The Good Stuff: Growing a little history

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - You could call it a little front yard OCD. And backyard OCD, for that matter.

“How long have you lived here?,” I asked 99 year old Lucille Collins, both of us sitting under her shady carport in the Anderson Island neighborhood.

"We built in the early to mid 50's," answered Lucille.

We paid Lucille a visit, namely because of recently being honored as having Anderson Island's 'Yard of the Month'.

“A lot of people gave me flowers, so they’re the flowers I had brought with me when I came here,” explained Lucille.

99 year old Lucille enjoying a laugh with KSLA's Doug Warner (Source: KSLA News 12)
99 year old Lucille enjoying a laugh with KSLA's Doug Warner (Source: KSLA News 12)

But soon after getting the low-down on the different kinds of flowers and plants on her property, "Daylilies, azaleas, cacti, touch-me-nots," we learned there is much of a story that has taken root around her Anderson Island home.

Some of the first plants to be transplanted to her and her husband Robert's new home back in the 50's, Lucille said came from her mother's home.

"The roses came from Ruston. That's where I grew up."

Along with her mother Elizabeth’s roses, Lucille brought with her an understanding of the importance of hard work and determination, handed down from her father John Lonnie Boddie.

"She says back during the 20's and 30's, her daddy would get up before daylight and plow behind the mules and horses," explained Lucille's grandson, John Paul Collins.

But roughly 20 years after moving into their forever home together, Lucille’s husband, Robert, was stricken by the first of a number of strokes.

"I remember when I was little and I asked one time if she could go with us on a summer vacation, she said, 'No, I have to take care of your granddaddy'."

Her husband eventually passed away after 62 years of marriage.

"But he helped me plant all of this before he left here," explained Lucille, pointing to the vast number of plants stretching from one end of her backyard to the other, bordering alongside the waters of Anderson Island, itself.

"Somebody sent him a nice plant, and they've grown ever since. They thrive," began Lucille, pointing out large numbers of a 'tropical' plant, she calls it.

She said after bringing that plant home from the hospital, she planted it in their backyard.

"Now you'll see them all over the yard. They multiply."

And now even two decades since his passing, Lucille has a constant reminder of her longtime husband Robert "R.W." Collins, deeply rooted and growing all across her Anderson Island property.

"I just say, look what the Lord has made for me," declared Lucille.

“The Lord has made it for me.”