Mr. Epps

Occasionally we would attend the Baptist Church on Sunday. Helen’s Aunt played the piano and she was very good, the singing, I thought was beautiful too, I never quite could understand all the words so I just made up words and sounds that seemed right. That was years before I knew about making a joyful noise to the Lord. But I guess that was what I was doing and no one seem to mind at all.

Ariba was just a little country town, but it was nice and comfortable. Everybody knew everybody and most folks were friendly and most everybody got along well. Most folks didn’t have much and those that did mixed in with everyone and no one seem to think much about who had what and who didn’t . Many of the children from outside town would bring dried prunes to school to eat for lunch. They would give them to anybody who wanted some, as there were tired of them. I learned later it was part of the food surplus the government gave out. I liked getting them since we didn’t have them at home. There was no school lunch programs at all, so we took whatever we had at home to have for lunch. I guess we had jelly biscuits and sometimes eggs.

Near Easter time the school had a big Easter egg hunt in the field between the school and Mr. and Mrs. Spies house. All the eggs were boiled and some were even colored but not very many. There were no candy eggs. I’m sure there may have been some but no one could but them for a big hunt. It was fun to try to find them, but they usually didn’t taste to good. The family who lived next door to us invited me to go to Hawpond (sp?) community with them to the Pate’s for an Easter egg hunt. I went and was so excited since a big Easter basket was to be given as a prize to the one who found the most eggs. I was pretty sure that would be me. I’d never seen anything look as pretty as that basket. It surely had a lot of candy in it. Well guess who go the prize. The Pate’s granddaughter. I was very sure she didn’t find the most eggs. I was very unhappy for probably a whole day after that. But I’m sure Bud, James, and I found something else to occupy our mind or at least mine.

Since we had a fireplace in every room it was easy for us to get some paper, roll it up and light it and for a couple of seconds pretend we were smoking. I shudder when I think how blessed we were to not get burned or set the house on fire. God really must have had a platoon of Angels looking out for us.

The most awful thing that could ever have happened did happen while we were living there. One of the hands there that worked for Daddy was bad to drink, as many of the men did, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. This man was usually pretty wild and Mr. Epps the town policeman (the only one) would tell him to calm down and not have any more trouble with him. But this one night he really went crazy and had got him a gun. Mr. Epps went up to him like he always did and thought (I guess) that he would give him the gun and calm on down. Instead he started shooting and Mr. Epps died right there on the spot.

The men in town were up in arms and of course everybody was upset. The men all waited until they knew that our family was away (gone on Saturday to big town or maybe to Grandma’s) and they went to the jail, got him out and took him to the back street (there were only two) and lynched him, actually burned him alive. Daddy would never have been a part of that and the people know that. It was so terrible we didn’t want to talk or think about it. I heard later some of the boys in town went later and found pieces of coins in the ashes. I don’t know if they really did or if it was boys just talking.

In later years I came to realize even nice people can do terrible things, especially if there is a group (mob) involved. Even now I wish I could have stopped them. I wonder if those people didn’t sometimes wish they hadn’t gone along with that too. Mr. Epps left a wife and an adopted son who was about 12 or 13 at the time. I’ve thought too how that made the black people there, and how his family must have felt. He probably had small children too. A think like that is certainly something that would never be forgotten by anyone with any care about human life or what is right or wrong. Handling things in the wrong way just makes two wrongs and justice without any real meaning.



It was kinda sad but exciting the day we moved from Chula to Arabi. Daddy would be working for the same man, Mr. Berry Rigdon. He owned several turpentine operations, a dairy there in Chula and I don’t know whatelse. He and his family lived in a fine house in Tifton. It was raining and our little dab of furniture was on a gum truck getting wet and we were in the old blue Chevrolet. A car we dearly loved, felt almost rich riding in that car. The house was huge, big white house with a wrap around porch. We all had a bedroom and a fireplace was in every room. We learned later that day that every fireplace smoked too.

I had slept in the room with the boys and now had my own room. The porch was a great place to play and the well was right there on the back porch. That was quite common in South Georgia where water was not very deep into the ground. Of course the bathroom was still located outdoors, but then we didn’t know there was any other kind except for a few rich city folks. Since ours was located beyond the wood pile I always went with Bud at night. He had this thing about the dark. I figured if we both ran as fast as we could we would be okay. One night I fell over a piece of wood and was running so fast it knocked the breath out of me. We still ran after that, but not as fast. I would stand outside and guard for him and he would do the same for me.

