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Karen Swensen / Eyewitness News
Email: kswensen@wwltv.com | Twitter: @karenswensen

SLIDELL, La. At 88, this great-grandmother moves a little slower, but don't let her walker fool you. Although her knees aren't what they once were, it's her heart and backbone that have led her family for 70 years, and they're as strong as ever.

Rosina Davis recalls the hot June day when she, a young naive newlywed, became a mother. She had just turned 18.

'I woke up and told my husband, 'I got a bad belly ache!' He said, 'You're having a baby!''

Her son was born in Charity Hospital and named after his paternal grandfather, a cab driver, whose name you'll soon recognize.

'He was a good child. He didn't give me any trouble,' she said.

Well, maybe not alone, but add his little brother Augie to the mix and you had the Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid of Mid-City.

The boys grew up in a modest home with two working parents. They were expected to study and help out while their parents worked. Their dad was a mechanic; Miss Rosina, a factory worker. At home, the boys were expected to make good grades. Miss Rosina demanded it, since she never finished high school herself.

'I didn't exactly say, 'Honey, you wanna do this?' I'd say 'Do it!''

And the payoff were weekends on the lake. They fished as a family and cooked what they caught.

Her eldest son excelled at both, making quite a name for himself on the water and in the kitchen.

'I always told him that. If you're gonna start it, finish it. That's one thing he took my advice on,' she said.

Have you figured out whose mother this is yet? Here's a clue: her son is as naturally N'Awlins as they come: Channel 4's Frank Davis.

Have you ever wondered what Frank must have been like as a kid? Well, Miss Rosina remembers the big brother who tenderly fed his baby sister, the scholar who was part of the school newspaper team or the leader of the band.

She's less likely to recount the mischief, like the time her boys made homemade cigarettes.

'We took a comic book and we took jasmine leaves and rolled them up and we cut them and twisted them and we smoked the jasmine leaves,' Frank laughed.

What about the time Frank and Augie fashioned a potato gun out of an old pipe and hairspray and hurled spuds through the neighborhood like a bazooka?

'I don't remember her ever spanking me,' Frank said. 'Well, maybe once.'

'I gave you a spanking one time when you punched Augie in the stomach, remember that?' she said.

So maybe Frank wasn't perfect, but he was good. At just 9 years old, while Miss Rosina toiled in the Wembley tie factory, Frank stood on a crate and over a stove.

'I came home and the first time he did it, he said, 'I got supper ready, Mama,'' she remembered. 'I said, 'Oh boy!''

Frank recalled that first dish: red beans and rice. He's been cooking and fishing and making his mom proud ever since.

''I don't know why you didn't kill us.'

'I thought you were good kids. I still think you're a good kid,' she said.

After all these years, Rosina Davis is still holding her son's hand. Only now they lean on each other. Together they've weathered many storms:the death of Frank's dad and brother; Hurricanes Betsy, Camille,Katrina. Enough to make anyone weak in the knees.But it's heart and backbone that saw them through it and like mother, like son -- they're as strong as ever.

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