Then and Now, friendship binds

Dina Martin of Scott County was born in 1937, left the county in 1956, left Mississippi in 1970, lived in over 20 states, and returned after 30 years with her second husband, Joe Martin. She now lives between Forest and Conehatta.
“I was ready to return — I love the county, I love the people.” Martin said. “I have so many friends and family here. There is nowhere else I would want to call home.”
Martin graduated from Good Hope in 1956. It was a year later that she, her sister, and her first cousins were together for the black and white photo accompanying this article. That photo was then recreated at the suggestion of her niece in May of this year at Martin’s 80th birthday party.
Between the two photos, 60 years have passed for the women and for the county.
“It (Scott County) has changed a lot,” Martin said. When Martin was a child, she said, “We didn’t have a phone, electricity, or a car. I was eight or nine when daddy got his first car. Before that, it was a mule and wagon.”
Martin described her home when she was young, saying, “The roads were dirt back then, and in summertime we kept the windows open — trying to keep the house cool, and dust from the road would come in through the windows.”
Martin said the dust would coat the furniture and would have to be cleaned often.
In 1969, she married Joe Martin and stayed married to him for 43 years before he passed in 2012. She has two children from her first marriage to Maurice Culipher. She has a son, Thomas Culipher, 56, and a daughter, Susan Ross, 54.
Martin and her husband moved often during their time away from Mississippi. Martin said, “We returned after retirement and opened J&D Video in Hillsboro in 1986.”
The video store closed in 2007 as virtually all video stores did with the rise of digital streaming. This was another change for the communities in Scott County.
Martin enjoys crocheting several hours each day. She says that she mainly makes baby clothes and blankets.
“I donate blankets to the Center of Hope (in Forest) — a pregnancy resource center,” Martin said.
She attends Salem Baptist Church and said, “My week is not complete if I can’t go to church.” Martin said that she was raised in Salem Baptist and is dedicated in her attendance, always seeking to gain greater understanding and closeness to God.
Beside Martin in the accompanying photographs are Martin’s sister, Bessie Ware; and cousins, Zellene Posey and Maybeth Lang.
Martin described her cousins, Posey and Lang, saying, “We grew up together — we were like sisters, and we’re still close.”
Ware lives in a nursing home in Newton with her husband, Timmy Ware. Bessie Ware is 78 and was part of the last graduating class of Good Hope.
Posey lives across from Dina in Scott County. She is 81 and her husband, Earl Posey, passed a few months back.
Lang is 79 and lives half a mile up the road from Martin and Posey. Her husband was Rudolph Lang and passed 4 years ago.

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