The Gipson’s were among a select group of families and ancestors of long time Clayton County residents honored at the Black History Month celebration last Saturday at the National Archives in Morrow.
The brothers, both of whom are widowers, are 88 but Lester is always quick to say he is the “oldest” as he was born five minutes before Chester.
“Yeah, Chester has always looked up to me as his big brother,” Lester said, a smile crossing his face.
The two moved to Jonesboro in 1943 and lived separately with their families. Shortly after moving to the city, Lester went into the Navy and is, therefore, a World War II veteran.
“We moved here with our families and immediately liked what we saw and decided to stay a while and enjoy the area,” Lester said.
They have been “enjoying the area” of Jonesboro for seven decades and have no plans of moving.
Former airline employees, the brothers say they have always loved the “hometown atmosphere” that each feels epitomizes what many Jonesboro residents also enjoy.
They said severe traffic problems in Jonesboro are almost non-existent around their Jonesboro homes.
When it is not too cold, the brothers get together and go to one of their homes and enjoy one another’s company sitting and listening to what they called the “sounds of nature” which, they say, are so prevalent in Jonesboro because of its rural feel.
However, sitting immediately beside Lester’s home is one of the family’s largest pieces of memorabilia, a 1950 Ford that came into the family’s possession many years ago.
Although the brothers get out as often as possible, they are comfortable in their homes.
At Lester’s home, his living room walls are covered with family pictures and other historical Gipson memorabilia, including a photo of Lester in his Navy uniform shortly after he joined the military service.
“This is the type of community that is right for Chester and I,” Lester said.
“It is quiet and peaceful, especially around our homes, and we really enjoy it,” he added.
As each brother was honored to be recognized as members of the longest-tenured Clayton County residents, Chester said he and his brother want to spend the remainder of their days in Jonesboro.
“When you like the place you are living as much as we like this area, why leave?” Chester said.