What is your earliest childhood memory?
Riding a mule. When I was coming up we had a mule…three of them. I have been riding mules since I was about 5 or 6 years old. I also had a horse named Texas for 26 years.
What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?
Baseball and The Negro Leagues. When Jackie Robinson made it, I felt that one day I would make it. I was about 14 years old when he made it.
How is the world today different from what it was like when you were a child?
More Love…there is no Jim Crow. You get a chance to love everybody. We were taught what to do and what not to do, it was the only way we were going to make it. Most of the time when you respect people they will respect you. Most people respected my dad.
What stories have come down to you about your parents? Grandparents?
They were always good, there were 11 children. We would go to my grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving. On Christmas we went to my grandfather’s (my mother’s father)
What do you believe is the key to a successful marriage?
You have to find the right one…I still love them, but you have to have the right one.
Of all the things you learned from your parents, which do you feel was the most valuable?
I tell you my mama, my daddy always gave good advice but my mom’s advice was better…she told me to keep God first.
What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you?
The good things that I did and I could name a lot of them (laughs)
November 21, 2010
*Interview by Albert Elton Garrett III
*Photography by Precious Garrett
Photographed and compiled by the wife of a great-great-grandson of Wister Lee Garrett.