Verses of gold: Golden pens second book of poetry by request
Published 12:42 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2006
By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
Rutha Mae Golden is a tradition in her community of Dixonville.
She has lived there for most of her life and couldn't be any happier about it. This beautiful lady has seen many changes in the world, some for the better and some for the worse.
Many of the changes she has seen have been recorded in two books of poetry that were published by her sons.
She always loved to write and over the years she captured many of the feelings she had in her poetry about life, religion and family. She began writing when she was still a young girl and continued after her marriage at the age of 16.
Ronnie, her youngest son, wanted her to gather some of her poetry together and bind it into a book of poetry, so this was done about 15 years ago. Her other son, William Lee, wanted her to do another book, so a couple of years ago, she put together “Golden Verses,” which includes new poems and some that were in her first book. The poems are mostly about her family and about growing up on a farm in Escambia County, and many of the photographs were taken by William Lee.
Hers has not been an easy life, but with her optimism and attitude, she has made it into a life of joy and laughter.
The books are available in downtown Brewton at the Book &Bean.
Golden attended school in a one-room schoolhouse until the family moved on into Florida when she was about in the sixth grade. She then attended the school in Fidelis until they moved back to Alabama and she entered W.S. Neal High School in the ninth grade.
The family lived on a farm and that meant everyone had a job to do, even the children. They learned early that they were responsible for their chores and no one ever said, “I don't have anything to do.” There was plenty to do, both in the house and in the field. Children were expected to work hard, and that is what Golden did.
Golden's formal education came to an end in the ninth grade in 1933.
That's when she married Luke Golden, a local boy. She was 16, and he was 20. They moved in with his parents and lived there for a couple of years until they could make it on their own. They then did some sharecropping for a short time until they were able to save up and buy a small piece of land of their own.
The family began to grow with the birth of a daughter, Lanette, in 1935; a son, William Lee in 1939; and another son in 1942.
This was during World War II, and although Luke didn't serve in the military, he did get a job in the shipyard in Mobile, which meant that he got up very early in the morning and came home late at night. While he was doing this, the farm work still had to be done and the family pulled together to see that all the chores were done. Times were still hard, but they had the food they grew on the farm and the “rolling store” would come around for other necessities. She did all sorts of jobs around the farm and she became a well-known cook earning a reputation for making an excellent biscuit.
They bought another piece of land around 1947, which is still the “old home place” in Dixonville. For the first time, they had electricity.
The family was very involved with church activities and music. Her father-in-law was a preacher and there were always musical instruments around. Lanette played the mandolin and William Lee played guitar and sang. He would later join the Oak Ridge Boys, a quartet that has been popular for years. Even the grandchildren have musical talent and are pursuing their own dreams in the business. Golden has three children, nine grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild.
The introduction in Golden's book of poetry shows the gratitude of her family for all the work she has done over the years. Her three children each wrote a forward describing their mother's humility and love. “Mother, the cornerstone of our family,” William Lee writes, “is the sweetest, most caring, sharing and loving person I have known.”