1: Mama with her children
2: Nana with her grandchildren
3: Nana with her great grandchildren
4: House on the Lagoon | E. Fairway Drive Gulf Shores Alabama
7: Charles and Ruth Magnesen Cruise to the Caribbean
10: Nana's Love for the Beach
12: 1935 Ruth and Cole holding thier daughter, Claire
13: My sweetest memories of Mama are from my childhood in our crowded little house when her very presence brought it security and peace. Hearing her hum as she worked around the house, cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing; the sound of that contented hum stabilized my world. She loved homemaking and all things associated with it, delighting in any new appliance, any new recipe or even so simple a thing as a full grocery basket. She told me recently she never regretted marrying so young; she never thought she missed out on anything. She was young when we were young; so we kind of grew up together through the end of the Depression into WWII and then into prosperous 1950's. Momentous years. She always wanted to decorate - to make things pretty - even if she had to make footstools out of covered apple crates and slipcover all our old chairs with cheap fabric and thumb tacks - even if she had to make her Easter bonnet from fake flowers from Kress's. - she decorated. At Christmas our little mantle and every table top in the living room held a snow scene, the snow being created from Rinso White Detergent which she beat into peaks with her egg beater. And there could never be enough colored balls and icicles on our tree or across the bay window. She had a touch and an eye for color; she had a style before she could easily afford it. There was never a project she wouldn't tackle: she and Grandma would make curtains, baby clothes, Halloween costumes, and bedspreads at will - and relish their efforts. They turned out fudge and divinity, cocoanut cakes and even taffy as if it were a sport. We were served three full meals a day and Daddy came home for lunch! She didn't have a washing machine until I was 15 and still had to hang clothes on the backyard line. On Sunday's she dressed us all for Sunday School and Church, taught Sunday School herself, and then brought us home to a legendary Sunday dinner. My school friends wanted to come home with me in the afternoons just in case there was a leftover biscuit or piece of pie they could sample. And they would tell me how lucky I was to have such a young and pretty mother! I can't ever remember Mama being depressed or complaining even in the war years when Daddy left for the Marines. There were times when she would have to start all over after some trouble, but she didn't dwell on it. She had the most resilient spirit of anyone I've ever known. We really recognized it when Hurricane Frederic demolished her house; the day after she handed Carol a basket and said, "let's just see what we can pick up." Life put demands on her but she, in turn, put demands on life - that it would be worth living and as beautiful as she could make it! Her beauty and goodness remembered from those childhood years are my treasured legacy from Mama. I thank God for giving her to us. Claire
14: Memories of Nana It was when grass was green and the sky was blue. The water was clean and the days were long. But not as long as the stories told by the gypsy lady who lived by the lagoon. We would drift on rafts like castaways, listening to the gypsy lady who would take us to places of adventure. The rafts would drift and the tides would flow. Each would look and always know that those days would be our days to remember. What we remember most is the way she would listen and was interested in what we cared about. She could contribute with love and encouragement. We always were happy to see her and we were always sad to leave her. Ray Downey Jr.
