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Great grandchild?

July 17, 2012

Thanks to Tina, Bobby's daughter, for this photo.  OK Tina.  When was it taken?  Where were they? Tell us about the Dukes.

Kinship shows

July 17, 2012

Thanks to Tina, Bobby's daughter, for this photo.  OK Tina.  When was it taken?  Where were they?  Was Bobby on leave?  Anything you can tell us about the circumstances.

Small, wonderful world

February 19, 2012

There's the house on the left (note how close it is to the road), the corn crib in the middle and the barn on the right.  The fields that surrounded the farm always contained corn in my memory but I think they had a few crops of cotton during my mother's youth.  This is not Hiram's place.  It was his daughter (Lola's) place but he could look down on it pretty much as the camera does in this photo and he died in that house in the bedroom on this end.

As a very young lad I was never bored cause I could climb the horse apple tree (that was just this side of the driveway and the house) or the chinaberry tree just about 15 feet behind the well house.  I have since learned that Chinaberry trees have VERY weak wood and I was lucky that the limbs didn't break.  Sometimes I spend some time playing with the bench-and-pedestal grinding wheel that Gordon and Howell used to keep their plow's, axes, hoes and knives sharp.

The grinding wheel was just outside the corn crib on the right of the crib in this photo.  The crib had a shelter to it's right for a buggy.  The outhouse though humble was essential and stood about 40-50 feet beyond the crib from this angle.   When I was very young, preschooler maybe, my uncle tried to scare me by dragging a stick over the boards of the outhouse and poking at me through the holes to convince me that the Devil was gonna git me.  Yeah we were country hicks... but we didn't know what it was to hate anybody or to want to steal what they had.

The barn was a great place to play cause it had a "hay loft" where you could day dream laying on a pile of hay or act like an idiot jumping out of the loft.  It never occured to us that we could hurt ourselves ... and we didn't.  The animals must have gotten bored in their stalls though cause sometime they would gnaw (that's country for chew) on the exposed wood when they ran out of feed.

Livestock had to be cared for so once a day they had to be let out of the barn and then rounded up for the night.  It wasn't too hard to convince them to go back to the barn cause they knew they'd be fed and watered... and the feed had molasses in it.  One year when I was somewhere around 12 to 14 a sawmill did some cutting on the land to the right which was where Gordon and Grandma's pasture was - right behind the barn, and they paid me to take care of their Percheron (HUGE SAWMILL HORSE) making sure he was fed and watered every day.  

Ah.. precious memories like hog killing day with the smell of a wood fire under the scalding pot, and practicing shooting with my new 410 shotgun right behind the house with Daddy, Howell and Gordon.  (The hog pen was between the house and the outhouse.)

It's all been torn down now and the road is paved but in my mind I can still see the iron filings hanging from my magnet when I lift it from the sand in the ditch beside the road. 

My Only Memory of Mary

October 12, 2010

Since my great grandmother Mary Chance Boatright died January 4, 1946 (less than 30 days before my third birthday) and since I distinctly remember her part in this story, I must have seen her during her last illness but as a two-going-on-three year old didn't appreciate the gravity of the situation.

It seems that on one occasion we were on the way to visit my grandmother who lived just down the road about two or three hundred yards so mom and dad stopped to visit with Mary.  Mary was in bed (during the daytime and everybody else was gathered around her in chairs).  I was left to roam around and child like, I was always hungry so when I saw a banana in the kitchen I picked it up and walked into the "front" room (which served as living room and bedroom put together) and asked if I could have it.  Mother naturally said "No" and told me to put it back but I clearly remember my great grandmother Boatright saying "Aw, let 'im have it." and rather than argue with her, Mom said ok.

Thanks Gran!  It was a good banana.  Hope you're doin' well.  Say Hi to Grampa for me.

Her picture on her 50th wedding anniversary, holding a cake is in the "GALLERY".

Dark as Egypt and Smells Like Cheese

September 28, 2010

Hiram was a very poor man when he married at the age of 20 in December 1884, and his house was like many others ... very rough.  The doors were all made the same so the outside door looked like the pantry door and probably felt the same in the dark.  Well it seems that one night he and Mary were in bed when Mary wanted to know what the weather was doing, so she asked Hiram to check.  Groggy with sleep he got up and stumbled to the wrong door, stuck his head in the pantry and looking around said, "It's dark as Egypt and smells like cheese."  

When the weather gets bad and the skies get dark, that's the phrase that always comes to mind. 

You Can Get Used to Anything

September 28, 2010

Most of my great grandfather's life was the life of a farmer following a mule mile after mile of walking in newly plowed ground in all kinds of weather (mostly hot).  It seems that one day he and his brother Doc (I think he spelled it Doch) were plowing the same field and the chicken house was up wind from them.  Doc was complaining bitterly about the horrible odor and Hiram calmly chided him, "Oh, you'll get used to it.  You can get used to anything."  Doc was in no mood to be denied the right to feel mistreated and said "I'll never get used to that odor."  Well they had more field to plow so time passed ... then they were called to dinner (we call it lunch today) and Hiram borrowed Doc's hat as he walked to the chicken coop where he dipped his finger in some chicken mess and spread it inside the hat band.  ... The hat went back where Hiram found it....Hiram washed up ...lunch was over...they went back to plowing...Doc was wearing the hat with the chicken mess in it and complaining continuously about the smell...then less and less.  Hiram asked him if he still smelled the chicken coop.  Doc said no.  He guessed the wind had shifted.  Hiram then asked Doc for his hat and showed him what was inside the hatband.  

I never heard what Doc's response was but I'm sure no damage was done.  They were a close family.

I'm My Own Second Cousin (best I can tell)

September 28, 2010

Hiram married Mary Sarah...(drum roll please) Chance, sixth child of Isaac S. Chance one of the brothers of my paternal grandfather's grandfather. A.S.C. Chance.  Well so much for genealogy.  Anyway, I may not be my own grampa but since my mom and dad were cousins then I'm my own cousin.  So far no physical defects.

Move Your Finger Brother Boatright

September 28, 2010

When Hiram started preaching in the "Missionary" Baptist Churches of the area he could not read, so he would have his brother Doc stand in the pulpit with him and softly read the passages which Hiram would then repeat for the congregation and expound.  Well, it was bound to happen sometime.  Hiram had a habit of placing his finger on the passage and when it obscured  the next words to be read, Doc quietly said "Move your finger bro Boatright", and Hiram in the flow of his sermon loudly repeated word for word what his brother had said.  Well, they both had a good sense of humor and recovered with no damage to dignity or piety.

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