Friday, July 13, 2007

When I Was Just a Kid...Lucy Adams Part 1

Shirley Temple? No. (Do you remember Shirley Temple?)This darling girl is Lucy and Lucy had so many stories that this is only part one. Meet Lucy Adams, "the hymn lady." More on her hymn stories later. This is about a girl who had music in her soul since childhood. When Lucy was about six-years-old, her sister entered her in a Shirley Temple contest. She won! Can you tell why? She still owns that little blue pitcher with Shirley's name on it and her signature.

(So, which is Shirley and which is Lucy??)

Lucy wasn't born with the name Lucy. Much in Southern tradition, she received a nickname. But Lucy herself chose her nickname.

Because Lucy had a stuttering problem as a child, and she couldn't say her name Annie very well,she decided on the name of Lucy. Her mother, Louise,(which is Lucy's middle name) had been called Lucy in college, so this little fireball girl decided that would be her name, and she wouldn't answer her parents until they called her Lucy. She was all of eight-years-old at that time.

In her over 70 years, Lucy has a lot of stories to tell, but the main story she has to tell is a great one--the story of Jesus Christ, and what He means to her--and what He could mean to you, too.Lucy no longer stutters, and she now tells stories on the radio, and wherever she is speaking to groups, about hymns and Jesus.

Let's see what Lucy was like as a child that shaped her into the fun and lovely lady, wife, mother, grandmother and "hymn" lady she is today:

Childhood ambition:
I wanted to be a movie star and wear all those gorgeous dresses that swirled as I danced and sang.

Fondest Memory (then)
Going to the baseball games with my dad. Spending weekends with my grandparents in Holly Hill, S.C. a tiny town in lovely home.

Proudest Moment (then):
I began to keep a diary in the 4th grade, through high school. Most of it is reporting about my boyfriends. I had one each week or month, it seems. But at nineteen, I met my dream boy. I never dated anyone else for the two years we went together, and we married 53 years ago June 10, 1955 , in the Chapel across the street from where we live right now, at Lake Junaluska.(More on this in the next post about Lucy.)

Biggest Challenge as a child or teen:
Wanting to be able to stop stuttering. I did when I changed high schools. Something about my home environment was an emotional struggle. That story is written in the book, WHEN GOD STEPS IN : A collection of stories by Bonnie Bruno. (Will be released Sept. 07)

My First Job:
I was a waitress in a coffee shop in high school.

Favorite Outfit as a Child:

I took ballroom dancing. I usually had to wear my sister's hand-me-down evening dresses.But for one special dance, I got to choose my own with my mom's assistance.

Lucy says: "This evening dress I was wearing for the Junaluska queen contest, was my sister's "hand-me-down" wedding dress. They dyed it soft blue for me to have this picture taken in. The flowers are red, so it was lovely." (Crystal Editor's note: Don't you wish it was in color? But I can imagine it, because Lucy describes it beautifully.)

Favorite Childhood Movie:
"Springtime In The Rockies" starring Betty Grable and John Payne .I went to see it nine times! The dancer Carmen Miranda was Spanish and twirled her dress as she danced. ( A few years ago one of my sons found the movie on TV's golden oldies. He videotaped it for me to keep forever!)

Favorite Childhood Book:
Since I stuttered I did not like to read.
(Editor Crystal's note: In Lucy's day, children were often made to read aloud.For a child who stuttered, this would've been grueling. No wonder she didn't like to read!)

But I do have one special book with my 3rd grade handwriting. "Annie Louise Neeley" written in the front with my address (Lucy is my nickname.)The title is HYMN STORIES AND PICTURES.About 40 years later, when I began telling on the radio "The Story Behind The Song," I was amazed that I had saved that book from childhood.I believe God was directing my steps toward this wonderful music ministry.
(Crystal Editor's note: I do, too!)

Favorite Childhood Song:
I loved to hear my parents sing from the front seat when we took trips. "My Wild Irish Rose" was one they harmonized on. Since I stuttered, it was a joy to sing. One of my most joyful times was to go into my living room by myself, put on the record of "Summertime," and sing with that beautiful music. (From the movie, "Porgy and Bess").

Childhood Heroes:
Movie Stars (My Christmas gift of a subscription for Photoplay magazine was a thrill).Also I loved our Columbia Red baseball team. Another childhood hero was the African American lady who lived in our home as a housekeeper.She was close to my heart. She was wonderful security for me and the love was put in my heart to accept an African American son in-law many years later.We have three handsome grandsons from this marriage. This is a blessing to our whole family. (Lucy grew up in the South during a time before the 1960s and Dr. Martin Luther King.God orchestrated her life to be one of great changes in love and acceptance in a world of fear and prejudice.)

If you would like to know more about Lucy go to her web site.

She lives in a beautiful area,Lake Junaluska,North Carolina.

And do go get her book, 52 Hymn Story Devotions. It is ideal for anyone who enjoys hymns and leads devotions at church meetings, choir rehearsals, and Sunday school. The volume can also be used by individuals for personal devotions.

If you go to Crosswalk you can find stories Lucy has written there by typing in her name on the home page and doing a site search.

And be on the look out for Bonnie Bruno's book,WHEN GOD STEPS IN, to be released in September 2007 with stories from many people, including Lucy.

Lucy also wrote a story, "My Adventure in Prayer"(Spring Edition '07) in Breakthrough Intercessors magazine.

You can see other stories here.

More on Lucy Adams in another blog--be sure to watch for it! I will also reveal a special connection that I have with Lucy--we were so close, but yet so far.

Go to Part 2 of Lucy Adams: They're Singing Our Song!


Southern-fried Fiction said...

What a wonderful blog, Crystal! I adore Lucy. I met her at Ridgecrest a few years ago, and her sweet spirit shines and she's as lively as ever! I can't wait to read the next entry.

Crystal Laine said...

Ane, I'm so honored you came by to read about Lucy and for you kind words about the blog, too.


Unknown said...

Hi Lucy:
This is Dora Lin. How are you? I miss you very much! Have Lake Jnaluska been snow this year? Because I cannot find your e-mail address, Lleave massage here. You were so cute!

Unknown said...

Hi Lucy:
This is Dora Lin. How are you? I miss you very much! Have Lake Jnaluska been snow this year? Because I cannot find your e-mail address, Lleave massage here. You were so cute!

Anonymous said...

Dear Dora,
So happy that you wrote me a note.
Thanks for reading the interview. If you go back to the Home page on my web site and click "Here's Lucy" my email address is directly under my big picture.
All you do is click on, "DROP ME A LINE" and a blank email comes up with my address on the top. Looking forward to hearing from you. is the address .
Much love and many happy memories of you three dear girls.