(This week, The Grenada Star spotlights 71-year-old Betsy Dees of Cascilla.)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born on July 1, 1950, in Kilmichael at Kilmichael Hospital.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: Jewel and Lera Ingram.
Q: What did your parents do for a living?
A: My Daddy was a factory worker and a carpenter. Then my brother, Bobby, and him went out and started their own business. My mother was a homemaker plus she did factory work and also kept children in her home when she retired.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I have one brother, Bobby Ingram, of Poplar Springs, and I have four sisters, Sue Stidham of Winona, Kay Chapman of Madison and Jan Reaves of Poplar Creek. My sister, Linda Rodgers, of Winona is deceased.
Q: Where did you attend school?
A: Kilmichael High School.
Q: What do you recall most from your childhood?
A: Going to Legion Lake Skating Rink in Winona. That’s where I learned to skate. Mama would let us go there on Sunday afternoons after church.
Q: Where have you lived?
A: I currently live in Cascilla, but I have lived in Winona, Grenada, Greenwood and Texas.
Q: What do you like most about Cascilla?
A: To me, it’s quiet up there; a lot of people may not think so, but I do. I love my home up there and I love my church friends. I like my neighbors; we’re like one happy family in Cascilla. If something happens, we are all there to tend to one another.
Q: What was your husband’s name?
A: Joe Don Dees. He’s passed away.
Q: How long were you married?
A: We married on June 29, 1977. We were married 16 years.
Q: What made your spouse the one for you?
A: We met where I used to work at JA Olson and we just hit it off. He was a very good man.
Q: What advice do you give married couples for them to have a long, healthy marriage like you did?
A: We went to church. If he was out in the yard, I was out in the yard, and if I was in the kitchen, he was in the kitchen. We were always together. If you pray together, you’ll stay together.
Q: Do you have any children?
A: I have one daughter, Cindy Walker.
Q: Where do you attend church?
A: Cascilla Baptist Church. We’re a small church and we help one another out. I’ve been there nearly 20 years.
Q: Where do you work? What is your role?
A: JuJu’s Market. I’ve been here six years as the cook. I used to be the dietary manager at Providence Assisted Living.
Q: Do you have any grandchildren?
Q: Do you do a lot of traveling?
A: Not anymore. Sue and I used to travel some. We went up into Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas just visiting on vacation. We liked to look at old homes and farms.
Q: What inventions have you witnessed that intrigue you? Why?
A: A lot has changed over the years. We didn’t have computers when I was growing up. We didn’t have cell phones; I remember the Party Line. We didn’t have microwaves either. I didn’t have a microwave until after I was married.
Q: What keeps you busy these days?
A: Cooking at JuJu’s. We do a lot of catering around the holidays. I also like to bake – cakes, pies, cookies, brownies and casseroles – more so than just cooking. However, anything that people would like for me to cook, I can fix it for them.
Q: What is your favorite TV show and movie? Why?
A: I’m more of a Western person. I like “Gunsmoke” because it’s a cleaner show than what these new ones are.
Q: What advice would you like to give people on staying healthy?
A: Eat right, exercise, go to the doctor when you are supposed to and follow their advice and take your meds when you’re supposed to.
~ By Adam Prestridge