Monday, September 23, 2019

My Aunts

Sadly, all dead now, but an amazing group of women.

Juanette, though my spell check tells me that's not right, it's how she spelled it, was married to Uncle Lee who built their house in Bluefield. She was the least outgoing of my mother's sisters, quiet and unobtrusive. She had four children and lived across the dirt road on the hill in Conklintown from my grandmother Jones. She, unlike Mammaw, had indoor toilets. Grandmaw had an two seat out house. Though who would you ever sit there with?

Georgie was named after the doctor who delivered her--George. She was married to Uncle Jim who suffered so from WW II. She was a school teacher--like my mother and Aunt Elsie. She smoked and drank (in moderation) and moved from her home half-way up the hill to Grandmaw and Juanette's houses, to a trailer. She had a parakeet named Petie, who could say more words that I could count. She was the rebel of the Jones family.

Elsie taught school at first but eventually got a doctorate and taught at a evangelical seminary. Harvey, he husband, was the Nazarene minister. Elsie was the 'proper' one of the family--very polite and organized. I spent a week each summer with Elsie and Harvey in Dunbar, WV, a suburb of Charleston, the state capital. Each night before bed we knelt on the living room floor and prayed aloud...or they did. When I was a teen they adopted a neglected child named Denise. Denise stayed faithful to them though she had an illegitimate Mixed-Race child who my aunt and uncle (God bless them!) fully embraced.

Aunt Elsie Taylor--we always called her that--married my mother's only living brother and had eight children. She was quiet and shy and they lived across two mountains from us and I never really thought I knew her.

Uncle Russel, my fathers oldest brother, married Gladys. They lived in the house behind our apartment and I saw them every day. Gladys didn't much like children, so I gave her a lot of space. She ran the dry goods store while Russel ran the grocery store. I remember when she died when I was not much into my teens, her coffin was open in their living room for two days. I couldn't figure out how uncle Russel slept with her down there. After my mother died, Russel moved into my parents' home in Princeton. One night my father told Russel he was of to be and Russel said, "I'm going to watch the Ed Sullivan show." Next morning my father found him dead in a rocker I had until we cleaned out our basement last year.

Callie was Uncle Sid's wife. She was funny and sexy and full of life. She had two children and kept Sid happy. Once he was at my dad's house--Callie and Sid lived in Princeton too--when I was visiting him. He looked at his watch and said, "I have to go. It's time for Callie's bath and sometimes she lets me watch." That was the affect Callie had on men.

Aunt Ola was Uncle Del's wife. They lived in Anawalt and she was my 7th grade math teacher. She was tough but fair. They moved to Florida when I was in college and I never saw them again.

Wonderful women. I miss them all...Gladys not as much.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.