The Dart: Ford plants roots locally with a quiet life in mind

Published 6:00 pm Friday, May 5, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Charles Ford and his wife sat in the cool shade of a pavilion at Bicentennial Park Thursday afternoon. It was a warm and sunny day but the shade offered relief as a cool breeze flowed through close to where The Dart landed.

Ford is originally from Franklin County. He was born and raised there, graduated from high school there and once moved to Jefferson County only to continue going to Franklin County. At one point in his life he played football but did not play long enough, he said.

Alcorn State was his next destination. Ford headed to Lorman to follow his girlfriend at the time and decided to study biology.

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“I felt like I was good. I understood it. I just understood it better than anything like I do now,” Ford said. “Everything is biology when you go to the doctor’s office or grocery store. Everything living and even the dead deal with biology.”

His mom got sick when he was 32 so he and his dad and family moved to Brookhaven. She lived at Haven Hall until she died. Ford said he did not want to move again after moving three times so he stayed put.

Dickerson and Bowen hired him to work construction. It was not easy. Work in Mississippi’s blazing sun was hot, he said “I wish I had stayed in school.”

His father is on dialysis now. Brookhaven did give Ford one special thing. He met his wife in Brookhaven. They were together for three years before getting married seven years ago. Ford said his son was killed when he was 17.

“I wanted to put my roots down and not go anywhere else,” Ford said. “It was tough. My wife and our kids helped me get through losing my son. It wasn’t just me and myself. I would have sunk into a depression if I was by myself. I was at the right place at the right time with her.”

He said they had met through his wife’s sister. His life leveled out to where he needed to be.

In his free time he hangs around with his wife and tries to stay out of trouble by going to quiet places. Brookhaven and society in general has changed, he said. Bicentennial Park offers a quiet place to exercise and Brookhaven offers a chance to live a quiet life.

Ford said he likes having a quiet life because it means less stress.

On the weekends, he watches the Dallas Cowboys play football and has been a fan of them since 1995. Ford said he does not have a favorite player because an important player can be traded in a second. Money means more to teams than the football being played on the field, he said.

Across the street from Bicentennial Park is the church Ford goes to, Brookhaven’s Messiah Seventh Day Adventist Church. He has some advice for people from what his life has taught him.

“Don’t take anything for granted. Freedom, love, religion or anything. Don’t take it for granted ever. You are only here for a split second,” Ford said. “I think Brookhaven is a pretty good town. It is quiet when it wants to be. Any place has a chance to be good. It is up to the people to make it good.”