Conversations with Mama: You never know what she will say and more… #29

Conversations with Mama: You never know what she will say and more… #29

Helen new2_0002 (800x593)

Mama in photos from age 2 to about age 16. I love the one with her peg pig!

March 17, 2016: Mama was complaining tonight about her TV company going digital, she’s not getting any channels… “Life was much better in the horse and buggy days – I was much happier. I loved our Sunday trips in the wagon to Aunt Liza’s house in White Plains. Aunt Liza was mama’s sister; she had long hair that she plaited like Aunt Chris did. Aunt Liza  was a short petite woman, all mama’s sister were short and petite, except for mama who was a little taller.

“When Aunt Lena came to visit she’d bring her box camera; she had a square box camera. Without her taking pictures of us when we were small, you’d have no early pictures of me and my parents.”

I told mama about the video I watched of biscuits made with flour in the baking pan, and … “Well I’m not making any biscuits – maybe I’ll buy some flour and try making them, it’s been a long time since I’ve made a pan. I remember one time making a pan of biscuits and taking them to a girl who worked at the pharmacy. She was pregnant and I heard her say one day that she wished she had an ol’ timey biscuit – so I went home and made her a pan.”

March 20, 2016: I called mama – she’s still fussing about her TV. Monroe Utilities just went from analog to digital about a week ago and she’s not getting her regular channels anymore. She is hopping mad! Mama says… “I’d like to just snatch them around their neck for doing this to my TV. No one cares about the seniors anymore! I guess I’ll just be watching nothing from now own – as there is nothing on the channels I can get.”

March 25, 2016: Mama was happy tonight when I called… “Just as I was leaving for the senior center at 9 this morning, Monroe Utilities stopped to fix my TV set. They didn’t even ask me about a digital box, they just took my remote and fixed the TV. I missed the Easter Egg hunt because I was late.”

March 26, 2016: I mentioned to mama that James Smith Oliver wrote on the Greene County History Facebook group that he remembered live music by black locals on Friday and Saturday nights at the City Hotel in Union Point. Mama said… “ I remember music on the weekends there, my uncles. J. W. and Walter McKinley and his wife Aunt Marie had a little band and often played there. Aunt Marie sang, not sure if she played, but I remember her singing. There was another juke joint place between Siloam and Greensboro called The Beacon. All the young people went there for music and dancing; I remember my brother talking about going there.”

March 27, 2016: When I called tonight mama was talking about watching Elvis on TV… “ I never thought he was hot, he was more long and lanky. Although I did think your father kinda looked like him somewhat when he was young in the Navy.”

March 28, 2016: I made the mistake of asking what was served at the senior center today…. “I wasn’t raised on food like what they serve down there. I’m not gonna eat that crap they serve. I think I’ll just bring a peanut butter sandwich from now on – better than what they cook. Then they’d probably tell me I couldn’t come in the dining room and sit. I’ll just pay the dollar and maybe eat something off the plate and bring the rest home for the cats. They run to my car when I pull in – knowing I got something for them. They aren’t picky like me!”

March 29, 2016: Mama was chasing Boo in the house when  I called tonight. After I began talking about stories, she said… “My daddy’s sister, Lena, was curious – she would sit her shoes up on the mantle when she went to bed; there was a fireplace in her bedroom. When I asked why, she told me that she didn’t want anyone to step on them. She lived alone then, guess she was talking about when people were visiting – unless she had ghosts there. Did you know that when Lena went to Atlanta, it was all three of her sisters that went, her, Emma and Cora. Lena and Emma should never have married, they were very curious.”

“I bought some more flower seeds today, they’re almost giving them away. I dug more holes and sprinkled them in, covering them up with a little dirt. Then I said, “Dam You, come up now.”

March 31, 2016: I was asking mama again tonight about the root cellar granddaddy had on the farm, I thought I had it written down in these conversations, but couldn’t find it today when I was looking for it for my April A to Z Blog post – maybe I wrote it for another story somewhere… Mama says “My daddy began questioning that vegetables had been disappearing from the root cellar than he remembered taking out. He had a big dirt mound behind the car shed and a root cellar had been dug under it – there was a tunnel we crawled in to get what was needed. One afternoon, he sent me, mama and Leroy to town and he crawled up inside with his shotgun to wait… Well it wasn’t long after we left when he heard someone coming in the tunnel. They  opened the door to find him sitting there with the rifle – they quickly retreated with daddy in tow. It was the tenant who lived on the hill and worked for daddy. Daddy just looked at him and told him to pack his belongings, he was done! After he left, Aunt Lou moved in with her family. I liked Aunt Lou, she wrote poems for me and let me stay up there all day cutting out paper dolls and pasting them on the walls of the cabin.”

As mama fussed on the phone about a certain someone at the senior centerm and doing a little cussing, I asked her where did you get your cussing from… “I got my cussing from my father, he cussed a lot. He would be out in the field cussing the mule.. Gee haw you son of a bitch could be heard if you were close by. I remember one time someone told him “Helen is up at the barn cussing” – he just said.. “well did it hurt her?” -“No” they said – “well then leave her alone.” My mama was just the opposite, very sweet and easy going, not like daddy, but if you pushed her buttons too much… she could get rowdy!”

“I learned to dance early by being out in the fields with the blacks who worked on our farm and lived in the tenant house on the hill. They would break out dancing through the cotton rows at a given notice – it would make daddy so mad as they’d knock off cotton instead of picking it. I loved it, and danced right along with them – they knew how to have a good time and enjoy life. On Saturday night, I’d sit out on the back stoop and I’d hear them hooping and hollering up at the house on the hill – I didn’t dare go up there, but I would have liked to as it sounded like they were having fun.”

To be continued…

Read more conversations at: Conversations with Mama and more

 

© 2016 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to Conversations with Mama: You never know what she will say and more… #29

  1. Lyn Smith says:

    Another great one. I remember Uncle JW loved music and he played the guitar. I think he also played the banjo and piano but not sure. I don’t remember much about Uncle Walter.
    I can just hear your Mother fussing about the digital TV. Mother would have done the same. She wasn’t crazy about progress, especially when it did away with the old.
    Keep the stories coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure wish I could have enjoyed their music. I never saw or heard about the music until much later on. Mama said they hand a good time when they got together for music. The house rooms were usually big and they’d move all the furniture out for dancing! Sounds like a ho-down!

      Like

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