We knew most all the hands but some of them were special. Becky was one of the women who helped Mur. She was a sweet kind lady whose husband treated her badly. Back then nobody even thought about divorce or leaving a bad situation. Becky had several children and no education so she, like many others, did the best she could. We also had a special friend in Leroy. He worked for Daddy for years and he was a good person. He would kind of keep an eye open for us and make sure we were okay. He had been gambling one night with a bunch of men and they got mad with him, maybe for winning, or perhaps they thought he was cheating. They or at least one of them got a gun after him and we heard him yelling and opened to the door for him to come in. We didn’t think they would try to come in our house but they shot a few rounds outside. Mur and Daddy weren’t home so we felt good saving Leroy. He would have helped us. I remember being scared though and Daddy had a big leather jacket hanging over the back of the kitchen door. I got that and put it around me. It made me feel much safer. Daddy could keep you safe from most anything. I wish all children could have that feeling.

Again we lived near the railroad only this time we didn’t have to cross the tracks to cross the highway, which was still 441. The tracks were just beyond our back yard. We still waved at the engineer and he would blow the whistle when he saw us. We still had a big commissary and sometimes Daddy would bring a whole box of little chocolate cakes to the house. He knew I really loved them and that was a special treat. The Rent’s ran a little store across the road and when we saved up and each had six cents we would go over and get a RC cola and a penny wheel cookie. That would last us all afternoon.

This was during the big depression and almost every day hobo’s or hitchhikers would stop at our house to ask for food. Many times they were folks on their way to Florida seeking work. Many were from all different states, especially northern and mountain areas that had no work for people. Men were traveling anyway they could to try to find jobs. We learned later that these travelers did frequently place a mark on the electric poles to let other travelers know they might get food here. We had little and it was certainly simple food but when we had it we always shared. Often men wanted to chop stove wood (everybody had wood cook stoves) for food. Occasionally someone would ask to sharpen your knives or scissors. Only one time do I remember a hobo who jumped trained ask for food and we fixed him butter biscuit with jelly, which was all we had, and he took it and threw it away. We decided he wanted something better, but so did we. Only maybe one time did we ever think about being a little afraid of anyone who stopped by. Really no one thought of being afraid because these were just average people down on their luck because of the times we were living in, it was no fault of their own. Once in awhile it would be a family just trying to get to other family members that might be able to help them in their tight times.

We were greatly blessed because Daddy did have a job. We were all in school and had it much better than many people. I started first grade in Ariba. That was 1936. Our school was on the other end of town so we walked to and from school. James always assumed the role of looking after Bud and I, so we always walked together. Back then there was no pre-k or kindergarten. You started in the first grade and went through the eleventh grade except in Florida they had only ten grades long after Georgia had 11.

Our school was a white wooden two story building, no bathrooms, no heat or air and no water. Across the dirt road was a pump and while one child pumped you cupped your hands to hold the water and drink. There was an outdoor toilet out back but I don’t remember ever going out there. Each classroom had a pot bellied stoved in it and there was a wooden frame built around the base on the floor and then filled that with sand. Usually coal was used. Two children sat in a desk which was double so it was good if you liked the person you shared the desk with. The old wooden building was two stories and it had a great big bell that the principle rung every morning. The big boys would help him to get hold the rope and swing way up in the air. I thought it looked like fun but I don’t think girls ever tried it.

I remember we had a field day one time and everybody was across the road (a dirt road with very little traffic) in a field. Some played ball while everyone else watched. I was bored so I decided to just go home. I had no idea that you just wasn’t suppose to leave. Everything turned out okay, but James did spend a lot of time hunting me.


I missed Thanksgiving with my family today, but I had them all in my heart. I thought it would be appropriate to share a little more of my Grandmothers story since I have been thinking about them all day.


While living in Chula our house was the only one to have a phone. It was the crank kind and was up high on the wall by the front door. We, James, Bud and I had strict orders never to touch it. It was used only for dire emergencies. There was no such thing as just chatting in that era. We would sometimes just climb up on a chair and get a good look at it. I don’t know what good that did us. One of the things that was good about Chula was the train. It ran about a block in front of our house. Then trains transported more and there was fewer trucks transporting then, so quite a few trains ran through Chula every day. They would slow down, blown their horn and the men in the engine would always wave. Sometimes we (James, Bud, and I) would wait for the train just to wave at them. I had striped overalls, blue and white, just like the engineers. Mr. Widden ran the store across the road, which was 441 highway, and if we got a few cents we’d try to go get candy. Mr. Widden would always watch for us and he would motion when it was clear for us to cross the road. James had gone over to the store one day and men were standing around talking and James wanting to get in on the conversation said he thought a loaf of bread would someday cost a whole dollar. All the men laughed and said they were sure that would never happen. Little did they all know about future economy.

