Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 2 of Rose colored Memories...

Just up the road about 1/10 of a mile or so, lived grandpa's bachelor brother, Uncle Oss, whose name was Oscar.  Story was he was in engaged to a young woman, who jilted him for another, and he just never considered marrying after that.  He owned an old Jeep of the era of WWII, and he would take the old jeep and a trailer and haul us up the mountain to his and grandpa's old place, and to his and grandpa's father's grave.  A few years ago, I was presented Uncle Os's pocket watch, by a relative who never knew him, he said since I had known him, he preferred I have it.  It is an Illinois Watch Company watch, originally gold plated. I'd love to hear it run one of these days.  

I don't remember my grandparents living anywhere except in the old 2 story farmhouse, and how I loved the upstairs.  It was hot up there in the summer, and cold in the winter, but we didn't mind.  My cousins and I would go up there and dig around in the old piano bench, going through the music.  Most of it was from the 40s, songs we'd never heard, but we didn't care.  And grandma kept every card anyone ever sent them, Get Well, Sympathy, Christmas, whatever.  That was another treasure trove that we loved to go through.
She also saved buttons, she had a huge can of buttons of every imaginable shape and size, and those were as good as any computerized game kids have today, for me.
She also had some of my Aunt Jettie's books, so she must have loved to read, just like me.  I hauled a few of them home a couple of times, and mom said they stunk, made me take them back.  I'd love to have those books now, stinking or not.  Aunt Jettie was a teacher, when the schoolhouse caught on fire, she and another girl pushed the piano out of the building to keep it from burning.   Later several tried to move it, and couldn't.

Grandma was about 13 when she 'met' grandpa, he was a few  years older. 
He'd seen her around, and knew she was young, but she had her eyes on him, so she came up near him, and said something.  Grandpa asked her how old she was, and she said 'sixteen', He knew she wasn't near that.
I can still see the grin on his face as he told this story.  Grandma 'set her cap' for grandpa the day she first laid eyes on him, and I don't think she ever really looked at anyone else.  She was about 5 ft tall, and grandpa was at least 6 ft.  He was tall and thin, she was short and not so thin, but I've never known two people who loved each other as much as they did.  Everyone in the community called them Uncle Bill and Aunt Vadie.
He was William Franklin or WF, and grandma was Lavada Evelyne.
They never owned a car, always had someone take them everywhere, or depended on others to bring their groceries.  I never thought of them as poor, but by today's standards, they would have lived on welfare. They did get commodities, have you ever eaten the canned meat, and the government cheese?  It wasn't bad, I'd give anything for a few pounds of that cheese, it was GOOD.
All 8 of the surviving kids helped them out as they were able.  We lived closest so dad or mom usually took them wherever they needed to go.  Once mom stopped for gas, and grandma handed her a dollar to get gas, and asked for a pack of gum out of the change.  She really had no idea how much gas cost, even then.

Grandpa hunted moonshine stills and turned them in, when he was younger. Funny thing, my other grandfather was a moonshiner.  Family story is that he was accused of murder back in the early days, but I've never been able to find any evidence.  A flood in that county destroyed lots of the old records.  Grandpa was a quiet man when it came to family history, and he didn't believe in beating around the bush.
He told what he wanted to say and shut up.
Grandma told the family stories.
She is the one who got me interested in genealogy.
She told me the story of my great great grandfather, and how he was accused of murder, and left Tennessee to come to Arkansas to escape.
hat was in about 1850-51. Would you believe that about 2 years ago, a distant cousin found the archives in TN that proved this story.  Seems there was 2 of them, and one of him, so as he always claimed, it was self defense.


This is a quilt top that my great grandmother, Virginia,
made for my grandfather in about 1901 as a wedding quilt.
It's made from home dyed fabric.
It is one of my most prized possessions...

Guess you can tell that my grandparents were some of the most special people in my life.

1 comment:

Tete said...

Love the small details in your stories. The quilt is wonderful. Love the design and the color. You are lucky to have it and it looks in really good shape.
My great grandfather came out of Arkansas, moved up into southern Missouri.
Hugs- Tete