Family, friends of Louise ‘Pudden’ Felts celebrate her birthday

Published 9:33 am Saturday, June 24, 2017

When Louise “Pudden” Felts’ family realized that she was about to turn 90, they decided to give her a party to remember.

“So we decided on an “old-fashioned” country pig pickin’, said daughter-in-law, Jean Felts. “We wanted a lot of people and a lot of food.”

“I think we were successful,” she added with a smile.

Indeed, they were successful. By 1 p.m. on Saturday, close to 175 people, friends and relatives — including children and babies — from around the East Coast were eating and milling around the half-acre lawn at the home of the birthday girl.

“Oh, it was wonderful,” exclaimed Louise Felts.  “There were so many people that I hadn’t seen for so long, in fact, some nieces and nephews who hadn’t ever seen each other.

“I had the best time!” she added, “but my children worked so hard.”

Felts, who was given the nickname “Pudden” by her father when she was a child, is a lifelong resident of the area.

The widow of Meredith Felts, they have two sons, Mert and Pate. Mert and his wife, Jean, have three children, Ashton III, Taylor and Ellyn.

Daughter-in-law Jean said that planning the party actually started around Thanksgiving at the family church, Millfield Baptist.

“We always have an auction around that time with proceeds going to a children’s home in Salem, HopeTree Family Services. People auction off different things, and Molly and Franklin Dowless auctioned a pig pickin’ for 50 people.

“Well. Mert and I purchased the pig pickin’ and decided to use it as the basis for Pudden’s birthday party. The Dowless’ agreed to cook enough pork to feed our crowd and we just filled in the rest.”

The rest turned out to be a feast of appropriate vegetables and breads, hot dogs and mac and cheese for the kids, as well as, of course, baked Felts ham. The small lavender-and-white birthday cake adorned with the number 90 was accompanied by lavender-and-white iced cupcakes.

Buffet tables were covered with lavender-and-white striped cloths, while a poster with several pictures of Pudden during the years and “Happy Birthday” greetings were posted on the side of her garage.

During the event, which lasted about two hours, there was music from the Rusty Lowe Band and the Newsome Family, as well as games for the children.

Felts was presented her cake just before the rain came.

“I want to thank everyone for coming,” she said. “It’s so nice to see everyone.”

Although her party was on the 17th, her birthday was actually June 20. Felts said later, however, that being 90 was no different than being 89.

“I feel good and that counts a lot.”