I went with Meer to this big white house near the edge of town and we would buy milk and eggs from them. I don’t know how much she paid but I’m sure it was a very small amount, since money was a scarce item. Daddy made about ten dollars a week. Sometimes we could get groceries from the comosary. All the hands (the workers) could get all their groceries from there. The amount of your groceries was deducted from one’s wages. It was fun to go to the commissary since it was pretty big and a good place to play, as well as, having barrels of rice and beans, salt meat, canned goods, sometimes fruit and occasionally some sweets. Daddy would sometime let James, Bud and I play there I later understood it was times he needed a little quite. There was a large still there also, which was used to process (or cook) the gum to a liquid turpentine. A huge vat was used and I don’t remember it happening but I remember hearing about it- a man fell into the vat and was of course killed. Stills locally were used until about 1938. I don’t think they were utilized long after that which meant the barrels of gum were hauled to district plants. Valdosta was where all the gum was taken in our area.

Mr Flowers was one of the woodsman that lived near our house and his job was to ride a horse and check the “boxes” (woods) to see what needed to be done and where. He and his wife had no children and they were especially nice to me and took up a lot of time with me. I know they would put jar lids with sulfa out on the porch, which I think was to keep flies and mosquitoes away. I would wet my finger and take a lick of the sulfa. It tasted good to me. I’m sure they never knew I did that.

Daddy got real sick while we lived there in Chula. He had a high fever and was in bed for what seemed like a good while. We were told not to go in the room but I would slip in and crawl up on his bed and I don’t think he minded. Chula was where we were living when Mama died. They said she was sick a while and that the day she was taken to Tifton to the hospital, was the day she died. It was common knowledge that if you went to the hospital you usually always died. James was really the only one of us children that remembered her and those times. After I got a little older I realized and understood Daddy and James had a special connection that Bud nor I shared. I know now that Daddy really loved us all but it was normal he and James had a bond because of what they had shared during those times.

Aunt Lena and Uncle Frank, a wonderful older black couple had lived there in the quarters for a year. Aunt Lena had known my Mama and even made a blanket and clothes for me, I think before I was born. I loved going down to their house. It was always spotless and the shelf in the kitchen had a bucket of water on it with a dipper. How I loved to get a drink with that dipper. She never fussed if I happen to spill any. Evidently different women from the quarters would come and help out at the house. I was at Grandma Green’s and Bud was at Grandma Thompson’s but James and Daddy was there. James was in school. Mur said, and I’m sure it’s true that when she and Daddy married there was only about two pots to cook in and only very little linen. Of course nobody had much of anything anyway during the early thirties, certainly not in a little town in South Georgia. After we all got back together there in Chula and Mur and Daddy married I guess she really did have her hands full. Washing was done in the back yard. Mur had help wringing out the sheets. James and Bud on one end and her on the other. We had an old tire swing in the back yard hung onto a chinaberry tree limb. That entertained us for many hours. I sat on the front porch and pretended the window sill was a piano and I held many concerts there. I never dreamed back then I would never be a great pianist.


I haven’t finished reading Mamaws journal, but I found the perfect picture to go with this story. I thought it would be perfect to go ahead and share this little bit!


I must have been two or a little older when Grandma and I rode the train from Ocilla to Miami. A really big trip for those days. We were going to Aunt Melba and Uncle Dalphus’ house, who lived in Coral Galbes. Both were good caring people. Uncle Dalphus was Spanish and had come to the US after having been on the side of a revolution against Cuba’s dictator, Batista, and found himself imprisoned in the dungeon of Monaco Castle on the shore line there in Havana. Having visited there when I was sixteen I could understand the really terrible conditions those prisoners endured. Damp, cold and dark not to mention poor food and no medical attention at all. He came to this country and was a hard worker and a talented man as well. He was a master wood carver and made beautiful furniture and other things too. He designed and created the furnishing for many large department stores and for malls in many places. He felt very strong about being an American, speaking English and working hard to have the American dream. He helped other Cubans, especially the children who wanted to come here to live. I’m not sure all of these were really his relatives or not. He had a few rules for everyone though, they could not speak Spanish in the house, but they were to learn English by hearing and using it at home. Also, no Spanish newspaper. They either had to be in school or work. Many many years later he and Aunt Melba adopted a son of Spanish descent. I must have stayed with them for a good while, but I have no idea how long. I know that Daddy came down to see me there.

