Saturday, March 1, 2014

Granny's Pantry # 14--The Cow Palace

Granny loved a good political convention. She couldn’t attend, but she could read the newspaper or watch TV and incorporate the festivities into her world with her own brand of political spin. The 1956 Republican Convention held at the Cow Palace near San Francisco was no exception.      

After Granny’s mother died in 1954, Granddaddy and Uncle Brooks bought her Morgan home place, across the river from the Cole Farm. After the Convention, the Morgan Farm quickly was re-named (and remains) The Cow Palace.

While the land was farmed, the house sat on a hill above the rural road in Rowan County,
unpainted and abandoned. It and some of the outbuildings fell into serious disrepair.    

The two story structure was a dark and spooky place with its missing floors, bird nest in the pantry and raccoons in the attic. There may even have been a ghost. Granny told about hearing a strange wailing noise on the steps to the upstairs that has never been explained.      

 At times, the house served short stints as a temporary dwelling for itinerant tree planters or a refuge for a distant relative with a heartbreaking story and an even more heartbreaking end. There was even a brief attempt at restoration that stopped in demo and divorce. There the house sat lost in time for many years.

 Then, under the ownership of Aunt Ruthie, the old house began to take on new life.

 Her floors and windows were replaced; she was painted a quirky mauvey pink.

With lights and water, curtains and furniture, and Aunt Ruthie’s paintings on her walls…the fine old lady came back to life.                           




She welcomes our family gatherings…


 an Easter party in the yard...

   fishing at the pond…                                



a birthday party on the front lawn...

                                               my sister's memorial celebration... 

 and finally….Christmas at the Cow Palace! 

The transformation was remarkable…a tree decorated with peacock feathers, wood stove to keep us warm, food fitting a holiday feast, presents of Granny’s amber glass and feed sacks for the ladies and…of course…hunting sox for the men.       

We were together, the entire Cole family, from 7 months to 94 years old, all of us.

Granny…you can go home again. We did it for you! 







                                 Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it; (Psalm 127:1)

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