Being raised in Mississippi
The little “shotgun” house in which I was born in Choctaw, Co, MS was very similar to the one you will find in Tupelo, MS where Elvis was raised.
My parents, Doyle and Lavez, were renting that little house at the time and didn’t have the money for a hospital visit. Can you imagine naming your daughter Lavez Carmen? I can safely say there were no other girls named Lavez in the whole state of Mississippi! Her maiden name was Hawkins. More about this family on my mother’s side in another post. These little houses consisted of a front living room, kitchen, one bath and one bedroom in the back. I went to see Elvis’ house in Tupelo one time and it seemed to fit that pattern. The irony of all this is that though I was told that was where I was born, by the time I knew about it, they had moved the house to Ackerman, MS. Later on, when I was older, I looked for it to get a picture for my scrapbook but never found it. I was told later that it got demolished for a larger, more impressive home in Ackerman.
I don’t remember much of my childhood but I do remember that I enjoyed much attention from cousins and family until my little sister, Kaye, came along. That’s when I learned I had to share that attention with someone smaller and cuter. She had blond hair and deep blue eyes that sparkled at everyone who attended her. I was no longer the only one who got attention from family and friends. We had many good times together and she was the only girl in the Blackwood family. All second generation Blackwoods were boys.
My first recollection of my childhood and life in the Blackwood family was when we lived in Shenandoah, IA. My father, Doyle, and the entire Blackwood family had moved there from Mississippi. Three brothers, Roy, Doyle, and James were born to Emmit and Carrie Blackwood. My uncle, Roy, was 11 years older than my father, Doyle. Then came James eight years later. So by the time my uncle James was born, uncle Roy had married and had a son they named RW. He was about the same age as his uncle James. Those four men made up the original Blackwood Brothers Quartet.
These men developed a huge following in MS and they wound up on the radio doing a live radio show every morning. At night they would travel around the state giving nightly concerts. Advertising those concerts consisted of fastening a loud speaker on the top of their car, driving around the town, and announcing their concert that night to the local citizens. Tickets sold for 10 cents!