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Bessie

“No, that’s my first name. My nickname is worser… ‘Bush’. Yeah, they used to call my grandma ‘Ms. Bush’. Then they gave me the nickname. I am still named after an aunt in New York; her name’s Bessie May Patterson. My name is Bessie May Simmons.


I was lookin’ for me a place. I followed my brother…but I didn’t know he had gout until I got here.

 

I was thinking my family was good to hang around until I realized, you don’t follow the men. You follow the women.

 

After I got mad with my brother…I found a pretty decent place here, downtown.

 

Yeah, I like Macon. Well, it’s exciting enough to have, you know, sights to see in Macon. I’m going to the library right now.

 

My old man said I didn’t work good enough. ‘Cause sometimes when you get those certain jobs…they don’t last.

 

Well, I had so many chil’ren, cooking was one [thing I was good at]. I like these…cupcakes. See my mama used to cook the big cakes. Let me see…what do I like [to cook].

 

Every Sunday I made sure we had something sweet in there, and I always made tea. I can only brag about the muffins. I got a chance to get the sweet potato pie in there. It didn’t taste too bad. And, um…But, we always eat the sweet potato before we get to the crust.” 

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