By Sara Hope
You have probably seen them on some of their morning walks around Lynchburg, the tall handsome gentleman with the petite pretty lady by his side. Whenever I see them I always think, “I want to be like them when I grow up.”
Dudley and Ann Tipps welcomed me into their pretty little house and I admired pictures of their family, framed and displayed down the hallway.
Cross stitch and a beautiful handmade quilt, with pictures of their Great Grandchildren, hung on the wall in a place of honor. We walked past a little wooden trunk at the foot of her bed and she said “Santa Claus brought me that trunk when I was 5 years old?
Dudley & Ann Tipps were both born in Moore County, Dudley in 1933, and Ann in 1934. They lived in the Marble Hill and Mulberry communities.
One of Ann’s memories was of the Marble Hill Grocery Store. She said there was a glass front candy case and there were bins full of cookies across the bottom, she said “I loved to just look at all the goodies, in that case.” She remembered that all the menfolk of Marble Hill would meet at the Grocery store on Saturday night to play checkers. “I would beg my Daddy to take me along, I wanted to go so bad, but the night got long and I wanted to come home so bad.” She remembered crawling onto the counter and going to sleep, and her Daddy would pick me up and carry me home and put me to bed.” Every year there was a Christmas program at the Marble Hill School. Ann said “I was the angel every year. They made me some angel wings out of paper and coat hangers and I would stand on stage and smile.” “I think I got to be the angel because I was so tiny and the costume fit me.”
Ann attended Marble Hill School until the 8th grade and then came to Moore County High School. Dudley attended Moore County from 4th to 8th grade, then to Tullahoma. He convinced his mother that he wanted to attend MCHS his senior year and hitchhiked to Lynchburg every morning.
Dudley played football and Ann was a cheerleader. They attended dances and parties and, I teased them and mentioned, “There was probably a lot of courting going on in that team bus, going to and from football games.” Ann and Dudley laughed and looked at each other like two love-struck kids, and both replied, “Yes there was, but it wasn’t just us. Everybody had somebody.”
Ann remembered standing on the front porch, waiting for Dudley to come to pick her up, for a date. She said, “I would stand and watch for him and when he got close I would dart back in the house, and wait for him to come to the door.”
She said, “He fetched me at the door on every date.”
She said, “My Momma would let me sleep in the next morning after a date night, but my Grandmother would wake me up early the next morning.” She said she remembered her Grandmother saying “things are going to be different if you catch that Long Legged Tipps boy.
Dudley graduated from MCHS and Ann attended Business school in Tullahoma. They were married on Thanksgiving Day 1952. Ann said, “Our families said it would never last and Dudley would never finish college.” “We were determined to prove them wrong.” They moved into the newly established, married student housing at MTSU and paid $22 a month’s rent. They borrowed furniture and a hot plate and Dudley worked in food service on campus, so they always had something to eat. They bought an old car for 50 dollars that didn’t run half the time. Ann said with a sweet smile, “We didn’t have much, but we made it.” They also mentioned that Ritz crackers and Moon pies were part of their young married diet.
Dudley went to work at AEDC and retired after 40 years. They came back to Lynchburg and she was hostess at Miss Mary’s for 14 years. They now reside in a pretty yellow house here in Lynchburg.
Since their retirement, Ann and Dudley have been active in the Community. They are members of the Chamber of Commerce and Historical Society.
Ann has made over 80 quilts in the “Quilts for Kids” program. The quilts are distributed where needed in hospitals and nursing homes. “I love making them, and thinking about who gets them.” Each quilt is different and each one is stitched with love.
Dudley has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and helped build a church in Murfreesboro. He also helped build several homes for the needy, in the middle Tennessee area. He is active in the Foreign Construction Ministry. He has traveled far from Lynchburg to help people in Central American, Estonia and Latvia, and Lithuania. The organization has built schools, churches, and a home for unwed mothers, and a Methodist Seminary. He has also helped with hurricane relief in Mississippi as well as tornado relief in Murfreesboro and other areas that needed help.
I asked them for some words of wisdom for young people of today, Ann answered with “Always Be true to each other” and Dudley gave her a big Long Legged Tipps boy, smile of approval.
All through our conversation, Ann would mention that “Dudley had a wonderful family.” She also said many times “if we can make it, anyone can make it.”
To sit across from Ann and Dudley and watch them smile and laugh at each other, or smile when one says something pleasant about the other, a few things come to my mind. “Match made in Heaven” and “Perfect Match” and “they lived happily ever after.” were some sweet thoughts I brought back to Hope Street.