I'm participating in the 52 Ancestors Challenge in Ahnentafel order, so week three is about my mom.
Mom started with Bellsouth (now AT&T) in the early 1970s as a telephone operator and worked her way through numerous positions with the company, ending with sales (for yellow page ads). After 30 years she retired to help care for her parents. I have memories of a few of the different offices she worked at, including one with a huge lobby and a glass elevator and another with artists desk everywhere, in which my uncle also worked. Honestly, it seems like half of my maternal family worked for Bellsouth.
If I had to pick one word that I would use to describe my mom I would say artistic. As long as I can remember, mom has been involved in art in some way. She used to paint ceramics, crochet and sew, she has a talent for drawing and was heavily involved with graphic design with one of her jobs at Bellsouth. Today, she mostly scrapbooks and does other projects with her scrapbooking supplies.
Mom is one of those people that everyone loves. She's sweet, open and friendly and can always find something to say to a stranger. If you don't like my mom, there's something wrong with you. Personally, she's pretty much my favorite person in the world.
20 January 2014
26 August 2012
26 August 2010
04 August 2010
16 June 2010
26 October 2009
08 September 2009
For the three big family holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter) mom always made this baked macaroni. It's straight off the back of the Mueller's noodle box and it's sooo yummy! My sister and I started helping mom make this when we were kids and now often make it on our own.
2 tbs Margarine
1/4 cup unsifted flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
2 & 1/2 cups milk
2 cups grated cheese
8oz elbow macaroni
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
"In 2-quart saucepan melt margarine over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, mustard and pepper until smooth. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk until smooth. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat about 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 & 1/2 cups of the cheese until melted. Turn macaroni into greased 2-quart casserole. Pour cheese mixture of macaroni; mix well. Mix remaining cheese and bread crumbs; sprinkle over top of casserole. Bake in 375°F oven 25 minutes or until topping is lightly browned. Makes 6 servings."
07 September 2009
22 July 2009
20 July 2009
16 July 2009
On 21 July 1969, man walked on the moon. It's one of those moments that stand out in history and that will be remembered by the millions who watched the event live on television. My parents both remember watching the event when they were young teens. Here's what they remember:
(audio may not display in blog readers)
15 June 2009
For the 74th edition of Carnival of Genealogy: Swim Suit Edition, my mom provided me with a story about a family vacation, in which she saw the ocean for the first time.
And, the pictures were taken - we were going to Merritt Island, FL to visit my Aunt Katherine and Uncle Milton. Cape C? Uncle Milton worked at the military base there - I think it was Cape C. So we were going down there to visit them and they lived on Merritt Island. And it was a long drive by car. So, what mama and daddy did was they fixed up the back seat with pillows and stuff to make it like a little bed back there. 'Cause it was a Ford Galaxy 500. And those were big cars back then, you had big roomy back seats. So what we did was, we left out late at night so that, hopefully, us kids would sleep through the whole trip.
We didn't know about seat belts then. They were not required. There were six kids - there were not six seat belts. And I don't think there were even seat belts. But I think mama told me one time that daddy just pushed them down in the seat.
Now, I do know that we stopped at least one. 'Cause they woke me up to eat fried chicken. And did not like bein' woke up. And then, I think they woke us up at the state line - it might have been the next mornin'. I remember bein' confused 'cause it didn't look any different. And I do remember it was daylight when we finally got to Uncle Milton and Aunt Katherine's.
I don't know how long we stayed, but I do know it took a while - well, I know we kept having to be reminded to shut the door, 'cause she had air conditioning. And we'd never had air conditioning.
I remember when we drove to the beach, I couldn't understand why it took so long to get to the beach 'cause we were already in florida. And we were on an Island! But we had to go over these loooong bridges to get to the beach. And that we the first time I ever saw the island. And we had a wonderful time - except for [your] Grandmama. 'Cause she just kept saying "don't go out over your heads." There were six of us, and she was scared one of us was going to drown.
And I don't know if it was your Uncle Lloyd or your Uncle Larry, but one of them had no fear of the ocean whatsoever. 'Course, I was good and never went out over my head. The other thing I remember about the beach - I mean, about going to Florida was, in the afternoons, you couldn't go outside because the mosquito trucks came by. And that's mostly what I remember. I don't even remember comin' home, I just remember goin' down there and havin' fun."
