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Ackerman Reminisces over the past 96 years of his life in Cottageville

With a room filled with both familiar and unfamiliar faces, 96-year-old lifelong Cottageville resident, Mr. Joe Bin Ackerman sat down at the newly opened Cottageville Library and shared with guest some of his fondest memories growing up in Cottageville. Ackerman walked guest through vivid memories of the Town of Cottageville, before it was a town, before electricity and paved roads even existed. In the summer of 1922, Ackerman was born as the seventh Ackerman child in his family, with 5 older sisters and 1 older brother. Born at his home, in what was considered at the time “West Red Oak”, Ackerman said that no one had cars so his mother had a midwife who helped her birth all seven of her children at home. Growing up Ackerman remembers every school house that Cottageville transitioned through including when it was next to Cottageville Methodist Church and the elementary and high schools were on the same lots. One of his fondest memories as a child was playing baseball in Mr. Durant’s cow pasture where many baseball tournaments was held. Ackerman’s wit and humor came out as he talked about playing marbles as a child. “You played for takes,” Ackerman said, “If you knocked one out the ring it was yours and I was good at losing them.”

Ackerman vividly remembers the 1930’s when Cottageville received electricity and had 3 grocery stores in town. There was also a movie theater where Ackerman talked about 3 reel movies with only 1 projector. “It was .10 cents for children and .25 cents for adults,” Ackerman said, “and you had to wait for the reel to rewind before going to the next movie.” Ackerman recalled the first school bus, made from a flatbed truck that picked him up from his parent’s farm. He graduated in 1939 to a class of 12, as he humorously laughed and said he ranked, “12 of 12” and his daughter, Nina Williams, sitting next to him smiled and shook her head. Ackerman recalled growing up during the Great Depression and noted things that were considered a luxury at the time including toilet paper and running water. His favorite candies as a child were Baby Ruth’s and Mary Janes and if he could ever afford it, peanuts poured into a cold Coca Cola. He recalled his father working on digging the water tunnel which still run from Givhans to Goose Creek and supplies water. “That was the best job my daddy ever had,” Ackerman said.

A family friend, the late Mrs. “Dit” Davis introduced Ackerman to his wife, Betty, in 1942 before he signed up for the Army. In 1952, Ackerman returned to Cottageville and married his wife and the two were married for 56 years and had three daughters. Ackerman and his wife bought the old Cottageville Methodist Church parsonage and had it moved to his land, where he still resides. He worked numerous jobs throughout his life including a long stint at the old Charleston Naval Shipyard. Ackerman reminisced over the good times and the hard times in his past 96 years of life but one thing was certain, he enjoyed living.

Cottageville Librarian Rhonda Kierpeic lead the discussion during the first Community Chat at the Cottageville Library, where Ackerman was the guest speaker. Kierpeic had previously asked Ackerman what his most valued possession would be if he had to only take one thing from his home and he told her a photo of his late wife, Betty, “She was the love of my life.” Keirpeic also announced that local businessman and custom cabinet maker, Mr. George White, was making a shadow box of tools that Ackerman had handed down from his years at the Naval Shipyard to be displayed in the new Cottageville Library to honor Ackerman and his long time service and life in Cottageville, S.C.

Amye Stivender (218 Posts)