Grandpa Garrett's Journal
|My maternal grandfather, Edgar Garrett, lived most of his life in Jefferson and Franklin
Counties, MS. He died in Natchez, MS at the age of 92. He was sharp and alert all the
way up to the end of his life, his eyes bright with interest in whatever subject was being
discussed. His contributions to the conversation were well thought out and well
articulated. His body eventually began to show its age, but his mind never did.
The little book that contained his "scribblings," as he called them, started out as a
diary and, also, served as a ledger for his expenses, but long periods of time separated
the entries and many of the pages read more like a journal than a diary. These snippets
will be of interest to my cousins and, perhaps, to those who would draw inspiration
from reading the words of a man in the winter of his life who was grateful for both the
past and the present, a man who made the best of whatever came his way.
A man who enjoyed and truly appreciated life.
|When he was 83 years old, Grandpa Garrett's second wife died, leaving him alone at the old
home place outside of Meadville, MS. He stayed there, on his own, until he was 86, raising
his vegetables and taking care of his animals, but then gave up the farm and moved to town.
He spent the last four years of his life in a nursing home in Natchez, MS. It was during his
time in Natchez that these entries were written, when he was in his late 80's/early 90's.
Tribute to the Mississippi RIver
Edgar: I'd like to ask you a few questions as I sit here watching you pass by. Where do you hail
from? How long since you started? What's your business?
River: I come from a small lake in the far North, hundreds of miles from here. As to when I started, it
would be hard to tell. I was an old river when Adam was in the Garden, in fact, they call me Old Man
River. It might have been 1,000 years ago or 10,000 years ago. As to my business, I drain the waters
from the Allegheny Mountains in the East and from the Great Rockies in the West. I water the Great
Valleys of the North, so they can produce the grain to feed the people. Many is the boatload of
bread and meat that I've unloaded here for the people.
Edgar: And where are you going?
River: I'm carrying the waters to the Gulf of Mexico.
Edgar: It looks as if you would have filled the Gulf by now.
River: Yes, but the more I carry, the more it will hold.
Edgar: Well, I'm proud of you Old Man RIver. Roll on forever and gladden the hearts of the future
generations, just as you have gladdened mine.
This is November 13th and as I sit here and think of the good weather, with sunny days and very
little cold or rain, and I am enjoying good health, I am thankful. I go uptown now and then and meet
someone that I haven't seen in years and pass a few words. It makes me glad to be alive. And then I
go through one of those supermarkets, where you can get any kind of groceries that you want all
wrapped up in a neat package; and then to the dry goods store for any kind of clothing that you
Yesterday being Sunday, I went to Jefferson Street Methodist Church. Every seat was filled with
people who had come to hear the Gospel. The preacher stepped out and stretched forth his hands
and all arose and sang "Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow," and I said to myself that surely
God is in this place and bless his Holy Name.
And then I think of what a great country we live in, where we are free, and the bountiful crops that
have been harvested, that we may have enough to eat and to spare. On and on, I could go, telling
about the things that I'm thankful for.
There is a day set forth for people to meet in their respective places of worship to offer up prayers
of thanksgiving, which is proper and good. But I am saying thank you, Lord, now and always.
New Year's Eve, 1961:
I wouldn't have thought 61 years ago, at the beginning of this century, that I would be here, but here
I am in good health, able to be up and going. At that time, I had a wife and home and two children. I
lived in Jefferson County then and, after so long, children kept coming until eight more were added,
six are alive today.
I'll not tell of my sorrows and disappointments, but will say that I've enjoyed living and am happy.
Time goes on.
And the year 1962 is beginning and we all are looking forward to great things happening. The
weather was as usual until the 9th, when it began to sleet and turn cold and it was the coldest spell
on record for this part of the country. The thermometer registered zero. Schools all closed and
traffic was halted to a mere trickle.
I think of the birds and wild deer of the forest, how they must suffer for something to eat while the
earth is all covered with snow and ice, but I know that the Lord will look after them, and we are much
more than they.
I've spent a very pleasant year here at Smith's Nursing Home, enjoying fairly good health. I visited
some of the children, going to Collins in May and to New Orleans in September. In October, I spent
three weeks in the hospital in Jackson. In December, I went on my Christmas trip to Collins,
Pascagoula and New Orleans. I took my first airplane ride this past year. It's been a good year and
today has been a beautiful day.
Haven't been keeping a diary for quite awhile. Time has come and time has gone, so the world
moves on. I am content.
|“My crown is called content, a crown that seldom kings enjoy.”
-- William Shakespeare