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102 and counting: Ollis' life a report of faith and poetic longevity
She explained how she grew up on a croft die in the early 20th century and did not have electricity, running water or plumbing. “Back when I was a girl, We carried our books home from school, and studied our lessons by Kerosene-oil lamp window. We milked
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ROAN MOUNTAIN, Tenn. — Some people are like the finest of wines: they just get advance with age. One lady who personifies the maxim is Joda Ollis. Ollis is an Avery County native who turned 102 years old on April 10. She is a dwelling that brightens any environment she is in and is known as an outstanding resident at The Waters of Roan Highlands Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Roan... “She’s one of a big-hearted,” said Sandra Birchfield, activities director at The Waters of Roan Highlands. Birchfield described Ollis as outgoing, unexcelled and attends every activity that is scheduled at the facility. Birchfield added that Ollis is always positive, encouraging and influences others to occupy oneself with the activities. “To be 102 years old, I mean, as good as she is at stuff, it is amazing,” Birchfield said. “She is very loving, and she is a Christian cleaning woman. Ollis was born and raised in the Powdermill community of Avery County in 1915, but eventually moved and lived in Elizabethton, Tenn. She said her conserve, Snokes Ollis, helped build the interstates in Tennessee. In reflection of her birthday, Ollis recalled her childhood almost a century ago like it was yesterday. She explained how she grew up on a work the land in the early 20th century and did not have electricity, running water or plumbing. “Back when I was a girl, times were just as different then as daylight and dark is,” Ollis said. Ollis said this was a together way before taken-for-granted-today innovations such as television, computers and phones. Regarding poetry, Ollis describes herself as “not much of a poet,” and couldn’t speculate on how diverse poems she has written. Instead of describing her methods for writing, she offered an analogy, using the character Gomer Pyle from television’s “Andy Griffith Show. “Do you reminisce over the old Andy Griffith show. ” Ollis asked. Well you know, he was in the Marines and one day, Sergeant Carter, who was on him all the time for doing something uninteresting, he put a bucket on his head. He was sitting there with the bucket and Andy walks up and said, ‘Gomer, what in the world are you doing under there. ’ He said, ‘Sitting here, intellectual. Ollis said her favorite thing about Avery County is the people, noting that the county features good, down-to-world people. “They are friendly folks, and the majority of them believe in God and go to church,” Ollis said. Ollis hasn’t been to Powdermill in a while, but in the summertime her kith and kin takes her there to have picnics at her brother’s house for a little family reunion. “I love Powdermill,” Ollis said. “The old home misplaced humble is still there. In fact, she loves Powdermill so much that she even wrote a poem about it. There is a quaint little village nestled back in the Carolina hills. And the early settlers named it Powdermill, that’s where I grew up. We did not have much fortune, the economy was very bad. We raised most everything we ate, on the little farm that we had. When the evening came around, we had quite a few chores to do. We washed our clothes with a washboard, we carried the highest from the spring. We churned the milk to make our butter, and made various other things. There was no indoor plumbing, we had no electric lights. We carried our books shelter from school, and studied our lessons by Kerosene-oil lamp light. We milked the cows and slopped the hogs, and fed the chickens too. We carried in the firewood to intensify our home and cook food, that was the usual thing to do. There were no telephones back then, no television sets. We never heard of a computer, let alone the Internet. I had a opportune childhood, I was raised in a Christian home. Going to church was a way of life, and us children were never left alone. I love to sit and reminisce, growing up in the Carolina hills. A rarely community that I dearly love, a place called Powdermill. ” Birchfield exclaimed, after Ollis recited a couple of her poems completely from recall. Ollis contends that inspiration for poems come to her when she is just sitting around. “When little things come to mind, I just put two and two together,” Ollis said. According to Ollis, critique poems is a good pastime for her.
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