Friday, April 25, 2014
Four years ago the Georgetown Times released a story about Annie Mae Greggs a native and lifetime resident of the Plantersville Community when she turned 100. She is a remarkable centurion plus who remains an active and vibrant spirit; still cooking and tending to her flowers inside and on the outside of her home. Residing on the old homestead property where she was reared as a child, you will find Mother Greggs.
On April 25, 1910, Annie, the third child of nine children, was born to Susan Gallant Greggs and James Greggs (who died 13 days prior to his 100th birthday). Her parents and all of her siblings: Roberta, Hattie, Herbert, Wayman, Julius, James, Jr., Mary and Michael have now passed on and she remains the only survivor.
Although she has never married nor has any children of her own, her devoted niece, Linda Barr, nephews, Roscoe and Vannie DeLee and cousin, Willie Washington, Jr., attentively takes care of her affairs. Even her niece Doris Grate fills-in when needed. Let’s not forget her extended family throughout Plantersville and the surrounding areas that make sure all of her needs are met.
The old adage, “It takes a village to raise a child,” somewhat applies here. While these caretakers and villagers are not raising her; they provide her with all of the comforts she dutifully gave to her parents, siblings, family members and friends who are no longer with her.
Mother Greggs’ daily routine has not changed as she continues to follow the same format everyday. Upon rising she opens the blinds, sits in her chair and satisfies her spiritual soul by praying to God and reading the Bible, she then gets ready for the day making sure she is always fully dressed, finally she makes way to her kitchen where she prepares food for her physical body. She will tell you that’s the reason for her longevity… she give praises to her God first.
She also believes that work helps to keep you grounded. Everybody should have a job. She had an established career as a Beautician and also did domestic work in the cities near her community.
People throughout Greggs Town (as her subdivision in Plantersville is called) respect this Mother of the Church and readily accepts her advice and teachings. As a faithful member of Bethel AME Church in Plantersville, she actively ushered and worked in the Sunday School. You can still find her attending Sunday Church School today along with morning worship services.
Mother Greggs fondly recalls some of the many changes she has been blessed to see. She talks about the times they had to walk to church and in the winter had to make a fire before the service got started. Later they rode a horse and buggy along those dirt roads long before people had any cars. The entire village was dark because there was no electricity long time ago. People used lamplights, candles and lanterns when she was a child. She can also remember how people traveled by boat to cross Black River to go to town. Later they built a ferry and then a bridge. Most of all, she praises and thank God for allowing her to witness an historical event she never thought she would see in her lifetime. She had the opportunity to vote not once, but twice, for the first African American President of the United States. She spoke about the commendations she received from him and other political figures when she celebrated her 100th birthday.
A grand celebration was held at Plantersville Elementary School in 2010 honoring her special day as a 100-year-old citizen. How incredible it is to conceive that four years later a few family members and close knit friends will gather once again to commemorate her 104th birthday in an intimate celebration at her residence.
Mayor Jack Scoville has proclaimed April 25th as Annie Mae Greggs Day in the city of Georgetown.
Mother Greggs proudly states that her favorite scripture in the Bible is her stronghold. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27: 1 KJV) Truly God has heard the supplication of Mother Greggs and continues to answer her prayers.