Six Generations Gathered At Matriarch’s Birthday Party
Photograph by shootMyPhoto.com Bessie Moore, center, is surrounded by her son, Don Moore, and, from left to right, great-great-great-granddaughter, Emma Marie Collins (born July 1), great-great-granddaughter, Laicee Collins, 21, great-granddaughter, Damarda Doss, 39, and granddaughter, Martha Welborn, 58.
MOUNT VERNON, Ind. — Bessie Moore doesn’t like a fuss being made over her, even if she did turn 97 on Thursday.
She’s always been a feisty, independent woman, says her son, Don Moore, who’s in his mid-70s.
Sort of like the old gal in the movie “Driving Miss Daisy,” although unlike the character played by Jessica Tandy, Bessie Moore never learned to drive.
She walked to her sewing factory job, helping her husband raise two children and live in an $8-a-month house during the Great Depression and World War II.
But Sunday afternoon, at her daughter Anita Ainsworth’s home here, the family will toss a birthday dinner and give her a six-generation portrait taken recently.
In the portrait, the family matriarch is surrounded by son, Don Moore; granddaughter, Martha Welborn, 58; great-granddaughter, Damarda Doss, 39; great-great-granddaughter, Laicee Collins, 21; and great-great-great-granddaughter, Emma Marie Collins, born July 1.
“We try to have a birthday dinner for her every year,” said Welborn, a Whirlpool Corp. employee, “but she doesn’t like the fuss.”
Don Moore said his mother was born in 1912 in a Tennessee village that no longer exists. She moved to Mount Vernon about 1917 because her dad got a job as a plant foreman.
“The first time I ever drank coffee was the night my sister was born at home (1937),” recalls Don Moore.
“My dad let me go into the kitchen with him. I was 5.
“That same year, he gave me a whippin’ for playing in the flooded Ohio River, which made me run fast. I was on the Mount Vernon High School football team in 1946 that went undefeated.”
The other day, Don Moore and his wife dropped by his mother’s high-rise apartment with a birthday card.
“My wife looked at Mom and said, ‘It looks like you’re losing weight.’ Mom said, ‘Why I am not. I am not losing weight!’”
Bessie Moore, whose husband died at work in 1970, also was told recently she qualifies for food stamps.
Don Moore said when she heard that, she bristled.
“I’m not poor,” she said. “I’m not.”
Courtesy of Evansville Courier & Press
7 Jul 2009