My Family Story
Melba Newsom Bair
It seems a lot of our group know the Newsom Girls. I decided to share with you a little background on my parents.
Their Story - Thomas Wesley and Meril Pauline Cox Newsom
Daddy gave Mama a ruby engagement ring for Christmas December 1928. Mama and Daddy eloped and were married April 20, 1929 in Minden, LA.
Their first home was a "little shot-gun" house that was owned by a sawmill company. It ran along side property owned by the Creighton’s and next to Daddy’s family property. Mama and Daddy were living there when their first child was born in Aug 1930. Earlier, before he and Mama were married, Daddy purchased an acre of land belonging to the Tuggle family. That’s where he built his blacksmith shop, a gas station with a small grocery store and living quarters in the back. (Germantown Rd)
A trade school opened in Shreveport and Daddy went to school and learned to weld and read blueprints. Daddy was working at Caney Lake when Mama took ill with polio in 1937. He had three small children to care for: Mary, Margie and Myrtle. Myrtle was less than one year old. During the day, Myrtle was left with Daddy’s sisters and Mary and Margie took care of each other. Daddy did all the cleaning, washing clothes, cooking and caring for his family. Mama was in the hospital in Shreveport.
During World War II Daddy and a cousin of his walked to New Orleans and he found work as a welder in the ship yards. Mama said the bus was so full Daddy would ride standing up to and from New Orleans.
In later years Daddy was employed by Winch-Lift Trailer Co. as a welder until sometime after 1956.. After being laid off at Winch-Lift he ran his welding business from a shop at home until he could no longer work.
Daddy gave up his battle with cancer and went home to be with his Lord Jesus Dec 08,1967.
Mama was a victim of polio. The disease left her crippled. Mama used a crutch when she was outside the house. I remember it was awfully hard for her to go up and down stairs, but she was so determined and would do it anyway.
Mama said she knew when she got sick. Mama, daddy and some of the neighbors had gone on a picnic. Mama was the only one that drank water from the creek. In a few days she was sick. Their friends were there when the doctor made his house call. His diagnosis …..polio. As soon as he said the “P” word, everyone started climbing out the windows and doors to get away from her. Mama was taken to the Charity Hospital in Shreveport where she was placed in the iron lung. She was the first patients to be put in the iron lung.
She was told she would never walk again. Mama said not so! Everyday she would lie in bed and look at her hair brush on the dresser. Through her determination and prayers she proved the doctors wrong. Mama did walk again! It was a struggle for her, but with the help of God, her braces and crutches she was able to walk again.
Mama and daddy were blessed with 9 daughters and 6 of those were after she had polio.
She cooked, cleaned, sewed our clothes, worked in the garden, took care of our needs &never complained about her disability. I am sure she was only too grateful to have had her prayers answered &was able to walk again even if it was with her crutch when she was outside the house.
After battling Parkinson's disease for years it finally took its' toll. Mama went home to be with her Lord Jesus on Dec 9, 1988 from heart failure.
The Newsom girls
Top L to R: Frances, Bonnie, Betty, Mary, Barbara,
Front L to R: Melba, Tommie Jean
For more on the Newsom girls go to Events and read about thei
Newsom Girls 2010 Christmas Luncheon You will also see the above photo