Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Applesauce And Graham Crackers

He was described as a tall man of medium build with dark hair and light blue eyes, he farmed the majority of his life in the Hurricane Township of Pickens County, South Carolina and married at the age of nineteen years old to the woman he would live out his life with on the 18th of November in 1914, a couple years later he filled out his World War I Draft registration and went on to be the Father of ten children with his wife, he took a job driving a truck for Bivins Lumber Company in Pickens South Carolina and died of lung cancer at the age of 55 just after Christmas in 1950, he was of the Baptist faith and was buried at the cemetery of the church he attended.

I never knew this man as he had passed away before I was born, I remember him being spoken of as Orr, I always thought of a boat oar when his name was mentioned but later found out that Orr was actually his middle name. Orr was my Great Grandfather and although I don’t remember him I do remember his wife who we called Grandma Simmons, Orr and Grandma lived between the towns of Pickens and Pumpkintown and as I mentioned before they had ten children, one Daughter Lucy died at 12 days old back in December 1930, and a son Clarence was killed in action in France in 1944 at the age of 22, the rest of the children lived long healthy lives.

My Dad tells me that Orr was known to “take a drink” now and then, He would come home late at night and sing loudly as he staggered his way up the long path to their house. One late night Grandma waited up for him, she was hiding in the woods next to the path with a white sheet over her head, as he staggered up the path she jumped out in front of him and screamed. As I understand it didn’t take him long to get on up the path to home that night.

After Orr died Grandma Simmons went to live with their daughter Leila who was my Dad’s Mom. I remember Grandma Simmons as being a quiet woman, she wore her hair up in a bun and every night her Daughter would bring out a kitchen chair for her to sit in, she would take down her Mom’s hair and brush it out for her, this seemed to take hours, her hair was white and hung down to the floor across the back of the chair, it was beautiful and this was a nightly ritual they had, it was kind of peaceful sitting back and watching them as they chatted and went through the routine they kept that not only got Grandma Simmons ready for bed but also showed the love of a Mother and Daughter, I watched this routine many times and always felt like it was a blessing to be able to look in on their time together. Grandma Simmons was a diabetic so the bowl of applesauce and graham cracker snack at bedtime was also a nightly ritual for her, Cindy gives me this same snack sometimes and I always think back to those days when Grandma told me about “Sugar” as Diabetes was called back then and shared her snack with me that I have grown to love.

My Dad took me for a ride to show me where Orr and Grandma lived last time I went back home, it was kind of sad to see the place all run down with windows and doors missing, kudzu has all but taken over the property and I can’t help but smile when I wonder to myself about which song Orr could have been singing when Grandma jumped out and made him get on up the path to home.

14 comments:

  1. Wow Jimmy...could you imagine how high her sugar went with applesauce and graham crackers?? I hope you bolus when cindy gives you this. Wow...ten kids...that is impressive in and of itself. I love reading about your family history..I wonder if your grandma was a t1 or t2? I love the image of Orr walking up the path with your grandma hiding in the bushes with her sheet. That is truly priceless!!!

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  2. Loved this Jimmy! Yes, a whole load of sugar there, but it stirred something in my memory about my GrandMother and Grandfather doing something very much the same.
    As far as I can remember, neither of them drank alcohol, but this is just the sort of prank that they played on each other! Sometimes I wondered if they ever really grew up...but some of their tales certainly made us laugh!

    Hope everyone is doing well.
    Big hugs to you all!

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  3. I would have liked to have seen some of the old places my grandparents lived in...and think about the life they had.

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  4. I love family stories thanks for sharing. Now, I think Gramma sounds like she was a hoot!

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  5. Hey Susie, I do remember her getting a shot each night before her snack, they just may have been ahead of their time on the diabetes care, I myself only get it depending on where my numbers are and only one cracker at most :) I can just imagine her doing this to Orr as I always remember her being a very quiet lady—gotta watch the quiet ones!!

    Good Morning Alice, I too love to hear these type of stories, it is amazing what people went through in that time frame but still had a sense of humor to make life worthwhile, sounds like your Grandparents knew what life was all about.

    Big Hugs back to you my Friend.

    Morning Joe, That’s one of the things I like about visiting back home, I plan on my next trip back to go to a home that was built a couple hundred years ago that is still in the family that includes a family cemetery out back where my 3rd and 4th Great Grandparents are buried.

    Hey SuziCate, I bet behind her quiet demeanor was a list of stories and pranks that made a whole lot of people smile.

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  6. Another great family history share, my friend!

    I laughed at this...

    "she jumped out in front of him and screamed. As I understand it didn’t take him long to get on up the path to home that night."

    I can just imagine the look on Orr's face!

    "her hair was white and hung down to the floor across the back of the chair, it was beautiful and this was a nightly ritual they had, it was kind of peaceful sitting back and watching them .."

    Oh, what a beautiful memory!

    Thanks for sharing, Jimmy

    Have a super day!

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  7. Thank You Ron, I bet he was a bit more careful coming home after that Ha Ha

    A Great Day to you too Buddy!!

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  8. I love these slices of your family history.. Makes me want to pull up a cair and ask you tons of questions..

    Missed these, but I'm back..
    P.S. How is the new Grandbaby?

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  9. Welcome Back Lynne, The Grandbaby is doing Great and I am sure it wont be long that he will be giving me lots of material for stories :)

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  10. I bet Orr was scared out of his drunkeness!! LOL! This post brings back so many memories of my grammie and Nana always doing things together, like sitting in the arm chairs and crocheting before bed.

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  11. Loved this post and loved the connection your mom and grandma had. How lucky you were to be able to witness this and for her to share those parts of her life with you.

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  12. Hey Heather, You just can't beat the stories from our ancestors past, it's a blessing for them to get all the way down to us.

    Good Morning Peg, I too feel lucky to have been a part of their lives, too bad Orr went home before I was born but him memory is still amongst us.

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  13. So glad you shared this with us, Jimmy! So important to keep these stories alive!

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  14. Thank You Betty, I agree with you in that we need to keep memories alive for our kids to pass down to theirs.

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