Tuesday, February 1, 2011

FAMILY SAYINGS: Down Through the Generations!


It does matter, I think. Long after a generation passes, who they were lives on and reinforces just who and what the present generation is. Several "sayings" in my family comes to mind.

THE DEBBY FACTOR! When food preparation is slow, in our family it is referred to as "The Debby Factor".

My grandfather, William Henry Pierce, died in 1952 at the age of 91. He had several sisters, one of whom was named Deborah. Deborah, or Debbie, was known as a wonderful cook. The question that was pondered, however, was whether the food was really that good of if the people waiting a long time for the food to be cooked were starved.

My parents are long gone, as are all my siblings. Still and yet, the "Debbie Factor" saying lives on with my children. It will be passed along, I'm sure, to their children and their children's children's.

Julie and I cook a lot for family and friends. Irregardless of how efficient we may be in the food preparation, one of my kids, or maybe ALL of my kids will comment about the "Debbie Factor" taking place.

YOU KNOW WHAT IS REALLY SAD? My cousin Cheryl, MY DEAR COUSIN CHERYL, is Deborah's great granddaughter. This is a picture of Cheryl and her husband Jack. She lives in Virginia and we "found" one another through my blog site a couple years ago. SHE HAD NEVER HEARD THIS STORY OF HER GREAT GRANDMOTHER. How sad that is! To the effect of the "saying" not living on, Deborah did not live on.

A saying well known in my family came from my Mother.

When Mom and Dad were married, about 1918, they moved "to town". On Saturday's Dad's people would come to town. They would always go to Mom and Dad's house for dinner. Mom would "wait the table". Still, to some extend, a member of the family in that neck of the woods would not eat with the group but facilitate the serving of the food and drink. It was and is referred to as "waiting the table".

Once when Mom was "waiting the table" Dad's family ate every bite of food. All the chicken and every other morsel of food was gone. When the company left, Dad said to Mom, "I'm sorry, Lee, but they ate every bite of the food. There is not a crumb left for you.

Mom grinned--I know she did--as she said to Dad, NEVER WORRY ABOUT THE COOK, BILL" as she turned to the oven and removed her heaping plate of food, including the chicken back, her favorite piece of chicken.

NEVER WORRY ABOUT THE COOK! Of course, this goes far beyond just having your share of the food. The real message is LOOK OUT FOR YOUR OWN WELFARE, IF YOU DON'T, WHO WILL?

My daughter, Kimberly's, current pictured right, Master's Thesis was My Grandmother, the Wisest Woman I ever knew. Mom, born in 1899, was named Julia Agnes. She never liked that name. They lived out in the country on "Crooked Krick" when the 1910 census taker came by. Mom told the official that her name was LEVIA MAGGIE. In that far more simple day, that was all it took to change her name.

Mom only went to the 3rd grade, walking at least a mile down out of "Jone's Hollow" to walk to North Point Pleasant, (WV) Grade School. I doubt that she went to school three months a year. Incidentally, I also attended that school, starting first grade when I was five years of age.

Lacking a formal education, Mom could figure out life--far more important. During the world wide depression of the '30s, Mom kept her family fed. No small accomplishment. She also freely gave to others. It may have been a fish off her step father's trot line, a possum that others couldn't catch, or quail caught on a corn baited fish hook, we always had food. Yes, breakfast often would just be biscuits and gravy, made from a bit of flour, bacon drippings, salt and a bit of baking powder, but it was filling and I still like it.
This is a picture of Mom taken in 1914 when she was 15. She will have made that dress. Check out the feather on her hat. Can you imagine how proud she was of that feather? She always loved to dance and also to ice skate. I can clearly remember her doing the "Charleston". My children, who only knew her when she was old, need to be reminded that she was once young and vibrant. They do remember, however, even when old, she was always vibrant and a fun person with whom to share their lives.
She always made her own clothing. Check out her home made garment at the graduation of her Grandson Todd from college. In the picture with Mom was her grandson Todd, great granddaughter Bethany and, of course, a much younger Walt.


Another saying? NEVER TRUST A SKINNY COOK!" Ummm! Makes sense, huh?

Take care and pass along your families "sayings" to your children and grand children.

May God Bless you and yours!


Anonymous said...

I just love that picture of Grandma Pierce and would LOVE a copy of it. Amy

Mark Pierce said...

Great story about Grandma. Love that picture of her with a feather in her hat! Thanks for sharing! - Mark

Phatmom said...

It was kind of sad that I didn't know about the "Debbie Factor." I actually possess it, but just didn't know what it was called. However, it is sad no more! Now I am informed thanks to you, dear Cousin! My great-grandmother has a piece of her living on in me.

I enjoyed seeing the photos you posted. You & Julie sure are a handsome couple! Your mom was so pretty and so is Kimberly.