My life line in my hand is getting shorter, I won’t be here long is what Cousin Allie Mae said to me the last time we talked. I suppose when you are 98 years young, you know the sand in the upper hour glass is nearing empty. She often greets me by saying I am still here, which I think is a surprise to her that she is still here.
Allie Mae was born to poor parents in the rural south where farming was what most did. Allie’s parents sharecropped before owning their own land. Both parents worked in their rented fields and to make extra money they worked in neighbors’ fields, doing whatever was necessary.
On the morning Allie Mae was born, her father Octavis was raking hay for Prentiss Buie about 2 miles from their home. Prentiss Buie was the last son of the slaveholding family. Octavis and his siblings maintained a relationship with the Buie family throughout their lives.
Mamie, Allie's mother, was home with two young children when her labor pains began. Thinking quickly, Mamie sent Evie who was 4 years old with a note to the nearest neighbor, requesting she sends one of her workers to notify Octavis the baby is coming.
Octavis drops his rake and runs home to hitch the horse and wagon, going for the midwife. By the time he gets back with the midwife, the mother and new baby are on the floor welcoming him home. Allie Mae Markham was born September 29, 1911 in rural Lincoln County, Mississippi.