The Boston brothers, who were awaiting the birth of a new sibling that same day in Waleska, thought the celebratory gunfire they heard was in honor of their sister being born.
Martha Jo Boston Carmichael Lingefelt, born on what is now known as Veterans Day, turned 93 on Friday.
“My older brothers used to tell me that story every year on my birthday,” Lingefelt said.
Klevin Boston, former Cherokee County school superintendent, and Ford Boston, former Greene County school superintendent, have both passed away.
On Friday, Lingefelt’s children had a get-together at Family Tradition Restaurant & Catering for her birthday celebration.
“I’m thankful I’m still around and have good health to celebrate that day,” Lingefelt said.
The 93-year-old has deep roots in the county, as she attended Reinhardt from first grade through her first two years of college. She was even elected Miss Reinhardt.
“That was a big day,” she said.
After graduating, Lingefelt was elected to attend the Atlanta Conservatory of Music. Lingefelt had her picture run in the in Cherokee Advance, the community’s newspaper at the time, for the scholarship she was awarded by the conservatory.
“I performed in a recital and won a pin,” she said. “I played 10 pieces and I can still remember one of them.”
Lingefelt was a teacher throughout the county for many years. Her first teaching job was in a one-room schoolhouse in Sutallee.
“When the roads got bad, we couldn’t go in the car, so I had to ride a mule,” she said. “The older boys going to school would get the mule and put it in the barn close to schoolhouse. I would ride two miles from school to the boarding house where I stayed.”
She then married Trammell Carmichael, with whom she taught school at the old Avery School, she went on to teach music in the Buffington School.
Lingefelt and Carmichael had four children: Robert “Sonny” Trammell, Patsy Mason, Johnny Carmichael and Connie Green.
Carmichael also served as Cherokee County’s sole commissioner for 24 years.
“It was a busy time,” Lingefelt said.
She recalled going from door to door to ask for votes the first year he was elected. They were married 53 years. Carmichael died in 1994.
Five years later, she married Elmer Lingefelt on Valentine’s Day. They met each other at their church in Avery.
Lingefelt still enjoys music and continues to play piano at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Canton, where she has attended for 60 years.
She and her husband enjoy going to a campground in Unicoi Springs, near Helen, where she’s also known to play the piano at the local chapel.
“It’s like one big family, everybody knows everybody in the campground,” Lingefelt said. “They have singing on the porch at the clubhouse and I play keyboard out there.”
The two plan to head back to the campground in March when it opens.
While at home in Canton, the Lingefelts often like to go to restaurants in the area.
“We like to go and eat and be with friends,” she said. “We go to all different restaurants in Canton. We don’t leave any of them out!”
She also tries to spend as much time as possible with her 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
“I have had a good life,” Lingefelt said. “I’ve been blessed to have good health and to be able to doing what I enjoy.”