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Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Tribute to "The Mothers of Riverview" PAGE 3


                                                                   Mrs. Mary Young

Mama is the mother of 6...
The grandmother of 14
The great-grandmother of 15

Yes, the Young family has grown, and she is our "Grand Lady"

From Charlotte Young-Maxwell


                                                       Mrs. Jean "Mama Jean" Clark

"Mama Jean" always has her front door open for friends and family to come visit.   She spreads joy, and has never met a stranger in the community.  She's a listener when you're happy, and always consoles you when you're sad.   There's always an empty chair at the table when it's time to eat, in case somebody from the community drops by.  Mama Jean has plenty of love and affection, plus protection and discipline when you need it, and how well us kids know that! 

After she fed all of us, she'd watch over us and if you did something wrong, she'd let you know it quick:  "I saw what you did and I'm gonna tell your parents.. now get on home."  She'd sit on that front porch on Carver Street, and everybody got caught in her view up and down the street.   Actually, she never saw kids as bad kids, but if you continued to misbehave and she wasn't getting anywhere with you, she'd start singing "This little light of mine... I'm gonna let it shine..."   We all knew right then, we'd better straight up.



Everybody always wanted to stay over at our house, because Mama used to cook good breakfasts in the mornings, boys AND girls.  Our door was always open.. I'm talking eggs and grits, potatos and gravy.. if Daddy killed a hog, there was plenty of bacon and sausages.  She fed a lot of children and there were always empty plates.  Our house was full on the weekends.

There was lots of discipline from Mama and Daddy for kids in the neighborhood, but she was rougher than Daddy.  He was intimidating, tall and bald-headed, and everybody was scared of him, but it was her.   She was worse with discipline... he was really the easy one.  She had that "eye"... she'd plant that thing on you, and you knew you'd had it.  I only remember one spanking, but then she'd look right at you... Stare at you...  Hard.   If you was somebody else's child, you might have done something wrong, and still played for two more hours, but your own mama would already know about it.  That's the way Riverview was.... done already called, way after the incident.

Deep down though, Mama really loved the children.. she just wanted them to act right.

From Tina Releford, and Doug and Shelia Releford


                                                               Mrs. Emogene Hankins

Emogene was very active with the youth of her family, community, and church. she worked several years at the Riverview boys and girls club.

From Mary Hankins


Me and my  sister were raised by Mrs. Mamie (Miss Tootsie) Gillenwater and her grandmother, Mary Ellen Sylvester Gillenwater in the Riverview Apartments, #12.

I remember Miss Toots helping to raise a whole lot of kids, including us.  When she worked at John Sevier Junior High School, she used to take us with her to work with her, and she'd show how to do things.  She was strict, but she made us understand why we had to behave.

Mama Sylvester had rules for everything.. if you said you were sick and couldn't go to school, she'd make you stay in.. there was no going outside after school was out.   If somebody else's mama told you about something you did, she always sided with them, no matter what you said.  She'd say, "if somebody's mama told me what you did, it must be true 'cause mama's don't lie on children."  She used to remember what  you did wrong, and whip you while reminding you what you did.  "Remember when you did so-and-so?"  whap, whap, whap... "Remember when  you did that?"... whap, whap, whap.  She whip you with a switch that she made you go outside and get. 

We got good training in being mama's 'cause of what they taught us. 

From Mary Ellen Beatty


                                                       Mrs. Lois "Miss Wo-Wo" Smith

Mama loved kids.   When she ran the lunch room line at Douglass, she would not throw away the government cheese at the end of the school year.  The school board told all the schools to throw it away, but she would give it out to the parents.

We always had folks at home for dinner.   If some of the other kids were playing with me and Harry and Nat, Mama always made more for dinner, and they ate if they were hungry.  Kids got fed well in Riverview, 'cause everybody else's mama always did the same thing.

Mama liked to visit her sister Tootsie.  Many a day, they'd be sitting out on the porch looking out over the (Douglass) ballfield, and watching the kids play.

But don't start nothing.  If she saw you, she'd grab you and fuss at you.  She'd let you keep playing, and most of the time you did, but knowing that you were gonna get a whupping when you went home.  I remember her telling somebody's mama about what they did, can't remember who it was, there were so many.   Of course, seems like everybody's mama in Riverview did that.  It's fun to remember that now.

From Tim Smith


                                                                        Barbara Bell

Barbara Bell.. always active with children, contributing a helping hand in the Red Circle group activities.  She always makes herself available for sporting events and community activities. 

From Donna Morrisette


Please send your mom's picture and caption in this special album, to  and we will add them.  "The Mothers of Riverview" are special ladies, and we don't want to miss anyone.  Happy Mother's Day!