MPW.69 / 2017 Come On In by Nick Childers
Photographer
Nick Childers Pittsburgh, Pa.
Team Lee

Story Summary

Patricia “Granny Pat” Davis, 57, is known around Eldon, Missouri as the “town angel.” As a single mother of four and grandmother of 22, Granny is known for her extraordinary hospitality and contagious personality. She’s willing to take in anyone who knocks on her door. To many, her life would seem full of trouble. She is unemployed, but somehow she finds a way to take care of a grandaughter with cerebral palsy and some of the children of her other daughters; one of whom is incarcerated and the other unwilling to be a mother.

Originally from St. Louis, Granny moved to Eldon from Jefferson City 11 years ago in search of work and a simpler life. She says she moved in an effort to give her grandchildren the opportunity to grow up away from the inner city.

Among only a few African Americans in town, Granny says her family experiences occasional glares and the cold shoulder from a few Eldon residents. For the most part, she says, they live happily and humbly, undeterred.