15: Cherish The Ones You Love
16: Nana and Tricia
17: Nana My Nana has always been one of my absolute favorite people. I have been very fortunate to get to spend a lot of quality time with her. When I was born my family and I lived in Mobile, so I have been told that I was frequently with Nana. Then when we moved to Birmingham I still got to see her often because Nonnie and Papa would take my cousins and me to visit her. Her house will always remain my favorite place on Earth. As a child it was always the best place to play princess because she had a balcony off her room. My favorite thing to do with Nana was to play dress up, and if you knew her, you would know that she had the best clothes and jewelry to play with. When I was a teenager my mother’s parents moved down the street from Nana so all my Spring Breaks and a lot of the summers were spent in Gulf Shores. We would always go over to Nana’s and visit before heading to the beach. I will never forget one fourth of July when we were there and my friend Michael was in town with his family. We were going to Nana’s before he was supposed to pick me up at my grandparents’ house. Evidently he was early and my grandfather told him we were. We were sitting in the living room having dessert when Nana ran in and said “Ray!! Come quick, there is some man swimming in my pool!!” My dad goes to look and comes back and says, “No Nana, that’s just Tricia’s boyfriend.” Even though he was weird, she just told him to dry off and have some dessert. As an adult I go and visit with Nana once a year and I can say it is always the highlight of my summer. I usually bring my friends with me and now they love Nana so much they want to go see her even when I don’t go to the beach at the same time. She always is so loving and nice to everyone that comes with me. I recently saw her and introduced her to my boyfriend Clayton. To me it was most important; to get my Nana’s opinion of the man I’m dating. She said “Patricia now tell me, if he much older than you?” I said, “Yes Ma’am he is older than me.” She said, “Oh Perfect!!” I have heard, now that I’m grown up, that I am a lot like Nana. To me, that is a great compliment, because I have never met anyone as fun, quirky, and eccentric and my Nana. The thing I will always cherish is when she told me she loves me and is proud of the woman I have grown into. I will remember those words for the rest of my life. Tricia Downey
18: My favorite story was when my family and I finally arrived back in the states from living in Germany for two years. I asked my parents to drop us off at nana s for a few days. We were playing outside one evening. Nana went inside for a few seconds to check on the fried cornbread. While she was inside my brother ray had the idea we should play hide and seek. Nana didn't know we were playing hide and seek. She thought someone had snatched her twin grandsons. When she found us behind the rose bush she spanked us hard. From then on when she called for us we answered as loud and quick “Here me are" | Rema rema ree I see something you don't see and the color is RED Nana made up this game to play with us children. She would sit with me on the sidewalk in front of Meme's house and play this game while the grown ups were inside the house talking waiting for the lunch to be served. | Red means stop, Yellow means the light will turn Red in a few seconds, Green means GO Nana was the one who first explained to me what the colors in the traffic light meant. | Memories of Nana by Troy Downey Sr. | Several years ago visiting Nana, Troy asked Nana to make us some of her famous fried cornbread. So I asked Nana if she would teach me how to make the fried cornbread, because Troy loved it soo much. She said to use self rising white cornmeal and boiling hot water to make the "dough". Get the vegetable oil up to boiling. Spoon the dough into the boiler and constantly watch the "pone" sizzle in the hot oil. So standing with Nana at her stove, she turned the oil up and turned it down to regulate the heat. I remember we would laugh and stood like hawks, both watching intently. The fried cornbread was perfectly delicious as is the memory. Sheila Downey | Memories of Nana by Sheila Downey
19: There has never been a better story teller than Nana We would hang on the float and every word of Nana 's while she spared no detail of the story she recited. While sunning in the lagoon with her amphibious grandchildren
20: "Don't count the years...count the memories."
21: Learning Valuable Lessons One summer when I was little, I was privileged enough to spend a couple days with my Nana. This particular visit was special for many reasons but what was really special was that I was there all by myself! Being a little kid and knowing you have all the attention of one of your favorite people is an exciting feeling. In those few days I wanted to do everything Nana did, which included cross stitching and embroidering! Nana proceeded to teach me a skill that I now value so much. She taught me to cross stitch and boy did we cross stitch!! We took daily trips to Al's 5 & 10 Variety Store for supplies. She bought me my very own hoop, embroidery thread and pillowcases. We spent our time together on the couch talking and doing needlework. I can’t remember what all I was talking about but whatever it was she made me feel on top of the world. You may be wondering what else we did during that time together—well, it was clear by the ten pounds I gained while staying there! I don’t think I was hungry the whole time I was there. We were like two little kids eating every couple hours. I remember Nana asking me if I had ever had a coke float. When my answer was no she dropped what she was doing and made me one even though it was right before dinner! I thought it was the funniest thing that we had coke floats before our steak dinner. Those few days when it was just me and Nana will never be forgotten. It was more than special, it touched my life. I think of Nana often when I am sewing and doing crafts. She will always be my inspiration and someone who has a place in my heart. Kate Downey
