Archive for June, 2008

Sisters are different flowers from the same garden.
[Author Unknown]


Esther at eight months with Rachel at age five.

Auntie Clay was a colored lady who lived near us. She was born a slave, grew up a slave until freed, and she helped my mother do a lot of things. She would come and work in the garden. Help can. At butchering time she was a great help. She’d done so many things in her life that she just knew how to do everything. And when my sister [Esther] was born there wasn’t any of the modern foods of course, and my mother didn’t have any nurse for her at first. So I remember Auntie Clay sitting at the corner of the cook stove, with a little pan on the stove, with tea in it. She kept it warm on the stove and would dip a spoonful out at time into a dish onto a cracker, make the cracker real soft, and feed that to this newborn baby who seemed to like it very much. And for three or four days all she had was tea and crackers and the love that Auntie Clay gave her.

The following is an MP3 audio file of Mama telling the same story as quoted above:

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Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us.
[Oscar Wilde]

baby Rachel

I was born September the 7th, 1906, at Cherryvale, Kansas. My father was fireman for the steam boilers in a brick yard about two or three miles south of the city. A little village grew up around the brick yard called Corbin City. But we soon moved closer to town on 10 acres and had several cows, a team of horses, pigs, chickens and a huge garden. My grandfather, my mother’s father, lived with us and he had to have a garden. One morning, as my father came from work, he asked me to put my hand down in his overcoat pocket. I did that and felt something warm and fuzzy. He brought it out of the pocket and it was a yellow kitty. There were some kitties at the brick yard and he noticed that this one looked so hungry, and was in need of TLC, so he brought it home to me. I had a book that was The Three Kittens, and one of the kittens was yellow and named Mouser so of course that became my kitty’s name. Well we had Mouser sixteen years before he died.

[The photo below is our home in Corbin City, Kansas, c. 1908.]


The following is an MP3 audio file of Mama telling the same story as quoted above:

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