By Kristin Finney
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Jenythel W. Woods did not grow up surrounded by fortune or fame. Her family didn’t spend their evenings around the TV or going out to eat. But, when asked about her life, she would say, “It was really good.” Woods is 78 years old and spent her entire life in Madison.
Woods attended Midway school until the fourth grade. After the fourth grade she had to go work. While she was in school, she didn’t participate in sports or anything like that. One thing she did spend a lot of time doing during school, was reading. “I liked it all. I loved to read,” said Woods.
After school got out, Woods didn’t go home and play video games or check her Facebook like many kids do now. She and her siblings spent their evenings working out in the field at the farm. They were responsible for picking cotton, tobacco, sweet potatoes and corn. “We did it all. But it was good,” said Woods of working out in the fields.
When they weren’t working in the fields, Woods and her siblings helped their mom around the house. “We helped her with everything she had to do. We helped with the wash and cleaning. We helped her cook supper, too.” When she thinks about children now, and how much work they have to do, she said, “Things have changed a lot. I loved doing all of that. I loved it all.”
Woods’ family did not have a lot of money. They couldn’t go out to eat. They did all of their eating at home. “But it was OK, I liked being at home,” she said. For fun they would listen to the news on the radio. Their home did not have a TV. They would also go to church EVERY Sunday. “We had to go to church,” she said.
One of her fondest memories of her childhood was going to the grocery store with her mom on the weekends. “We rode a mule and wagon up town to the grocery store. But, they weren’t like the grocery stores we have now. These are all new grocery stores. Then, on Wednesday, the rollin’ store would come by, and Mama would buy us Silver Bells, Johnny Crackers and cheese.”
After the fourth grade, Woods began her first job. She worked in the homes of people in Madison, and continued to do that for a long time during her life. She also worked as a homemaker at the Madison Senior Citizen’s Center for 14 years.
At the age of 15 she married the love of her life, Artis Woods, Sr., who passed away four years ago. The two were married for 60 years, “I was married my whole life,” explained Woods.
They had seven beautiful children together.