In my own words…
Tucker family experiences baby boom' in 1961
By By Joyce Tucker/Special to The Star
Aug. 26, 2001
The summer of 1961 was one the Tucker family won't soon forget.
You can imagine the excitement when two sisters and a sister-in-law found that they were expecting babies and that their due dates were all in July. But excitement was not the word for what happened next. The mother of the three Tuckers broke the news that she felt like she might be pregnant.
Disbelief, shock, and all those other words really don't describe what the family, the doctor, the neighbors and G.T. Tucker felt when this turned out to be true. You see, Mrs. Tucker was 47 and her youngest daughter was 21.
The "baby boom" began on the morning of July 15, 1961, when Mrs. Steve (Joyce) Tucker gave birth to 7 pound 15 ounce Shari. The next morning, July 16, Verma Dean Wilson, Joyce's sister-in-law, delivered a whopper of a baby boy , Jackie Wilson, weighing in at 10 pounds and 12 ounces. To complete this trio, on the morning of July 17, Shirley Pierce gave birth to 8 pound 9 ounce Dan Pierce.
All these babies were delivered by Dr. Dan Thornton and his partner Dr. George Howell, and all were born in Anderson's Hospital. The mothers were all on the same hall and the babies were lined up in a row in the nursery.
In the 1960s, mothers were kept in the hospital for five days. The word sorta got around town that there was some major partying and visiting going on in the maternity ward at Anderson's. Mrs. Thompson would come to the door and bark, "Okay, who's the patient in this room. Everybody else go home to your room for vital signs and meds."
Of course, as soon as this silly stuff was over, right back to visiting and chatting and comparing toes and noses.
Now the word got around that there was some kind of circus going on up at the maternity ward of Anderson's so The Meridian Star sent a reporter up to check it out. The picture and article below was the results of that interview.
Grandma Lydia was a little disappointed because she is still home waiting for the birth of her baby. Margie Tucker was born on August 29, just six weeks too late for the picture. The same doctor delivered her in the same hospital. So, thus began a story that was quite remarkable to some people but just the beginning of a lot of good times for the Tucker family.
Some of the funny stories that grandma Tucker has been able to tell over the years have been enjoyed by all. All the babies used Dr. William G. Riley and this was just about the time Dr. John McEachin finished his residency at Columbus Air Force Base. During that training, one of Dr. McEachin's patients was Joseph Wade Wilson , son of Elgene Wilson , Mrs. Tucker's oldest daughter. When Lydia Tucker took Margie in to be checked over by the new young doctor in Dr. Riley's office, he was talking baby talk to Margie and calling Lydia "grandma," thinking she had brought one of the grandchildren in to be checked.
She was very quick to straighten him out on just exactly who gave birth to Margie.
Verma Dean Wilson returned to South Carolina with Jackie when he was six-weeks-old. The rest of the Tucker clan grew up together, went to school together, were in 4-H together and even double dated. Margie and Shari attended Mississippi State University together where Shari graduated. Margie later transferred to Southern Miss. where she graduated. During all of their fun times together, just for fun, Shari and Dan and all of Steve's children referred to Margie as "aunt," which still brings questions even today.
All are doing well
Now the baby boomers are scattered in their own homes and jobs:
Shari is public relations director for the Mississippi Museum of Art. She is married to Ken Veazey and lives in Jackson;
Margie married Ron Thomas and has two children. She teaches kindergarten in Greenville, S.C.;
Jackie is technical support associate for the Chester County School system. He and Debbie have two
children and live in Chester S.C.;
Dan is in the electric business with his father. He is married to Beth Warren and has one daughter.
During the first years, the Wilson family would plan a trip home in the summer so we could celebrate all four birthdays together. Now with families and jobs, it's a little more difficult to get them all home at the same time.
Now the celebrations have been spread out to a decade. The last party was in July of 1991. Recently the clan gathered at the Collinsville Community Center along with 57 family members and friends to celebrate the 40 anniversary of this Tucker Litter.
Grandma Lydia was still able to tell some funny stories about how surprised all the neighbors and family were when Lydia and G.T. Tucker (he passed away in 1988) were able to keep up with their three children. They proved that truth is always stranger than fiction.
Over the years this blessed event has commanded much attention and brought a lot of happiness to The Tucker Family.