Total Pageviews

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Tribute to the "Mothers of Riverview" PAGE 2


                                                      Mrs. Lillian "Lilly" Smith

Even at 93 years young, my mama Lillie Smith is still one of the original "Riverview" moms.  After 3 children of her own, 2 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, and now 2 great-great grandchildren, she has managed to keep a cheerful smile of her face and welcome you to her home every time you see her.  Mama is known for her beautiful flower gardens and giving anyone her "secret" potion whenver there was a sniffle.  She has been an active member of the Usher Board, the Deaconess Board, and the Altar Guild of Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church throughout her life. Continue to celebrate my Riverview "mom" on her 94th birthday, June 8th.

From Nelson Smith


                                                                       Sylvia Bond

Sylvia Bond served as School Mother Patrol on Sullivan Street, helping the kids going from Riverview to the Highway to school from 1971/1975. She Also was one of the founders of the Douglass Twirlettes in the 80's.

From Crystal Bond


                                                           Mrs. Ray "Pinkie" Horton
Mrs. Pinkie Horton,

Having had 9 children of her own, she was always a second mother to all children, teenagers, and young adults in and out of church and the neighborhood; she knew all of us by name. Never judgemental she always and still to this day has a smile and a hug for all people that she comes in contact with. She is over 80 yrs. old and still making life happen; Ms. Pinkie is a caring, loving individual who was always willing to help someone in need. Even now you'll look up and you'll see Ms. Pinkie at all the African-American events; still being supportive of whatever's going on in the neigborhood; note: before she stopped driving this time last year she was still riding through RIVERVIEW it's truly amazing!!! She is my mentor and I love her dearly along with many other people who know the character of this great woman of God. So much more I could say, but just know that God did a good work in Pinkie Horton...!!!


From Lisa Williamson


                           Mrs. Della B. Hendricks

Our Mother: A phenomenal Mother, Teacher and Friend!

From Wilbur, Jr. (Butch), Janice, Gaynell and Mary Ella


                                  Mrs. Sarah Kincaid

We are proud to say that our mom, Mrs. Sarah Kincaid, was a loving, kind-hearted person who loved her family dearly and always helped out in the community. She worked for several years preparing meals and watching the kids of the community at the Kingsport Nursery, which was originally located at Central Baptist Church and later moved to Bethel AME Zion Church.

From: Eugene (deceased) & Georgetta Kincaid and Family

Don & Pam Kincaid and Family

Hayes & Marilyn (Kincaid) Catlin and Family



"I am grateful to my mother because she worked hard to put my brother, sister and me in positions to establish our own platforms for success. She showed us through her example that you can't keep a good woman down.  "Thank you, Moma, for helping me become the man I am today.  "Happy Mother's Day. Love you, Moma."

"Your son, Jeff"

From Jeff Faulkerson


  My mom, Eaty - whose name is Mattie Elizabeth Dickerson Nichols.

Mattie Elizabeth was born in Tazwell Co. (Mudfork, VA) and attended schools in Bluefield, VA, graduating from Bluefield State College in 1944. Following her graduation, she began her career as a teacher at Morristown College, in Morristown, TN.

She loved poetry and children, encouraging and supporting students in public presentations of memorized selections. Following her retirement, she spoiled her grandchildren and the neighborhood children, handing out countless "popsicles" as they played in the shade in her yard on lazy summer evenings.

From Lina Bradley


                                                          Mrs. Jeanette Sensabaugh

                                                      One of the "Moms of Riverview"

                   From the children:  Kathy, Carolyn, Jacqueline, Tim, Travis & the grandchildren


                                                               Mrs. Ola Mae Hodges

My Mama attended the Central Baptist Church, pastored by Rev. Parks.  She worked two jobs, one at the Charles Store on Broad Street and the Strand Theater downtown.  She and my dad always had big gardens every summer.  They also had chickens, a hog pen and a smokehouse.  She didn't help raise many kids, but she sure did feed them.  She used to take me to night service at Central and I would always fall asleep.  I remember saying, when I get grown, I "ain't going to no night service ever again."

From Willie Hodges


Mrs. Nora Mae Taylor Alexander

Having lived all her adult life in Riverview, "Ms Nora Mae" always thought of how years ago, it was a safe haven for children. They could run free, play on Clay Hill and even on occasion get free ice cream at the Dairy Mart (a business she operated in the 60's) when some of the kids had no money.   She loves to tell the story of how brothers Mark and Rusty McMiller would always come to the Dairy Mart, and get ice cream cones, and when she told them it would be a dime, a nickel apiece, they wouldn't have any money.   She said, one day, Lonnie Cox  was standing there, and saw them.. he gave her a dollar to pay for their cones.

Obsession today: At 95 yrs old ...,,her two cats and eating chocolates

Photo as seen:   Taken in her back yard early 1950's    

From Ronald Taylor

   *************************************************************************************************** **********************************************************************                                                        

                                                             Mrs. Fannie Mae Dobbins    

  Fannie Mae Dobbins.. just like Big Mama, she always used a candy strategy to get kids to act right... she had a very soft, spoken voice.. and if you did something wrong, she had ways of making you feel guilty about what you did.   Her philosophy was "I care a lot about you, and I want you to do right, but the way you're going, you are gonna have a hard time, so let's try it the right way."  

