When you make a promise to your mom you better keep it. Even if that promise is more than 40 years old.
A few weeks ago, reporter Orlando Salinas was in Giles County on a story, when Gerald Williams pulled up in a pickup truck and shouted "Orlando!"
Williams said he had a great story about his mother turning 100 years old, and a promise that he made her decades before.
A few days later, we met Williams' mom, Hun McCoy, as she sat in a rocking chair on her outside porch. Mrs. McCoy pulled me in for a great big hug, her son Gerald next to her, in a grey bushy beard.
I asked Hun about the promise Gerald made her, that if she lived to be 100, he would shave that carpet on his face.
Hun laughed, "Ha, ha! [Gerald] thinks I'm 100?!" I asked Mrs. McCoy several times how old she was, even though I knew that asking a woman her age, is a no-no.
"Are you 100?' I asked. ''Well shucks fire no!' said McCoy, 'You know I'm not no 100!"
On this day, family and friends came to celebrate Hun's 100th birthday, and to see if Gerald would keep the promise he made to his mother decades before.
When it comes to her son's beard, Hun doesn't hold back. "Yeah, I always did despise it' said McCoy, 'I told [Gerald] if he's ugly as a scarecrow, it'd be different, but he wasn't quite that ugly."
While Hun ate pizza, Gerald tried laying low, standing several feet from his mom while I interviewed her. The question; was Williams just delaying the inevitable?
"I'm thinking," said Williams, "if I just keep eating, they'll forget about it." Williams' granddaughter shot back, 'We're not forgetting about [shaving your beard!]'' Then it was time and Gerald assumed the position.
His granddaughters were nervous, telling everyone on the porch, they've never shaved anyone's beard, let alone "Papa fuzzy." With a push and an elbow, the granddaughters encouraged each other to start.
Soon, Gerald's face was looking slimmer, as the girls used scissors and razors to trim away that beard.
Thirty minutes later, Gerald's promise has been kept. I asked him if he felt bald on his face? "Yeah I reckon, really strange!"
I couldn't leave without asking Hun McCoy one more time, "What year were you born?"
Hun pulled closer to me and asked, ''What year? I forget haha! You thought you'd catch me didn't you?" I did, but I was wrong, again.