Friday, February 20, 2015

Story 3: Her Brother Harvey and More Of His Tales

Baby Grandma never knew her mother and had lost her sister Lulu when she was 7 years old.  Her older brother Fred and she must not have been that close because I never heard her mention him.  He was, after all, ten years older than she.

Baby Grandma's father was a widow now and sent her to live with his sister.  He kept his son Harvey with him and his mother (Harriet Richie Walls) helped to care for him.

Harriet was a hard looking woman.  She smoked a bamboo stick pipe.  One day, Harvey and another cousin were helping Grandma Walls while she was making apple butter.  She was sitting on a stool outside with her copper pot over the fire.  Back and forth, back and forth, she would stir the butter.

It was the cousin's job to keep the fire stoked and to keep Grandma's pipe filled with tobacco.  The apple butter process was an all day thing.  I guess Cousin didn't like having to go back to the house to keep filling the pipe.

After a few trips back to the house, for some reason, he decided to make things interesting.  Why on earth he went to the attic seems suspicious to me.  While up there, he noticed the rifle and powder horn.  Noticed or went up there knowing full well that is where it was kept?  Anyway, he filled Grandma's pipe about a third of the way full with gun powder, then placed some tobacco on top and stuffed it down.

Once he handed the pipe over to the very unexpecting old woman, he picked up a stick from the fire and lit her pipe.  He ran.  I would have expected the pipe to have exploded that instant, but apparently Grandma Walls got a few puffs before KABOOM!!!  Over she went... heels over head, legs in the air and apple butter all over the ground! Harvey remembers that Cousin ran into the woods and never did come back!

Here is another fun story.  Baby Grandma's father was a farmer.  He only had 11 acres, which is rather small to make a living from.  He and his boys would pick corn for other farmers.  That was some hard work.  Harvey and his step brother would also trap animals and sell the furs.  They would trap skunk and opossum.  Uncle Harvey remembers getting $3 or $4 for each fur.

One day before school, Harvey and his step brother (Orville) went to check their traps. Something large was rustling around in the trap.  They reached in and WHEW WEE!!  It was a skunk.  They pulled him out, killed him, skinned him and took him home.  Of course, they stunk to high heaven. "Not much you can do," said Harvey in his interview, "except wash...and change your clothes."

Off to school, the boys did go.  Orville went on ahead and Harvey was following along.  Orville made it to the school house doors before Harvey and had been turned away.  He met Harvey coming back. "Where you goin'?" he asked.  "Ain't no use agoin in.  She won't let you stay."  But Harvey decided to go on into school anyway.  He sat down and stayed all day.  Not a word was said.  The teacher hadn't realized that he too had been sprayed.  I guess she assumed the stench Orville brought in was still lingering!

Everyone in the family seemed to love being with Harvey.  Baby Grandma and Harvey often double dated.  I think you can tell just by the pictures that Harvey was the life of the party.  Perhaps his giant personality overshadowed the small and shy Iness.  Though, with a brother like that, you would have had to got into some scrapes of your own!

Left to right:  Unknown girl, Harvey, girlfriend Eunice, Pearl (Baby Grandma's boyfriend), Baby Grandma...doesn't she look happy...I like this picture of her
Harvey and girlfriend Eunice (they later married!)

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