Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ripley's Got Nuthin Compared to Willie Mae Mills

Mrs. Willie Mae Mills, 99, of Hubbard passed away Monday, April 19, 2010. If submitted, Willie Mae would easily win a Ripley's Believe It or Not award. But first, the story:

I was pre-school aged when my Mom and Dad got a rare divorce for those times, and she, my brother Mack, and I moved to Hubbard to live with my Great Grandmother who had no indoor plumbing at the time. Living 'catty-cornered' from us was the Mills family. They had a somewhat large impact on my life.

Lemma Mills, the daughter who was a twin, was a gorgeous red head who became a twirler in high school and married a banker. From the day I saw her I loved beautiful girls.

Livy Mills, the son who was a twin, was one of the first T Formation Quarterbacks in the 1950's. I became a Quarterback.

Otto Mills, the oldest son, taught me in Math and coached football when I was in High School. I majored in Mathematics and Physical Education in college.

The father, Bill Mills, was my honorary father on Football Dad's Night all four years I was in High School. Also, he was always there to repair my Vespa Motor Scooter at my beckon call. Till this day, I rely on other people to fix anything mechanical or electrical or whatever.

And now the real story, Willie Mae Mills. When Otto joined the football team as a freshman in high school, Mom (better known to Bloggers as Maxine) suggested that Willie Mae see his first game. At the time she had never seen a football game and had no interest in such. Well, Mom drove the Mills to that first game, and it began a Ripley's feat. You see Willie Mae proceeded to attend Hubbard High football games, both home and away, for the next 61 years (yep, that 61 is no typo) without missing one game.

One year Willie Mae delayed her heart surgery so that she could finish the season. Rain, snow, ice, winds, it didn't matter. Win or lose, good team/bad team, it didn't matter. This little 90 lb. red headed woman sat right in the middle of the "football stands" cheering at the top of her little lungs. I never walked off the field after a game that I didn't look for Mrs. Mills seeking her approval. In fact the greatest compliment I have ever received came from Bill Mills. He said that I was one of the "guttiest" players to come from Hubbard. Not very good, but gutty.

Two years ago Willie Mae fell and broke her hip causing her to attend only one game and breaking her 61 year streak. Last year she only attended home games.

When Willie Mae suffered a stroke and was in the hospital a few weeks back, the local Baptist Minister, Ricky Woodall, visited her. Rev. Woodall told Willie Mae that he knew she was trying to live a few more months to reach her 100th birthday. Ricky made a ruling right on the spot. He told her that when you count her "womb" time that she had already made her goal. She was 100 years of age. Willie Mae joined her Savior in perfect peace having achieved her goals and then some.

About 4 months ago I drove by Willie Mae's house and saw her rocking on her front porch. I stopped and sat with her on the swing for a good hour. What a great time I had as she pointed 'catty-cornered' across the street and reminisced, not to mention the world class hugs as I arrived and departed. She could really squeeze you to be so small.

If you have a Willie Mae in your life, do yourself a favor, and get your butts to visit them as fast as you can.

Think about it,


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