Edmonson Voice Staff
There are few left from the "greatest generation," those that saw the Great Depression and lived through WWII, but the ones still here are some of the toughest, best, and hardest working folks God ever created. Edna Jackson, 99 years old took a ride with her eldest daughter, Marilee Ringley to Chalybeate today to her son-in-law and youngest daughter's house to continue a tradition that she's been a part of for over 50 years, helping with the family sweet corn harvest.
If you've been around the Chalybeate community very long, you know that Wavie and Lynn Skaggs have always had a reputation of growing one of the largest and most successful gardens in Edmonson County, and with a total of 50 people (soon to be 51) in the family, it's easy to see the necessity of a garden so large.
Ms. Jackson, known as "Tiny" to some, and "Granny" to others, has obviously slowed down some over the years, but for someone knocking on the door of 100, it's truly an amazing sight.
"We simply had to make her stop for a minute to rest," said daughter Marilee Ringley. "She won't even hardly slow down long enough to eat a bite."
Mrs. Ringley, 79, and sister, Lynn, 77, were busy cutting as corn flew off the cobs into large pans while their razor-sharp knives wailed away.
"I hate silking corn," said Ms. Jackson with a smirk. "I'd rather cut if off, but I can't stand in one spot for too long. I can sit in a chair and silk, but I still don't like it none."
The simple fact that's she's physically able to do anything is mind-blowing in itself, much less work several hours doing something that few people under the age 50 even know how to do. When asked why she even does it at all, she replied, "Why, Lynn and Wavie ain't able to do all this by theirselves. It's hard work, putting up corn, but I don't reckon I've got anything else to do."
"Sometimes I'm just tired and I wish I could just go on, because I know where I'm going when I die, but I sure still like being around everybody," she said as she took a small sip of Coke through a straw.
Brothers Wavie and Carlton Skaggs traded jabs at each other as each said they'd shucked more ears than the other, all in good fun, of course.
Ms. Jackson eventually sat back down and picked up her silking brush again. "Don't guess anybody else is going to do it..."
As we left, she waved and said, "There's plenty here if you run out of something to do."