22: My memories of Nana From the very beginning, I was in awe of my Nana. She held my heart in her very talented and loving hands. She created a treasure chest of memories in my mind. It is perfectly laden with gold and precious jewels but pale in comparison to how beautiful she really was. Nana was always blessed with the gift to make you feel beautiful and as a young girl I desperately needed that affirmation. She would sit at her vanity gazing into the tri-paneled mirrors and artistically walk through her daily routine of painting her face. Her dark features were accentuated with colored liners and she always finished the ritual with fuchsia pink to her lips. Her black hair glamorously piled high on her head always ready for company even if we were off to the beach to comb the shores for shells. She used to tell me that she couldn’t leave until her face was on. She made me feel so special when she took time to let me paint a little on my cheeks and lips. As I grew older, I would always remember her lessons in how to hold the brushes and skillfully draw a perfect line above my lashes and apply a wide array of colors to match my dress of the day. Nana also invited me to sleep with her on occasion. She had the most amazing gowns that she let me pick from to sleep in. I felt like I was a princess in her King sized bed and luxurious light pink satin sheets. The best news was she wanted to sleep in like me..! Nana was so creativeshe could paint beautiful seascapes, play the organ, sing hymns, cook wonderful seafood, sail, golf, hunt, fish, and make glass collages of the shells we found at the beach. Of course we had to kill the creatures that lived in the shells before we could take them home. Nana showed us how to dispose of them in her storage room off the back her house. The room was full of all the beach paraphernalia, paint supplies and boating gear. The room smelled awful but we stayed in there for hours arranging shells and cleaning tar off our feet before we came inside the house. Nana wasn’t afraid of anything. She always told us to watch where you step because snakes would crawl out of the boat slip next to the lagoon and inside her storage room. Actually she said they liked to sunbathe on her sidewalk leading up to the house. This story scared all of us to the point that I rarely went barefoot around the outside of her house. Once she took out a gun and shot a moccasin out on the lawn before any of us knew what was happening. She was so brave and at peace living side by side with nature.
23: One of my favorite memories is when Nana took me to Fort Payne with her and Grandpapa. We stayed in a little hotel with all of their friends. We would sleep late and order breakfast in our room. Nana loved breakfast. She would lay by the pool and I would swim during the day. She would tan to a golden brown and I would burn if not for all the sunscreen that she liberally applied hourly. We would dress up for dinner and eat in a nearby restaurant. After dinner all the ladies came to our room and we played Gin Rummy for hours. I was Nana’s partner and we beat everyone we played. This made Nana very happy. She would tell me that she taught me well and made me believe that I was why we were winning. When that week was over I knew I was special because she told me over and over that I could do anything. She spoke blessings of wisdom and beauty into my heart. She believed in me and I wanted to make her proud of me. I always wanted to be like her to be beautiful, talented and most importantly loved by all. Leslie
24: I remember when Nana came to Birmigham to spend the holidays with the family. We were at Nonney's house about to open gifts in the living room. Nana sat next to me while I was opening a gift and I turned and looked at her...I told her her tooth was loose. Apparently she was unaware that her tooth was about to fall out. -Megan | Megan and Melissa's Memories Things that make us think of Nana | Cameras in the Kitchen-Melissa and I used to goof off in front of them, hoping we wouldn't get caught! | Melissa and I used to fight over which twin bed we would claim in the blue room. | Dressing up in all her clothes and heels and my dad taking a photo shoot of us | The 5,098,853,277 pillows on every bed! | She loved PAPA | Nana was the best listener. She always cared about the most insignificant details about everything that I said. It made me feel important. | door bell | Putt putt golf and Charlie’s | She and I are alike in the fact she always cared about how she looked and never presented herself unkempt. -Megan
25: Desoto's Seafood Restaurant | Peaches | Nana's hot pink nails | Shuffle Board | Swings in back yard by the pool | SLEEPING IN!!! | Cornbread and Milk | Very independent. I admire this about her so much | Soft dark blue pool lining
26: John and I look forward to our March Beach trip every year to see Nana....before the spring breakers ~ John and I meet in Gulf Shores and see the Gulf and NANA... We visit and talk and look around and usually she would offer us a snack she had prepared...one visit she walked us to the car saying our good bye & suddenly she remembered she had not given us our dessert...she asked us to come back in ....watching us standing in the kitchen we both cleaned our parfait glass and she took them from us like a bar tender with one hand! Now she said go on.... "I know you boys have better place to be than with an old lady"...this year was no different ...she looked as beautiful as ever! She and I talk in between my travels.....in the park swinging. She asks where are you? I say I am swinging in the park thinking about you Nana!!..... She always ask....How is John? .I admire her gladness for love and passion for adventure. Every visit she always reminds me that she is proud of me & that I gave up drinking ....but not my joy along with it!! Love ~Gordon & John
