Flowers entertains Rotary with reflections on life

Published 10:50 pm Thursday, April 5, 2012

When Hattie Flowers was introduced as the guest speaker for the Brundidge Rotary Club Wednesday, she was too preoccupied with “observing” to notice.

Several Rotarians alerted her and she popped up and made her way to the podium.

Those who know Flowers weren’t a bit surprised that she was deep into sensing where she was and with whom. Because, for most of Flowers 90 years, she has been a keen observer of the people, places and events surrounding Brundidge.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Flowers grew up “out in the country” in the Shiloh area. When she got the rare opportunity to go into town, she went on a mule and wagon.

“A mule and wagon was our transportation. We are so blessed now not to have mules around,” Flowers said, getting a hearty laugh from the Rotarians. “We are blessed with so many conveniences nowadays. When I was growing up, we raised everything we needed, except flour, sugar and coffee and we usually traded yard eggs to the rolling store for those things. If we wanted meat, we had to kill a hog or a chicken.”

Flowers said life might have been hard but nobody told her about it.

She was fortunate in that she was a people person, eager to learn and was interested in all things.

Members of Flowers’ older generation were nannies for many of the influential families in Brundidge. From them, she inherited their caring ways and genuine interest in people and their lives.

Flowers laughingly said she worked for most of the families in Brundidge at one time or the other. But that was mainly after she retired from the Troy hospital as a nurses’ aide.

If it happened in Brundidge, Hattie Flowers was a part of it or knew the details of it.

“I can remember back long ago better than I can remember yesterday,” she said, laughing.

Flowers responded to questions about the railroad’s role in the development of Brundidge, stables on the backstreet of town and the CC Camp were milk was delivered fresh daily for the Blanton Dairy.

She told about ladies from Brundidge who carried chickens on the foot to the beach when they went down to play bridge. She brought along a paper box that held prescription pills purchased at the drug store and she gave advice on how to live a long life.

“Eat the right foods,” she said. “We grew everything we ate and raised the rest,” she said. “It took us a long time to grow a chicken to frying size. Now, they pump them full of medicine. We don’t know what we’re eating. A long time ago, we knew because we put it there.”

The last question that was asked of Flowers was what was the most important event that happened in Brundidge, as she remembered it.

“When the fair came to town,” she said. “It was a chance to see things I’d never seen before and that got my attention.”

The big-eyed little gal at the fair grew up to be an astute observer of the people, places and events in the town she calls home. And, if you want to know something about Brundidge in the past 80 years or more, just ask Hattie Flowers. If she doesn’t know it, probably nobody will.