Those who are left handed, work and play in a world built on the wrong side

Published 6:10 pm Sunday, August 13, 2017

Today is International Left Handers Day, marking the 28th anniversary of the tradition.

The idea of setting aside Aug. 13 as a day to celebrate lefties, while also raising awareness of the challenges they face, was the brain child of the Left-Handers Club, which is a group from the United Kingdom.

Although, scientists are not sure what causes left-handedness, the Farmer’s Almanac website states genetics do play a role. Findings, however, are not conclusive.

Take the case of identical twins that have the same DNA. One twin may be left-handed while the other is a right-handed.

In search of locals to share their struggles as left-handers, Vicksburg did not come up empty handed.

Brady Green, who is a student at Warren Central High School is left-handed and said he has never really thought much about it.

However, friends that have noticed him using his left hand always seem to make a comment, he said.

“If I am writing, people will come up and say ‘I didn’t know you were left handed,’” Green said.

Left-handedness is unique.

According to Scientific America, only 15 percent of people are left handed, with men being more likely to be left handed than women.

And with these statistics, being left handed can be a challenge.

Green said the most difficult thing he has had to deal with is a school desk.

“When I have had to use one of those desks when the table part is on the right, that’s pretty difficult,” he said.

The Rev. Brian Ivey, who is the minister at Highland Baptist Church, in Vicksburg agrees.

“The biggest struggle I had was when I went to school,” Ivey said. “All the desks were right handed, and I remember thinking it wasn’t fair.”

In college, Ivey said there were a few left-handed desks in the classrooms, but he had already acclimated himself to making do with a right-handed desk.

Plus it was a great excuse to not be neat.

“I guess that’s why I have sloppy handwriting,” Ivey laughed, blaming the lack of legibility on the fact, left-handed desks were unavailable during those formative years.

Ironically, Ivey, his wife Carla and youngest son, Daniel, are all lefties, but their oldest son, Joseph, is right handed.

Fortunately, for him, both of his parents were ambidextrous, so when it came to teaching him certain skills like how to hit a baseball, there was no problem.

“When I play ball, I play right-handed, Ivey said.

For WCHS student Hannah King, being left-handed can make drawing arduous.

“It’s kind of challenging when I’m drawing, because I can’t see where my pencil is going,” King said.

And what if you are right-handed, but you have a left-handed child.

Antionette Darden said from her perspective, this can also present challenges. Darden said she had to realize that even though it looked uncomfortable to see her son write at a slant, she had to appreciate this was natural for him.

Other challenges Darden said she experienced with a left-handed child included teaching her son how to tie his shoes and how to pour.

“And, I have had to make sure I don’t tell him he is doing something wrong,” she said, just because he is using his left hand.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart