Where I Come From

Bubba & Granddad


What I know about Bubba & Granddad:

Before they were born, William Boykin (1860-1942) married
a very petite woman: 4' 8" Nannie Kathelene [maiden name unknown].
They called her "Little Mama" (b. 04/05/1871 - d. 02/08/1960). My dad
tells me that what he remembers the most about William is that he was
always sick in bed. He doesn't say much about Little Mama, other than
he had to fetch snuff for her from the store, but my Granddad Elmer sure
did have a thing or two to say about his mom: "She was meaner than Hell
when she got mad. She used to whip me with a switch."

Bubba & Granddad (Norma & Elmer) were born in 1910 & 1909, respectively.
High school sweeties. Bubba's parents were James (Pa) and Millie (Big Mama).
I was lucky enough to know Big Mama. Pa died in 1962; I hardly remember him.
Everyone else beforehand is, unfortunately, Legend. Big Mama died in 1974. She
liked to tell everyone their business, that much I remember. Just the way she was.
She called herself "Thoroughly-modern Millie," after a movie of the same name.

Bubba & Granddad attended high school together in Leon County, Texas. They married
in about 1929, which was a heck of a time to be starting a family I guess. I don't know
how much different things were for them during the Great Depression. They were working
folks. I can't imagine that things were much different than before. Leon County wasn't
exactly known for its opulence. We're all just plain folk anyhow.

The Whitworth kids, date approximately 1925

Elger, Norma and
Baby Ava Whitworth
circa 1925

Bubba's and Granddad's eldest son at ~5 years old

My dad Earl
as a young lad
circa 1938

The two oldest Boykin boys, maybe 1940?

My dad and his
brother James,
circa 1940

The Boykin family has a lengthy history in this part of the country,
starting sometime around 1850. Unfortunately, no one wrote anything down.
Granddad's brother Jack (b. 11/06/1890 - d. 10/22/1969) served in The Great War.
He was gassed by the Germans in a barrage. The way I remember Uncle Jack is
as a farmer, perpetually sucking on peppermint candies to help his emphysema.
His wife Zula (b. 11/21/1907 - d. 10/09/1997) seemed alot like Bubba,
in that she made sure that the little ones in her house weren't hungry.

Dad in his school days... maybe early high school?

Dad in early high school(?)
Pasadena, TX

Push-mowing, Pasadena, TX. It looks like he may have a wedding ring on, but he definitely looks younger than 25!

Dad push-mowing,
Pasadena, TX
c. 1948

Lookin' sharp, Dad!

Pasadena High
Prom Night,
c. 1951

Sometime after my Dad was born, Bubba & Grandad
moved down to Pasadena, Texas. They had three sons and one
lovely daughter. When I was a kid, they had a memorable dog named Temper.
They kept a comfortable house on Trimm Street, with a perpetually-humming
window air conditioning unit, mounted in Bubba's kitchen. Granddad was
always dressed in khaki, always chewing on a stogey, always wearing a cowboy hat
(except at the kitchen table), and often to be found in his "little house," a backyard shed,
rust-proofing chains and such. And when he'd hold a new baby, he'd gruffly laugh,
size 'em up like a watermelon, and take a lucky few on a heavy machinery ride.

Graduate of Pasadena High School, Class of 1951

Earl Boykin
Pasadena High
Class of '51

A rare visit to my parents' house: Elmer liked being at home...

Granddad at my dad's
house in Crosby,
about 1983

Bandit & Granddad: two grouchy old men

Granddad having a sit-down
with Bandit in Pasadena
around 1987

Bubba seemed to always be wearing an apron, offering up perpetual victuals from her kitchen.
She was the one who would take us to church, (even though we were on vacation!) and with her
white gloves de-smudge our mouths during the everlasting evangelical sermons. In later years,
she was Granddad's hearing aid, the breadwinner for the two of them, working in Doctor Zografos'
office well into her 80's (She had been the good doctor's baby sitter in the olden days).

Sardis Cemetery, 29 April, 1995

Bubba visiting Granddad's grave
in Sardis, Texas, 1995

Taylor & Bubba, Thanksgiving season, 1996

Bubby & Bubba, around November, 1996

Dad & his mom Bubba, 1997

Dad & Bubba,
27 November, 1997

Granddad died March 10th, 1992, with a gingersnap in his mouth (something he had
promised to Bubba that he wouldn't eat because it was bad for his 'sugar diabetes').
Bubba passed away a few days before Hurricane Rita made landfall, in 2005.
Her funeral had to be postponed until the floodwaters subsided, when the rest of
the family could return to their homes.

Here are some images of Bubba & Granddad, and their family.

ALiss, Ben & Family with Bubba on her porch

Seeing Bubba before heading home,
28 November, 1997

Hangin' with Bubba, 17 July, 2004

Jenna & Kara with
Bubba, 2004...


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2009 EBBoykinJr