27: My "NANA Story" My favorite story with Nana does not include a twin brother but it does include my first horse SPECK.....Registered name.....Sun Speck Rose Speck and I were in Foley Ala at a state Qualifying Appaloosa show Nana had come to the show to watch me ride. During a class Speck lay down like a camel and rolled over with the saddle ...I was not hurt except for my pride. Nana however yelled form the Grand Stands.....Oh God ....The horse died!! Papa looked up from reading the Wall Street journal and yelled "make him do another trick" ... at a boy Gordon!! I was so sad and Mad that my horse had embarrassed me like that. However, he was just taking advantage of the warm sand!! Gordon
28: Nana seldom came to Birmingham when we were growing up, but when she did it was a treat. I enjoyed her stay with us so much when Mama and Papa were traveling. Especially the TV movies with the lights off in her bed were fun. She expressed so much emotion and listened to comments from everyone – even the smallest in the room – as if we were all part of the story on screen. At the commercial breaks she would keep the story going with predictions or other coloring. Time passed quickly with Nana: either commercials or the few days spent with Nana. In general, Nana could make a dark room light up with her own stories. And when I used to recount the stories, the words were not that many, but the images somehow were. Nana naturally picked her words so well to paint the most vivid pictures. When my own children visited her through the years, they would listen, almost spell-bound, to Nana talk of even the most common daily event as if it was some crucial cliff-hanging catastrophe had been avoided. Wow! Nana found shrimp and brought them home and cooked them on the stove. Whether in Birmingham or Gulf Shores, I enjoyed riding in Nana’s car. Firstly, I could sit in the front seat. Secondly, it was very clean and different from our family cars. And lastly, and probably the most important reason for enjoyment was Nana letting me look for Dentine chewing gum in her purse. Until I was ten, I swear, I thought that was her own brand. Another really interesting item in Nana’s purse was the pack of cigarettes. This was like some kind of a mythical object of sin to my kid’s mind. But she let me handle them and talked of the pack, or pouch of whatever special case they were kept in, like it was a necessary evil, like a revolver is held handy just in case the neighbor’s dog goes crazy and attacks. Anyway, I vaguely remember Nana tasting them. My recollection of Nana’s purse and car is scented, as all my memories of Nana are by her special way of verbally coloring her experiences. Obviously, no one needs to begin recalling all her accomplishments, but one feat that is a good story in so many ways is the day – the one day in my memory with Nana -- that seemed to pass very slowly: the day she went to learn to fly. Even the little airplane high in the air had Nana’s signature somehow. And she could bring to life her experience of it so well. So well, that I think her piloting that first day and illustrating it back to me was enough to hold me over to this day. I had my fill as a pilot through her. I could experience things through Nana. I could experience life through Nana. That is the best testimony. Nana spoke life to me so much. Dan
30: Memories of Mama My earliest memories of Mama are of her rocking me when I had asthma attacks so that I could breathe again. She did her best to comfort and assure me during those times. I am grateful to her for so many things. I remember her getting us ready for church each Sunday and walking us to Sunday School. The church was about three miles from our home, and we had no car during the war. If I was "good" she would let me run ahead to swing on a convenient wisteria vine. I don't think she ever quite understood why little boys needed to run and climb and play as I did. But she allowed me to do those things which I enjoyed so much. She seemed to always be there at the times she was needed. She was there for me when I broke my arm, my hand and my nose. She was there when I blew up my hand with a shotgun shell. She was there when I woke up from surgery, holding me hand. I appreciate all the many personal sacrifices she made to keep our family together. She endured and triumphed over many difficult times. She taught us to fight for what was important to us. She loved life and fought for it. Also, she taught us that we could love people who were not perfect. She forgave our failures and encouraged our successes. Mama had an adventuresome spirit. She loved to go to new places and meet new people and do new things. She once took flying lessons. I would not have been surprised to see her ride up on a motorcycle one day. Her Daddy called her "His Princess", and she acted the part every day since. I will forever be grateful to Mama for sharing her home and family with my grandmother, Grandma. She helped raise me and became a godly influence in my life. Together they guided me through my formative years. Mama had a way of making each of us feel we had a special relationship with her. And it is true, we each had a unique bond with her. Of course, I was her "favorite "son! I am so glad we have had the past eleven years living near her and helping care for her as she aged. It is a small return for all she has done for me. I thank God for my dear Mama. Cole
