By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A sense of humor can go a long way, at least 63 years and counting in the case of Charlie and Mabel Mullinnix.
The pair grew up across a creek from each other in the Blair community near Guntown. They dated in his family’s cloth-topped Model T Ford, and apparently enjoyed themselves.
“We dated … How many years?” Mabel Mullinnix, 92, said.
“At least 10 years,” 91-year-old Charlie Mullinnix said.
“No. Longer than that. We married in …,” she said.
“’48,” he said.
“1948,” she agreed.
“We started our war on Nov. 11,” he said with a grin.
They got married in the church they grew up in. It was a candlelight service, and the preacher needed a flashlight to read his lines. Sleet and snow fell outside.
“Everybody came out crying,” he said.
“From the fumes,” she added quickly. “From the heater, not the wedding.”
He found a job at Gravalee Lumber Co. in Tupelo, and she got one at Western Union. They rented a two-room apartment for $7.50 a month, which was way too much.
“But that included everything, utilities and all,” she said.
“We shared a bathroom with a couple across the hall,” he said. “They had a boy between 2 and 3 years old. He’d say, ‘Charlie Boy, Charlie Boy, is that you on the mode-mode?’”
They eventually moved to what they thought was the country. There was a gravel road instead of paved streets, and it took heavy equipment to clear brush and barbed wire.
Now, their bit of “country” is surrounded by houses in the Country Club Road area. Civilization tracked them down.
“It sure did,” Mabel Mullinnix said.
They brought a daughter, Charlotte, into the world, and while still working at Gravalee, Charlie Mullinnix drove throughout the Southeast as a public speaker.
“He was kind of like Jerry Clower,” Charlotte Mullinnix said. “He would tell funny stories.”
“I wasn’t the best, but I was the cheapest,” Charlie Mullinnix said. “That was my slogan.”
He also was a committed member of Civitan, who helped bring 187 new members into the club. A sign in front of the house says, “A Civitan lives here.”
Husband and wife are legally blind, so they can’t get around as they once did. Civitan members pick them up for meetings.
“They’re ready to go any time somebody wants to take them somewhere,” Charlotte Mullinnix said.
From the comfort of his and hers lift chairs, the couple take things as they come.
“We’ve had a good 63 years of life together,” she said. “I’m happy I have Charlie here.
“It’s pretty good. Ah, we’ve had a great life,” he said. “We agree and I do what she wants done.”