Hall lives by the Golden Rule

Published 5:52 pm Friday, April 23, 2010

Fanny Hall remembers when many folks walked to town instead of driving a car. Mules and wagons, rather than SUVs, filled the streets of Greenville. And the streets weren’t all paved, either.

But then, Hall, who will turn 100 this June 6, has seen many a change in the community where she has lived her entire life.

One of 13 children, she recalls how much she enjoyed playing ball and jacks as a little girl.

Email newsletter signup

“I also liked dominoes. But I didn’t shoot no craps,” she adds with a sparkle in her eyes.

Hall has retained her sense of humor. Joking and laughing with her fellow seniors at the Greenville Nutrition Center each weekday is something she looks forward to, she says.

“Oh, yes, I like seeing folks, and getting out of the house, you know. The socializing,” she says.

Hall raised two children, Barbara Jean Frost and Robert Lee Hall, and will quickly tell you “I can’t keep track of all those ‘grands’ and ‘great-grands.'”

She worked for many years cooking and caring for families in Greenville, including Emma Lou and Theo Grayson’s four youngsters (“Oh, I just love Miss Emma Lou to death”).

“Fanny took care of all of us – Vann, Lamar, Britt and me – as children. We just loved her like a part of the family,” says Regina Grayson. Grayson’s mother describes Hall as “always sweet, kind and good to the children . . . a delight.”

Hall remembers the Grayson children as well-behaved ones.

“They were good kids. I didn’t have any trouble with them. I told them from the start they’d have to mind me, and they did,” she says.

Regina recalls the mere threat of Hall “pickin’ a switch” was enough to make her scoot inside instead of playing in the rain.

From taking the children on a stroll to preparing meals and helping hem dresses, “Fanny helped me with a little of everything,” Emma Lou recalls.

Hall, who attends New Hope Baptist Church, says she believes the secret to her longevity is “treating other folks the way I want them to treat me – the Golden Rule.” A regular at the senior center since the late ’70s, she is no longer able to piece quilts with the other ladies at the senior center. But she has no trouble cracking a joke, sharing a smile or recalling days gone by.