AP NEWS

High Point woman’s birth coincided with Hurricane Hazel

September 15, 2018

HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — It’s indisputable that Susan Childress and Hurricane Hazel hit High Point on the same day, but which one was screaming louder may still be open for debate.

Childress, whose maiden name was Walters, was born at High Point Memorial Hospital on Oct. 15, 1954 — the same day Hazel came ashore on the North Carolina coast and eventually roared through High Point — and it’s been a family joke ever since.

“All my parents’ friends wanted them to name me Hazel,” Childress says. “Thank God they didn’t.”

No, Robert and Shellie Walters named their daughter Linda Susan, but they never let her forget she was a hurricane baby.

“My personality has always been real outgoing, and my mom would always say, ‘Well, you came in a storm,’” Childress says. “And my dad would always joke about how much trouble I had been, and whether I was worth it.”

According to Childress, her parents told her they had to drive through high winds and torrential rains to get to the hospital in time.

“Mom always talked about how scary it was to be delivering a baby during the hurricane,” she says. “She remembered a window being broken out and they were putting up sheets over it. That was just such a bad storm.”

Childress’ father has since died, but her mother — whose last name is now Sawyer — lives in the memory care unit at Westchester Harbour in High Point. She turned 94 on Thursday.

Earlier this week, when Childress told her mother about Hurricane Florence and how it might impact High Point, her mother smiled.

“Oh,” she said, “I still remember that storm when you were born.”

It’s been nearly 64 years, and they still won’t let Childress forget.

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Information from: High Point Enterprise, http://www.hpenews.com

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