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Last updated 3:49PM ET
March 8, 2021
Sharing A 90 Year Bond
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - In the 90 years they've been friends, Lucinda Rhodes and Lillie Davis have never gotten in an argument, not even a minor disagreement.

"We've always gotten along," said Davis, who will turn 99 on July 19.

Rhodes, who turned 100 on June 6, and Davis became friends in the 1910s, when they attended Hale County Training School in Greensboro. Both moved to Tuscaloosa as young women and have maintained their friendship.

Both are in good health and active. The women faithfully attend religious services, cook and read. Davis often baby-sits her 1- and 3-year-old great-great-grandchildren and went fishing at Lake Lurleen on a recent Sunday evening.

"She skipped everywhere she went," Davis said of Rhodes as a young girl. "She has always been a lively person."

The women have seen a lot during in their lifetime.

Rhodes remembers watching soldiers leave to fight overseas during World War I.

"We'd go down and see the folks get on the train. I was a small girl," she said.

She moved to Tuscaloosa when she was 16 and got a job as a housekeeper at the University of Alabama, where she worked for 40 years.

She remembers the day a mob formed to keep Autherine Lucy from attending classes in 1956 and integrating the campus.

She also remembers seven years later, when Gov. George Wallace made his stand to prevent Vivian Malone and James Hood from enrolling.

Davis worked at Dill's Motor Court for years and later in the home of the family that ran the motel.

She remembers the months during the Montgomery bus boycott in 1956, which extended to Tuscaloosa.

"We had to catch a ride to get to work the best way we could," she said.

The women raised families, who all live nearby. Rhodes moved to Virginia in May to live with her son just before he died. She has lived longer than both of her sons and has four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. She's back in Tuscaloosa and plans to go back to Virginia soon to live with her daughter-in-law.

"I'm planning to move back, though. This is home," she said Sunday, sitting on the couch in the house she owns near Westlawn School.

Davis had one daughter and six grandchildren Lillie Pruitt, Lauree Wilson, Davia Wilson, Marcie Sims, Toya Wilson and Jimmie Sims. She has 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

At 98, she said the key to her long life is to keep moving. She cooks breakfast every morning and likes to dance to blues and jazz music.

"Anything with a beat," said granddaughter Lauree Wilson. "We were listening to Frank Sinatra in the car today, and she said Why are you playing this old music?'"

Rhodes attends Tabernacle AME Zion Church and Davis attends Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.

The women said the secret to living a long life is hard work, obedience, loving your neighbor, and honoring your father and your mother.

"Treat everybody right," Rhodes said.

"Not just your own people but everybody," Davis said.

"And put God first," Rhodes said.

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