Daddy told of how he waked up one night late and found  I was not in bed. He got up to look for me and found I was out in the front yard using the bathroom. I guess that was old habits from being at Grandma’s, where you went outside. I recall it did take me awhile to get accustomed to indoor plumbing. Daddy also told me many years later that Aunt Melba and Uncle Dalphus had wanted to adopt me. Uncle Dalphus was a devout Catholic and he even told Daddy he would not try to influence me to become Catholic if they could keep me. I know Daddy was very grateful to them for caring for me, but he had definitely planned to get all his family back together as soon as he could. They were wonderful people and often went to Hileigh to the races and as he was doing quite well you could say we were living the good life.

Meantime Daddy was working hard and this was the thirties and times were hard for most folks. James, who was seven years old when Mama died stayed with Daddy more since he was the oldest. Bud was with Grandma Thompson, probably not the best situation but everything was as best it could be. Grandmas Thompson loved Bud, I’m sure of that. She called him her “little gold mine”. A title I’m sure he grew no to retish very much. However she did, I’m sure, the best she knew. She lived in Fitzgerald in a small wood frame house that never seemed to have had much attention and with, as I recall, only the barest furnishings. There was no indoor plumbing, but few people had that in those days. Grandma’s brother, Uncle Ab, lived with her. I really don’t know if she owned the house or if he did. Possibly neither of them did. Uncle Ab was the sweetest kindest man but was rather simple minded and eccentric. He made a plaster of paris molds and rode a bicycle. I’ve heard he owned a building downtown but never knew how he acquired it. I think he had a little money because he never went anywhere and he only seem to want or need very little. But he had a big heart and always seem to try to be especially sweet to me. Grandma and I never had any kind of relationship at all. I spent one afternoon alone with her when Daddy took me by there while he went somewhere else. That was the only time I ever can remember being alone with her. I was about fourteen or so at the time. Of course there was no one to help foster relationships with her or really with any of the Greens or Hudsons as well. I sort of never felt much kinship with any of them especially after I got to be a bit older.

Since I was very shy and not at all inclined to speak out or inquire about family I was not apt to feel close to anyone. Also social skills was not at the top of the list for parents to teach children then. I think bread on the table and a roof over the head certainly took priority. It was many years later I learned to write thank you or thinking of you notes. There was no telephone to call anyone so I guess a sort of isolation existed even though we didn’t recognize it.

Mary Ola in Cuba


Mamaws Words

Its been about a year since I was able to sit down with Mamaw and listen to her life stories. Sadly I haven’t made enough time for just me and her, and I need to be better about that. I really enjoyed listening to her stories. I love learning about her history (and my family history). Mamaw must have enjoyed talking about her past as much as I liked hearing it, because she took the time to write down a few memories. I decided to type them out so the entire family could enjoy them. I figure that is better then keeping it all to myself.

So here is a little bit of her story. I did not edit any of it- though spell check may have got a hold of it. I know its not the same as reading it in her handwriting, but its special nonetheless.



Herein are a few stories (true) from the past. Probably more common and the usual rather than anything unusual or extraordinary. Throughout I’ve always felt for the most part life has been good and I have been especially blessed. Most blessed to have had a husband who loved me and children who have so enriched my every day. Most important, from a very young age, I came to know I had a heavenly Father who was always looking out for me. Very few times have I had the feeling of being alone, for I’ve felt my Savior always close to me.

Early Memories

I’m not really sure I remember the fall into the barrel of oil or just Grandma Green’s account of it. While living with my Grandma on a large farm a few miles south of Ocilla. I do think I recall a few happenings. Out at one of the big farms the boys (uncles) had a barrel oil was kept in and while climbing around out there I took an unintentional dive into the oil. Grandma said she was still trying to get oil off me forever.

