Catching a ride home

Published 8:24 am Saturday, January 28, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — A former resident of Brookhaven Cathryn Keys-Davis sat on a bench outside of the Amtrak station close to where The Dart landed Thursday afternoon. 

“How much longer until the train gets here,” she asked 

“Oh, about 10 minutes. It must be down around Bogue Chitto right now,” a man said. He paced around the platform. Keys-Davis turned her attention to some snacks before catching the six hour train to her home in Memphis. 

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She was born in 1958 and claimed she was married to a man at the age of 13. Her education was cut short and she experienced poverty. Keys-Davis said she would sometimes not have running water and had to burn wood to keep warm. One day she looked at her life and saw something. 

“I saw the problem was I wasn’t at school. I didn’t have the education so I went back and took night classes twice a week. Lincoln County had a GED program and I passed it,” Keys-Davis said. “I went to Co-Lin and studied there and then I went to Jackson State and Memphis University to get degrees in education and social work.” 

With those degrees she was able to work at schools and teach at different schools. Eventually she started working in the school library and has since retired to a life keeping a tight domestic ship. She cooks and cleans and does not have an agenda to follow each day. 

The man asked her when she would make it home. “About 10 or 10:30,” she said. “Sometimes we get there so fast we have to take a 45 minute break.” 

She resumed eating what appeared to be grapes. 

“I have an easy life now. There is no agenda, I just go. I garden and grow vegetables for fun,” Keys-Davis said. “I like the hard work and planting things in the window which will grow in the spring. It is my favorite, gardening and cooking. I love to cook big meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas with sweet potato pies and homemade yeast rolls. I grow black berries too.” 

A sharp whistle blew from the south as a train light grew closer. She stood up and gathered her things and walked down the platform. A train attendant opened the compartment door and she stepped onto the train bound for Memphis.