The Dart: Granddaughter watches out for grandmother

Published 1:09 am Monday, June 12, 2017


NATCHEZ — A Natchez teen recently found herself having trouble getting down the front steps due to the overgrowth while going to get her grandmother’s mail and decided to do something about it.

When The Dart landed on Martin Luther King Jr. Street Wednesday, Danasia Caston, 15, was near the sidewalk placing limbs and branches in a trash can while grandmother Mary Ann Prater supervised from atop the hill.

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“The trees and bushes were growing across the steps,” Prater said. “It was getting tough to go to the mailbox, and we were worried about snakes coming out of it.”

Prater called Caston her right-hand woman.

Caston, who will be in the 10th grade at Natchez High School in the fall, lives with her grandmother. Caston said she helps out in the yard and around the house with anything Prater, who has diabetes, cannot do.

“I could not make it without her,” Prater said. “She is always volunteering to do something. I love her to death.”

Prater said as Caston helps keep the house up and takes care of the Shih Tzu, Coco, she is also an honor roll student who is volunteering this summer with the Natchez-Adams School District’s Public Relations Office.

Caston said she doesn’t mind helping out her grandmother because it gives her something to do.

“The whole time, (Prater) will make it fun,” Caston said. “We will talk and have a good time.”

Caston said Prater also teaches her how to use various items. For example, on Wednesday, Prater and her sister, Rosetta Butler, went out and bought some loppers to take down the bushes and taught Caston how to use them.

And when the job was done, Caston said it made her feel good.

“It makes me feel free,” she said. “You can get up the hill now — that used to just be weeds.”

For fun, Prater said they like to go fishing at a friend’s pond, and they also play card games such as Phase 10.

Caston said she also likes to play on her phone and she is looking forward to 10th grade. Caston said her favorite subject is math.

“I love math because there is always more you need to learn how to do,” she said.

Caston’s mother, Connie Banks Caston, who works in Atlanta with American Express, said she’s glad her daughter gets to grow up in Natchez.

“It’s a small place with values,” she said. “I love that she gets to work along with her grandmother. Mom taught me a lot and her being able to do the same with my girl is really important to me.”