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.
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.
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.
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).
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.