08 June 2009
10 May 2009
02 February 2009
An audio story from mom
"When I [Ruby] was prob'ly around 9 years old, um, the Beatles came to Atlanta . And your Aunt June wanted to, um, see them. And, uh - but Daddy said 'no' and aunt Marie had even said that she would, you know, buy the tickets and stuff. But, Daddy said 'no' - Daddy couldn't stand the Beatles.And, um, so your Aunt June came up with this idea with your Uncle Charlie that, um she would... she was gunna go see the Beatles. Oh, well they were... I don't know how old they were. So... older than me. So, anyway, um, the thing is that me and, uh, your Aunt June shared a bedroom. So she decided that she was gunna bribe me into not telling Mamma and Daddy that she wasn't in bed.You know, I prob'ly wouldn'ta thought to tell 'em anyway, but she decided to bribe me. So, she told me that I could have her Barbie doll if I didn't tell that, um, Aunt... that she didn't go to bed and, um, because she was sneakin' out. So I didn't tell. So, I went to bed.Then, the, um... what happened was they did actually go... they made it all the way to Downtown Atlanta and the police picked 'em up and, uh, ended up bringin' 'em home. And there was a big, big, big, big, row about it.But, um, the next day, um, whenever I went to get my new Barbie doll to play with, your aunt June said I couldn't have it. And I said, 'why?' And she said, 'well, because we didn't get to see the Beatles.' And I said, 'no, that wasn't the deal. The deal was that if I didn't tell, I got the Barbie doll.' So, I went and told Mamma because June wouldn't give me the Barbie doll. I was cryin' and she said, 'what's wrong,' and so I told her.And, uh, I don't remember for sure, but I think Mamma.... I guess I'm sorta lucky she didn't get mad at me for not telling, but she got mad at June for telling - you know, for telling me I could have the Barbie dolls and then not giving 'em to me. And I think I got the Barbie dolls - I'm not sure. But, maybe I didn't get the Barbie dolls, but I got Barbie dolls that year for Christmas. So, I finally got my Barbie dolls. But, uh, it was... it was somethin... but your Aunt June and your Uncle Charlie were just determined that they were gunna get to see the Beatles. I think she was gunna go see 'em off at the Airport or somethin' but they got caught. And that's the Beatles story.”
13 January 2009
Living in Georgia, we don't get a lot of snow. I can remember only three snows from my childhood. My Dad grew up in this county (Gwinnett) and my Mom grew up just one county south (DeKalb) - which means they can remember about as many snows from their childhood as I can. That's why it was special to find some photos from my mom's childhood that show her and her siblings in the snow.
This is a photo of my mom, Ruby, playing in an early 1964 snowfall. I love the expression of joy on her face. It seems to say "Can you believe this?"
I love her oversized gloves, which were probably put on quickly without thought so that she could go play in the snow right now. I also love her red coat. What other color coat should a girl named Ruby have?
Everyone is outside, enjoying the snow - including my aunt, who's wearing a skirt. I think it's very much a sign of the times that even in this weather she's not wearing pants. It reminds me that my mother was never allowed to wear pants in school. It wasn't until her last year in high school (1971/2) that she was even allowed to wear pants under her skirt while walking to school. And once at school she would then have to take them off and attend class in a skirt.
So I really love these snow photos. They remind me of the fact that my mother's childhood was both like my own and also entirely different.
12 January 2009
Mom remembers Zoo Atlanta:
Valerie: Ok, yesterday we went to the Zoo and we were talking about, you know, what we remembered from when we were little when we went. And me 'n' Sarah remembered that there used to be bears, and you said, yeah, there were. 'Cause we weren't sure if we remembered right. Um, so I was wondering: what was some stuff that you remembered from going to Zoo Atlanta when you were a kid. Um, did you go a lot? Did you go once...?
Mom: I think maybe we went once. We might have gone twice, but I think we went once.
Valerie: How old were you?
Mom: Oh, I was just a little thing. A little ol' thing. And, um, lets see, I was prob'ly around eight or nine if I was that old. And, so, um... I remember we went one time with Mamma & Daddy, and then some of my aunts were there. I think aunt Tootsie was there - they might have all been there. Usually when they came down from Greenville they would get together with my other aunts.
Valerie: ... and do a buch of stuff
Mom: Yeah, and so what we did is we went to Grant Park. And I guess we had a picnic, I don't
remember that much - too much. But I remember going to the park beside the zoo. I think we had some ice cream. And then we went to the zoo. And we went around the zoo. And, uh, they had the Reptile House, like they did now. And I didn't like the reptile house. It was really noisy and there were a lot of people in there. And the way they had it set up, is it's the same reptile house they have now. So some of the displays were the same, but they had bars up. So, like railings. So, like, you went in and there was - it was sorta like a maze the way they had it. I don't know how to explain it, but they had the railings up, so you couldn't just go anywhere, you had to follow the pathway.
Valerie: 'Cause now it's sorta like an open room.
