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Monday, May 2, 2016

Busy hands, happy life

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A beautiful array of flowers line the sidewalk to her front door.

Behind her home is a lush garden with squash, okra, tomatoes, cabbage and peppers.

Inside the house her paintings line the walls and her hand-made quilts and blankets are draped across the couch and easy chairs.

Faye Tucker Putman does all of this, and come Sept. 8, she'll be 95 years young.

As the 94-year-old mother of six, grandmother of 11, great-grandmother of 20 and great-great-grandmother of three, Faye has lived through many historical events and seen drastic changes in society, she said.

She lived with her family in Texas during the Great Depression. "It was a hard time. Sometimes I don't see how we survived (the Depression)," she said.

Faye made a major move during the Depression. "My husband Earl and I moved to Arkansas. Daddy gave us a cow, a pig and six chickens. That was a major help," Faye said.

Faye also remembers when cars were a rarity, every road was a dirt road and planes were only something she had heard of but never seen. "I remember us going to Batesville to see the doctor, and when you got there you would just be covered in dust," she laughed. "But you just had to shake it off. That's the best anyone could do."

"And when Elvis died -- I remember that well," Faye said. "I was working at the Razorback truck stop between Hardy and Mammoth Spring. Some truckers came in and told us the news."

Faye also said that she is sometimes amazed at how society has changed. "When I was growing up and then when I was raising my kids, you never heard of drugs," she said. "You hear it everywhere today. I'd hate to be a parent raising young children. There's so much more to deal with."

In addition to her life experiences and memories, what's especially impressive about Faye is her self sufficiency.

At just a few weeks shy of 95, Faye lives alone and is more active than most 20-somethings.

"I got up around 6 this morning and watered my flowers and my garden and finished up some laundry," she said during a 9 a.m. interview Aug. 24. "I've got some sewing to start on later."

Faye always keeps herself busy, and she has the proof.

Hanging in her closet are numerous quilts and crocheted blankets, all of which Putman made by hand. She has a collection of throw pillows -- all different shapes, sizes and fabrics -- that she made. She made every rug and pot holder in her home. All of her sewing is done on a Singer sewing machine she purchased in 1948.

In the past few summer months, Faye has canned 52 quarts of tomatoes, 16 pints of kraut and 20 quarts of pickles. "I love to always be doing something. It keeps me going and on top of things," Faye said.

Despite all of her activities, Faye does take a break and relax every now and then. And for leisure -- "I hate to be still, but when I am, I?read my Bible."

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