In June 1946, two newlyweds drove from Florence, Alabama, to the Pahsimeroi Valley. Traveling in a 1929 Chevy called the “Old Gray Mare,” Kenneth and Mary Long White left the conveniences of oiled roads and electricity to begin their new life together. Fast forward to August 2016. A caravan of vehicles made their way up the dusty Falls Creek road for a surprise early 90th birthday celebration for Grandma Mary.

Meeting us at her yard gate, Grandma gave each of us (32 in all) one of her special giggles, a smile and a hug, but there was still that little bit of a “when I find out who planned this, they are going to be in trouble” look in her twinkling eyes. Chairs were set up, food was placed on the tables and games for the kids were brought out. The day was hot, so the hoses were turned on and water balloons were filled, fresh corn was shucked, stories were told, pictures were taken and cake was eaten.

As Grandma sat back taking it all in, with a great big smile she leaned over and said, “Just think, I started all of this.”

Yes you did! Happy Birthday!

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