Oates remembered fondly by family

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 2, 2005

DEMOPOLIS-Eyvette Adams can remember the first meal she ever cooked for her grandmother. It was red beans and rice.

Her grandmother is the late Bertha M. Oates and the backbone of the Oates family.

Oates, the matriarch of the family went “home” August 7, 2004 at the age of 77.

“If you knew her she was like your mother,” she said. “She had an impact on people.”

According to Adams, there was only standing room at her funeral because so many people came to pay respect.

“You would’ve thought she was a celebrity,” Adams said.

Adams’ fondest memory was when her “Grandma Bert” realized she knew how to cook.

“She always said, ‘Y’all young people don’t know how to cook.'”

It was then Adams prepared her first meal for her grandmother, red beans and rice, and “Grandma Bert” told her it was some “good cooking.”

Adams, a Chicago native, said she lived with her grandmother and went to high school in Demopolis before she moved to Demopolis with her family in 1996.

“I was really grateful to have opportunity to get to know her,” she said.

Adams said she and her grandmother always had a bond since both of their birthdays were in May, the fourth and fourteenth.

“Grandma Bert” owned an emerald ring, the birthstone for May, Adams adored.

“I told her that I didn’t want anything from her, but that ring, and she told me that she would make sure that I got it,” Adams said. “So she gave it to me later that day. She said ‘I’m going to give it to you now that I’m here.'”

Adams said the ring is a good luck charm to her now. The Kentucky resident said that she has received great grades on essays written about her grandmother since she has worn it.

“She was my friend,” Adams said about her much older confidant. “She always praised me and my sister.”

Adams plans to celebrate “Grandma Bert’s” birthday on May fourth every year.

She said her four children, two daughters, 12 and 19, and two sons, 14 and 15, understand how her grandmother’s death affected her and celebrate their great-grandmother’s birthday as a family.

“Outside of my kids and my mother she was the best thing to happen to me,” she said. “She was a great woman and I don’t want her legacy to be forgotten,” Adams said. “I believe she left too soon.”

“Grandma Bert” was loving, caring and real. “She was just that kind of woman.”

Eyvette Adams can remember the last meal she cooked for her grandmother. It was pasta, fish and garlic bread.