Meet Marilyn Wagner

From the moment that we moved into the Crittenden-Eclipse neighborhood, we’ve been amazed and humbled by the warm welcome, strong support, and generous help that we’ve received from our neighbors at both our home and farm. If you speak with Marilyn Wagner, who has lived in the neighborhood for 73 years, she will tell you that the small-town feel of the neighborhood has lasted for generations. “Everyone’s mother was your mother, and you couldn’t do anything without your mother knowing about it,” Marilyn reminiscenced about her childhood. Her grandmother’s house, her parents’ house, and her house were all next to each other, so her children had the privilege of growing up surrounded by their kin and their history. Marilyn owns lots of her great-grandad and grandmother’s furniture and describes herself as “definitely a family person.” She fondly remembers her dad’s garden that was filled with tomatoes, potatoes, squash, peas, beans, and carrots. She was raised on home-grown, fresh vegetables, and she’s thrilled that our farm (located just steps from her home) will allow her easy access to farm-fresh produce. She spent Sundays at her dad’s mom’s farm where she would feed the chickens and collect the eggs. She would also help her grandmother to kill and prepare a fresh chicken for the best fried chicken. Because of those memorable Sundays with her family, she considers herself to be a “farm girl.” Crittenden-Eclipse is a beautiful place where “everyone welcomes you,” and “it’s a wonderful place to raise children and live.” As a child Marilyn would put down her aluminum boat at Robbie Johnson’s to go crabbing. Within an hour she would have a bushel basket full of crabs. Her Sunday school teacher would sometimes let the class go swimming out at her house on the water, and the kids would go down to the rivershore to swim until Hurricane Hazel wiped it out. Many of the children that she played with still live in the neighborhood, and I would need an entire book to document all of them. Marilyn is “kin to everybody,” so if you are interested in the history of your home or the neighborhood, she is a wealth of information.

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