Grandma, of course, had none of the things to make life/work easy. Water came from the well. The well was at the end of the backside porch near the kitchen. I think there was another one out in the back yard too. There was a large wood stove in the kitchen, where Grandma cooked many large meals for her family of ten children and Grandpa, as well as others visiting at meal time. I heard Daddy say one time he must have been over half grown before he ate more parts of a chicken besides the wings. In those days grown-ups ate at the first table and children always ate at the second table. The preacher from Reddy Creek Church (I think it had to be the Methodist Church) often came home with them on Sundays for dinner. That meant Grandma go up Sunday morning early, ran down and billed, dressed and cooked several chickens that had to be fried before going to Church. Of course there was other dishes to prepare too. The vegetables were most often fresh and had to be picked, prepared, and cooked for a fairly long time on that big ole wood stove. Pies were stacked up in the pie safe. It was a safe with a wire covered door which kept flies from sampling the pies and probably a few small hands too. The dining room had only the pie safe and a long table with benches on each side. Chairs were only at the ends of the table. I’m sure the tables, benches and safe were made probably by Grandpa. He had worked at a sawmill and I think sawmilled timber from some of his land since he had furnished lumber and helped build Reddy Creek Church, but Grandpa helped build several other churches as well.

One Sunday we were all at church and I wanted to sit with Mildred, Daddy’s baby sister, who was only about three years older than I was. Well it seems “Milbs,” as Mildred was called by the family, and I got to having too much fun and got tickled. That meant Daddy had to come right down front, get me, and take me back to sit with him. It was a while before we could sit together in church again.

Grandma and Grandpa lived in a big ole wooden farm house on apparently a fairly large acreage of farmland. The big crop was tobacco. That meant rides on the tobacco sleds, which were built like sleds on the bottom, but had high sides, maybe 3 feet high and pulled by a mule. They were taken to the field, the tobacco cut and laid into the sled then taken to the tobacco barns that had a stove or stone fire box and a tall flue (pipe) that went up thur the roof. The tobacco was hung over long poles so that the leaves hung down freely- giving you flu cured tobacco. I don’t know how long it had to cure, but it was at least several days. During that time someone always had to be at the barn to keep the fire going. That also meant a large amount of firewood had to be on hand all the time.

Uncle Raymond always told everyone, to my embarrassment, about the time he was sitting up at the barn. It was hot, of course, and Uncle Raymond had overalls on but had pulled his shirt off, and was lying down on a built in bench just outside on the front of the barn. It had a shelter over it much like a porch. He told that I got hold of a pair of pliers lying around and proceeded to clamp down on his exposed nipple. I don’t think he dozed much more that evening.

Grandma said I always called the uncles “my boys.” I was the oldest granddaughter and so I got lots of attention from them. She said Uncle Dewey was my most favorite one however. He was a very sweet man. Later he became the father of five daughters and I know they loved him dearly.




This barely even puts a dent in Mamaws stories. I promise to keep them coming



A love story

Mamaw met Papaw before she left to attend college. You can credit her best friend for setting them up, even though it may not have been love at first sight.

Mamaw explained that down home on saturday nights, everyone went to town, which was Ashburn. Everyone would walk around, meet people, go in a store, look around, and then go back out. Mamaw’s best friend told her to come to a hardwood store to meet one of her uncles, who turned out to be Papaw.

The next monday at school, her friend told her that Papaw would like to have a date with her. But little did she know, her friend had also told Papaw that Mamaw would like to have a date with him.

Papaw ended up calling her, and setting up a date. When Mamaw told her older brother, James, that she was going out with Lincoln Hale, James told her to ask Lincoln if he knew a Snake Hale.

That night Mamaw asked Papaw if he knew a Snake Hale. Papaw laughed and explained that he was Snake. Mamaw said that everyone at home called him Snake, but Papaw never would tell her how he got the nickname.


They kept in touch, writing letters, when Mamaw went off to college, but they were only friends, not anything serious.

Around the time that Mamaw moved to Atlanta for nursing school, Papaw moved to Atlanta to work in a hardware store. Since Mamaw was roommates with his niece, she saw Papaw every now and then. Papaw started to ask her out again ,and they eventually started dating.

Mamaw didn’t have a car, so when she went grocery shopping with her roommate they would have to take a bus back home or walk with all the groceries. One day, Papaw bought a car and surprised them at the grocery store to give them a ride home.

They often went to a drug store off Ponce de Leon in Atlanta. The drug store was open 24 hours and had good coffee, which Papaw liked to drink. Mamaw eventually took up drinking coffee since he loved it so much.


Mamaw said after they started dating they were pretty much together all the time after that. He would come to her apartment every day, but he still stayed with his Aunts near Grant Park.

They dated about a year before Papaw decided it was about time to get married. Mamaw was excited thinking she was going to get married in a few months, but Papaw meant they should get married right away. She refused to go to a Justice of the Peace to get married so on March 21, 1951, they went to Griffin, and were married at the First Baptist Church, in the preachers study.

