Saturday, January 14, 2012

Memoirs of Lula Sue Simmons: Part 7, More Memories of Grandpa

My Mom dearly loved her Grandpa Bob.  He and his second wife Harriet helped to provide at least some stability to Mom and her siblings.   Since her mother had to work outside the home to help support them, Mom and her siblings were often left in the care of Bob and Harriet.  Mom shared more memories of her grandpa in her memoirs:

One of our game [sic] was playing church in grandpaw's storm pit.  Of couse [sic] Alton was always the preacher.  Because if we didn't want

him to preach he would get mad and leave.  

Gertie and Elton wasn't allowed to leave the yard  they were just toddlers    this is the reason they didn't get into all of the trouble that Alton and I did.

My grandpaw thought it would bring him bad luck if he lefted [sic] to go hunting or fishing with his grandkids crying to go with him.  So it didn't take us long to figure this out.  So when he lefted [sic] and we saw him going across the field to the back woods Alton and I would go running and crying for him to take us.  So instead of taking us back home he would let us go.  He would take us far enoug [sic] that we could hear the sound of the water.  Here he would sit us on a log and we would

have to stay there until he came back.  It didn't take but 2 or 3 trips and we didn't want to go with him again.  Of course later in life we learned why he didn't want us with him.  He was using fish traps and this was against the law and he was afraid Alton and I would tell.  It didn't make the fish taste any different because they were real good when grandma got them cooked.  We would all sit at that old wood table with those old hard wood benches and enjoy collard greens, fish and corn bread.

We would then go to the front porch and relax a few minutes.  I can remember grandpa sitting on the porch under the water selve (?) resting his back against the wall.  He sat there everyday

with his shot gun at his side.  He hated a chicken hawk and ever [sic] time one flew over he would shoot him. He said he didn't raise chickens to feed the hawks with.

Of course there wasn't too much relaxing for us.  On days were [sic] there was no field work there was other things to do.  Wash day was a whole days work with the water comming [sic] from the well and wood for the wash pot

And when all of the fields was planted the fertizise [sic] sacks had to be ripped apart and boiled for hours.  They were used for sheets and panties, slips.  Then we would have to go gather medical roots and tree bark to use for teas.

There were days when Mom's hand tremors made it difficult for her to write.  Obviously, she attempted to write these notes on such a day.  

I truly appreciate my Mom's efforts to write down a portion of her memories, for they mean so much to me now.  As I read her handwritten notes, I imagine her sitting in her chair remembering the days of her childhood.  I imagine her smile when she wrote of the tender moments in those days and I imagine her attempting to hold back her tears when she wrote of the hard times.   

To be continued...

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