In the middle of the last century, Ringgold, Ga., was the town that expedited the formation of an institution that built the country in that era. Namely, early marriage.
At the time, you could get married at the age of 15 — providing you had the consent of your parents or guardians — and you could get married quickly, thanks to Ringgold’s 45-minute blood test.
The word got out rapidly and Ringgold became known as the marriage mecca of the Southeast and the mid-Atlantic. A tiny little town, just over the Tennessee state line, that fulfilled the youthful hasty heart expediently and enabled the young serviceman and his bride to get married before he shipped off to war.
Even the town’s name — Ringgold — sounded full of marital promise, notwithstanding that it was named after a celebrated general rather than a wedding band.
Seventy years later, Stacey Evans, a Democratic state representative from that town, hopes to ride today’s trend in family life — single parenting — into the Georgia governor’s mansion.
Evans is doing so by chronicling her life story with photos and video clips of the 16 homes of her childhood, living with a single mom, without a father, and trying to avoid bill collectors or her mother’s unsavory boyfriends.
“Once when I was 12 and we lived here,” Evans narrates, as a video clip of the home darts across the screen, “I called the police while one of them was beating her.
The police said that they knew him and that he wouldn’t do such a thing, so they didn’t come, and so he kept beating her.
“Always one step ahead of a bill collector: Living like that affects a child. You end up looking for something you can hold onto.”
Read the full piece HERE.