Marion man recalls lifetime experiences
FAMILY HOME Flynt Hobgood sits outside the home where he was born and raised in Marion. His youngest son, Jerry, now lives in the house Hobgood's father built in 1903. Photo by Kyle Carter/The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
March 7, 2004
The 100-year-old, white, wood frame house where Flynt Hobgood was born and raised still stands in Marion just a few yards from the railroad tracks that once entertained him as a child.
The tracks, he said, were built in the 1930s and separated his house from a cabbage patch on the other side. His dad knew most of the train engineers, many of whom often stopped to visit.
Almost every day at about 7:30 a.m. the engineer of a passing train would throw Hobgood's family a copy of the latest edition of the Mobile Register.
Today, Hobgood is 93 years old and lives with his wife in a red brick house two miles from his childhood home.
And even though Hobgood has been confined to a wheelchair for 15 years and suffers from crippling arthritis, he still loves to share colorful stories about his youth and Lauderdale County's past.
Hobgood's parents married in 1898 in Meridian and raised six children at their Marion home. Hobgood is the youngest born July 10, 1910 and is the only surviving child.
His teenage memories are of riding in his friends' stripped-down Ford on Saturday afternoons to a nearby lake for swimming.
Sometimes the group would head for the Grand Opera House in downtown Meridian to catch the latest Western.
Hobgood's father owned J.G. Hobgood Dairy Farm and also operated a 30-acre strawberry farm. When his father died in the late 1930s, Hobgood, then just 28, took over the dairy farm business.
Hobgood still has a collection of the 100-year-old glass jars that were filled with fresh milk and sold for 7 cents each when he took over the business and 16 cents each when it closed in 1948.
Through the years, Hobgood has seen Lauderdale County change sometimes for the worst, he said, but mostly for the better.
Hobgood served as chairman of the Sowashee Water Share Program in 1955, the committee that organized the expansion and construction of the current Sowashee Creek that runs through Meridian.
He also served on the committee that incorporated the town of Marion. The land at the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Industrial Park, home to the Lockheed Martin plant, was owned by the Hobgood family.
Hobgood's wife of 59 years said her husband's memory sometimes amazes even her. "He wants to leave a record," said Sibyl who married Hobgood in 1945. The couple has two sons and three grandchildren.
Sibyl added there's a secret to a long marriage patience.