Ms. Bobbie has lived in Montevallo her entire life. She is currently raising her teenage grandson, Dakota, who goes to Montevallo Middle School.
her History in Montevallo
"I was born here in Montevallo on April 16th, 1945. I was born right above Flowerhill; at that time, it was called Chambers Hill. I was born and raised here in Montevallo. After time passed, we moved to a little community right on the other side called Almount. That’s where my mother and them found a two-bedroom home, over there. It was just me and my sister; she had two kids, and her name’s Billie Jean. My sister was born April 28th, 1944 and I was born April 16th, 1945. I went to school at Montevallo Elementary School. As the years passed by, I went to what’s now Montevallo Middle school but used to be an all-black school. As the years came, we never was integrated, so we graduated from there, which is right across the street from where I live now. It’s been my home for 71 years.
I worked at the university from 1978 until 2000. I started in housekeeping and three or four years after I started, I worked for Dr. Vickers. He was the president there. I worked for Dr. Vickers for about 10 years until he decided to retire, and when he retired I went back in housekeeping. The supervisor, she came down sick, so she had to retire. They made me supervisor of housekeeping, and I was supervisor until 2000 when I had to have knee surgery. [The university] has grown a lot. They tell me the work is lots better because we had to get on our knees and scrub, we had to do the hard hard work. They tell me it’s gotten a lot easier since we were there. We had to do manpower. But now they tell me they have maintenance men to do that, and they have someone carry the supplies to the buildings and they got elevators. We had to do lots on our knees, and I had to have knee surgery and go on disability. We had a rough time."
The Montevallo community
"The best part is the community and the environment. Montevallo has really grown in the years and years. People just love each other. We get along so good. I have family that come to visit that say, ‘Ooh, it’s so different down here.’ I found lots of my family and friends and other people from up north got home, built down here, and are moving back to Montevallo. They like the environment here and the people and the community. I have been out of the state and people… well, they’ll be out and they don’t know nobody and they don’t welcome you to their state. But here, you come and they seem like they’ve been knowing you all this time. They don’t meet strangers- that’s the way I feel. You be friendly to them, they'll be friendly to you. You do run across some people that don’t seem like they want to be friends, so you just do the best you can. I always tell my children, ‘It don’t cost nothing to treat people right and speak to people.’ If you speak to them, they don’t speak to you, you still do your part. It don’t hurt nobody. That’s the way we are here in Montevallo."
"Well, right now I have nobody here but me and my grandson. I raised him since he was 3 months old. His name is Dakota and he’s 13 years old. I have five kids, and my daughter… she passed away in January of 1993. She had three kids. I was a single parent at the time, and I raised them by the grace of God. She came down with leukemia and she passed away. I raised her kids and I had my four kids, and then my older daughter, she got married and she moved out. Then I had three kids, and with the grace of God I raised her three and my three. Then my daughter, she was married and she needed to get on dialysis, and she passed. Then my mother, she came down with cancer. As the years came by, my sister, she came down with cancer, and I helped take care of them both. God has been good to me- helped me to help her to be able to take care of herself. She was married, but her husband was working trying to take care of her, too. When she came down [with cancer], he didn’t help her like he was supposed to. But I still did what I could trying to take care of my family. I came down sick myself, and seven years ago I had a light heart attack and blood clots and stuff. But then again, Montevallo stepped in. They helped me out tremendous. The love of people kept me here. I couldn’t do it by myself."
The biggest change
"We couldn’t go to the theaters. If we did, we would have to go different nights. But now we can go to the restaurants and order anything we want, we can sit down and eat. We go to the drug store and stuff like that, we go to the grocery store. There were certain days where we couldn’t go to the grocery store, but now we can laugh, talk with everybody. Now we can go to the restroom with anybody. Lots has changed. That’s a good change. At one time, they had black churches, so we couldn’t fellowship with the other churches and stuff like that. Now, we can fellowship with all the churches. Also, Dakota like to go to the other churches. He says they have different service than what we have. We’re long-winded people. Dakota says the black people churches are long winded. The white people, they’ll go on and have their service, have a good time, and they’re out of there. That’s the difference we have. I’d ride through Montevallo sometime and say, ‘Oh! They’re out of church, but we still in church!’"
"Montevallo people are family are willing to help. They hear that you in need and you don’t have to put the word out, you don’t have to ask. They see you in need, and they come to the rescue. You don’t have to knock on the door. I’m speaking from my experience. If it’s food, if you need medical help, doctors, anything. I have a grandson that I am not financially able to do what I want to do for him, like paying for sports or something he needs in school. If my friends get a wind that he’s in need for financial help for sports or food or going on a field trip, they say they want to make arrangements for Dakota to do this or Dakota to do that. He’s always taken care of, praise the lord, thank you Jesus. God works through people."