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Mary Mitchell: Historian

By the time she made her arrival into the arms of a mid-wife, Mary Mitchell, the historian of Orange Mound, Tennessee, was surrounded by generations of loving family members welcoming her into a good life. Her parents lived as double tenants alongside several other members of their family tribe.

By the time Mary was four and her sister was two, her parents parted ways, which switched up the family vibe, but still they managed to get by and turned out just fine.Her paternal side of the family purchased the home she currently resides and has been residing for many of her 80 plus years.

At one point, Mary’s family had to move to Douglass, they didn’t allow the fruitful friendships and relationships they had developed just disappear. Since they were still members of Mt. Pisgah, they walked back and forth to get there every chance they had. Mitchell recalls, “I don’t think there was a person from Haynes to Airways that, in my growing up years, I didn’t know who I couldn’t go by with a sob story, sad story, happy story, silly story, and get loving, kind, tender care, cookies or whatever you wanted,” says Ms Mitchell.

Orange Mound is a sacred place with a feeling of
belonging. When you could link with your neighbors for tea parties, cookies, and good times, it became natural to let your hair down and enjoy the good vibes.When only a couple of people in the neighborhood had cars, you still had a ride even though you didn’t have your own. Those truly were good times!

an excerpt from the forthcoming Anthology ‘Our Neighbors, Our Stories: Finding Common Ground…’

story by Carin Malone

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