Monday, January 23, 2012

Through the Years: Alton Simmons, The Early Years

Alton Simmons was born on August 10, 1937 in Lamar County (probably near Baxterville), Mississippi, the  first child of four from the union of Woodrow Wilson and Susie Johnson Simmons.  He was about 5 years old in the photo above. 

Alton appears to be about 6 or 7 years old in the photo above.  The actual dates of most of these old photos are unknown, I can only estimate the year. This was probably an early school photo.  

Alton was standing near what appears to be a corn field on the family homestead.  The family then resided in Pinebur, Lamar County, Mississippi.  

This photo of Alton was probably taken 1945-46, when he was about 8 years old.  Alton was a mischievous youngster at this age, constantly pulling pranks on his siblings, particularly his oldest sister Lula Sue (my mother).  She wrote much about him and their early childhood while growing up in Pinebur, Mississippi.  See Memoirs of Lula Sue Simmons for more.

Alton was dressed in his boy scout uniform.  After reading about all the trouble he stirred up as a child, it's difficult to believe that Alton was actually a boy scout!  I'm uncertain as to the date of this photograph, but it was likely between 1946-1948, judging by the appearance of his age.

It is estimated that this photo was taken between 1945-1946.  Alton is the young boy in the center, as that is pretty obvious without being mentioned.  It appears as though the shirtless boys are enjoying a warm day.  During those early years, Alton and his siblings spent a lot of their free summer time on the river banks, swimming or fishing.  It's uncertain as to who the other youngsters are.  

Alton was a freckled faced 11 or 12 year old in this school photo.  I wonder if he stirred up as much trouble at school than he did at home...yes, probably so.  

I don't know much about Uncle Alton's childhood, other than what my mother wrote in her memoirs.  I know that he continued to be a mischievous prankster, even into adulthood.  He always brought a smile and a lot of laughter to our family gatherings.  

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