Mama was married in the late fall of 1928. I suspect she was one of few brides who took with her a dowry which consisted of an old trunk, a “pump organ” and a horse.
She and my Dad decided that they would marry, but Dad placed a condition on their marriage. He told her, “I can’t marry you until my Mammy sells her turkeys!”
I can probably imagine how “taken back” Mam was, but poor Dad, he knew he would get some of his Mother’s turkey money and he honestly had to wait for funds before they could marry.
So, when the turkeys were sold in November, they got hitched. My mother had, as mentioned earlier, nothing much of her own, possession wise. Her own mother died when she was but an infant, leaving Mama and her 4-year-old brother to be raised by grandparents. Mama’s father went to Indiana to work, so as to send money home to care for the motherless two children.
Mama’s grandfather, who was a fine, loving soul, purchased the old pump organ for Mama. And the horse? Well, she inherited him, thanks to a daring uncle who south to carry out his Pap’s wishes…
Mama told this story:
“My grand-dad had a beautiful mare and she gave birth to a sweet little colt. Grand-dad told everyone, ‘This here colt will be Lena’s horse some day. I aim for her to love it.’ But as it turned out, my beloved Grand-dad died, not long afterward, and relatives began the process of preparing a sale of Grand-dad’s possessions. The colt, by this time a yearling, was to be sold along with the other possessions.
“But just before the sale, my Uncle Newt stepped forward and said, ‘Now Pap wanted Lena to get this here colt and by golly, she’s gonna get it! I heard him say it myself many times!’
“So I ended up with the beautiful young horse, which I took with me when I married your father,” Mama told me.
“What happened to the horse?” I asked my mother.
“Well, after we married, I traded the horse to my father-in-law Virgil for a milk-cow. We needed the milk-cow more than the horse. However, Mr. Virg kept the horse for many years, using him to work the fields.”
It’s true that my mother didn’t start her young life with much, but she had a dear old grandfather who loved her.
And after my dad died, Mother was sole owner of a fertile 400-acre farm, a large herd of registered Angus cattle and money to buy anything she wanted. She never remarried and outlived my dad by 17 years.
I remember her saying, “I always longed for a ‘mother.’ There’s nothing like a mother’s love. I want to see my mother someday … I want to tell her that even though I missed her terribly, I made it all right int his ol’ life. Thanks in part to a loving old grandfather, who did the best he could.”
Till next time.