“My roommate vacationed in Mobile and wanted to live here. He lived in Birmingham, and I lived in Atlanta. He kept going on about Mobile but couldn’t afford to move here by himself. We both got jobs here and moved. We found this apartment in Oakleigh and the neighborhood feels like home.
Last year was our first Mardi Gras. We were excited about it this year, then COVID ht. We had to do something to participate. We put a challenge up for Church Street to decorate yards and porches. We will give out a Mardi Gras gift baskets and ribbons for prizes. Since we posted the signs and started decorating, we have met many more of our neighbors. It is bringing people outside again. Someone threw out this playhouse. so we put it in our yard and started decorating it. I think Mardi Gras is something that anyone who lives here doesn’t want to lose or forget.
This is a picture of me with my parents. My mother is retired. My dad is retiring in two years. He has been with the same company for 45 years. My dad worked his way up. My parents came from nothing. My dad had an eighth-grade education and my mother had an 11th-grade education. I was about 10 years old and when they got their GED together. Dad’s company paid for him to go to school to go with his promotions. He got his associate’s degree and then his bachelor’s degree. My parents paid $275 a month for rent for a small house in town. They saved their money and built their dream house on the top of the mountain in Georgia. They’ve lived in that home for 30 years now and they don’t have a mortgage. They adopted my two sisters. I wish I had the work ethic they have. I am very proud of them.
My last name was once spelled Hudgens. My great-grandfather ran moonshine in Calhoun, Georgia. He got into so much trouble that the only we he could get a loan from the bank was to change the spelling of his last name to Hudgins.”