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One hundred and five years ago, my grandmother was born in the tiny community of Midway, Alabama. She was the eldest child of Joseph & Gertha Johnston, and was born at the home of her grandparents, Proctor & Lula Johns. My grandmother, who I called Ma-Ma, also called her grandmother Johns the same.

They were very close and as Lula Johns lived into her 80s, my grandmother had her Ma-Ma for a long time. I did not. I have good memories of her, but they are very much the types of memories a small child forms. I remember a quiet and sweet lady who always had candy. My paternal grandmother was a bit younger and lived into her 90’s, so we got to talk some about her life, her family, etc. Everything like that for Ma-Ma are second hand stories.

And it’s so hard to believe the baby in this photo was born over a century ago.

Lula Ceil Johnston - 6 mos old

Lula Ceil Johnston 1903 – 1979

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  • Hello Mark,

    This is Rett McGowin (Everette, III). My wife Donna has Facebook (me? No). I spoke to Mabel Zabinski my sister and she said I should check your site out. We have corresponded but it has been some years. My Ma-Ma I think was her niece (also born in Midway).

    So endearing to read about relatives many years ago!


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