Monday, February 2, 2015

Big Grandma : A Series

This month's blog posts are to fulfill The Family History Writing Challenge given by The Armchair Genealogist, Lynn Palermo.

I am going to be writing a series of posts about my maternal grandmother, Goldie Witt Cole.

My sisters and I lovingly referred to Grandma Cole as 'Big Grandma'.  Looking back on that, I wonder if she was offended!  I know that my mother sure wouldn't like to be referred to as 'big' anything!

Big Grandma wasn't abnormally big, but she was MUCH bigger than our other grandmother who we called 'Baby Grandma'.  (I just giggled out loud!) Okay, let me explain.  So when I was very young, I asked my Dad why we had one big grandma and one....and I guess I couldn't think of the word "small" so instead I said "baby", meaning one was small in stature.  The names stuck!  While Baby Grandma was only about 4'10 and 90 pounds wet, Big Grandma was a busty woman of 5' 6 and over 150 pounds. She looked like a giant compared to Baby Grandma.

Not only was Baby Grandma small, but she was quiet.  In contrast, Big Grandma gave new meaning to loud!! She had a remarkably colorful personality and was bigger than life.  Some of the things she did were not exactly appropriate for a lady, or for any decent person for that matter.  But, she was who she was.

Big Grandma was born Goldie Mae Witt in 1910.  She said she weighed only a pound and a 1/2 and was the first child of her mother to live past the age of 1 month.  Her mother had married at 13 years old (yes, you read that right!) and had several babies die before she had one live.  They lived in Blackwater, Lee County, Virginia.

Big Grandma's father died when she was only 9 years old.  Her mother then took Big Grandma and her little brother to live with her Grandma Betty and her husband.  That husband's name was Enoch Creech.  Enoch wasn't Big Grandma's biological grandfather, but her mother's step-father. Apparently, he was the bad influence that shaped the colorful personality of Big Grandma!

Oh readers...I am not happy to tell this awful little story, but it is one she loved to tell.  When she was about 9, shortly after going to live in her grandparents home, she did something she wasn't suppose to.  Her uncle caught her and told on her and she was punished.  Her Granddad Enoch pulled her onto his lap and stroked her hair and said, "Don't you punish Pickaninny.  She's a good girl."  Then he told her to not get mad at her uncle, just get even.  And she did.

Uncle had recently bought some new baby chicks.  While he was gone, Big Grandma went into the coop and.....wait, I have to take a deep breath....she went into the coop.....and.....grabbed each baby chick and.....pulled their legs off!  Then, she pulled their heads off!  She hid the legs under a rock and the heads somewhere else and left the little bodies for the Uncle to find.  Oh the horror!!  What kind of little girl would do such a thing??  (Big sigh)  But she would laugh till she cried when she told us kids that story.  She said that Uncle never told on her again!

And so the stories of Big Grandma begin. Read story number 2 here!


  1. Yikes - not a grandma to mess with. Loved the story. You mean I am meeting a challenge with my Life of John Carter and I didn't even know it? LOL This was great, Amie..

    1. Robert...thanks for reading! There is no challenge!! I wrote and posted these stories back in early 2015, but have been editing and re-publishing on my Lee County Genealogy Facebook page. Thought they deserved another go-around. Big Grandma was quite a colorful character!


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