Local senior heads to state beauty pageant

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fannie Boswell tipped her head to one side to balance her tiara.

Boswell is not accustomed to wearing a crown. She would feel more comfortable in an “ol’ bonnet with a tie string.”

7-18 TH&R Pageant picture_web

Fannie Boswell will make her way to the Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant on Monday.

Bonnets don’t fall off, she said laughing.

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Boswell is Ms. Troy Health and Rehab 2013 and she is preparing for the Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant in Birmingham on Monday. She said she is excited to be a member of the Queen’s Court.

“I’ve never been a queen before,” Boswell said with a smile. “I don’t know what I’ll do up there.”

There weren’t many pageant opportunities in China Grove where Boswell grew up.

She was born in 1927 and was the oldest of 10 children. She grew up on a farm “and in the cotton field.”

“I hoed cotton, chopped cotton and picked cotton,” she said. “I plowed the fields with a mule. But that was when I was a lady. One of my boys showed me how to plow with a mule and I was scared of that ol’ mule. He had big ol’ eyes and he’d keep looking back at me. Scared me.”

Boswell, laughingly said there were a lot of things in China Grove that scared her and snakes were chief among them.

“One time, I was walking the road with some of my little children and they started screaming ‘Snake! Snake!’ and I took off running. Left them with the snake,” she said. “I got way on up the road and they came after me, bringing the snake. It was just a little ol’ green thing. We laughed a lot about that.”

Boswell said another time she came in close contact with a coachwhip in the cornfield.

“I didn’t stay around to let that coachwhip whip me,” she said, laughing. “I ran out of that cornfield, knocking ears off, and I got away from that snake. Anytime I saw a snake, I’d run and I’d leave my children, too.”

Boswell and her husband, who was “the best thing that happened” to her, had 13 children. Most of them were born at home, only a few in the hospital.

Boswell said she is blessed to have come from a large loving family and to have a large loving family.

She has 25 grandchildren, 42 great grandchildren and 14 great-great grandchildren.

“All that and Jesus, too.”

Boswell was blessed with a good singing voice, “tenor it was.”

She sang with the Mt. Zion Gospel Choir and the Heavenly Four, which was made up of family members.

“Oh, I did love to sing,” she said. “I still can sing. My favorite song is ‘I Got Jesus and That’s Enough.’ And Jesus is enough.”

Boswell closed her eyes and she sang, “God’s got his arms wrapped all around me. I’ve got Jesus and that’s enough.”

Troy Health and Rehabilitation Center will host a send-off party at 5:30 p.m. today. Family and friends are invited.