Since 1968, Elijah “Sonny” Anderson’s lived in the same house on Roden Lane.
Well, most of that time, anyway – the house is the same, but for almost a week, Gladewater’s Mayor Pro Tem and his neighbors have been residing on Anderson Lane.
Surrounded by a crowd of about 40 friends, family, city officials and well-wishers Saturday, Anderson unveiled the new street sign at the road’s intersection with Dr. MLK Jr. Drive.
“I just thank God for all of y’all and thank God for this moment,” he told the crowd.
Born and raised in Gilmer, Anderson moved to Gladewater in 1962. He worked hard in the meat industry and in cooking, saving up to purchase a family home.
“My wife always said, ‘Sonny, I want you to get me a house.’ We bought this house in ‘68.”
Anderson choked up a bit Saturday as he looked down the street toward the home they shared for so many decades.
“I hope she is looking down on what is happening today,” he said.
Anderson Lane is actually the second road in Gladewater that’s been rechristened in his honor. Elijah Street was previously re-labeled with the East Texas native’s given name then, on Sept. 21, the Gladewater City Council unanimously approved (with Anderson abstaining) the renaming of Roden Lane between Miller and the loop.
“I’m proud to serve with Sonny,” Mayor Scott Owens said Jan. 6.
“The two people you could always go to for good solid counsel on doing what was right was Sonny and Walter (Derrick), and I appreciate both of them.”