Marion County Folks Tell the Jimp
About Dealing with Unusual Times
By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
JEFFERSON – Mae Rucker, 92, describes herself as a “Louisana Gal” who likes to wear tee shirts and jeans.
“For an old woman, I guess I am doing pretty good,” Rucker said. “I feel really blessed.”
Mae lives on U.S.59 North near her daughter and son-in-law, Margie and Roger Manning and her granddaughter and her husband, Cathy and former Marion County Chief Deputy Frank Cason.
The COVID-19 virus crisis has caused a few changes in Mae’s life.
“I drove, but I gave up my driving about a month ago,” Mae said. “I sold my car. I’m doing real well.”
Born in Rayville, Louisiana, Rucker lived most of her life in Cass County where she was a housewife while raising a family and then worked outside the home for a bit.
“I watch a lot of TV,” Mae said, noting that she enjoyed game shows like “The Price Is Right.” “Seems like before I know it the day is gone.”
And then there are the pets.
“I have outside cats that wandered up that have to be seen to,” she said. “My granddaughter brought me a dog, and I have to see to her, too.”
She also has a lifeline.
Mae is grateful for the care her family gives her.
“My kids are really attentive to me,” she said. “When I need to go somewhere, they take me.”
She has four children. “I lost my youngest son in Vietnam,” Mae revealed. “His name is John O’Neal. He was a sergeant in the Air Force. He was the last enlisted man to lose his life in DaNang on January 27, 1973.”
A monument on the square in Linden lists his name.
“It opens up a lot of sadness, when I start going through a picture book with John’s photos,”
She noted with a sense of pride that in addition to John, a brother and Roger Manning also served in Vietnam.
Now Mae weathers this new storm, but not alone.
“They won’t let me get out of the house, hardly,” she said. “I have orders to stay home. I am thankful they care.”
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