Saturday, June 17, 2006

Count The Ways

Frances learned to drive a car at age 42 and obtained a driver's license from the state of North Carolina in the early 1970's. This family was frugal and slowly, slowly saved a little money from their jobs. She eventually bought a car and drove herself. Until then, she rode in the passenger side of their GMC pick-up truck or cars they may have owned. This was a one vehicle family up to this time.

Frances first learned about God and Jesus as a child in Tennessee from her mother and their church. Her faith in the Lord never wavered. She knew where to find peace, rest, and the strength to face tomorrow.

I remember Lee waiting in his car or truck outside Macedonia Baptist Church in Tobaccoville as church dismissed the Sunday worship service. I ran to his car to talk with him before Frances and Dorothy arrived at the car to go home.

I recall as a young boy, Frances telling me how wonderful and pretty women were in her home state. She referred to Dolly Parton's pretty face and the musical talent of that rising star. Frances also pointed to herself in support of this claim. Perhaps this feeling about native Tennessee girls is one reason she insisted on returning to Lenoir City in 1948 to deliver her baby.

Frances loved the voice and music of Loretta Lynn. Loretta was born in nearby Kentucky. Frances compared her poor upbringing to that of Loretta Lynn.

Lee (with Frances' help) accumulated farm equipment to help them till bigger gardens.
Frances purchased a piano for Dorothy to learn music. Dorothy took lessons from Mrs. John W. Wood for eight years. Frances took few lessons and taught herself as she played this instrument.

The picture above shows Lee on his tractor working during inclement weather. He cleared the driveway of snow so they could get to work the next day. The parking lot downtown had to open for business and the cigarette production at RJR had to continue uninterrupted.

The picture below shows their small house after expansions of enclosed front and back porches and a lean-to car shelter. The house in the background is where I lived as a child until the fifth grade. I admired my uncle and was always amazed by this man. He and I were good buddies.

Look again at the house picture below. There is no way to know for certain, but I venture to think that the pronunciation of the word "love" occurred more times inside this house than any other house in the area. I believe a close runner-up would have been the Claude and Myrtle Ring household. Your thoughts and ranking about this conjecture are equal to mine.

Again, look at the picture below with the above thoughts in mind. Doesn't this house now look like a mansion?

Return here for more about this man's life on Monday, June 19.

Have a good day!

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