Ninety Someone: Victoria Beck

Happy Mother’s Day! Today I decided to interview my grandmother, the matriarch of my family. She is wonderful. She can tell you about what Obama was doing in Washington an hour ago and then in the same breath tell you why Lady Gaga is crazy. She reads, parties, shops, you name it. She does it all and knows it all. Here is our Sunday morning conversation…

Name: Victoria Beck

Hometown: Osyka,Mississippi

Age: 95

College: Tougaloo College

Granny is it okay if I ask you some questions for my blog? I don’t understand you. Let me turn my t.v. down (pause) Okay. Your what? My blog. You know my blog! Oh,Yes! Debra printed it and brought it over. The blog with you and Ian? Well Ian isn’t on it. Is Hannah on it? No, but a lot of my friends are-Yes, I read it. It’s very cute. I enjoyed it. Okay, well I’m going to ask you some questions. Like what?

Describe your life in three words: You know your phone is going in and out? Say what now? Say what? Describe your life in three words. Long lived and comfortable. I’ve lived a long life. It’s been very fun. I’ve done so much. Wait, that’s more than three words huh? Okay how about long-lived and comfortable. Perfect.

First thought when you wake up: Prayer. I pray every morning.

What’s it like being 95 granny? Huh? What’s it like being 95?  Happy. I’m thankful I’ve lived this long and can still get around.

One thing you miss about being young: Huh? Granny! One thing you miss about being young. That’s not me, that’s your phone. Well, I didn’t learn to drive. I’m too old to learn now because everyone is not safe out there.

One thing you love about being old: I wake up and I’m satisfied. I’m still alive and young people love to be in your company. Lord I have so many friends, Robin. Nobody my age anymore just… young friends who come by and pick me up. I don’t really need to drive because everyone just comes over.

Fill in the blank. All mothers should be: proud of their children.

What was your mother like? Very stern. Ummm. She lived a long life also. And never worked. My daddy took care of all of us. She stayed at home. Daddy made seven dollars a week. And we made it on that. A dollar a day.

One thing you wanted all your kids to know? That I loved them. Who is this? Someone keeps clicking in. Probably your mom. She called me today and then hung up. This is probably her now.

Last week was teacher appreciation week. What do your students say about you? They all enjoyed my class and they still come around. That’s who I eat crabs with on Friday. Irlene, Kay, Mitchell, Teddy Rae, Peter, Paul, -they were all in school when they weren’t trying to dodge science. If they asked what time it was I’d say, “time will pass. Will you?”

Who was your favorite president? Kennedy. He was young,  bold, learned, and concerned about all people. I liked him very much.

What do you think about Obama endorsing Gay marriage? I think that’s an issue that should be left to individuals. What he thinks shouldn’t change your opinion. I really think Biden came out with that first and Obama followed behind him. I think individuals should decide that. Don’t you think so? Now who is this clicking in? Who’s calling me?

Anything you want to tell young people today? Get an education. Learn a trade. Keep up with the world. And vote. Always vote.

Who is a really good person? How do you know? Everyone has some good about them. I hope you know that. What may be your bad can be their good. Good and bad are easily transferable.

But the people who fixed your house after Katrina? Ooh God! Samaritan’s purse. Billy Graham’s people. They came in and got me in my house. Fixed my walls. Put up cabinets. They came from Wisconsin, Indiana, Arkansas… They still send me corn meal-the ones from Wisconsin. They bring me bags of cornmeal and grits when they visit. I hear from all of them and they come back in the summer. The ones from Wisconsin take me to dinner. Two came back not long ago and they thought it looked so beautiful.  I said, “I guess so because when you left I didn’t have my porch.” (chuckles) They were so glad. Oooh yes. They painted everything. Then there was the preacher and his wife. The group left and they stayed.  We talk every Christmas. Mmmhhmmm.  So they were obviously really good people. They were great.

People would be surprised to know you: I am very concerned and I don’t always go along with the crowd.

Oh, and what are you doing today? Going to Ocean Springs to eat. Your aunt is taking me. I have to be ready at 11:30 and I still have a lot to do. I got so many beautiful flowers. It looks like the florist.

That was a good interview! Where will you put this Robin? On the internet. Lord have mercy. Now, let me call your mother back. She never did come back.


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2 thoughts on “Ninety Someone: Victoria Beck

  1. Interesting conversation Robin. I want to know the secret to her longevity and her ability to keep her mind so sharp. Guess it ‘s in her genes, Lil Mama and Nanny Barbara maintained their wit and mental faculties til the end.

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