Saturday, January 7, 2012

Memoirs of Lula Sue Simmons: Part 1, Early Life in Pinebur

One of my many "projects" for this family history blog is to share the writings from my Mother's memoirs.  Mom kept a notebook and pencil next to her living room chair and for a while in the 1990's she wrote stories about her childhood until her hands became so unsteady that she felt she could no longer write.  I read her memoirs long before she passed away; and now that she is gone, I treasure them even more.
Before I begin posting her memoirs, I want to give my readers a brief background of my Mother's life.  She and her siblings grew up "dirt poor" in the tiny community of Pinebur, Mississippi.  Pinebur, also called Pine Burr, is located in Lamar County, Mississippi about 13 miles southeast of Columbia, which is in Marion County. 

Education was not one of Mom's priorities and her writing reflects so.  While growing up, she was expected to sometimes work on the family farm and help manage the chores inside their home.  She has told me stories about the days she had to pick cotton, gather vegetables from their garden, wash clothes in a huge metal tub (outdoors) and more.  While her childhood in rural Mississippi was tough, Mom retained many good memories that she wanted to share with her children and grandchildren.  I feel compelled to share her story here.  I am my Mother's "speaker"... I will tell the stories she can no longer tell.

This is the beginning of Mom's Memoirs...

In my memory is a lot of happy times and sad times.  Growing up in a small community called Pine Burr about sixteen miles south of Columbia, MS.  We were poor.  But in the 1940's everyone that lived in Pine Burr was.  Because we didn't know that there was another way of life.  In our child mind we thought everyone was the way we were.  

I was borned [sic] in a three room log house.  But later on moved down the road to a bigger house.  My grandmother Harriet and grandfather Bob lived across the little creek that we used for washing and playing in.

I can remember my older brother Alton and myself having to invent toys and games to play because there was no store bought toys.  We would have great hunting trips in the woods with our toy guns.  We would slip away and go swimming and fishing.  

But let me tell you some of the things that he did to me.  My mother who worked would leave us in care of our grandparents.  My grandpaw raised cotton and corn.  My grandmaw always had a large garden and canned the things she would raise in the garden.  So we had a lot of time to keep ourselves busy without getting in the way.

We would play in the woods without fear of snakes.  But Alton would always find a way of getting us into trouble.  The corn crib was off limit to us.  But one day he came up with a bright idea, why not climb into the crib to see why we wasn't to go in the crib.  So he founded [sic] the ladder and we wented [sic] into the crib.  

After looking around he found this can of axle grease so he thought it would be a good idea to paint his baby sister with this black greasy stuff.  So after making me look like a tar baby he lefted [sic], locked the crib door and wented [sic] along with his playing.  

When Mama started looking for me he tolded [sic] her were [sic] I was.  His excuse for this Well if she was stupid enough to sit there and let me do this to her, why not?  Of course he was whipped for this.

As I read this, I can just imagine my Uncle Alton laughing at poor Mom while she stood there, covered in axle grease.  Even in his adult years, Uncle Alton enjoyed pulling pranks on others and being mischievous- I know this from personal experience (I plan to write a post about one particular prank he pulled on me).  

To be continued....


  1. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
    "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"

  2. ... and I appreciate you stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. That is how 'the family' grows and prospers. Keep telling your stories! ;-)