"I have so many fond memories of visiting my Grandpa Matt and Grandma Millie in their home and their General Store which was a wooden structure with tall exposed beamed ceiling and a portico which held a wooden bench on each side of the door. These benches accommodated customers and visitors who came for a chat or a taste of moonshine. The store front faced the farm house from across the yard, thus Grandpa could see when someone had come.
I remember in preparation for school and winter we would purchase a pair of black high top shoes, long cotton stockings, one piece union suit (long johns )and yardage for dresses. I especially enjoyed cheese sliced from a big round chunk that came in a big round wooden box and the neopolitan coconut candy which I still enjoy today.
I remember Christmas. Our family would arise e-a-r-ly before dawn, hitch up the mules and wagon and travel from Dekalb to Preston. We’d cut a Christmas cedar tree and dragged it to the house. We strung homemade popcorn garland, silver icicles and colored balls. Can’t recall the food, but remember the most delicious mouthwatering cakes and pies ever. At day’s end we would load up in the wagon for our ride back to Dekalb arriving after dark. Back then it was a long day event. Now a 15 to 20 minute drive.
In 1955 my brother, Willie, and I, after summer school at The Ohio State University, drove to Mississippi . We spent time with Grandpa and his wife Marie, helped with chores and picking cotton. Daily, Grandpa would pick ‘til noon and then he’d have to go wait on the porch for a salesman or go to town to pay the light bill. He no longer worked in the fields in the afternoon. We harvested watermelons by the truck loads. So many you couldn’t give them away. So, in the evening we would “bust” them open on the fence post, eat only the heart and pitch the rest over the fence to the pigs. Such good eating!!
In 1969 my two sons, Albon and Scott and I flew to Mississippi to spend some time with Grandpa and wife Marie. Albon was his first great grandson and Scott was born on his birthday. A customer came, remarked that I must have had a beautiful mother. Grandpa with his charming smile responded,”Her daddy wasn’t too bad”. My dad was his oldest child, Mercel, who was referred to as Buddy. Grandpa had much pride in his family of 11 surviving children."
-Shared by Yvonne McG.