Friday, November 4, 2011

Scattered families

For as long as I can remember my family has been scattered. Up until the early 1900 Dad & mom’s families lived and farmed in North Georgia. Mom & Dad married in the early 1920’s and they still farmed. Until the ‘Great Depression’ when they started traveling to find work.

Migrants winter haven

(sample migrants Winter Haven, FL)

They ranged from Hollywood Florida to North Carolina. Dad worked for as a CCC camp they lived in tents. He was a ‘hot-stick’ man, handled dynamite for a few years. Then to the mountains of NC, he and my Uncle Doyle logged for awhile in the Pisgah MT's.

logging in NC RR ties

(Old saw  mill making RR ties.)

Word came of work in Gaston County, NC. My Dad’s daddy had moved there, so a lot of the family gathered to work the cotton mills, but many family remained Georgia, some stopped on the way to NC in Laurens, SC to set up work or shop.

My dad went into the ministry and he again started moving. Pastoring in 7 cities in NC, in the process leaving my two brothers in Shelby, NC, married and raising families. We moved five more times leaving my sisters as we went. I was the last at home.

There were pilgrimages to see family usually once a year. There were no motels, we just piled in our kin folks house. Sometimes I would get to sleep in a car or on a porch with one of my cousins, where we could stay up as long as we could, talking.

New Folder (2) 056

(I believe this was Daddy’s mama’s funeral, I am the cute kid on the left, the other kid is Shirl, lol))

Most of the time the trip was ordered by a death. But as a child that did not matter, it was all a festive occasion to us, and a chance to see cousins we had not seen in awhile.  There was always plenty of food. And if it was just a visit, and it was summer, we churned ice cream a rare treat.

WE have had funeral processions for hundreds of miles taking kin back to their home place for burial.

The trips were long for kids, with no Interstates, just local roads. 200-300 miles (no a/c) was a long way back then and mama had to keep the kids busy, singing, counting cows or telling stories.  I always loved the trips, Shirl wasn’t always happy with them, she wanted to stay home with her friends (maybe boy friends?)

There were special places like Uncle Irvin’s & Aunt Bert, they owned a service station& general store, CANDY!!! PEPSI’S! And my cousins Bobby & Mildred.  We were also double kin.

Things have changed, I miss the family get together’s. But of course most are gone. I still have cousins that visit occasionally, that is still fun.

Thanks for coming by the log.

Nite Shipslog


A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.


Today’s vehicle:


The original  ‘55 Chrysler 300, she won a lot of races!!!


Anonymous said...

The relatives I was very close to have all past on. Hey, Shirl looks pretty cute too :o.


Loved the photos. Interesting about the places your dad had been. Can't imagine life without motels. LOL Our family, what's left of them... is scattered too, between the East and West coasts. Visits are rare. But when we do get together, the memories made are priceless. GREAT story. Take care.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Any more it is funerals where I see the few aunts and uncles left and the many cousins. Sad but true. My own immediate family keeps me pretty busy though. Thankfully it doesn't take a funeral to get us together. Most of our times together are happier ones. The ones out of state have a harder time coming home, but they do try to make it bout once a year. Life was much simpler when every one lived close to home.That just doesn't happen much anymore.

betty said...

It does seem that funerals bring people together and then they promise to do better about staying in touch or seeing each other...which usually doesn't happen until the next funeral, etc. I think these days it is a lot easier to keep in touch with families through the internet, etc but nothing beats actually being right there with them, sharing a meal and family stories and of course hugs!


Anonymous said...

It is indeed a contemporary mean to measure life. Living about 2,000 miles from home, it has come to once or mostly twice a year, seeing parents and brothers; yet thankfully there are things like skype and the internet.
Please have you all a good weekend.

Anonymous said...

We use to have a family reuion ever year on my dad's side of the family since most have all passed on we don't have them anymore. They're only four of the cousins on that side living now. I'm the only one in my family and I have twin cousins and their brother dads sister children. Take care, Jean.