31: Favorite memories of Nana..... I have so many wonderful memories of our precious Nana....all the wonderful vacations at the Lagoon House when our children were young, seeing her come to the door with her beautiful bronze tan, lying on rafts together in the Lagoon, eating her great home cooked meals, and listening to her entertain the children with her "stories". Nana always dressed beautifully and always had on her make-up, jewelry, and those tiny high heels, even to cook dinner. I am thankful for the last ten years we have had with her and so happy the Lord led us to retire in Foley near her. It has been an honor and joy to help care for her, especially to take her special food she always liked. I am thankful she was able to spend the last year at Live Oak Assisted Living, giving us more time with her. It was so hard to come up with something different for each of her birthdays, but on her 80th. one, all her four children and spouses surprised her with a limousine ride (her first) to the Grand Hotel in Fairhope for an elegant dinner. She looked like a queen and seemed to really enjoy the day! Most of all I thank Nana for her wonderful son, my husband Cole, and for the 55 years we have shared together. He is the greatest gift she has ever given me and I thank her for her influence in his life. She treated me as a daughter and I loved her for doing so. Nancy Brown
32: I have many fond memories and thoughts of my Nana. The ones that stand out the most in my mind were as a young boy... I remember little things like catching blue crabs along the beach behind Nana and Grandpapa's house and Nana boiling them for us to eat... I remember Nana reading ghost stories to my sisters and me about the moss man who lived in the graveyard...This is random but I remember the little silver tree she had at Christmas time... When I was older, I remember driving to Nana's for spring break with two of my buddies and her treating them like her own. We still reminisce to this day about how much fun we had... This is kind of funny, but I still remember the smell of Nana's house, maybe it was her perfume, I don't know, but I can still remember it to this day. The most recent memory and probably the last I have of her, is when we were blessed to see her last May. She had aged, like the rest of us, but she was the Nana I always remembered. She was still as beautiful as ever and still had a strong grip when she held my hand. I knew her eyesight had gone some though, when she told me I was just as blonde as ever... haha! We enjoyed sharing our family with her and introducing her to her great- great grandchildren. I will always remember that visit, and her sweet voice with that strong southern accent, telling me she loved me. She will always be in my heart, and in the hearts of my family. I love you, Nana... Cole III
33: Cole, Cole III, Leah, Ella, Kristen and Brock with Nana.
34: I am so grateful to my parents for making the effort to let us spend time with our Nana and get to know her. I know it must have been difficult at times for them to take time off from their ministry jobs and pack us all up and drive from Ohio and various places. to Ala. Their sacrifices were worth it to me, for I now have some great memories of my Nana! One of the first things I equate Nana with is her love for the ocean and beaches. Even after visiting many beaches around the world, my heart is still drawn to the beautiful white powder beaches and blue water of Gulf Shores, AL. I think that may be mostly due to the wonderful long days of playing in the water at Nana's. I remember her being so determined to teach us to float on our back, hold our breath and blow water out of our nose if needed. She gave us a love and respect for one of God's most beautiful creations. It's no wonder my favorite color is blue, especially ocean blue! Some other special memories of Nana are times she would take us in her car- which she loved to drive. Singing along to the radio in her low voice, she'd take us along to her "little chuch" and meet her friends, or to buy seafood for her delicious gumbo, or to the beauty shop. Wherever we'd go, no matter where it was, Nana would always be dressed so beautifully, lipstick and make-up, hair and nails done, so stylish!!! ( As a teen, I loved describing her as my " hip" grandma and introducing her to my yankee Ohio friends.) We all adored her low, southern drawl- with her own unique accent and sayings! Even our daughters, Rachel and Rebekah, have special memories of their "great-Nana". She took the time to tell them some of our favorite stories, "Little Mermaid" and "The Moss Man" in her deep, low, dramatic voice! As my husband Mike says, even Nana's granddaughters and great-granddaughters have some of her flowing through their veins. Our Rachel definitely inherited Nana's flair for shopping, for beautiful clothing, shoes, purses, jewelry, getting nails and hair done, dancing and socializing and loves going to the beach. Rebekah also shares in the love of the ocean, beaches, and ocean creatures like dolphins, and collected many seashells from around the world. She loves being in the water and swims like a fish, and enjoyed Nana's pool when we visited. Whenever we see a sand dollar or seahorse she usually says, "That reminds me of Nana!" There are so many little and great memories of Nana- her special perfume, bright colored clothing, shiny things and jewels, aqua colored decor in her home, Dentyne cinnamon gum, fresh seafood gumbo, oyster dressing, letting me play her organ and paint at her house, unusual Christmas gifts as a teen :) and big smoochie kisses as she held my face in her hands and said, "Your Nana loves you!"
