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Out On The Mudline

Memories Of Visiting Niece Come With Loss

By W. P. Sissell

Lucile Sissell Martin Hall

  When Lucile Sissell Martin (Cile) came along she was the darling of the family—being the first grandchild of Reuel and Sadie Sissell had many great points. Before she got old enough and big enough to spend time at her Sissell grandparents she was the darling of the place when her mother brought her to visit them. Ruth and I took up a lot of time with her. This gave mother, Sadie, and daughter, Lucile, a lot of time to visit.

  Later, as Cile grew older, she loved to spend time with those folks out on the farm. Although I do not remember Ruth going for a visit with Cile and family I’m sure that she did. I remember several times that I visited them. Cile was born in Brookhaven and one of my visits was at Brookhaven. At that time Cile was several years old. As we entered the house, a large fan, sitting in the middle of the floor, began to rotate when the light was turned on. The movement attracted little Cile’s attention. Mother Lucile noted the attraction and immediately started to intercept the child. That movement placed her behind the rotating fan blade (the suction side). Mother Lucile’s attire included a beautiful waistband with two ends which reached about to her knees. Those ends were immediately sucked into and wrapped around the blades of the fan. I think I pretty well saved the day by turning the light switch off. As I remember, I think little Cile thought the event funny. Most of the time, the events were rather normal.

  After the beginning of our involvement in WWII, the job of Cile’s dad, Lealon, changed.  He had been working as an educational advisor (a teacher) in the CCC camps. Now he was transferred to the U.S. Department of Health and moved from Louisiana to Washington, D.C. Before they could get settled he was transferred to California to oversee the making of health education films (they called them Mickey Mouse films but they dealt with sex education).

  Shortly after I returned from service I went to California to bring Lucile and Cile back to Water Valley. While in California I visited several of our relatives in the Los Angeles area. If you’ve been there you probably realize what a maze of highways is found there. At this point Cile was about twelve, I think. they put her in the car with me as my guide. She really knew her way around in that maze. She was an angel in disguise for me.

And Now College

  Not many months later, it seemed, Cile was entering college and shortly afterwards she met the love of her life, Robert Hall. After marriage she and her new husband visited us here in Mississippi. Later, after having their first child, I, again, was elected to travel and pick up  mother and child to bring them back to Mississippi before they went to join the father on Guam.

  That was my last association with Cile until several years ago after the death of my mother and father. Now it seemed that she was against the world and it against her. Although she could be gracious she could also show bitterness. Two weeks ago we lost Cile. She was tired and often bitter, although most of the people in the nursing home described her as being the life of the party almost all of the time. After finding her unresponsive in the nursing home she was taken to the hospital, Cile never became responsive. Nannette and I stayed by her until she left us. We took her to the cemetery in Hazelhurst, as she had requested, and buried her beside her son, Donald. She is survived by her daughter, Cilyne, and grandchildren, Benjamin and Nicole, along with two great-granddaughters.

  It has been a busy couple of weeks. Our wish for you is a great week.

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