Prepared by Hugh Keedy and Jessie Bennett
Co-directors: Bethesda Museum
Annie Lou McCord
I was born in Cross Keys and have lived there all my life. There were seven in my family. We were raised poor, but very happy. My parents, Grover and Carrie Trice, raised all we ate. My mother made my clothes out of old shirts and feed sacks.
We never had a car because as far as we went was to Bethesda and Cross Keys. As I got older I rode to Franklin with my uncle and aunt, Chubb and Louise Hargrove. We had lots of cousins. I visited my grandmother, Kate Trice, who lived across the road.
My special cousin was Billie Jean Hargrove (now Lillard). Billie Jean and I would walk to Cross Keys store and carry eggs to sell for our grandmother. One time we spent some of the money. We told grandmother we fell and broke some eggs. She was smart enough and kept asking us about it. We finally told her we spent some of the money. She was going to whip us and I ran home. Billie Jean lived with her; she always got into trouble.
The preacher came one time. Grandmother told us to be good. We got tickled and I would look into the mirror and make faces at Billie Jean. I was always mean. When the preacher left, grandmother did not say a word. She got a long stick she kept on the porch and gave Billie Jean one hard lick, and me two. I asked her, "why two?" and she said for the eggs. That was my last time to not mind her.
The only thing I ever took was a nickel I took from my aunt. I got it out of a little glass hen, and stopped at Cross Keys and bought ice cream. I told my sister Peggy about it and she cried and told mama. She got a nickel and a switch and whipped me all the way to my aunt's. Then she gave me the nickel to give her. So, I was broke young.
All my brothers and sisters along with cousins and friends walked to church. We carried shoes and changed at the cross roads in Bethesda. I was next to the baby in the family; it was hard growing up. My mother worked in the lunch room in Bethesda so I had it made in getting plenty to eat.
I went to the first grade at Choctaw school, which is still standing and rode horseback with my teacher, Lola (Reed) Bowersox.
My special friends at Bethesda were sisters, Grace (Tomlin) Glenn and Sara (Tomlin) Mosley (?). They would spend the night with us. We always went to the "old apple" tree and sat up in it to eat apples and talk. We made play houses on big rocks. My mother would call us to come and eat. We are all still good friends; that is why I like living in a small community.
I went 11 years to Bethesda school and finished in 1952. I also was married that same year to Charlie Bennett. I met him at a skating party in the old Bethesda gym. We have two daughters, Connie, who married Tim Marlin, and Brenda, who married Dan Wooton (?). Our one son Rodger married Lynn King. We have five grandchildren: Jason and Jessica Daniel, Kyle Marlin, and Bu__ and Tanner Bennett. They all have gone to Bethesda school.
We built our home, 34 years ago, in the old pea field where I grew up on my parents place. I still go to the same church, Bethesda Presbyterian. The building is over 100 years old.
I love living and working in the Bethesda Community. This is a dream come true to work in the Bethesda Museum and help write this book with my friend Hugh Keedy.