yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee

From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Decatur County Printers, 1983). Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of Lillye Younger for permission to make this web page.


Fall slipped in unannounced, seemingly as one had just looked down, and there it was. It was a lullaby of color, a blend of grays, tans, browns and russets to the eyes as smooth and restful as Mother's gentle humming is to a sleepy baby.

This describes the setting when a little baby arrived at the home of her parents the late Connie and Mae Washburn Maxwell. She was christened Constance Mae and born October 7th.

Born in the Baptist Hospital in Memphis, and the first baby in the family in many moons, she was the object of everyone's affection.

This little girl was reared in a Christian home, with all the advantages of life, yet she was an humble, unassuming child who shared her toys quite readily with her little friends. Selfishness, envy or jealousy have never had any part of her make—up.

Her parents were in a car wreck when she was 11 months of age and my husband and I, who were living in Paris, moved to Parsons to help out. I nursed her through a siege of whooping cough that lasted six weeks, while her mother was in Campbell's Clinic, being treated for a broken shoulder. She became so attached to me during that time that she didn't know her mother when she returned.

Her mother, the former Mae Washburn of Trenton, Tenn. had assisted my grandmother in rearing me, so she too was close to me.

The association between Constance and I has existed since those early days. We had a great part in her rearing and a neighbor once told me that we were closer than any sisters she had ever known.

Words cannot express how much her life has meant to me, through sorrow and happiness. She is like my right arm, always there when and willing to help me anytime, especially when the dark black clouds of loneliness roll in, as well as when the sea becomes a calm mirror of red colored lights and over everything there is a tranquil grandeur of beauty beyond the powers of words to describe.

I thank god for her. She is one of my closest relatives.

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