Franklin woman writes book

Published 9:38 am Friday, June 3, 2011

Franklin resident Lois Billings’ family has always enjoyed hearing her stories about growing up as a sharecropper’s daughter in the 1930s and 1940s in Bertie County, N.C.

Her husband, Bill, encouraged her to write down her stories, which Lois turned into a 67-page, self-published book titled “Making Do.” The book includes 28 photos, while the cover features a photo of Lois at age 16.

She will have a book-signing 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at The Peanut Patch in Courtland. Since June 11 is Virginia Day, Bill Billings will be selling photographs and note cards of Franklin and Southampton County during his wife’s book-signing.

Born in 1934, Lois was the second oldest of seven and grew up near Colerain in a settlement known as Trap.

“We were very, very poor back then, and that was in the days of terrible poverty,” she said. “My mother worked in the field all day for 60 cents a day and my dad, for 70 cents a day.”

Her mother died when Lois was 18 after giving birth to her youngest child.

“When I was little, my mother told me stories, and when we worked in the field or the yard, she told me stories,” she said. “Then I started when my children came along. I started telling them stories.”

Her husband got her a recipe box filled with 3- by 5-inch note cards and when she started telling a story, he would tell her to write it down. And that’s how she wrote her book.

Retired from International Paper, Lois was secretary for Well Nutt, president of Union Camp Technology; controller Alan Ginn; and vice president of converting, Paul Brown.

• Blake’s Mustangs Franklin-Southampton Relay For Life team is selling cookbooks in memory of its late captain, Robin Bulls.

The 47-year-old former bookkeeper for Blake Ford died from cancer on

Jan. 21, leaving behind her husband, James “Al” Bulls Jr.; daughter, Allie; and son, James.

The 89-page cookbook features 250 recipes contributed by family and friends.

Cookbooks are $10 and can be purchased by calling Robin Stephens at 562-6868. Cookbooks also will be available on Saturday, June 4, during the Relay for Life event at Bronco Federal Credit Union on Stewart Drive. Relay activities begin at 10 a.m.