35: Nana was always encouraging to me to be my best and be strong and faithful. I know her faith meant a great deal to her and gave her strength. I'm very thankful for that, now more than ever! It felt like entering a "Palace" when visiting Nana's house and she seemed to have the presence of a "Queen" at times. Now she is in the most beautiful, magnificent Palace and in the presence of THE KING OF KINGS! I would love to see her face when God places a crown of jewels on her head and walks her on the streets of gold. (I just know they must be walking on a beach and splashing in some blue water somewhere up there :). Nana, you have been a blessing in my life and my family. I pray you are now enjoying God's richest blessings of eternity! With loving memories of Nana, Amy (Brown) Tarvin
36: Nana has always had a special place in my heart and my fondest memories are the connection and love we had of all things fashionable, bright, bold, and blingy J. I always looked forward to our trips to Gulf Shores knowing that I could sit in her closet and admire her closet full of shoes and sparkly dresses and dreaming of being like Nana someday. My second favorite memories are of the times we shared just floating out on the lagoon and Nana introducing me to her “secret” Bain de Soleil tanning oil. She was as religious about her tanning as she was about her fashion and to me that was a woman that had her priorities straight ;). Not to mention she could cook up the most delicious crab casserole and gumbo in the south! She’ll forever be the quintessential southern woman, forever hold a special piece of my heart, my Nana. Joy
38: Nana Beneath the everlasting sun We lie on our backs Floating The clouds above the lagoon Conspire with each other To illustrate your words As you tell stories Of wondrous things Of mermaids and monsters Of love and light Just stories But when you tell them They're true As we lie on our backs Floating Beneath the everlasting sun Lance
40: Almost all of my memories of Nana are related to visiting her at the home on Ft. Morgan Road. - Nana kicking off her shoes to play the organ for us - Swimming in the lagoon - Nana sharing her paintings and bottle etchings that she created - The brown water that came out of the faucets before they had better filtration systems at the Gulf - Listening to her tell stories about having to shoot alligators on her property - Visiting the spooky cemetery across the street - Nana conducting seances with the family - Going with us to play Goofy Golf at the course that had the dinosaur - Taking my kids to swim in her pool as she told us stories of Montgomery Cris
42: I cannot remember any early childhood memories of mama. The first one I remember is of her at the piano playing and singing about Jesus. It was the song...Jesus Jesus Jesus sweetest name I know, fills my every longing , keeps me singing as I go! Then I do remember when I was very young and in the hospital. At that time, believe it or not they actually took care of the patient and let the parent go home. So, I knew that she would have to leave me but i also knew that she would be back the next morning. So, I would listen for her footsteps...you see, i knew the sound of those high heels coming towards my room. As I heard that tat a tat that I knew so well, my heart would be so happy and then there she was at the door and what joy I felt and peace! The next memory I have is when I was confined to bed for a year because of rheumatic fever. How she did all she did during that time now I do not know. But she took the time every day to read to me and those were to me the sweetest memories I have. She gave me a precious gift...the love of reading and it has sustained me through many trials. How ironic it was that after she moved to live oak towards the last 2 months she was there that i was able to give back to her the gift that she gave to me. Every sat. I would come to live oak and after getting through with the routine things I would ask her if she wanted me to read to her from our little book called heaven is real. Well, she always said yes. So, I would curl up in bed beside her and read to hear from this book about heaven. Sometimes I would think that she had dozed off to sleep but then I would stop and ask her if she wanted me to stop and she would say oh no carol, I just love having you here beside me! I would not take a million dollars for those memories that only God could have restored. The sweetest thing that she said to me when we read the book together was...I used to read to you and now you are reading to me. Precious memories! CAROL
43: I have many memories of Nana. We have always spent a lot of time with her since Carol and I havealways lived close by. After the death of Carol's father she spent a lot of weekends with us in Spanish Fort and Fort Morgan. The thing I remember the most has to be with eating, of course. Years ago when we would go to the Lagoon house on weekends she would cook the best seafood meal I have ever eaten. Seemed like every time we went she would cook it. It consisted of fried oysters, oyster soup, hush puppies and a special salad. She always seemed very happen to do all the work it took for this meal. I don't ever remember her complaining. Another memories is the time we had a mother-in-law day out. I took off from work and took Nana golfing. After golfing we went back to the lagoon house and played cards..she won.. and then she played the organ. We both had a very good time. There are so many good memories that I know I can't list them all. But I do want to write about her teaching me how to cha-cha. Nana went out with us a lot and she always like me to dance with hereven thought I was so much taller than her. Even though she was my mother-in-law, she was also a very good friend. Bobby Dawson
