Letter to my mother from Annie Lou Overton, 28 years later


April 1963


Page 2


Page 3 of 3

322 Union Avenue, S.E.

Grand Rapids 6, Michigan


Dear Evelyn,

                It was very kind and thoughtful of you to write me such a nice letter of good wishes and information about yourself and your nice family.  You are, of course, the lucky one to have all the lovely children.  An “old maid”, no matter how active, useful, and interesting her life, gets very lonely at times, especially on occasions when it is so nice to have families together, such as Sundays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.  The best I can do is, on occasion, have the good fortune to share my sister’s children, or one of them, for a time.

                I am certainly not intending this as a complaint.  Each of us, in his own way, must live his life according to the plan mapped out for him by the Good Lord; for there is purpose determined by Him and fulfilled with our cooperation for the lives of each of us.  So long as we try conscientiously to follow His design for us, we really have no reason to feel concern nor disappointment over differences among us.

                It is true that my work is very interesting, and I enjoy it, especially the kind of work I am doing now.  I have worked in many different capacities as a nurse, but administration in nursing service I enjoy the most.  However, we have tremendous problems in nursing, particularly nursing service, so I guess this work will make an old lady of me before my time.  So far, I have been fortunate to keep good health in spite of my size which continues to be large.

                If all goes well, I will obtain a Master’s degree in Nursing with a major in Nursing Service Administration in June.  If there is a delay, it will be due to the fact that I will not have been able to get approval on my dissertation in time to take comprehensives in May.  Obtaining this degree will be a source of considerable satisfaction to me because I have worked long and hard to get it.  My education has been obtained on a piecemeal basis because of the crazy ideas people have always had about the education of nurses.  Anyway, I always advise youngsters interested in nursing to enter collegiate programs, for them one can get in six years what I have spent about 10 year getting.

                This is the first time I have had a position in the North.  I have spent most of my working life in Georgia.  The people are different in many ways but alike in others.  It is interesting, though, and maybe a bit of a compliment to our Southland, that these people would be so anxious as apparently they were to have this Southern nurse accept this position.  I have secured a very difficult job because they have been without someone in this position for so long, and problems have been allowed to accumulate.  I am enjoying the challenge and the work, but, at first, the magnitude of the problems was overwhelming.  The people have so far been very kind and cooperative.  Whether this will continue remains to be seen, for Annie Lou is exerting discipline and trying to establish control that these folk have not been accustomed to.  So, it will be interesting to see what develops.  They may chase me out of town, who knows?

                I was pleased to hear about Miss Glover and amazed that she is still teaching but delighted for her students.  She is a wonderful person and a gracious lady.  They are fortunate to have opportunity to be associated with her.

                My nephew, Tommy Cagle, is attending Lenoir City High School now, and I may have another nephew, Geneall Overton, there, too, by now.  John and Eugene Cagle, nephews and sons of my sister Edith, have been graduated already.  So, time does go by, doesn’t it?  Come the 15th, and I will be 45.  Hard to believe.

                Believe it or not, the work we did on the school paper has proved to have been valuable experience for me in years gone by.  I still find myself editing everything that comes across my desk, part of which must be done and the other from habit established long ago at LCHS.

                Again, Evelyn, thank you so much for having written to me.  It was a delightful surprise and still another to know something had appeared in the Knoxville paper about me.

                For your interest and further information, I am enclosing a copy of the hospital’s March “Butterworth Hospital News.”

                All good wishes to you and your family!

Affectionately and gratefully,

Annie Lou

P.S.  My father and mother are Mr. and Mr. J. W. Overton who live at Route 1, Box 404, White Wing Road, Lenoir City.  They are listed in the phone book.  My mother is not too well and, should you want to call her, would be pleased to have you do so.  She is a little deaf, but she loves to visit via telephone anyway.  My father is “retired” and does practical nursing which he has been doing since World War II.

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2 Responses to “Letter to my mother from Annie Lou Overton, 28 years later”

  1. Hollye Jarrett Says:

    Was this Annie Lou Holland-Overton of Spring Hill, Tn or a cousin? I’m her great-granddaughter and just looking for information about my mothers family.


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Hi Hollye, and welcome to the blog!
      This Annie Lou Overton is from Lenoir City, Tennessee. Her letter above states that she is an “old maid”. Perhaps a cousin??


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