Listening to: Don’t Bring Me Down
Thought for the day: I was so happy to see the sun today I could have kissed it. I wouldn’t have cared if it burned my lips.
Note: This is a peep into a continuing project. My friends and I are interviewing our elders in Old Hickory village to document what it was like to live/work in a village mostly owned/operated by the DuPont Company.
Last night my friends and I spent time with Jimmy Lawson. Mr. Lawson is in his early 80s and a bit younger than our previous interviewees. As expected his experiences growing up in Old Hickory were a little different than what we’ve heard so far, but no less interesting/entertaining. Today’s photo is of Mr. Lawson in front of an Esso gas station he opened in 1957 on the corner of Hadley and Donelson Ave.
At the end of each of these interviews we always ask the question, “What do you want to be remembered for?” Mr. Lawson’s answer was, “I want to be remembered for helping people.” As a life-long member of the Old Hickory Church of Christ he’s had multiple opportunities to achieve his wish via community work and mission trips to faraway places. What stuck out in my mind, however, in relation to his answer is how young his work began. His family was the first on their block to have a telephone installed in their house. During WWII, one of the few options a soldier had to talk to a loved one back home was to call the Lawson house. Whenever a call was received, Mr. Lawson was dispatched into the neighborhood to notify the soldier’s wife that she had a call waiting for her. Can you imagine the excitement a “war widow” must have felt at the site of young Jimmy walking up the sidewalk unexpectedly? He would also run errands for these women and help them when he could. You know, I don’t think Mr. Lawson realizes it, but he fulfilled his desire to be remembered for helping people a very long time ago. Thankfully, he never quit helping people and he still helps today. It’s something I admire with all of my heart.