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â€œWillâ€™s Choice ! !â€?
(A Birthday Tribute to Mary Jean (Scott) Sawyer)
1.They are special â€“ WILL and ABI(e) Owens! They strengthened their children to keep going. JESSIE MAE! CATHERINE! And BROOKSIE, too ! â€“ Labored unselfishly as only true parents can do. 2.In 1949, Will Owens â€œextendedâ€? his arms So that his three daughters could strengthen their homes. Jessie Mae had five babies; Catherine had three; It was Brooksieâ€™s second child, named MARY. 3The daughters of Will Owens worked faithfully, Earning â€œdebtorâ€™s payâ€? from people who acted hatefully. But the quiet, unyielding patience that Will Owens showed Eased the hurt that white bigots sowed. Â 4.Willâ€™s daughters knew HOW TO PERSEVERE, Because Will Owens had taught them to be faithful and sincere. The Owens women were excellent maids; Still, white folks were vicious and stingily did pay 5.Only what the white folks â€œpinchedâ€? and â€œshovedâ€? And ten dollars per week cleared their conscience of The pitiful longing in the Negroesâ€™ eyes, As Negroes watched white people â€œshuck and Jiveâ€?. 6.Will Owensâ€™ face was SET LIKE A FLINT! When he kept his grandchildren, white folks were convinced That Will Owens wasnâ€™t â€œnobodyâ€™sâ€? fool. So his three daughters kept their cool. 7.Of those grandchildren from his loins, Will taught them what it meant to be an OWENS. â€œIn those days,â€? Willâ€™s grandchildren called him â€œPapaâ€? Because his own children honored him â€œproperlyâ€?. 8.â€œPAPAâ€? didnâ€™t talk much and seldom did he smile. Yet, he taught his children to refrain from guile. What â€œPapaâ€? said was â€œthe lawâ€?, And didnâ€™t â€œnoneâ€? of his children give him â€œthe jawâ€?. 9.FLORENCE!! â€“ married first, and 1933 was her first time To â€œextendâ€? Papaâ€™s heritage through â€œthe Griffin lineâ€?. JESSIE MAE ??!! â€“ MADE 1942 Papaâ€™s second year To show that the â€œTaltonsâ€? are bold and austere. 10.In 1944, FAYE MARIEâ€™s first child was born And the â€œMcCoysâ€? too, became a part of the Owens. CATHERINE Owens was shy, but a daring â€œRobertsâ€? man Quietly wooed her until he won her hand. 11.April â€œsoaredâ€? yet again for the â€œMcCoysâ€? in 1947, But June 1947 was for CONRAD Owensâ€™ first â€œhappeningâ€?! The first OWENS male from Papaâ€™s sons !! â€“ A child with a great destiny to run. 12.BAMMER Owens was to be Papaâ€™s special tribute To the mother of his wife, Abie; 1951 was an honor none could dispute! BAMMER Owens became a â€œHendricksâ€? with great prospects. Sometimes, however, the younger children cause great defects. 13.Papaâ€™s loins were fruitful still. JAMES TAYLOR !! â€“ (J.T.) â€“ brought honor to the name of WILL. In 1954, the OWENS name would continue. In â€œJ.T.â€?, there were 21 years of strength and momentum â€“ 14.To carry forth the name of WILL OWENS. God Himself â€œhallowedâ€? the firstborn. Only three of Papaâ€™s daughters were favoured To receive his wisdom and strength and unselfish labor. 15.JESSIE MAE left her two: Gertie and Joe, And Papaâ€™s vigil helped to open a strong door. CATHERINE Owens had Lorene and Florene, the 1-year old twins, And then, there was also CATHERINEâ€™s 2-year old, â€œA-Leanâ€?. 16.BROOKSIE left only one, a symbol in itself !! â€“ Her daughter, MARY JEAN SCOTT!! Papaâ€™s solace before his 1949 death. For it was that same 1949 year, As Papaâ€™s death drew near, 17.That he strengthened his grandchildren with wisdom, Compelling even 2-year olds to accept derision. Papa refused to let two-year olds be â€œfeebleâ€?, Not even when vicious children attacked repeatedly. 18.To see if Papa could be bullied. That wise old man NEVER acted cruelly. A-Lean put a handful of dirt in Gertieâ€™s oatmeal. Papa, then, lived up to his name, WILL !! 19.Papa COULD NOT !! defend his granddaughterâ€™s honor. Gertie had to learn how to become a bold overcomer. A timid and bruised 2-year old looked to Papa for support, As Gertie turned to face her grandfather, who would not invoke 20.Any pity or sympathy or chastisement at what he saw. That only caused A-Lean to continue to scoff And to abuse her cousin, Gertie, so much the more. But Papa KNEW that Gertie needed to â€œgrowâ€?. 21.â€œMake haste!â€? Papa commanded austerely. Papa taught his grandchildren sincerely. He had the wisdom to KNOW WHEN to push, Even for 2-year olds who were â€œslow-of-footâ€?. 22.Since MARY JEAN was the oldest in the nursery â€œlotâ€?, Papa wanted her to be â€œtopsâ€?!! Papa had asked the 2-year old MARY JEAN to run an errand, But MARY JEAN moved slowly to do his command. 23.MARY JEAN walked slowly to do what Papa had asked; But Papa saw that the 2-year old was lax In obeying a command from an adult. Papaâ€™s grandchildren must be obedient, yet, rugged and tough. 