Mom: But they had, they had, railings that went down to the center of the room and then they went out from each side so you could go in. And you had to, you had to go along the walls. And then you went around - it had where you went around the other wall. So it was more a trap feeling. It was really, really noisy in there 'cause of all the people...
Valerie: Like echo-y
Mom: Echo-y. It was like - like really loud. And it was dark and I was a small child and I was afraid I was gonna get lost. Plus they all had all these snakes and everything. But, um, they way they've got the alligator pit now, that was the same... [to Dad] Are you tryin' to get my attention dear?
Valerie: He was pretending he was a snake and he was biting you
Mom: Oh, is that it? Kenny's here too. So, anyway, I remember that about the reptile house. But I know, when we were at the zoo yesterday, I was tellin' y'all that the front part of the building - it has like this relief sculpture. And that's the way a lot of the buildings were then. They had, like, these, um, almost like hieroglyphics. But they were like, um- they were like relief sculptures on the side of the building
Valerie: Like kinda mosaics
Mom: Sorta like mosaics. But I don't think they were painted. I think they were just the concrete. They weren't finished. I mean, they didn't have like a finished, colorful surface to 'em. So they had that on the reptile house; they had one on the monkey house - it had monkeys on it. Um, I remember going in the monkey house and it had all these different displays. And they had, um , Willie B. And it's back then they had him in a big cage. And it took up, like, the whole end of the building. And he was sittin' there in his little hammock thing. And they had a tv for him to watch and he had a tire swing or somethin'. And he's just in this big cement cage. So it was a glass front to it. And everybody wanted to see Willie B. And then they had some different - all the monkeys - they weren't - it wasn't like it is now, where they have a natural habitat for 'em to be able to go out into or anything. It was, everything was like cement cells with glass window fronts. And then, I remember we went down to the Polar Bears exhibit. And it was also like a big wall that, that - I mean, it was a pretty long exhibit, but it had, like, cinder block walls and concrete floors. And they could, um, there was a little opening so they could go inside. But mostly they, like, walking around outside or swimming cause they had a big pool that they could swim in. And they had seals too in a different section. But, um, that's pretty much what I remember when I was a kid. The Zoo's really nice now, they way they've got it. But, um, of course, I think for the time period, it was, it was pretty much what the other zoos were doin' too.
Valerie: Yeah, it just they didn't bother to change it, after that. 'Cause I know they didn't start changing it 'til like the 80s
Mom: I think it almost went out of business there for a while. But yeah, they um, they have, they, the zoo now is really, really nice. So... but yeah, I remember when we um, when we were little. But yeah, we took y'all to the zoo when y'all... [to dad] what were they, prob'ly about four?
Dad: I don't remember.
Mom: I think we took you a couple of times. We took you when you were about three or four. But then we took you again when you were older.
11 January 2009
I ambushed mom and got this audio story.
Mom: I do think you should have to watch "He Haw" with me again before we talk about "He Haw."
Valerie: I already watched it
Mom: I know, but Sarah hasn't seen it
Sarah: I've seen the show
Mom: You've seen "He Haw" before?
Sarah: Well, I know what you're talkin' about. We watched that one night on tape with Dolly Parton
Mom: Yeah! I asked you if you'd seen it and you said 'no.' That....
Valerie: Well, why don't you tell us-
Sarah: I thought you meant a specific episode-
Valerie: Why don't you say what you were just sayin'
Mom: What? That-
Valerie: That when it came on, y'all came runnin'
Mom: Yeah, all of us would come runnin' and flop around in the livin' room 'cause there would be kids everywhere. And we'd watch the show with Mama and Daddy when it come on. We'd hear that song goin' "He he he haw haw - He he he haw haw - He he he haw haw haw haw." And we'd all come runnin' to the livin' room and the He Haw gang would be comin' on.
Valerie: And Dad, you watched it?
Dad: Oh yeah!
Mom: And you watched it too. That was the thang
Dad: Not with them, but I watched it
Mom: Yeah, 'cause we didn't know him then
Valerie: And what was that other song you were singin'?
Mom: Gloom, despair and agony on me?
Valerie: uh hu
Mom: It was: Gloom, despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren't fer bad luck I'd have no luck at all. Gloom, despair and agony on me. And then your Dad said that should have been is theme song.
Valerie: And you said you... what did Grandmama think about it?
Mom: Oh, I don't know what Grandmama used to think about it 'cause I couldn't imagine... watchin' it now how she stood sittin' there watchin' with all those scantily dressed women in their little Daisy Mae outfits, lazin' around on the porches, layin' there just talkin' about silly stuff. Definitely not the role model she wanted for us.