Thursday, April 20, 2006

Mama's Aunts and Uncles

These are my grandfather's siblings, my mother's father's brothers and sisters. They grew up and died in Murray County, Ga., near an area just south of the Tennessee line, south of Cleveland, Tennessee.

The two women standing and the man on the left never married. They lived in a un-painted Norman Bates looking house on a hill in the middle of a big farm.

The man sitting in the middle was a crafty horse-trader type of farmer. He lived just down the road, also in a big two story house, but his was painted white. One of his two sons became a millionaire farmer and on his huge farm was an airfield registered with the FA. He also owned a bank in Chatsworth.

The man on the right moved to Detroit as a young man to find work and married a Detroit native and spent most his adult life there, but retired back near his relatives. One time his brothers and sisters had to hold him down while his cousin Willis, a country doctor, amputated his frostbit toes. I don't know much else about him except his daughter joined a carnival and left home.

Lets get back to the brother and sisters who lived together in the big unpainted house. As a preteen I used to love to visit them. He had a barn with mules, horses, and pigs and he told me the horse was mine, I could come and pet him anytime I wanted. But I think the ownership ended there.

One time we had Sunday Dinner with them. I was surprised at the taste of the milk. It was bitter. I was told it was the taste of the sour weed they graized on. On that day, while rambling through their house I found a shotgun leaning against a corner and also I found one of those brown jugs, that looked typical in the cartoons of hillbillies that would lie against a tree and take snorts of moonshine. So, being the little Charlie Chaplin that I was, I took the shotgun and the jug and pretended to stagger in the parlor taking a swig out of the brown jug. The great uncle leaped up very serious looking and yanked the shotgun out of my hand. He said it was loaded. Boy, was that embarrassing!

His name was Wesley. His sisters were Alice and Nancy. Later Alice died and Nancy broke her leg or hip and it didn't set right, so she could not get around so she was put in a rest home. After Wesley was living alone the house caught on fire and Wesley burned up with the house.

After my mother heard about Wesley dying in the fire she cried and cried. She was closer to her daddy's siblings than I realized.

Also they were the family artifacts keepers. They kept in the house the heirlooms handed down and most of the family portraits, photographs, etc. - up in smoke.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks God you didnt discharge that weapon (and thank God for the 2nd amendment)! Now, was the jug "loaded?" he he.

I am sorry to hear how he died. I know of two or three of my own who died that way...

Good story. You inspire me...

8:59 AM  
Blogger ET said...

No, if I remember correctly, the jug was empty.

9:19 AM  

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