A gentle breeze broke the sweltering heat of a Saturday afternoon as family and friends gathered beneath tents and awnings. The aromas of delicious stuff floated up from the pit that several gentlemen had been tending since early morning. Friends and neighbors worked feverously to get the tables and chairs, decorations, long serving line and everything all in order.
There was going to be a celebration. Mama Annie turned 99 years young and that definitely was cause for celebration.
Her daughter Marilyn Kessee was the hostess and she made sure everyone had something cool to drink. She told the Journal that relatives and friends from all over had made their way to the party. There was a sister from Boston, a grandson and great grandson from Washington, DC, and a brother James who came from next door.
And then about 3:00 pm the birthday girl appeared at the door of her house. With a little help Annie Barfield descended the back steps to a seat of honor under the shade of a tree not quite as old as she is. She humbly accepted the congratulations from everyone.
Her sense of humor is strong. She laughed. She gestured to folks she recognized. And she patiently posed for picture after picture after picture. Mama Annie enjoyed the attention.
Then daughter Marilyn Kessee called the crowd to order by thanking everyone. “We’re here to celebrate her 99thbirthday,” said Kessee, “I am so delighted you joined us. This is a day the Lord has made. Let’s rejoice in it.”
Kessee explained, “We all called her Mama Annie because she reached out to everyone.” The stories circulating among the well-wishers bore that out as person after person spoke of the times Annie had touched them while they were growing up.
Her 99th Birthday Party was a great tribute to Annie Barfield by the crowd of more than 100 who say she touched them and the lives of many throughout the community.
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