She always wanted to make sure kids followed through.. She used to say people love people that treat other people right.. how would you want to be treated?   The kids always knew that she loved them, and always trusted her.   People might be hearing you, and she wanted you to make a good impression..   Mama always emphasized that how you treat peolple, is how you would want to be treated.       Nobody knew it, but she used psychology and examples.. little movies, pictures and cartoons of kids acting right to quietly get her message across to act nice.  A lot of kids listened, because you could always see that change in them.   She'd also make suggestions on how they should present themselves.. correct posture, saying "please" and "thank you."  She always helped clothe the kids who didn't have any, and always encouraged them to brush their teeth, use deodorant and keep your shoes tied.  I remember her telling a child "come here, let me put some shoes on you..."  "Where's your coat, don't you know it's cold?"....  She was such a loving and caring person.. anything she saw missing in a child's life, she would try to accomodate and try to introduce it to make their lives easier.


From Van Dobbins, Jr.


Mrs. Elizabeth "Betsy" Sneed

I knew when I was 5 years old, that I would have to share Ms. Betsy Sneed with the rest of the kids in Riverview, and I didn't like it one bit.  But back in 1960, she and Mrs. Stokely were operating the Central Baptist Church nursery school, and they were in charge of about 40 children, including me.  Strict disciplinarians, both of them. Even though she was my grandmother, I could not call her Grandmother, or Grandmama, or even Granny. I had to call her "Miss Sneed" just like all the other kids. I called her that the rest of her life.   In the Stokely-Sneed nursery school, you did not eat with your fingers.. you used a fork. You didn't just GO to the bathroom.. you asked to go. You said, "please" and "thank you." You didn't run in the halls.. you didn't talk during church, and you didn't get into mischief (we all violated that one), and them spankings hurt.  But thanks to them, everybody in that nursery school and my future classmates and best friends forever, all did well in life.

Seems like forever, Miss Sneed was cooking food for some Riverview or church event, or having prayer with somebody who stopped by. My goodness, that woman could pray... If the Lord hadn't touched you yet, she and Miss Mutt and Mrs. Bradford would just pray harder. You could hear them down at the street.

Papa Sneed's devotion to her in her final years was just unbelieveable.... typical of the men in Riverview towards their wives back then, always loving, always caring, and always way overboard.   I remember asking him one day,  as she was calling his name "Sneed......"   "Sneed, come here a minute".... if the thought ever occurred to him, that one day, he would have to put her in a nursing home and stop the day-to-day, 24-hour care he had been giving her because it was wearing him out. He was looking out the window at his daylily garden, and after a pause, he said "Son.... I wouldn't have it any other way."   Thinking about that, brings tears to my eyes now.  He was totally devoted to her, and through prayer, she was totally devoted to the children and her neighbors in Riverview.

One of our beautiful neighborhood moms. By their words and actions, she and the other "Mothers of Riverview" who helped raise us, will live in my heart forever.

From Calvin Sneed


Mrs. Elizabeth "Big Mama" Bynum

Big mama.. stern, but a very loving person. Kids were just drawn to her.. she would make bigger than normal cupcakes, with choclate icing.  She would always use food,  cupcakes and other goodies to entice the kids to do right.  She was an excellent cook.. she could make something out of nothing, and seems like she always had an apron on.  As far as I can remember, she never worked from recipies,  Big Mama could whip up something good to eat from scratch.  The kids in Riverview didn't know it, but that's how she would get to them.. she  had this insight to always be able to tell what was bothering them.. their eyes would brighten up, because she would know.. she was almost psychic, and that would immediately get their attention.. She also had little tricks that she would use to get you focused.. When she saw you doing something wrong,  she'd chastise you, and you'd wonder, "well how did she know that?"

Big Mama was a very caring person, she always had the right answers.. was never at a loss for words.  A true "Mother of Riverview."

From Van Dobbins, Jr.

                                                         Pastor Geraldine Swagerty
Pastor Geraldine Swagerty, AKA "Moma Patsy"... raising my children, my brother, sisters and others has been a God-sent blessing, and over the years, she's had many more to love on!  Happy Mother's Day, Moma.. Your five daughters, Tish, Lisa, Camellia, Johnnie Mae and Angel, and all your loving grandchilden.  "You are our Rock and our Foundation!"  GOD BLESS!

My grandmother, Fannie Van Buren Elizabeth Johnson Crum.. she was named after President Martin Van Buren.

My grandmother was the nanny to President Andrew Johnson and granddaughter Margaret Patterson.  She raised Andrew Johnson(above) and others of  President Johnson's family.. they truly loved Grandmother.
From Johnnie Mae Swagerty

Mrs. Eula Leeper

Miss Eula... Singing at church and everyone enjoying her company.

                                                               Neighborhood haircuts!    

