Monday, September 6, 2010

My Grandparents On My Daddy's Side...

1137 These are my grandparents on my daddy’s side… I have a few memories of Papa Bill but Mammy Gardner died the summer after I was born so I have no memories of her. I remember Papa Bill had to use a cane to help him walk and I remember Aunt Annie shaving him with a straight razor. 

1139 This photo was probably taken about the time that daddy left home for John E. Brown College.  Top row left to right… First up is Aunt Annie.  She lived to be 99 and she loved to tat and rode the Greyhound bus back and forth between Okla. City and Tennessee and Jonesboro, Arkansas until she was in her late 80’s and she would get to know everybody on that bus every time she’d go for a trip to visit whichever kin folk she was going to see. 

Next to her was my Uncle George Gardner.  I don’t remember a lot about him.  He was the oldest of the boys and he and his wife, Aunt Gertrude, lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  I remember visiting their home one time. They had a wonderful screened in porch and we got to ride the cog railway up Lookout Mountain.

Lookout Mountain Cog railway Of course back in the early 50’s it didn’t look near this fancy. When you got up to the top you could go to here:

lovers-leap Lookout Mt. Lover’s Leap.  While nobody I know ever leaped I can remember that you were supposed to be able to see Alabama, Georgia and, of course, Tennessee.  I ‘borrowed’ these images from a Chattanooga web site.

Next to Uncle George was my daddy.  I’ll do a post on him later.

Aunt Adderine was on daddy’s left.  She was the oldest of the girls. She and her husband, Newt Kimbro, lived in OKC and ran a gas station.  One of my favorite memories is that they had a Model T Ford that they drove until they retired and went back to Tennessee.  When Aunt Addie and Uncle Newt would come over to the house for a visit my little brother and I would beg to get to ride on the running board up the street to the stop sign when they left to go home… all of three houses up the block but it was so fun for us.

Seated from the left is my Aunt Sally.  I think I loved her more than all the rest of my aunts on daddy’s side because she was one salty lady.  She was more of a rebel because she met, fell in love with and married an Italian man.  Even worse than, please take no offense, marrying a “wop” was she became a Catholic because that was his religion.  Not being prejudiced but that is the first time I ever heard that word in relation to Uncle Tony or anyone else and the only time I heard it was when daddy was upset with something that Uncle Tony had done or something that dad perceived he had done.   Mother would always say, “ Now, Stearns…’’ He’d get a handle on what ever it was and take into consideration that momma was telling him in her gentle way not to talk that way in front of us kids.

When I was 16 and we went to Wartrace, Tennessee, for our family reunion I got to go home with Aunt Sally and Uncle Tony and my two girl cousins, Sally Ann and Linda to Chicago!!! A huge town where trains were on rails up above the roads and all kinds of places that we didn’t go to…  Mostly we just stayed at the house or go to friends of Sally Ann’s or be pestered or pestering Linda since she was younger than we were.  They also had two of the most handsome brothers that were older than we were and pretty much didn’t want to be bothered by punk sisters and cousin.  After visiting for a week I got to ride the train from Chicago to Okla.City all by myself.  Boy was I “grown up”!

This is getting long so I’ll save the rest for tomorrow…  See you then if you can stand it!


Nola said...

Loved it...and it is sooo interesting hearing about your past family members ..... I loved the word "tat"...even though I am not entirely sure I know what it means!! lol

Lonicera said...

Me neither!! Love the pics, and would love to see one of Italian Uncle Tony. Your Mum was a real beauty - I'd kill for hair like that...

Being brought up in Argentina the Catholic principle was the same: if you married a Catholic you were under enormous pressure to convert, and even if you didn't, there was no question that your children would be brought up as Catholics.


Reddirt Woman said...

Hi, Nola and Caroline! Tatting is a needle art that is used in a decorative manner such as on pillow cases or handkerchiefs. It is being revived by people who love to do hand work and fear that it will become a lost art. She later in life did a lot more crocheting, especially for baby blankets. She never had a child although she had stepchildren but she loved them as her own and she loved doing trim on baby blankets. Idle hands, you know, are the devil's playground. I'll see if I can find a picture of Uncle Tony. The evangelical Christianity that my dad and his sibs were raised in thought that Catholicism was wrong because, in the short explanation, you were supposed to pray to God through His Son Jesus, not Mary. Aunt Sally loved her Tony, though, and she would not be dissuaded.

Tatersmama said...

I'm loving this! It kind of explains how we get to be the way we are or something. Family and family dynamics makes us who we are, so it's like getting a peek into what made "you" Reddirt Woman.

Geez... I know what I'm trying to say, but I guess I'm not explaining it well... so I'll just shut up and enjoy the unfolding. ;)