Sunday’s in the Country

My mom and my Aunt Carol were southern city slickers.  They grew up in the city limits of Lynchburg in the 1950’s.  Their parents however were not raised in the same way.  In fact, my grandfather, Lacy Sublett, grew up on a farm in rural Campbell County.  Naruna was and still is just a dot on a map.  A place to get gas on a country road.  A country drive to sing songs and read billboards, like Burma Shave.

burmashave1

Their grandfather John Thomas Sublett was a tobacco farmer.  I have written about him specifically here.  https://exploringbackwards.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/john-thomas-sublett/

My mother recently gave me some old photos.  Several of the images were from the Sunday’s they would spend in the country at their grandparent’s home.  Their cousins would be there also.  I ask my mother and aunt for their memories of going to the country here is some of what they said.

 

Carol:

On most Sundays, we went to the country, granny and grandpa Sublett house in Naurna. It had a chicken coop, smoke house for curing hams, not cigarettes, a big wheel to sharpen knives, out house, a water hand pump on the back porch, which we all drank from, same ladle. We read Burma Shave signs on the way down.  We also held our arms out the window, letting the wind blow, and sing. Cars didn’t have any air conditioning.

They also had a clay tennis court, big deal during those days. We would play with these little rubber dolls, about 3-inches tall. We would play under a big tree that had moss under it. Would play for hours. My aunts, uncles, and cousins would be there. The adults would hand churn ice cream. It was delicious.

 

My mom wrote back: well, I just remember singing ‘Naruna, Naruna, we’re going to Naruna!’  So, that means that we were happy to go. Played with cars under a big tree that had lots of green moss underneath so guess we made roads, etc.  Slopped the hogs.  All the adults sat around in a circle and talked.  They had a cherry tree, I can remember eating so many, and grandpa said they would give me a stomachache but I never had one.  I loved climbing the mimosa tree because the branches were easy to climb and it wasn’t too high from the ground.  Loved stopping by Jack’s Place in Rustburg either going on coming home.  Loved their hot dogs with chili.

 

My Aunt Carol then wrote that my mother had tried to killer in the cherry tree.  “Betty Lou almost kind me in the cherry tree. My brown sweater got caught on a branch and I was choking and Betty calmly went in and told the adults who came and rescued me.” My mother corrected her stating it was a mimosa tree but Carol still thinks it was the Cherry tree. By the way, my mom never discounted the tale of the attempted murder!  Sisters!

If you find yourself with pictures that you do not want, just send them to me.  I will put them to good use.

 

Here are some pictures from that time-period.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Until later, I will be exploring backwards!

lacy_sublett_john_thomas_on ground with girls

I love how the men are down on the blankets with the children

adults in chairs on farm

Visiting on a Sunday afternoon

adults in front of jtsublett

Notice how the men and women are in different circles and they used every type of chair imaginable.

mom_carol_larry_narshella

Cousins

Advertisements

The Spectrum of Emotion

I have been full of emotions since coming back from Georgia.  As I am putting together the life and times of my ancestors, I have found a series of events that are heart wrenching.

One of the many treasures that I have gathered was some of his personal papers from his life.  It seems that there was this large blue plastic tub that was wrapped up that held some records that Sara’s mother or grandmother thought was important.  It has turned into a treasure trove.  It is in this collection that the story emerged.  I have pieced together a time line for you.

As discussed previously, my great-grandfather was a very patriotic man.  He found ways to serve his country even when his age and physical limitations prohibited it.  Here is a snippet that he wrote for the Selective Service Medal Ceremony in 1946 when he was 77 years old.

WEW Biography by WEW

On 21 January 1946, my great-grandfather, Walter Everett Whitehead appeared in the East Room of the White House to receive the Selective Service Medal from President Harry Truman.   What an incredible honor for a Patriot such as Walter, or Papa.  He took his middle son, Walter “Joe” as his guest.  The event commemorated draft board members that served their country in faithful service during the “emergency” (WWII).

WEW_1946_with_President_Truman

WEW news clip about medal

One day later on 22 January 1946, at 12:46 PM a telegram from Bay Pines Veterans Hospital was sent to the Stevens Martin Company in care of Joe (he was the executor of George Steven’s Estate), stating that his condition is considered critical.  Joe and his father Walter were still in Washington DC.   Later that same day, a telegram was sent from the Stevens Martin Company to Joe or Walter in Washington DC stating the same.  George died two days later.

We can only speculate what thoughts were going through Walter and Joe’s minds as they boarded the train back to Georgia with these heavy thoughts.  He had suffered complications due to surgery he had.  You can read more about him here:

https://exploringbackwards.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/george-stevens-whitehead-part-2/

On 27 January 1946, George Stevens Whitehead, WWI veteran was laid to rest in the family cemetery.  He was only 49 years old.

The very next day, Walter stood in honor at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium being honored with the Selective Service Medal and Certificate of Merit at the State Ceremony.

WEW 1946-letter

One can only imagine what emotions the family would be feeling.  On one hand, being so proud of the well-deserved recognition for a true Patriot and on the other hand, mourning the loss of a Rhodes Scholar Brilliant man cut short in his life.  What a week that must have been.

Until later, I will be exploring backwards.