Growing up in Resaca
Dixon was born in Gordon County at the family home on Mount Zion Road in Resaca on Dec. 23, 1937, daughter of Hoyt and Lottie Covington.
She gives the credit to her parents for instilling a strong work ethic in her. In fact, she was a straight-A student through the 11th grade, but then she had to drop out of school to help take care of the family farm.
“Daddy got blood poisoning in his hands and was down for a year,” Dixon recalls. “He liked to have lost both hands. We had 38 acres of cotton in the field, and me and the neighbors had to gather the cotton so I had to quit school. I went back later and got my GED.”
Hard work was no stranger to the Covington family.
“I wouldn’t take nothing for my raising,” Dixon says. “I pretty well think I can survive. We didn’t have anything. My mother and daddy worked; we lived paycheck to paycheck. We depended on the cotton, but I wouldn’t take nothing for my raising. I guess that’s the most important thing to me was my raising.
“We learned to respect our mother, our daddy,” she says. “We learned to respect other people. There was no cursing, there was no ignorant stuff being done. I just had a good mama and daddy. We just had a good life. We were poor, but we had a good life.”
That will to survive has come in handy for Dixon more than once.
For instance, there was that terrible Groundhog Day in 1966 when her daddy died, their house burned and her husband totaled their truck — all in the same day.
“We’ve had some good times in our lifetime, some bad ones, too,” she says. “But the good always outweighed the bad. You know, people don’t think about that. They just jump to conclusions and they don’t look back and say, well, the good times will always outweigh the bad. The bad don’t last. It’ll be spur-of-the-moment stuff, but the good times are something to keep and cherish. So we took that as that and kept going.”
She’s also had to battle cancer twice, the most recent just a few months ago.
“I’ve had a lot of surgeries, but that was a rough surgery,” she says of her double mastectomy performed on Oct. 11, 2012. “God’s been with me. They’re saying I’ve beat it, so that’s two cancers I’ve beat. I had uterine cancer back in ’88, and I beat that one. Now I’m shooting for this one.”