My grandmother Minnie Tyson Hunter died 21 July 1948 at age 69. Before school started in the next 5 or 6 weeks we moved in with Grandpa Hunter, Minnie's widower.
One of the Christmases probably
the first Christmas there, Santa Clause brought my sister Frances and I bicycles . I had no idea how to ride one. I could see it was a keeping your balance
Grandpa taught me how to ride it. there is a slight hill from the corner of
East Dixie Avenue to our house. The street was not paved then. We would push the bike up to the corner, then
I would get on it and coast down the hill.
Grandpa ran along behind me holding my seat to keep me
balanced. It took about two times and I
got the hang of it enough to ride a bike. If I remember correctly, that same Christmas morning my sister and I rode our bikes to the Clay Homes, about a mile away to show off our bikes to our ex-neighbors.
I was thinking recently
I remember Grandpa as an old man then.
It must have been physically
challenging to him to run behind a bike going down a hill. He died about 1.5 years later at age 70. That is not
too bad, I keep telling myself.
Grandpa Hunter and I became good friends. He kept his moonshine and wine under wood
under the house. He would crawl under
the house and crawl back and make a large breath sound when he straightened up,
I don't know if it was the booze that pumped that deep breath out of him or
standing up in an upright condition.
He and his son W.C. ran around with some seedy looking
characters. I think they were just
jobless and hung out together and passed around the bottle in the paper sack a
lot. I think they worked off and on at a
mattress factory at the corner of Butler Street and East Dixie Avenue. One day it burned down and his friends
scattered. I did not see them after that
except for W.C.
Grandpa had a black cat named Tom that would come and go,
sometimes months at a time. Once he just
did not come back.
His yard on Manget Street had apple, pear, peach, and black
walnut trees. He may have had a pecan
tree. One time he had chickens. There was a chicken coop in the back part of
the yard, which I sometimes used as a club house and other times pretended it
was a battle ship that I was captain of.
One time when he had a few drinks Grandpa told me that our
name was not really Hunter, he said he did not know our real name. His father William Hunter, he said, was
adopted. He wept as he told me.
That was what got me interested into family research. Not when he told me but when my oldest son
was born I remembered what he told me and went on a quest to look for our real
found out. It is Hunter, but for
a while William was William Trammell (his mother's maiden name) but he changed
to his real father's name... long story.
Another time he wept was when we were sitting in the front
yard and a truck pulled up. A woman got
out and asked him was he Frank Paris Hunter.
He said he was and she introduced
herself to him as his daughter. That
really gave him an unexpected blow. He
knew of her but never met her.
After Frank had married Minnie Tyson, he had an affair with
a McClure girl in the Woodstock area and got her pregnant. William Hunter ; Minnie's father; and the
McClure family gave the pregnant girl
money to go to Texas to have her baby.
The baby, when grown, paid a visit.
I don't know what they discussed but they talked a lot. Then the woman got into her truck and drove
away, that was the last time I know of she made an appearance. Grandpa was emotionally shook up.
Later, when doing family research I discovered that Frank ,
Minnie, and then their only child Herbert moved for a couple of years to
Texas. They lived in Hunt County, Texas,
where their only daughter Beatrice "Bee" was born in 1903. They were back in Cherokee County in 1906
when their next son, Robert "Bus" was born. I don't know if their residence in Texas had
anything to do with the McClure girl or not.
Routinely, Frank would get up before anyone else, start the
fire in the fireplace and buttered the toast.
I always have been an early riser, I would be the second one up. I would back up to the fire to enjoy its
warmth. I think we burned coals instead
of wood. One morning while backed up to
the fireplace a cinder popped out of the fire and immediately caught my pajamas
on fire. Grandpa grabbed me and threw
me down and rolled me. He saved my life.
The skin on my legs were covered with blisters and I was in
agony. With Daddy's knowledge of
homemade remedies he doctored me and I was back to normal in no time.
Sometime later Grandpa had a stroke. He was in the old hospital. I remember the room location. It was on the top floor, on the south end
over looking Victory Cab or Guest Motors, whichever was there at the time. I was too young to visit him so I had to slip
up the exit stair case. I opened the door
and grandpa was trying to get out of
bed. He was delirious. My uncle Herbert and some other brothers, I
don't remember who, was trying to hold him down. It was the last time I saw my grandfather
alive. He died 20 March 1950, at age 70.
Labels: Genealogy Hunter, Hunter, Memories