By Clarence Jones
Submitted by: Margaret Strickland
Posted: 3 April 2010
Copyright: Margaret Strickland
In my very early age, about 4 years old , my family lived in Spring Hope, [Nash County] N.C. and my grandparents lived at Westry’s Siding—a distance of about 20 miles—with their son Robert “Bob” Pullen, his wife, Carrie, and their children Zorah, Myrtle, Virginia, Mary Rue, Elease and Paralee.
From time to time, mostly in the spring of he year when the weather had warmed up quite a bit, my mother would take me and my brother Walter (Duck was his nickname), bundle us up, board the train, A.C.L., at the station in Spring Hope, and travel to Westry’s Siding where we were met by Zorah on a wagon and carried up to his house about a mile from the Siding.
At my grandmother’s house, they cooked on a Majestic wood stove that had a warming closet at the top where food could be stored and would stay warm for quite a long time. I remember so well what I wanted when we arrived at her house was one of her warm biscuits. I thought they were the best I had ever tasted and of course all we children had to have one.
We had what we called a play time when we were there and my grandmother and all we children played a game called “Grandmama sent me to you. What must I do? Do as I do.”
Grandma would start it off making some kind of sentence and you had to guess what it was that she was doing. When that child guessed what it was it would be his turn to do as grandma had done and so on and on till everyone had had a chance at “Grandmama sent me to you. What must I do? Do as I do.”
When it was time for bed I had a fear of sleeping in an upstairs bedroom as I had always lived in a one story house. The fear was than when I lay down to sleep, which was on a pallet, I would roll down the stairs and sometimes it was hard for me to get to sleep. But I would think of the good times we would have the next day and that would lull me to sleep.
Sometimes, in the course of our visit, my mother, grandmother, grandfather, Uncle Bob, Aunt Carrie and all we children would gather on the front porch and have a sing-a-long. I thought it was the sweetest music that I had ever heard. My Uncle Bob had the deepest bass voice and all the rest filled in the other parts and we just had a good time together.
Another happy and pleasant memory was when my brother Edward, named after our grandfather, used to sit down at the piano and play many favorite old hymns and also popular love songs and all the family would join in.
My mother and father were members of singing groups that would meet at each other’s houses and join in a sing-a-long. They sang mostly gospel songs which were very beautiful. They would sing sometimes without music and also with music. These occasions were just a few of the happy memories that we enjoyed together.
This story was published in THE CONNECTOR, NEWSLETTER OF THE TAR RIVER CONNECTIONS GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY in the Winter 2008 issue.