44: Nana What does the name “Nana” conjure up in her grandchildren’s minds? Will it be the sing song way that she always greeted each and every one if us when we would see her? The way her high heels sounded with a quick click, click, click down a hallway? Or the way she would patiently play with us when we would visit and almost become childlike herself in the process? For us girls it may be the memories of hours of playing dress-up in her closet with the endless pairs of shoes, colorful nightgowns and robes and a never ending assortment of lipstick. And who could forget the way she wrapped her hair in toilet paper and a net before she went to bed. For me, the colors pink and purple will always remind me of Nana. Anything that has feathers or fur, anything flamboyant! I will always think of a woman before her time, brave, adventurous with a vivid imagination, always wanting to explore something new whether it was flying a plane, painting, playing music, or even shooting alligators in the boat slip! But the most precious memories to me will be the times we spent alone together at the lagoon house. Her love for the sun and the water has something that we shared and has been such a huge part of my own life. I believe that my love for the ocean came from Nana and the hours we spent on floats in the lagoon. I will always hear her singing that little song that we sang together “By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea, you and me, you and me, oh how happy we’ll be”. Because of this, and all the other little things that were weaved in and out of my life like a tapestry she, will always be with me when I look at the ocean. She will always be that little song in my heart. Kimberly Dawson Guynn
46: I believe that people are put in our lives to teach us things. My mother taught me to be strong; my grandfather taught me to laugh; dear friends taught me to love. But my great-grandmother, my Nana, taught me how to enjoy life. A big white Cadillac. That’s one of my oldest memories of Nana. She would take me with her to the beauty shop, letting me sit in the front seat on the way, making me feel grown up and special. We would buckle up and open the garage, and that’s when she would “magically” transform the car into an airplane. “Get ready,” she would say. “Time for take-off!” On special occasions she would allow me to play dress-up in her closet, an activity I am sure most females in the family looked forward to furs, jewelry, make-up, wigs it was a little girl’s dream come true. As feminine as Nana was, she also taught me how to roll with the boys. She taught me how to play cards and shuffleboard, skills she knew I would need to be a well rounded adult. She also taught me how to indulge, especially in confectionary delights, a big sweet tooth being a trait I obviously inherited from her. I would not be the person I am today without her. Whether knowingly or not, she shaped me, and I am grateful for that. Thank you, Nana, for all that you taught me, and for all the wonderful memories. Lauren
48: Poolside with Nana | Poolside with Nana
49: I remember many childhood summers spent with nana at the lagoon house. She would take me and Kim swimming in the lagoon, play gin rummy cards for penny Annies, or just tell us stories. On Sunday mornings, you had better be dressed for church because she made sure we never missed at the lagoon road Baptist church. She would always let me buy a small toy at Callaway’s store to take home after church. One afternoon after coming back from church I was taking off my church cloths when nana yelled for me to get to the front door. I ran to the front door from the back bedroom and she swooped me and my sister out the door. We had been robbed while we were at church! Not only that nana new were the robbers still in the house. I looked down and all I had on was my underwear and dress socks! I think I was 5 yrs old. as I grew older I spent a lot of time in the summer with nana at our trailer on ft Morgan. Many lazy summer days she taught me how to play gin rummy. we also would pick crab meat to make crab augratin. She taught me to never waste any meat. As I grew into my teens she would often remind me when I was with a woman to always treat her with respect and like a queen. She also taught me how to slow dance at one of the local restaurants we always went to for seafood. To this day I never step on anybody’s feet because of her teaching. I could go on forever because there is much more but time slips away. My nana has always been (MY NANA) SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A GRANDMOTHER. I WILL LOVE HER ALWAYS AND FOREVER! KEVIN.