A Century of Change
BY MARY ELLE HUNTER
Special to The Pilot
Gussie Boggan has experienced many changes in the 100 years she has lived in the Sandhills.
She celebrated her milestone of a birthday last week, surrounded by her family and members of her church. Proudly displayed along the wall in the neat apartment she shares with her daughter, Dolores Platt, are pictures of her four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and the newest descendant, a great-great grandchild.
The celebration began Saturday, March 27, the actual date of her birthday, with a dinner at a local restaurant for the family. Then on Sunday, March 28, after the services at the Missionary Baptist Church, there was another joyous observance of the day in 1910 on which she was born.
Gussie Boggan was born on a Scotland County farm, the second oldest of nine brothers and sisters, and grew up sharing the rural lifestyle, which included her share of chores to help with the growing and harvesting of cotton, corn and watermelons. She lived with her parents on the farm until the early 1940s, when she was married.
Subsequently the couple moved to Rockingham, and her husband found work in a mill. She had two children, a son and a daughter, Dolores Platt, who has been close to her all these years.
Gussie and her family have lived in Southern Pines since the mid 1950s. She found work outside the home at Jack's Grill,and Hammon's Restaurant, and also was employed at the Howard Johnson's Motel on U.S. 1 for more than 20 years. Then she took care of twin children for a working mother, before "retiring" in the early 1970s.
A widow since her husband's death in 1979, Gussie also raised her daughter's children for a while. Dolores Platt explains that at the time she was having problems, "but I made sure that she had extra money for food and other necessities, and came to see them twice a week. They minded her and did what she told them to do, and she raised them right, just as she did for me. When I was growing up, I remember she cooked three good meals for us every day, and she always taught us to do the right thing."
A devout church-going woman all of her life, she rarely has missed a Sunday. That is one of the reasons for her longevity, her daughter believes.
Along with her faith, Gussie has always valued family life. Her strength and her determination to make a good life for her children continue to sustain her through this century of change.
Contact Pinehurst writer Mary Elle Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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