American Dream

Thinking of Mamaw – today is her birthday…

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Rosa Ann Elizabeth Smith as a young woman. Cir. 1915. 

Photo of my grandmother as a young woman fresh out of nursing school at Rockefeller Hospital. Cir. 1915. She was born and raised in the Mississippi woods. She was the daughter of John George Smith and Mary Jane Rice of Seminary, Mississippi. Rosie was a private duty nurse and registered nurse at Kings Daughters Hospital and Gulfport Memorial Hospital. Her daughter, Jane Morris Estrada, was my mother.
BIRTH: 8 DEC 1895 • Seminary, Covington, Mississippi, USA

DEATH: 31 MAR 1984 • Gulfport, Harrison, Mississippi, USA

 

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The Ghosts of Gulf Gardens Come Alive in Daily Herald article by Geoff Pender

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A birthday party in Gulf Gardens, Gulfport, MS, for Tenderly Rose at 1711 Wisteria Street. Circa 1958.

I would like to personally thank Geoff Pender of the Daily Herald for this article. My mother, Jane Morris Estrada was interviewed in the piece. I learned things about the neighborhood I grew up in that I’d not been aware of and I also was reminded of the unique and very precious experiences I had as a child in this Gulfport community. Since the time this article was published, much has changed for this neighborhood and many of the fears of the neighbors have continued, even worsened. I can tell you Gulf Gardens was an American dream that bore amazing fruit. The Gulf Coast was a much better place to have had such a place called Gulf Gardens. The heartbreaking truth is that very little is left of the neighborhood I grew up. When I was born, I came home from Memorial Hospital to that home the Morrises built in 1935. That house and yard will always be my home. I had hoped to return to Gulf Gardens to finish my days there as both my grandmother and mother did. This is not to be. Cherish the old neighborhoods. Remember the folks who lived and loved there. Our spirits will never leave there. Gulf Gardens was truly “Home Sweet Home”.

We take for granted, sometimes, that which is steady and true…

— Tenderly Rose