On the day of their wedding there was a terrible storm, that let up a little as they made it to Griffin. There was no big ceremony or reception. Just a nice supper at his Aunt Ruby’s house.

After the wedding they started back to Atlanta. Mamaw was worried about her best friend being alone in their apartment in the storm, but Papaw wasn’t worried about her. They went to the Peachtree Hotel for the night instead.

Papaw’s mother had also passed away when he was young. Because of this they made it a point to be home with one another every second that they could. They made sure to get home to one another after work was over.

The one time Mamaw spent away from home was a trip to Hawaii with her friends. Papaw said that it was ok for her to be gone, but he didn’t do so well with her leaving. Mamaw said that he didn’t sleep at all the night before she left, but she made sure to call him every day to check on him. After that trip, Mamaw decided not to leave him for that long again.

My Mamaw still loves my Papaw very much. She still wears her wedding ring, and will be quick to tell you that it has stayed on her finger since the day he put it on there.

A few more things I’ve learned from my Mamaw.

  1. My dad is just like my Papaw. He acts more like him every day.
  2. I need to figure out where the nickname Snake came from…
  3. Its ok that I want to spend all my time with my husband… My Mamaw was the same way.

I’m So Blessed

A while back my family started working on our family tree. I get obsessed with things, and learning about my family history was something that I easily became obsessed with. But, I learned really fast that I had a lot my “facts” wrong. Even things as simple as where my grandfather was born. I learned all this by talking to my grandmother. It made me realize that I didn’t want to tell my family story wrong. And if I’m being honest, the best person to start telling my family’s story is my grandmother.

I called my grandmother to make sure that she would be ok with me “interviewing” her and writing everything down. She told me that it would be ok, but not on Sunday’s because she would be at church, and not Tuesdays, because that’s her old ladies day. Any other day would be fine but, she didn’t really know what kind of stories I wanted her to tell me. Really, I have no clue… I want to hear it all.


It took a few days, but I finally made it to my Mamaw’s house. My Aunt Lorey was just leaving. My Aunt told me that Mamaw was excited to talk with me, but was a little worried I would put her on “The Google.” My sweet grandmother doesn’t have internet and has no idea what “the google” is. After we explained it a little bit, she decided that “the google” was like a dictionary, and that would be ok.

We headed inside and got started right away. She decided that she would tell me why she is so blessed. It’s mainly an overview of her life growing up. She also told me about meeting my grandfather, but I think that their love story should be its own post.

Mamaw was born in Chula, Georgia. She lived there with her mom, dad, and two older brothers. Her father worked in the turpentine business and they lived on his bosses property. He worked six days a week and preached on Sundays. When Mamaw was a year old her mother passed away.

Because her father was away so often, Mamaw’s father took her to live with his parents, in Ocilla, GA on a tobacco farm. Her middle brother (who was three at the time), went to live with the other grandmother (Grandma Thompson), and her older brother (James) stayed with her father since he was eight and was in school.

In the summer time, when the crops were really busy, Mamaw’s grandmother took her on the train to Miami, FL to stay with her aunt and her husband. Once things slowed down she would head back to Ocilla.

When Mamaw was four, her father got remarried to a teacher in Chula (I have always know her as Mamaw Green). After a time all the children came back to live with them, and the family moved to Sycamore, GA.


The school eventually burned down and school was held in different houses. Mamaw Green’s brother and sister-in-law (Mamaw Dess) offered to have my grandmother stay with them in Athens, GA, so that my grandmother could attend school. Mamaw stayed with them for 5th, 6th, and 7th grade. Mamaw Dess was good to her and really was like a mother.

Once Mamaw started high school, her father insisted that she return home and finish school in Sycamore. As soon as summer break started Mamaw would hope on a Greyhound Bus and travel back to Athens to spend her summer with Mamaw Dess.

When she finished school around the age of 16, her father told her she could go to college wherever she wanted to. She decided to go school in North Carolina, and headed off to Mars Hill University with her best friend. After a while they decided to swap majors from business to nursing, and decided to go to Georgia Baptist Hospital.

After this point Mamaw added in my Papaw, so I’ll write about that next time.

I learned a few things after sitting down with my grandmother…

1. I love to hear her tell stories. Even when she isn’t sure what to say next.

2. Mamaw doesn’t give a lot of names… remember to ask for them.

3. Don’t turn off the recording when she tells you she is done with her story for the night… she isn’t done and you will miss some of the best parts.

4. I hate the way my voice sounds recored… talk less, listen more.