Special to The Vienna Times by Dee Dee Adams
Family and friends are invited to the centennial birthday celebration for Pearl Brown. Cake will be served from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 7 at Fellowship Baptist Church in Vienna.
Pearl Ines Vinson was born July 10, 1912 near the crossroads at Dutchman Lake and Tunnel Hill Roads. Her parents were Allen Sylvester Vinson and Sarah Jane Newby Vinson. Blanch and Mary were Pearls older sisters. Ruby, Frank, Erma June, and James are younger siblings.
William Preston Brown and Pearl were wed in 1931. They enjoyed 62 years of marriage until Bills death. Their only son, Benny, passed on a short time after his father in 1997. He resided on Brown Lane which is named after him.
Pearl still mows her own yard, keeps a tidy home, and cooks regularly. However, relatives have made her promise not to fix the roof of her home anymore. In her late nineties, she got stuck on top of her house when the ladder fell and had to shimmy down via the carport.
When asked the reason for her longevity, Pearl says, hard physical work. However, she says grey hair has nothing to do with how long you will live. I have been grey since I was 17, Pearl claims.
Bill and Pearl bought 175 acres around Dutchman Lake Road in the early thirties. Pearl would not tolerate a debt hanging over their heads. So she picked and sold wild blackberries until the farm was paid off in a year and a half.
In the mid forties the Browns bought the Farmers Caf between the pub and grocery store on W. Main St. in Vienna. Hamburgers were 15 cents or less.
Later, Pearl worked for Glen Taylor at the Vienna Hatchery where Southern Trust Bank is now located in Vienna. She was also employed at Hillview Nursing Home.
Pearl worked daily on the farm alongside her husband. She shares humorous stories about their team of mules, and good times with the Fairless and Stewart neighbors.
Rev. Jack Sutton, of the Tunnel Hill Methodist Church, baptized Pearl in Covers pond along with 12 others. Ruby and Pearl Choate, Rachael Casey and William Lowrey were among those baptized.
Pearl attended church at both Mount Olive Community Church, and Tunnel Hill Pentecostal Church (Little Red).
The Browns were one of the earlier families in the community to own a TV after they got electricity in 1952. The antenna from that first 1953 RCA TV is still on her house. They enjoyed watching wrestling featuring Gorgeous George.
Growing up in Tunnel Hill, Pearl recalls that there were five stores, a post office, and the hotel. Sunday afternoons there were often spent playing ball and walking the Breeden railroad trestle.
At the birthday reception, cards are welcome, but no gifts please.