Have you ever sat with someone and listened to them tell the most interesting stories you’ve ever heard? The entire time they are telling these stories, you sit there picturing these events in your mind, comparing the timelines with the rest of the world and you just think, “Man, I wish I’d been there!”. That is the feeling you get when you sit down with Mrs. Ann Barfield. She’ll make you want to write a book about her experiences and, since she views her life as a book, she already has the chapters outlined.
During the Depression in Detroit, Michigan, Martha Ann Gordon was born on November 13, 1928. After three years up North, her family moved back to Georgia where she would spend the rest of her life. Ann lived most of her childhood and the years of World War II in Fort Gaines and Elko, Georgia on her family’s land. She remembers exactly where she was when she found out the war was over. She was recently out of high school and living around Perry, Georgia at the time, and she was on the way to Unadilla. Several young people, including Ann, were going to see a show. That’s when they heard the announcement on the radio: The Second World War had come to an end.
Shortly after, she finished her classes at Andrew College and moved to Hahira to teach 3rd grade. During a summer course at Valdosta State, she became friends with Dr. Jesse Parrot who had a proposition for her. “He said, ‘I want you to meet my best friend’. So, I got in his car, and we rode around to the King B. It wasn’t King B then but, where [Hurram Mason Barfield] worked as a mechanic.” And the rest is history? “Oh boy, you aren’t kidding! Many chapters in my book.” They married in 1948 at the Methodist church in Fort Gaines when she was 19 years old. The rest of their married life, they spent in Hahira. She realized all she had ever wanted to be was a wife and a mother to their three children. Her family lives everywhere from California to France! The distance is the reason she loves Thanksgiving; most of the children come back home.
With her mother and grandmother as role models, she carries on their tradition of grace, poise, and finesse. “My Grandmother Davis, she didn’t say anything. She didn’t have to; her life was exactly what you would want to be. She loved the Lord; she was one of the finest, she was so precious, and she never gossiped.” As Mrs. Ann described her grandmother, the way she carries herself makes complete sense. So precious and letting her life speak for itself.
Her definition of success is not classified by monetary value, as most would. “It’s what your life has been. Success is your children, what they’re doing in their life. How you live your life.” She doesn’t look at the world as much as she looks at life itself. She doesn’t dwell on regrets or what might have been; she knows she always did the best she could. Instead, she looks deeper into life around her. Riding her bicycle or walking her two miles every morning is her downtime. The rest of her days, she is on the go. She enjoys playing with her son’s dog, going out with friends, or watching the hummingbirds on the porch. She would like her children and family to remember her as she remembers her grandmother. “I hope they’ll remember me as a person who loved the Lord with all her heart, her mind, her soul, and her strength. How I lived and what life is all about.” Mrs. Barfield truly loves her family, the Lord, and she loves Hahira.