Monday, June 30, 2008

Early Days in my Life

Good Afternoon to you,

Just a little history of my early days...I was born in Knoxville, the 5th of 6 children born live to my parents, Jim and Cecil. We were poor, but most of the time I wasn't aware of it. I was born in 1933, during the ending years of the Great Depression. My mom worked in a hosiery mill running 3 machines, when she was able to work. There were periods of lay-offs, when neither she nor my dad had work. We lived in "company houses" owned by the mill. They were what was called "shotgun houses", because you could fire a gun into the front door and the bullet would go all the way through and out the back door, (not that anyone I knew did that).
My three oldest siblings were born in Loudon, where my mom grew up, and where her widowed mother lived at the time. I think she and dad must have lived in Loudon until about the time my brother who is just older than I am. He was the first to be born in Knoxville, followed by me and a younger brother.
One of my earliest memories is of Christmas when I was about 3 and 1/2. I remember it being Christmas morning, and I heard the back door open and saw a set of big boots (about my height) coming in, stomping off snow, and saw a market basket set on the floor, and heard a male voice saying, "Merry Christmas". I found out later that it was an uncle of mine. I remember the gift that was mine. It was a wooden toothbrush with an elephant head at the top.
Another early memory was about the time I was 4, and I could just barely see the top of the kitchen table. We were living in a section of town called New Town, a collection of houses owned by the knitting mill where my parents spent a great deal of their lives working. I remember being very hungry, and someone bringing in a bowl of lima butter beans that were hot, along with corn bread. There was a lady who owned a neighborhood restaurant across the street from us, and she had sent the food over to us. I remember how good it smelled, and I know I must have filled up on them, but to this day, I cannot stand the smell of them or enjoy the taste of them.
As I have said before, my sister was always there, helping to take care of us.
When things got better and we moved to the country when I was 5, she and I slept together, and I loved to get into her stuff. You know, nail polish, bobby pins, anything that she had was fair game to me. I know she must have often bossed me around, and I probably said things like, "you are not my boss!" But we always had a good time. She would hold my hand when we would go places, and was my good buddy.
Our household was a matriarchy. My mom pretty much ruled the roost. She would consult my dad occasionally on really important decisions, and at least let him think he was the boss. We used to tease Margaret about the time a salesman came to the house, and asked if the lady of the house was in. Margaret told him that "Mama is not here, but daddy is, and he is the boss when Mama's not here". We never let her forget that.
Well, we had some really strong wind and rain this afternoon. I had made a noon time run to Wal-mart, and saw some friends there that I hadn't seen for several years. Wal-mart is a wonderful place to see friends you haven't seen in a while. I had just gotten back home when about half an hour later, the wind and rain came through and kept me from having to water my plants. YES!
Tomorrow we plan on going in to Knoxville and taking my brother who is just older than I and his wife, and our oldest brother's widow out to breakfast. My older brother nor his wife, nor our brother's widow do not drive much any more, so we go in as often as we can to do stuff together. It is a real pleasure and joy for all of us.
More pictures tomorrow. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today.
Love to all of you.

1 comment: TN said...

Hi Blabbin' Grammy, I enjoyed reading about your early years. You should do that "poem" that Judy and I have on our blog about "Where I Came From". I bet yours would be REALLY good. Have you seen that on our blog? She has a template you can follow if you wish!
P.S. Thanks for the e-mail.