Skip to content


Martins An Inspiration For Overcoming Adversity

By Charles Cooper

    Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a happy Christmas season.  I was saddened this morning when I read of the death of Odell Sansom.  She and her family lived on an adjoining farm to Papa Badley for many years, and our families were very close.

    I remember as a small child, Mother telling about attending Odell’s wedding to Carl Sansom. The wedding was held in the Martin home, if memory serves me correctly.  This family could have been an inspiration to anyone about overcoming adversity.  Miss Ola Martin was left a widow in the early twenties with five boys and three girls to raise.      

    At a Camp Ground reunion several years ago, I remember that she said she was the oldest former student in attendance.  She also said that she remembered bringing her father his lunch when he was working on the first school building.  She took what was called a business course in those days and became a bookkeeper at the Peoples Wholesale Company. She was there for many years and later she did the accounting for Leon Rountree at the Grand Theatre.      Odell and Carl had one boy, who was always known as Sonny.  I remember at that Camp Ground reunion how Odell thanked me for the column I had written about her family and how much it meant to them.  

    Ludie told me that they belonged to the same Sunday School class, and Odell rarely missed a Sunday.  My condolences to all of you. As I told Jim Oakley some time ago, he’s about the only one left that I can ask about events of long ago – most of the old timers are no longer with us.  

    I haven’t heard from Mr. Chester Joiner lately and I hope he is doing well.  He is a friend that I’ve made in recent years, and I’m sorry I haven’t known him longer.  

   He is a true gentleman, as well as being a war hero, and it has been a pleasure talking with him.     

 I’m looking forward to getting some information he has assembled for me, and I hope to see him in the near future.

    Over the last eight years I’ve tried to stay with the original premise of writing a column about everyday people who never had much recognition in  life and I believe it’s been successful.  There’s been criticisms that I either didn’t show the bad side or that I was too graphic at times.  Let me say again – what I’ve written has been from either public records or personal recollections.  

    The incident that I wrote about in the Dennis bakery was from an eyewitness account – I was there.  It is not my place to judge these people – it’s too late for that.  Jim Peacock and I are assembling information about our Boyd Street neighborhood when we were teenagers and I think you’ll find that interesting as we were a close knit group of people who got along and helped one another.  Look for it in a future column.  In the column that will come out on Christmas Eve I’ll touch on my annual Christmas Tree story.  You have all been a loyal group of readers and this column would not have succeeded without you and I’m grateful.  Let me hear from you as I still rely on your input and appreciate it more that you will know.  My email address is or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 38101 and have a great week.

Leave a Comment