Monday, August 2, 2010

The Mamie Road Mystery...

It had been fifty-five years since we had lived in that little house on Mamie Road. It was bound to have changed - together with the neighborhood which had been in the countryside when we lived there. During my recent visit home to the South, Sharon and I both wanted to visit that house again and see the neighborhood. We knew, of course, it wouldn't be the same, but we still wanted to see it. We wanted to see where we had lived so many years ago...

She reminded me that, now, it isn't the safest neighborhood - definitely not one we'd visit after dark. I still wanted to go and so did she.

I can't remember what I bought at the grocery store for supper this week; but, in the recesses of my deepest memory, I found the street address for that little house - 3972. Strange, isn't it? As we drove down Mamie Road, however, nothing looked right. Time had brought so many changes and none for the better. There was a used car lot on the corner now and the little grocery store on the other corner where we used to walk to get things for Mama was now a rundown business of some sort. All too sad. There was some sort of compound behind an elaborate fence where one of the houses used to be and there was one too many houses.

We finally realized that when we lived in that little house, there was a treed vacant lot next door to us. That's why we thought we had such a big yard to play in and that's why there was room for a large garden. Once we realized that, we knew which house was ours. Sharon had a photo (which unfortunately I forgot to scan) that even had the house numbers on it. I was right after was 3972 Mamie Road.

According to the records at the assesor’s office, the house was built in 1947…which meant we either bought it new or not long after. Thankfully, our little house on Mamie Road looked nothing like the current one below. Ours had white clapboard, a dark roof and black shutters. There was no front porch then - just steps. There was no front chain-length fence with a satellite receiver on it. There was an old-fashioned screened door which we'd, no doubt, get in trouble for slamming as we went in and out. There were tall trees and there was grass instead of a front yard of dirt. There was plenty of green grass to do cartwheels on. I do remember that...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sis...

Today is my sister's eightieth birthday. She is celebrating with the friends and family who are blessed to be there...I wish I could. Thankfully, I was able to spend time with her during my recent visit home to the South. We had a wonderful time as always. She gave Sharon and me another lesson on how to make her famous Southern cornbread, roast and gravy. Try as I might, mine will never taste as good.

I was almost three years old when she and her husband married. We were living in Memphis at the time, and the newlyweds were living in Mississippi. Her husband was working for the railroad at the time. They would travel by train every weekend so my sister "could come see her baby sister".

She has always been there for me and for anyone who needed her. Her heart is made of gold.

Happy birthday, Sis. I love you.

Left to right: my sister, Gerry, a little friend, and my sister, Dorothy. The photo was made about 1935 in Pontotoc County, Mississippi. I love their dresses which Mama made. Notice the smocking on Gerry's dress and the scalloped collar on Dot's dress.

My sister, Gerry, at age eighteen.

Throughout the years, we've always had a photo of the "four sisters" made at every occasion. This one is one of my favorites and sits on my desk...

This photo was made during my visit home to the South last year. We were enjoying lunch on the square in Oxford, Mississippi.