Andalusia will always be hometown

Published 8:31 pm Saturday, July 11, 2015

I came to Andalusia June 5, 1929. It was a freezing day and we came from Ashland, Ala., on a Model T Ford. If you have ever seen a Model T, you know it had a soft top, no glass or anything on the sides, seats sat real low … and we had never heard of a heater in a car. My parents were both dead and I came to live with an aunt and uncle, whom I had never seen before, and a family of seven boys and two girls. You cannot imagine how sad and scared an 11-year-old was, coming to live with a bag family whom I had never met. I soon learned to love and depend on every one of them.

I am leaving Andalusia to live with my son and daughter-in-law whom I love dearly and they are very good to me, but it’s the saddest thing I think I’ve ever done – to quit housekeeping after 80 years.

When I came to Andalusia it was a square small town with unpaved roads, no electricity or running water except right in town. My aunt lived about 12 miles south on Brewton highway, and I went to school at Pleasant Home School, a big auditorium with two large rooms on each side, wood heaters, and a pump in the yard for water.

I’ve watched Andalusia die and I’ve watched it grow. I’ve had hardship, troubles, and I’ve had fun. One of the funny things that happened that I don’t think anyone living except myself knows about happened one Fourth of July. We always took a lunch to a nearby pond and fished all day. Sometime in my teenage years, the government cleared out one side of Open Pond (which was probably twice as large as it now) and put a large bathhouse on it with large lights lighting up the pond. They sold snacks and you could rent a swimsuit for a quarter. Anyone with a quarter was considered rich. In my aunt’s family, the Stones, and the Douglas family, there were together six or eight teenage boys. Between them they had only one quarter. Our picnic lasted all day and into the night of July 4th that year. In order for the 6 or 8 teenage boys to all go in swimming, one boy would go up, rent a swimsuit, come jump under water, pull the swimsuit off and throw it to another. They did that until all the boys were in the water, only one with a swimsuit on. They came out of the water the same way. The one with the suit on would go up, get dressed, and then throw it to anther, until all were out.

Yes, Andalusia, wherever I go, Andalusia will always be my hometown until I am brought back for the last time.


Lorena Parsons Hayes

98 years old as of July 7, 2015