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Pat's Stories

THE FAMILY OF BESSIE EDNA BROWN & THOMAS MONNIE WOODS

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Patsy About Lloyd's stories

Date: Saturday, January 18, 2003 9:53 AM

 

May I add a footnote to what Lloyd has written? 

 

I remember Mama telling about when Ray had that abscess that Lloyd told about in his writings. She was afraid that Ray would not live. As I remember he would not eat hardly anything. So Mammy Woods put a chicken in a jar (for canning) without water and sealed it then put the jar in a large pot of water and cooked it. Then she fed Ray a few sips of the broth at a time. Mama felt that the nourishment from that chicken broth was important in Ray surviving. 

 

One of the things that I remember enjoying on a cold day was eating pecans sitting next to the outside of the fireplace at our old house that was torn down after WW II. Our house faced south and the fireplace was on the east side and because the house was "L" shaped the north & west wind was blocked. It was quite cozy up in that corner.

 

I am enjoying all this remembering so very much. I hope any and all of you will share your memories with the rest of us.

 

I have written Lloyd and thanked him for writing his memories.

 

This is all so interesting.

 

I didn't know that Uncle Jim had a nickname for Daddy. I suppose that's what "Si" is or else your fingers hit the wrong key. If it's a nickname do you know how it got started or if anyone but Uncle Jim that used it. I don't recall ever hearing it before. But then I am so much younger than you. ha ha

 

In response to my question about Daddy being called "Si" by Uncle Jim, Lloyd wrote:

 

ITS NO MISTAKE, DO NOT KNOW HOW IT GOT STARTED. NO ONE  else used it. I do not know what it means. Now it’s too late to find out.

 

Keep on writing as you can.

 

Give my love to Mildred

 

Patsy

 

Date: Saturday, August 23, 2003 9:32 PM

 

Memories of April 1945

 

Recently while reading the Biography of Ruth Belle Graham I came across a statement she made about a painter who was at Warm Springs, GA doing a portrait of FDR when he died on April 12, 1945.

 

That started the wheels of my memory turning.

 

It was necessary for Sis to have surgery that spring. She had all three of her boys and needed someone to take care of them while she had her surgery. Of course Mama always took care of her daughters when there was a need. While she was at Sis's Bo and I were left by ourselves.

 

Since it was April the garden had to be planted. I'm not sure where he got them but Bo got some tomato and I think some onion plants. In the evening after school we planted the garden. I don't know what all we planted but I am sure of the tomatoes and almost sure about the onions. It had been arranged, by some means that I can't remember, that Mrs. Kelly would come on a certain day to help us with the plants. On that day she came around the road instead of coming through the field. As she passed Charlie and Blanche's they stopped her to tell her about FDR's death. It is one of those things that made such an imprint that I will never forget it.

 

There was at least one cow that had to be milked before school and after school. While I got us some kind of breakfast together I believe Bo milked the cow. We were ready when the school bus came for us.

 

I remember Harold Gene spending the night with Bo one night and then I think Bo spent a night with him. I stayed with Blanche that night. She didn't think I should be by myself. In fact I don't think she thought Bo and I should be by ourselves. I was 16 years old and Bo was not quite 15 years old. But Mama trusted us and we would not have disappointed her for

anything.

 

I don't know just how long Mama was gone to Sis's but when she came home she brought Terry with her. He had his 1st birthday, May 23, while he was with us. If I'm right Kenneth would have been 4 yrs old and Mike would have been 3 yrs. old. Sis could manage with Kenneth and Mike but could not pick up Terry so it was necessary for Mama to bring him with her.

 

I've checked with Rita about whether Ray was still in the Navy at that time. He was. Ray had some leave and he and Rita came home while we had Terry. Terry began trying to walk and it was very funny to watch him. He would try to stand up out in the middle of the floor without holding onto anything, of course he didn't always make it. Ray would get tickled watching him. He said it looked like Terry had a brick in his diaper.

 

Most of you will not know where Sis and Cleo lived at that time. They lived in the Houston area. I believe it was in Jacinto City which is on the northeast side of Houston. I don't know how Mama got down there nor how she got home. But I do remember that Nell and I took Terry home on the Greyhound Bus. I asked Nell where she was at that time and she was working at Hughes Tool in Houston. So, I guess she came home to visit and we took Terry back home.

