East Texas seniors put Obama's election in historical perspective - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


East Texas seniors put Obama's election in historical perspective

The election of Barack Obama is one more notch in the historic belt of our country. KLTV 7's Layron Livingston sat down with some of our East Texas seniors reflecting on that night, and the events that shaped their lives.

It's been an exciting century, and for some, an even more exciting week. Some thought they'd never live to see it.

"I think in this time and age, we're seeing some of the most exciting, tremendous things," said William L. Faison, who is 87.

"Everybody will remember where they were when this happened," said Anita 'Memaw' Dent, who is also 87.

It's history in the making.

"Ohhh...I was amazed, whoo," said James Mayfield.

81 year old Mayfield remembers living through a darker time in our nation's history.

"You go into the old post office there on Ferguson, they had a sign over there, white and colored over here," said Mayfield.

"Everybody knows where they were when Kennedy was shot...and then Bobby was shot and Martin Luther King was shot, and that was a terrible time," said Dent.

These eyes have seen many things.

"We were happier then, probably, than we are now, I don't know," said Roy Baker, 96.

"My life was shaped by two events - the Great Depression and World War II," said Dent. "I was in World War II. I can't think of a more historic moment in my life."

From the tragic...

"Pearl Harbor, that was horrible," said Glendol Martin, 80.

To the triumphant - landing on the moon.

"I was right in my living room watching that," said Dent.

"Some people didn't think we landed on the moon, but I did," said Roy Baker, 96.

The birth of the king...

"We thought Elvis was horrible!" said Dent.

...and the British invasion.

"Oh, the Beatles were worse, you know, I remember the first time they came on Ed Sullivan....we were horrified," said Doris Parker, 84.

So what exactly makes history making events, history making events?

"We've never had them before," said Dent.

"All these historic things that have happened...and all these things...it is truly for our benefit," said Faison.

"Teaches us to be a better person, said Martin.

Past and present, some say it's all equally important.

"It's hard to put those all in a line because some affect us in one way, and some affect us in other ways," said Parker.

"To make us live better lives, to look back and see where we have been, and where we are now," said Martin.

Still living - living history.

The oldest person we talked to today was a 96 year old World War II veteran. He lived on a farm near Henderson during the Depression. He told us he was honored to cast his presidential vote for Barack Obama.

Layron Livingston, reporting. llivingston@kltv.com


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