This week, The Grenada Star spotlights 93-year-old SSG Lewis Trotter of Grenada.
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born on July 16, 1928, out in Sweethome in Grenada County.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: My parents were Charlie and Ethel Trotter.
Q: What did your parents do for a living?
A: My parents were farmers. They raised everything; that’s how we lived.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I had four brothers and one sister. They’re all deceased now.
Q: Where did you attend school?
A: I attended school at the old Sweethome School, it was run by the church back then. I also attended the old Grenada High School. After my service in the Air Force, I attended Mississippi Valley State University and got my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in elementary education.
Q: What do you recall most from your childhood?
A: It was a lot of fun. We didn’t have much, but we had food. I use to make my own bicycle.
Q: Where have you lived?
A: I’ve lived in Grenada and Chicago, Ill. I went to the Air Force and I lived in Riverside, Calif. I’ve also lived in Carrollton.
Q: What do you like most about Grenada?
A: Grenada’s just a quiet place. You can actually walk down the street without being threatened. Everyone knows one another here.
Q: What is your wife’s name?
A: My wife’s name is Nancy Trotter.
Q: How long have you been married?
A: We’ve been married for 15 years.
Q: What made your spouse the one for you?
A: I don’t know. When I as a barber, I use to cut her hair. Well, one day I told her that she didn’t owe me anything for the haircut and that I wanted her phone number instead.
Q: What advice do you give married couples for them to have a long, healthy marriage like you did?
A: Make sure that you’re in love with one another before getting married.
Q: Do you have any children?
A: I have three children – James Trotter, Katina Duren and Darnell Trotter.
Q: Where do your children live and what do they do for a living?
A: James lives in Olive Branch. Katina lives in Carroll County and she is a schoolteacher. Darnell lives in St. Petersburg, Fla., and works for veteran’s affairs.
Q: Where do you attend church?
A: I attend Sweethome A.M.E. Church. I was on the board of directors when the new building was constructed. While I was in Carroll County ,I attended Helm Chapel CME Church.
Q: Where did you work? What was your role?
A: I worked for the Internal Revenue Service, in the Air Force I was a mechanic, I worked for the railroad and I taught school for 18 years. A lot of people in Grenada remember me as a barber and I did that for 68 years. I was also in the United States Air Force as a staff sergeant. I was discharged in 1961.
Q: Do you have any grandchildren?
A: I have four grandchildren.
Q: Do you do a lot of traveling?
A: I don’t do a lot of traveling anymore. I’ve been all over though. I’ve been to England, I’ve been to Guam and even Burmurda. I’ve been all over the United States. I’ve been to Spokane, Wash., but I’ve never been to Seattle.
Q: What inventions have you witnessed that intrigue you? Why?
A: That would have to be all of the additions made to the automobiles; they do everything nowadays. I remember when I was a boy, a school bus rode past me and didn’t pick me up because I was black. Now I drive a Cadillac.
Q: What keeps you busy these days?
A: I work in my lawn to keep me busy. I also entertain my wife.
Q: What is your favorite TV show and movie? Why?
A: I really like “Gunsmoke” because I like to see my guy Matt Dillon outdraw the other guys. My favorite movie is “Gone With the Wind.” I don’t know why I like that movie so much—I just do. I guess because it was made in 1939 and the cast was very good.
Q: What advice would you like to give people on staying healthy?
A: Stay off the pork and eat fish and chicken. Try not to ever skip breakfast. Don’t do a lot of drinking either. It’s OK to have a shot, but not too much. And, stay off those drugs, it’s only going to ruin your life.
~ By: Reggie Ross