From Mary Hankins


                                                              Mrs. Tillie Trammell

Mrs Tillie Trammell... Known throughout Riverview and Kingsport as Mrs. Tillie, the hair dresser, she was a motivator and a true treasure She kept the ladies, mothers and sisters of our neighborhood laughing and looking good. She was a listening ear to them and God used her to plant seeds of hopefulness. She kept watch over the neighborhood kids and was known 'by her doings' which was pulling a hurt or straying child into her shop to 'talk' - she was probing to locate the issue and then she laid 'bricks' of wisdom. In all she did, it was visible ... She loved God, she loved people, she was a legend and a true Proverbs 31 woman:
'For her price is far above rubies .... Her children arise up and call her blessed.'

My mama, Mrs Tillie.

From Dawn Trammell


                                                                     Mrs Ruth Coclough

My mother,  Ruth Coclough (Mama Ruth) to grandchildren and some of my friends, would be mom to all of us.   If you were over to our house, she would feed you just like the rest of us, and she would correct you too, if you were bad.  Growing up in Riverview was fun, and I wouldn't trade those days for anything.   To my mother, Happy Mother's Day!!

Love, Your Children

From Terri Ann Coclough-Baker


                                                            Mrs. Willie Mae Hickman

For more years than we care to count, Willie Mae Hickman has been one of the Mothers of Riverview. She  continues to be a shy and caring wife, an affectionate mother, a compassionate grandmother, a supportive sister, a loyal friend, and a faithful Christian.   
Our home on Dunbar Street has always been a welcoming place—the gathering place for loads of family members and friends.     She mentored all who entered.      She raised us by hand.    
Mothers in Riverview did that.      They taught from the same book that must have been passed along from generation to generation. If you grew up in “the …View”, you were exposed to most of these lessons too:

1. On “Religion”-- “You better pray that stain comes out of my sofa.”

2. On “Reasoning”--“Because I said so, that’s why!”

3. On “Foresight”--"Make sure you put on clean underwear. You never know when you might be in an accident.”

4. On“Reasoning” “Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. On “Osmosis”--“Shut your mouth and eat your dinner.”

6. On “Contortionism”--“Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck!”

7. On the “Weather”—“It looks like a tornado swept though this room.”

8. On “Roots”--"Close the door. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

11. On “Wisdom of Ages”--"When you get to be my age, you will understand."

12. And that all time favorite, “JUSTICE”---"One day you'll have kids ...and I hope they turn out just like you!"

On a more serious note, Willie Mae has been the backbone of our understanding of what it means to be Men; what it means to be competitors; and what it means to be courageous. She continues to battle the challenges presented by dementia every day. We continue to appreciate her as the rock who taught us to deal humbly with disappointments and the successes in our lives. She taught us to put our souls on the line for things you truly believe in and to love God, your friends, and one another. For those lessons, we will always love and adore her. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
-- The Hickman Men:  Varley, Don, Jim and Greg


                                              Mrs. Helen "Mama Helen" R. Underwood Fain
All who knew Helen R. Underwood Fain affectionately called her "Mama Helen."  Mama Helen was a woman with a real heart for God and the gift for bringing joy to family and friends.  Strangers were simply friends she had not met.

Mama Helen instilled in all the children she encountered, the importance of education, having a strong work ethic and giving back to the community.  Having a fondness for the children of Riverview and its surroundings, she became a Cub Scout Den Mother.  Having a fondness for the community, she worked as a secretary for the Riverview Upper East Tennessee Development Agency.  This opportunity allowed her to help the young and old.

Her funny quips and wisdom helped to guide us in trying times.  We are fortunate to have had such a loving and caring mother in our lives.  Mama Helen was the anchor that grounded our family, a rooting reminder of  the past, to know our future.  Our family loves and misses her so greatly.  Her lasting words "never give up, trust in God"..."This too, shall pass"... and "I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me," carries us through each day without her physically in our lives.

We will always love and honor your memory.

---Her loving family


                                                             Mrs. Ethel Ruth Russell

,Here's a picture of my mom on the Douglass basketball team '53... she was a star player.  My mother is my idol.  She was a single parent and raised four kids by herself.  She worked hard to provide for her kids.  She made sure that we had just as much as the kids with two parents.  She loves her family, her church, and will do anthing to help others.  She raised us to be honest, respectful, and to love everyone, no matter what color or situation a person may be in.  Her birthday is May 11th and I will be home to enjoy that day and Mother's Day with her.

from Teresa Russell


                                                             Tiffany Tarter's "Moms"

I don't have just one mother... I have a whole bunch of mommy's...  All of these ladies have been a part of my life, my growing, and me becoming the woman I am today.   My grandmother Joyce, my mother Pal, my aunt Valerie, my aunt Wanda, my aunt Trudy, and my cousin Charlene.

Love them all...

Thank You!

From Tiffany Tarter


                           Mrs. Rosalee "Mama" Gray


 "  Be Blessed And A Blessing"
  A woman of real beauty smiles in trouble,
  gathers strength through distress,
  and grows brave by prayer.

From Rhonda Nolly Gray


Please continue on to Page 3 for more tributes to
                 "The Mothers of Riverview"