Sunday, January 23, 2011

What Grandmother Said....

I'm turned on to the things my mother said this evening. 
While visiting my mother at St.Anns Nusring Center  this Sunday evening... I chatted a while about that now infamous picture of the Hudson 1951 Hornet that was in the picture with my Big Mama in Chickasha, OK.   
Mentioning it - my mama immediately said... that was your daddy's car! Beige (she shook her head... like yea.. I know for sure!  I said what...who took the picture? are you sure? how did you and daddy afford that...  We were poor weren't we?  U let him buy it??
From my readings,,, the Hudson Motor Car Company (based in Detroit MI) began 1909-ended production in merged with Nash Motors in 1954...and was known as American Motors.   It was in 1951 that Hudson introduced the HORNET... noting a Super Six chassis and outfitted with a 308 cubic-inch inline 6-cyclinder power engine: dual carbureators, dual manifold induction system, powers up to 180 to 210 MPR  (now you know I have no idea what all of this means  LMBO):  this big beauty sat low which gave it an excellent center of gravity:  seating for six!  It had flowing, curvy lines and enclosed rear wheels which made it sleek and aerodynamic for it's day! As a collector's item, value of these cars are mid $30's and up now-a-days.

 My mother repeated several times... about how proud my daddy would be in bragging... "...he would set a glass of water on the dash... and drive without spilling a drop... a smooth-riding automobile!"  The car reportedly sold well the first year but was not able the change its look as quickly (yr-to-yr) and did other Independent Auto Mfgrs... so it eventually became out-dated.  About Sports... just a startup in Dayton beach, FL -- there was a new race-sanctioning body was getting underway, calling themselves NASCAR -- and this Baaad..shut-yo-mouth car...dominated the scene! -- winning 27 NASCAR Grand National Races in 1952: it won 22 races in 1953 and 17 races in the YEAR OF MY BIRTH -- 1954!
She laughed and said.. "Your daddy always like new, big cars!  We were some of the high paid families at that time in Chickasha... Your daddy worked at TInker and I did too.  We commuted every day."  And again in my disbelief -- I said did we ride in that car?  She said "yes, we drove you all down to the Geary church all the time."  I chatted, well you all had two just two kids, Howard and James. How did you LET daddy buy that car... it was expensive!  She said "yea we made good money, but he like to buy nice cars,,, If I told him not to buy it... he would anyway!"   So I said... what did you have? New clothes...  She laughed again and said... "I guess I was taking care of you kids... I didn't need clothes working at Tinker"

I told her how distinctive I looked all over the web for the hood design.  I looked at Fords, Chevy, A Packard, Nash --  she  said... "Howard had a Nash!" 

We left the dinner table.. and I had mama talking.  Several times she would, squinch her eyes, rub her nose... and say "... I can't remember-that's too much too long ago!

About her dad -- we discussed the guy that looked kinda funny - was COGIC church secretary... T A Lewis.  She said he was a master carpenter... he built their house at 605 First Street.... " ...he build it identical to his own house (she didn't remember where he lived,,, nor if he was from Mississippi or how Dad Sip met him) but that they were good friends... "he had to be to put up with my daddy.... he liked peanuts...daddy woud buy them... my daddy would throw peanuts at him... into his mouth (motioning and smiling as she thought about... as if she might have been a girl sitting squat on the floor looking at these two preachers at a very relaxed moment!). 

She said.. 'Your daddy went to some town, I don't remember.. I didn't want to see it... but your daddy liked to know and ask... he told me he went to TA Lewis's house... and it was a carbon copy to your mom and dad's home!"

Yes, and I think that's how I have such a keen interest in things... remembering the meaning behind the pictures and places and people....   I remember driving with daddy and the stories he would tell.

I asked why didn't Big Mama work?  She went to college in AR?  Yea, she did.   Mama laughed..."she was white... she did'nt work.....she worked one time -- one day -- the woman called her Bell... and she quit.  She didn't like that, she was Mrs. Sipuel!... no -- she never worked."  So I asked,,, but you all were well off... she said yes.   I asked.... Well, in Chickasha -- there were blacks in homes over across the railroad tracks.  Mama interjected quickly  (vivid memory) "EAST,,, east side... we lived over there when we first lived in Chickasha... Daddy built our house with TA Lewis... and he moved us to First Street.  He never liked for us to miss school -- he would ride us kids on his back... walk us to school on his back."   I said... so you all really valued education... Lemuel was a lawyer... you all went to college???  Even Big Mama's sister's were to college...

I asked her more questions... "He (Dad Sipuel) came from Mississippi to meet Big Mama in Chicota, (mama pronounces Chicot as such)  AR... He worked on the railroad... don't know which one..... No... I don't know when, but he did lose a finger .   We discussed that there was no pension, no compensation for a black man if he filed a claim....No, she never met his brothers or family.  I asked if he ever worked any where that she remembered as a girl.  No... he always did church work.   He was the Overseer for so many years.  His birthday was always 12-24 for certain.  No, no gifts... she couldn't ever remember giving him anything... we were just kids.   But we celebrated on Christmas Day with a big dinner for him.  '

I asked if she remembered any other church he pastored beside the one I remember next door to their Chickasha home.  She said "Pauls Valley,, he build that church. TA Lewis-he gave him money to build it.  Mother Jeannie V Hearne was from Pauls Valley, OK and took credit for founding that church.  But she didn't Pastor, he did...I know he did"   I mentioned that I'd follow up on that CHurch history; then I asked about after 1946- Bishop Mason appointed his as Bishop over the State of Oklahoma....  I thought then E. L. Thompson was next in line.  She corrected me-succinctly.... "J. B. Hawkins was Bishop after my dad.. he died.. his time was short... then Thompson, and Coy Brown, etc."

So this is another followup lead I've been missing in OK COGIC history!   Tried to Google a Holiness Church... There was a Bethlehem Black Baptist Pauls Valley, OK  church phone 405-238-5818  no answer... hmmmmm.  Pastor Micheal Eaton....
his phone#  268 9151

Lastly, we talked about CD Fisher, Warren Fisher and relative Mrs. Pat Fisher Reed at Fairview Baptist Church.

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