's words please type her name in the search box on this page.

Our parents were a special kind of people. They were pioneers of the 20th century. Theirs was a generation that went from out-houses, straw mattresses, kerosene lamps, and no medicine as we know it today, to the first telephones, radios, T-Model Fords, airplanes and TVs.

Stop for a moment and think about their lives. They truly were pioneers. They made do during the bad times and adjusted to changes in the world around them. They lived through “rollin’ stores, salt fish, the bow weevil, tobacco worms, droughts and rationing stamps. In this Browning family of ours, most could not afford a T-Model Ford so they still depended upon the mule and wagon, even though a few did own a horse-drawn buggy ordered from Sears and Roebuck.

They lived through World War One, and the worst outbreak of influenza in U.S. history. They watched as Wall Street crashed, banks closed, lived through the depression, when people by the thousands lost their jobs. Some of our parents worked on the WPA (Work Projects Administration), and worked in the CCC (Civil Conservation Corps) camps just to provide the bare necessities for their families. Both projects were passed by Congress while Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President.

They had a self-reliance and courage that sometimes bent but never broke. They had a permanent sadness around their eyes from shedding too many tears. There were no self-help groups, no welfare or food stamps, no therapist, and no tranquilizers. They just had each other, and they were a very close knit family.

But through it all they were patriots, these parents of ours. Although it is too late to capture their memories of all they knew and felt, it is not too late to remember them with awe.

Let’s always remember them and carry their strength and courage with us as we face our world and its problems. If we leave our children with just one drop of their strength and courage we will have done well.

They persevered through it all, anchored in the belief that family was what mattered most in the world. What a generation! They were tougher than Georgia Granite.


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