Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Just a Few of Us Then

This is most of my Hunter first cousins and me by the China Berry tree in my grandparents' front yard. All of us first cousins are there except the two sisters and a brother that had already became grownups by that time.

Not even half of our generation of Hunter first cousins had been born yet. They would 18 more to come along in the next fifteen or twenty years.

I am the little tyke standing up with my cousin Jimmy's hands on my shoulders. My sister is holding the hand of the Vickie, the youngest at the time. My youngest sister had not been born yet.

Jimmy died a few years ago. Also, the little boy to the left with the aviator’s cap on is Jerry Hunter, one month older than me, he was a pilot in Vietnam and was shot down.

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Blogger Bird said...

What exactly is a china berry? I remember my brother used to refer to those little green peas (aka English peas) mom used to give us as "china berries" and acted as though that were a terrible, what is a china berry and are they edible?

3:37 PM  
Blogger ET said...

To me a china berry looks something like a green cherry - about the same size and about the same kind of stem. They are not edible.
However, they were fun shooting in our flips (aka slig shot)

3:56 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

sounds like fun, ed. i'll bet you were a good shot! i used to be pretty fierce myself in rubber-band wars, myself!

4:51 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I think I was a half way good shot when aiming at big things like cows... joking.
I was going to add more about the China Berry. They were/are a pale green and the skin had a waxed shiny look.
I think shooting china berries as ammo was fairly harmless, not like steel big ball bearigns or anything.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

shoot, we had bottle rocket wars when i was a teenager. i am pretty sure steve and i were at the same "wars" back then. i wonder if he remembers that?

china berries sound like the peas my mother made. i loved them but my brother and father hated them.

5:19 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I was just thinking just now in terms of the person that rakes and cuts the grass - I bet they would be heck to rake up. I don't remember our even thinking about getting rid of them, I guess they just rotted in the soil when the fell.
Close to that chinaberry tree was a pear tree that had big and juicy apples. A stray boxer dog came by and took up with us for a year or so. Whoever had the dog before us taught it to catch things in the air. We would throw pears way up in the air and he would leap up and catch them in mid-air... I remember he would slobber all over over them, but we wouldn't tell my mother - afraid she would get mad, because she was making pear preseves.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

EEWWW! I'm assuming you ate the preserves?? YUCK!

6:04 PM  
Blogger MichaelBains said...

Heheh... Dog Slobber just makes the preserves that much more mouth waterin'! {shudder}

Teh way you describe China Berries makes 'em sound like Crab Apples; also good for slingin'. Though, if ya hit someone low 'nuff... My poor brother's "berries' didn't think they were so harmless, eh.

Great picture, Ed. It's wild that Jerry died a pilot, since he's wearing the Av Cap. Choked me up a little 'pon reading that part.

2:26 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I don't remember, but probably not. I liked raw pears but not cooked pears, stewed or preserved.

2:32 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Yes, my cousin Jerry one born one month before me, an only child. He graduated from Citidel College wtih honors, married, went into the service, Joined the Air Force and was sot down in a F-105 and killed.
Being the first person from Douglasville, Georgia, killed in the war Hunter Park is named after him.

2:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


We always called green peas "China berries" where I'm from (South Alabama).

Can't say many people still do this - it's mainly something my parents would still use (or old hillbillies like me).

My wife's English and she loves all the little Southernisms. It's a riot hearing her say them after being exposed to them all these years. :)

4:59 AM  

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