24.As Papaâ€™s wooden cane struck the bony child, He offered no sympathy when MARY JEAN started to cry. Maybe Papa could â€œforeseeâ€? the coming day When many children would go astray. 25.Papaâ€™s household had to be an example, IN THOSE DAYS when people cheat and trample â€“ An example of those who would live upright and true. Perhaps that is why Papa kept us when we were two. 26.Papa taught us well, before September 5, 1949. He made us be strong and wise of mind. The â€œanchorâ€? that Papa chose to carry on his name Is the one who did not aspire to riches and fame. 27.IN THOSE DAYS, student could start â€˜FIRST GRADEâ€™ at 5 years. But there was great opposition to the family of WILL. â€œWe fight against principalities,â€? the Bible says. Sometimes great obstacles are placed in our way. 28.So what if 2 FULL years did pass While bigoted teachers â€œheldâ€? MARY JEAN in the same grade class!! Bigots are sometimes Godâ€™s measuring rod To help strengthen a child for sufferings that are hard. 29.WILL OWENSâ€™ name refused to die, Even when the white hypocrites built the school named Eastside High. Even â€œforeignâ€? teachers like Felix Harris Did not seem to want Papaâ€™s name to last. 30.Teachers ignored and ignored intelligent minds Of students who descended from Papaâ€™s bloodline. But God Himself got tired of that â€œstuffâ€?, And God let the â€œteaching bigotsâ€? know that God had had enough!! 31.When God decides to pull out all stops, Thereâ€™s no telling whose â€œboatâ€? will get rocked! â€œItâ€™s no contest !!â€? the Eastside High School teachers thought, Because Alice Adamsâ€™ prestige had been â€œboughtâ€? 32.By her fatherâ€™s principal-ship and her motherâ€™s arrogance. Didnâ€™t â€œnobodyâ€? have â€œthemâ€? kind of parents!!?? But the name, MARY, means a lot. STILL!! Alice Adamsâ€™ last name guaranteed her a â€œsureâ€? spot. 33.But names must be able to give a person strength. MARY JEAN SCOTT is not a wimp. â€œBut Mary kept all these things and pondered them . . . !!â€? St. Matthew 2:19 gives a good picture of MARY JEAN. 34.Papaâ€™s foresight reinforced his own daughterâ€™s choice, When BROOKSIE, called her daughter, MARY JEAN SCOTT/ Papaâ€™s family are â€œdoersâ€? of The Word. St. John 2:3 lets BROOKSIEâ€™s wisdom be heard. 35.â€œMISS EASTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL 1965 !!â€? When the students chose MARY JEAN, that wasnâ€™t â€œnoâ€? jive. The qualities of meekness, of character, and of beauty Were entrusted to WILL OWENSâ€™ children who learn to do double duty. 36.And MARY JEAN alone had the wisdom Of knowing HOW, WHEN, and WHERE to do Papaâ€™s biddings. Had Papa not struck MARY JEAN with his walking cane, Papa could have lost the honor of his name. 37.â€œMy family is poor in Manasseh and I am the least!â€? Judges 6:12 lets us know that God does as He so â€œpleaseâ€?. MARY JEAN, you would call out your fatherâ€™s name so very â€œproudâ€?; â€œJohn Willie Scottâ€?!! You cried aloud. 38.Itâ€™s as though you are the Jephthah of WILL OWENS. Sometimes quiet people keep a family going. To me, you are a true friend, Because you stayed with me through â€œthick and thinâ€?. 39.You did not let a college degree separate us, And that gave me the stamina to accept Godâ€™s trust, When others snubbed me and treated me â€œbadâ€?. YOU ARE THE CLOSEST FRIEND THAT I HAVE EVER HAD. 40.It didnâ€™t matter that I moved. Those long miles only helped to prove That true friendship understands all. Thatâ€™s why I refuse to take a fall. 41.There are birthday cards that I treasure still. MARY JEAN, you are a GREAT example of â€œourâ€? grandfather, WILL. The flora bouquet that you â€œwiredâ€? to me Gave me added strength and great dignity. 42.Most often, though, it seems that I forget That November 22nd did set The standard for all of WILL OWENSâ€™ â€œhouseâ€?. That is why God has given you an excellent spouse. 43.WILLIE B. SAWYER !! â€“ and you thought that God had forgot??!! Being patient is what life is all about. So there is Erica!! And still, there is Amelia!! For you, Godâ€™s own gifts â€“ Because MARY JEAN refused to â€œdipâ€? â€“ 44.â€œDipâ€? below the requirements that WILL OWENS had set. Being meek and quiet can sometimes make quiet people fret. â€œA meek and a quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.â€? First Peter 3:4 can strengthen a manâ€™s â€œhouseâ€?. 45.Your patience, your friendship and your trust Have encouraged me TO ENDURE loneliness when I must. MARY JEAN, sometimes, â€œpromotions in God are slow, But only because God wants us to grow. 46.â€œPromotions come from God!â€? Therefore, some people get off to a slow start. MARY JEAN, you are strength FOR ME, because you endure. â€œThank You !!â€? for being humble and pure.
Gertie M. Talton
1st Re-Issued: October 21, 1994
2nd Re-Issued: August 17, 2010