He was a wild child and the craziest thing I had ever met

October 28, 2018

“We were born and raised in Mobile and moved to Tennessee. We came back yesterday to visit. She wanted to see the square and I wanted to feed the squirrels. We moved away 30 years ago. It has been forever since we have been downtown. We didn’t even bring our kids here for Mardi Gras. It was too dangerous. She was scared to come here today because she thought there would be perverts walking all over the place.”

“I see no danger here now. I love it. The police on horses and the band in the square. I am pleasantly surprised at all that has been done to it. We have been reminiscing about Woolworth, Gayfers and Hammel’s.  I still have a bag from Gayfers that I won’t throw away. It was my favorite store.”

“We lived Fulton Road, now Dauphin Island Parkway. With $1 we got on the bus, went to the Empire Theater and watched a doubleheader. After it was over, we went next door to Tanners. They made the best hot dogs. We cut oranges in half and squeezed them to make pure orange juice. Then caught the bus and went back home. All on $1 and we did it every Saturday.”

“I never did that because we were too poor to have a dollar.”

“I was working with her brother-in-law and he showed me a picture of her and said she was coming soon to live with them. I fell in love with the picture and told him for goodness sakes, bring her by here. He did and we did and now we are. 57 years later.

I went to Murphy High School. They had a smoking tree and I smoked there. We painted the old cannon on Government with scores of football games. We used a cigarette to light a cherry bomb up, throw it in the cannon and ran across the street and wait for it to explode. Folks would be slamming on their breaks and we laughed the whole time.”

“He was a wild child and the craziest thing I had ever met. I had never seen anyone like him. He was my king.”

“Her king almost died several times. I had cancer in my head and diagnosed with stage five melanoma in 2002. They said if it metastasized I was out of here. Eight months later, they operated on one side of my neck and it was metastatic melanoma. It went to my left lung and they took out half of it out. It went to my spleen, my pancreas and to both sides of my neck and to my back. And then they changed their diagnosis. It couldn’t be melanoma because I wouldn’t die.”

“God is not through with him. He is still trying to straighten him out. He has had three heart attacks.”

“But I got rid of my cancer first. The heart attacks were a year and a half ago.”

“Our daughter is in her 40’s and she has had two kidney transplants. Our son gave one of the kidneys. She went in the hospital this morning. I think her body is trying to reject the kidney.  We raised two of our grandkids. Everyone has problems and God is getting us through. I never thought of myself as a brave or strong person but looking back and talking about it, I realize I am. But I am happy now and don’t want for anything except a house in Mobile.”


  1. Susan Warley

    Welcome back home! We are really glad you shared your memories and made new ones. I came back too, but for me Mobile was a day trip as a child because I grew up in Fairhope. When I returned after 30 years all I heard was negative about Mobile but one day I decided it could not be any worse than the polarization happening in Baldwin County after the 2000 election so I came to the University of South Alabama at age 50 and at age 51 I moved to Mobile where I still live!

    The act of feeding the squirrels in the park is one of the ways people have been coming together as humans in a Susan crazy world and no matter who you are it is hard to feel bad about humanity when you join in such a simple act of kindness.

  2. Susan Warley

    How did I manage to call it a Susan Crazy World? Lol…


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