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WEDNESDAY’S WOMAN: DAISY LUELLA BAIN ARMSTRONG

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Daisy BainDaisy Luella Bain was the fifth child of John Henry and Mamie Almedia Wynn Bain.  She grew up in Ida, Louisiana where she attended school and met her husband, another Ida resident, John Wesley Armstrong.  My mother, Mamie Martin Stanley and she were first cousins.  My father, Clyde Henry Stanley and Daisy’s husband, John Wesley Armstrong were also first cousins; therefore our families are double cousins!  Even though Daisy and John were actually cousins of my parents, my siblings and I always referred to them as our aunt and uncle (you know, it’s a Southern thing!  You cannot address someone your senior by their first name!).

Daisy and John had three children, Martha Ann, Jimmy and Johnny, who were raised in North Caddo Parish.  John worked at a gas plant in Myrtis; for a short time had a grocery store in Rodessa, but by the time my family moved back to North Louisiana he was working as a farm manager and was flying planes to dust cotton.  Daisy owned a beauty shop in Gilliam with Mozelle Doles.  The ad below appeared in the 1955 Eagle, the yearbook for the Belcher, Louisiana’s school.

Dazelle Beauty Shop 2

Daisy was a beautiful woman both physically and spiritually.  In the photo below with her mother, Mamie Almedia Wynn Bain you can see she was always well groomed and dressed nicely.

Mamie Wynn Bain and Daisy Bain Armstrong

She was eager to help others.  I remember when times were difficult for my family; she took my younger sisters shopping for school clothes.   When I was in high school she allowed me to work summers and sometimes after school at the beauty shop, shampooing or cleaning.  She kept me, my sisters and Mother’s hair cut and gave us permanents. I don’t know about the others but once my hair came out so tightly curled that I vowed to never have another permanent as long as I lived!  Ha!  But Mother probably told her to do it that way so the curl would last longer.

When Daisy went for a visit to Spain to see Martha Ann’s family, she brought Mother a beautiful fan and Italian Mosaic Cross and me a pair of lace gloves. But she was thoughtful that way; always doing for others expecting nothing in return.

 

My relationship grew with her grew stronger when she moved to Vivian where I lived.  My husband, Don, loved being with Daisy and many times he would tell me to call her to join us as he was frying fish.  She loved his fried fish and he loved her Peter Paul Mounds cake. On occasions when she knew he was having a difficult day with his illness, she would deliver one made especially for him.  If you haven’t made or eaten one, they are delicious.  Here’s Daisy’s recipe:

Peter Paul Mound Cake

She lived in the Central Park Apartments close enough to walk to Wal-Mart where she shopped for groceries and craft supplies. I had moved to South Louisiana and when I came back to Vivian to visit Mother, I discovered Daisy had begun making beautiful Christmas ornaments embellished with sequins and pearls.  They were just perfect for my Victorian Christmas tree and she made me more than a dozen along with two “kissing balls” that I still use today.

After Daisy moved to Atlanta, Georgia to live with Martha Ann we stayed in contact either by occasional telephone calls, emails or letters.  Once I called to see if she had my mother’s bread pudding recipe.  Before long I received a letter and a package from her that included a cookbook by local people in Ida.

Her letter is dated July 12, 2000:

Daisy, letter pg. 1

 

Daisy letter, pg. 2

In it she tells me about the cookbook telling me it doesn’t look good but has good things in there.  The cookbook had no cover and was well worn but I appreciate and use it. It has notations of things she has cooked and what the relationship of the person who submitted the recipe was to her.  She never found Mother’s recipe but the one below is from the cook book and is really close……. And very good!

Bread Pudding

Daisy spent the remaining years of her life with her children after she moved from Vivian.  In her letter she makes mention of going places she never dreamed of visiting after she moved to Atlanta.  Here she is pictured with daughter, Martha Ann Armstrong Hillman Cain McKinney, and son, Jimmy Armstrong:

Martha Ann, Daisy and Jimmy Armstrong

In this one she is pictured with son Johnny Armstrong:

Daisy and Johnny Armstrong

Despite having arthritis, Daisy said her prayers as she knelt by her bed.  While visiting Jimmy and wife, Anna Beth Lankford Armstrong, in Addis, Louisiana she went to her room to prepare for the night and her say her prayers.  When she didn’t rouse at the usual hour the next morning, they went into the room and found her kneeling by her bed.  She had passed away during the night while praying.  Daisy was born on June 15, 1915 and died November 18, 2003.  She is buried at Bethsaida Cemetery in Ida, Louisiana.

Daisy Bain Armstrong

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