My mother was born, Betty Lou Sublett on 6 October 1941. She was the second daughter born to Lacy Luke and Virginia Odelle Sublett. Her sister, Carol, was born exactly 2 years earlier in 1939.
When I think back on how my mom’s upbringing must have been, I think of three distinct pillars, family, music and volunteerism.
My mother and her sister grew up in a multi-generational home. Her maternal grandparents lived with them. It was likely for financial reasons, but we are not certain. It could have also been for medical reasons as Betty’s grandmother, Carrie Lou, lost part of her arm from post-operative complications from breast cancer.
Mom also lived close to other family members. Her paternal grandparents lived in the country. Mom has shared stories of going down to the farm on Sundays after church and spending time with her cousins and other relatives.
I also think of music when I think of mom growing up. She was coming of age in the 50’s when music was becoming very important to teenagers. This is now defined as classic pop. Groups like the Four Freshman, Kingston Trio, and Eddie Fisher were some of the music talents that she listened to as she was coming of age. Mom said that “Elvis was to greasy for her, I (she) was more preppy than that.”
I remember music filling our house when I was growing up, granted it was show tunes by then, but music was always playing. I also remember when we lived in Novi, my parents hosted a block party of sort, and Novi’s finest, Novi Police Officers, stopped by not once, but twice for the loud music. I can still remember, they were playing Kool and the Gang’s ‘Celebration’. I was babysitting across the backyards.
The last pillar, volunteerism is another attribute that comes to mind when I think about mom. There are articles in my genealogy collection that show mom as a young girl as president of a Y-teen Club. Later after she was married she was an active member in the Middleburg Heights Women’s club. She also belonged to the Novi Athletics Booster Club. She has dedicated a ton of hours to a variety of causes whether it was the Snow Ball Dance to raise money for handicapped children, or the Booster Club to raise money for teen sports she was always busy helping others. Her most recent adventure has been as a volunteer for the USO. She volunteers several hours a month so that all the service members and their families have somewhere nice to rest in while traveling through Charlotte’s airport.
I am quite proud of my mother’s volunteerism. I have always given back in some small way. I have recently upped my volunteerism to join the rotary club here in Richmond.
You can tell by this post that I love my mother. That is the easy part, but, more importantly I am proud of my mother and all of the accomplishments she has done for not only us as children and then adults, but what she has brought to her community.
We will talk more about her and my parents courtship later.