 

Life is an adventure. As I look back I am so thankful for all the blessings that have been ours. God has blessed us in so many ways. We had a home and food to eat. Of course there were hard times and I don't remember the worst of those. Still we can be thankful for so many ways in which God blessed us. The journey isn't over yet.

 

 

Date: Saturday, July 19, 2003 7:42 PM

 

 

Memories of 1946 

 

I have enjoyed the things Lloyd has written about the early years of our family. So, I decided to delve into the reservoir of my murky memories.

 

Several years ago on Tommy's birthday instead of sending him a birthday card I wrote and told him what I had to do when he was born. His death brought it to my mind. I asked Nell if she minded me sharing it with the family. She said, "No". I thought I had saved it but can't find it now so I will try to remember the way things were and rewrite it.

 

Nell was living in the Houston area at the time of Tommy's birth. That was the summer of 1946. Ray had torn down the old house and was building a new house. For the nieces and nephews that "new" house is the one that most of you will remember. Mama went to Nell's to be with her after Tommy's birth and take care of that new grandson.

 

Let me set the stage: With the house torn down we had to live in the smoke house, the barn, the chicken house, the potato house and under the pecan tree. We didn't use the chicken house but one night because there were mites in it and you do not stay anywhere there are mites. They cause absolute misery.

 

The stove was a three burner coal oil stove and it was in the smoke house. The only light in the smoke house was through cracks in the wall and the open door unless you lit an oil lamp. Needless to say it was hot in there, after all it is hot in August. The dinner table was under the pecan tree as was a bed.

 

I cannot remember where each one slept but I think Mama slept under the pecan tree. For the life of me, I can't remember where I slept but I think Bo slept in the barn.

 

At the time Mama went to be with Nell Rita was staying with Mrs Nannie Williams. She and Ray had a pretty little girl born in July that only lived a few days. While she was recuperating after leaving the hospital she stayed with Mrs Nannie.

 

So, guess what, I had to cook for Ray and the men (and Bo) who were helping Ray to build the house. Now, this was 1946 and I was born in 1929 so I was just 17. I had helped Mama in the kitchen but I was not interested in learning how to cook. I did what I was told to do and that was about it.

 

Ray had several men that helped him. I probably won't remember them all. But I know Uncle Willis and Mr Lewis Brooks helped and maybe Cousin Jess Brooks helped some. And Bo was the "go-fer". He did a little of a lot of things and probably a lot of some things.

 

I remember catching Old John one morning and riding him about a mile to a pea patch that Ray had in a  rented field on the old Dunn place. I picked enough peas for dinner went home shelled them and cooked them for dinner. I don't remember everything that I cooked but I do remember that it had to be done and I didn't feel like I knew how to do it very well. I know I made biscuits one day and had fried chicken and gravy. Uncle Willis was helping that day and he told me it was good. Whether it was are not his compliment made me feel good. We ate under the pecan tree. I don't remember that it rained during all that time. Mama was so happy with that house. The floor plan was taken from a farm magazine. It served the family well.

 

And then there were the dirty clothes. Our running water was what ran from the spring down through the pasture in the "branch". To do the wash you took the clothes to the spring, built a fire under the washpot and filled it with water. There were two washtubs that had to be filled also. To fill those tubs meant that you used buckets to dip the water out of the spring and carry it to the washpot and tubs. That was just to get everything ready for the real work. Doing the wash was a back breaking chore that included scrubbing some of the clothes on a washboard, boiling some in the washpot and then all of them had to be rinsed through at least two tubs of clean water. And of course they had to be hung on the clothesline and some were hung over the fence wire. And boy o boy, you sure had to watch out for the grass burrs. They were bad between the washbench and the fence where we hung things. And they sure did hurt when you stepped on them. Of course the dry clothes had to be brought to the "house", the pecan tree, and then folded up and put away.

 

I certainly was glad to see Mama when she came home. Even though I was faced with some challenges I have fond memories of that summer. I'm sure Bo's memories are different from mine. But for what they are worth here they are.

 

Patsy Woods Byerly

 

Bo's Note

I remember everything about the same as you.  Seems I remember we moved the stove out under the tree and cooked there when the weather was good. Cousin Jess Brooks helped on the house.  He built most all the window and door frames.  I did sleep in the barn up in the hay loft.  Bo

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