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beautiful flowers

Keep in mind that this was written from my memories of a time I love and miss. This story is probably not that interesting to just anybody, but people who know those involved, or just people who can remember what it was like to spend a day with their grandaddy when they were very young, might enjoy this. I mostly wrote it for myself, because I needed to remember it all out loud.

When I was a little girl, before my grandaddy got sick, (he had a stroke) we used to go to visit everyone back "home" We went first to see Sherman McClain, in his little rock house, and Sherman would get me a coke out of his coke machine. (The kind that you opened the door on and pulled the glass bottle out of the hole!) Sherman had a wooden leg that squeaked when he walked. He let me knock on it with my knuckles... There was this retarded man there and he would always try to grab me, and I was scared of him. Sherman always had neat stuff to look at in this huge building he had. He made a car once! MADE a car, he could cut a prince albert can to pieces and weld it back together so well you couldn't tell he had cut it.
Then we would go to the grave yard at Mt. Olive, where Grandaddy would talk to me about Don sometimes. (Don was his son who was killed by lightning) We went to that store before you got to the church and talked to the people who owned it for a while, grandaddy would buy me a candy necklace, and a coke. They had a ceiling fan, which I had never seen before, and I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. (It did cool things down!) They also had fly strips hanging all over the place. I thought that was neat, so grandaddy had to buy me some fly strips to hang on his porch.
Next, we went to see Aunt Mapie and Uncle Claude. Uncle Claude would be sitting out on the back in a chair in the corner. I would look at his shaving stuff and plunder in all of that because I thought it was neat to have a sink on the porch. Once he told me this story about how Aunt Mapie was walking through the strawberry patch with sandals on, and her toenails were painted red. (you know where this is going, right?) and a SNAKE bit her! So he immediately applies a tournequet to stop the poison from spreading, and takes her to a Dr. who is very UPSET with Uncle Claude because the tourniquet is so tight that Aunt Mapie is in danger of losing her foot! While Uncle Claude is telling me this, Aunt Mapie is laughing that cute little trilling laughter, which to me is hilarious so I am laughing my head off too! (That laugh could send me into a floor rolling session! She would laugh just to get me to laugh!) Needless to say, Uncle Claude felt really bad that he almost made Aunt Mapie lose her foot.....When Uncle Claude got sick, I went into the house for the first time! We had been to see them dozens of times, but we always sat on the back porch! Uncle Claude gave me a pecan, which I kept for years, and I think my mom accidentally threw it away when she was cleaning out my chest of drawers after I got married. I missed him when he was gone.... now I miss Aunt Mapie too.
After we left Aunt Mapie and Uncle Claude's, we would sometimes go to see Ted McClain, and Hilda. Grandaddy always made me stay in the car until he went in and came back out. At the time I didn't think a thing about it, Ted just loved me, I thought they were just regular people. I found out later that Ted was mean as a snake and Grandaddy was making sure nothing was going on before he let me go in!
Then, according to where she was living at the time, we often went to see Aunt Effie. Of course, for a while she lived next to Sherman, and for a while she was in Ted's yard. (I vaguely remember when Uncle Randall was still alive. He was real tall, and I was a little afraid of him.) I remember once... when she lived in Ted's yard, we went to see her, and I begged to go see Ted and Hilda...but Aunt Effie said, "best not go today" I wonder what he was doing? Once Aunt Effie decided to get married! She was addicted to some kind of pills (grandaddy said) and this guy and her were running around together...grandaddy was so mad at her! He said she was acting silly for an old lady. Grandaddy always wondered if maybe Aunt Mapie and Aunt Effie didn't have two different dad's. (of course he was kidding....I think)
Ok, where else did we go...Oh yeah, we would go to see Boyd Moncus. He was sick the whole time I knew him. I remember the room he was in was always dark. Sometimes he would sit up if he felt like it. He had a walking stick that I used to play with. (it's funny, I can't imagine my daughter being entertained by a walking stick, at any age!) Grandaddy always made a big deal about the fact that "Boyd is my cousin" I got the idea that they were close. I liked Boyd, I don't remember much about him, I just remember I liked going there.
Every once in a great while, we would go to see James and Marie McClain. James worked off on a barge or something, and we only went when he was home. They lived further away too, so that cut into our time with everyone else.
Then.....if we had time, we would go see Pauline Bradford. I vaguely remember before Paul ran off, he was sitting in a chair with his leg propped up, in a cast. That is all I remember of him. Pauline always had mean little dogs! I'm sure she loved them and they loved her, but they did not love me! Grandaddy always had a special feeling for Pauline, I can see that looking back on it now.
Sometimes we would go see Jewell and Stonewall too. Stonewall always carried a gun if he went anywhere with us, and if grandaddy knew Stonewall was going to be riding with us, he carried a gun too! Why this is, I do not know. Every once in a while, we would go somewhere,(can't remember where we would be going) and Grandaddy would say "That's where Runetta lives" and I would want to stop, but he would say, "She doesn't stay there, she's gone." What this meant, I do not know.
Finally, we would end our day by going to Bald Rock and having a picnic. We ate potted meant and crackers, sardines, stuff like that. Sometimes I would get in the water...but not always. There were LEECHES in that water! Grandaddy said the pond beside Sherman's house and Bald rock were from the same spring? Sometimes we washed the car in the creek there. THEN we had to hurry home, and pick up Granny from work, or she would have to walk home.
Am I done yet? Well, yes, I believe you know me now, because everything I am, I learned during the times I just told you about. If I could go back and live just one of those days again, I would trade a year for it. Now do you understand how much family history means to me? Just history in general is interesting to me. I hope I haven't bored you all too much, but I felt it was important for you to know that I am not just doing research because it is in style. I started my little family book when I was about 11, and I still have it. Grandaddy told me everything he could. (he could not talk very good, he'd had a stroke) One more thing....remember, these memories I have shared with you are from when I was a very small child, so they may be a little warped. (but I don't think so!)