by Mary Louise Gentry Binkley [1911-2001]
[copyright 2004 - 2006 by Sara Binkley Tarpley]]
About 1993 I gave my mother Mary Louise Gentry Binkley a tape recorder and asked her to record her memories. After her death in 2001, I discovered that she had actually written three separate accounts of the first twenty years or so of her life and then had read one of them into the recorder. I have now combined and edited them, wishing as I did so that I had worked on this project with her so that she could have answered my many questions. Although I have annotated her story with what I could learn about the people that she mentioned, I have retained her language.
My mother lived in Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee, from 1915 until her marriage in 1946 and from my father's death in 1959 until she moved to an assisted living facility in Nashville in 2000. Her love for Franklin was great; she saw the town as central to her life story and wrote:
The little unique town of Franklin of yesterday and today will never be completely free from my beautiful sweet memories as a child. Somehow I believe they will linger forever in those that come after me.
It is my hope that some of what she wrote will be of use to those who are curious about what life was like for a small-town girl growing up in the early twentieth century, to those who have a special interest in Franklin, and to those who are related to some of the people that she mentioned. I welcome information, stories, and pictures related to the people and places she recalled.