Muir - editing District #2.
Henry Montgomery County
Stories from Ex-Slaves.
Interview with Elsie Ross.
It isn't age that bothers Elsie Ross, former slave of 300
Sprague St. She doesn't know exactly how old she is, and she
expects to live anyhow until she dies. Her particular "worriment",
as she expresses it, is the callouses on the bottoms of her feet,
which painfully remind her of every step she is taking. She is
also subject to occasional attacks of rheumatism.
Elsie was very doubtful how old she was until the inter-
viewer figured out from certain facts she did know, that she was
probably 86 years old. The knowledge that she was three years
younger than she thought she was seemed to please her.
"Maybe I'll live to be hundred", she speculated. I suttinly
comes from a family of long livers on my mammy's side of de
house. When she died in dis very city seven years ago she wuz
121 years old. She warn't sick until a year befoh dat. When
she took sick she jes laid down on de bed and nevah got up again.
But she kept her sight and hearin' right up to de end, and she
didn't have many more wrinkles dan I has."
Elsie, like her mother before her, has good eyes and keen
ears. Her mind is as clear as a bell. She gives no indiation
of senility. Moreover, she is so much more interested in the
present than in the past that the interviewer had to ask her
numerous questions to bring out her recollections of slavery days.