Sunday, July 20, 2014

Granny's Pantry # 21--Granddaddy Cole

Albert Milton Cole  (Apr. 20, 1895-- Aug. 7, 1967)       

Granny Cole’s husband—Albert Milton Cole--was a farmer for almost 50 years.           

He wore Red Camel bib overalls and a straw hat to work in his fields at High Rock.
Granny would boil the red dirt out of his overalls in a wash pot over a fire to get them clean.
He plowed with a pair of horses named Dan and Ada. (It wasn’t as easy as he made it look.)
He raised corn and wheat and milo and lespedeza and pumpkins and peanuts and cotton and tobacco and cows and chickens and pigs and turkeys.
He hosted wheat threshings and corn shuckings.
I loved going with him to the mill to get the corn and wheat ground.
You didn’t want to tag along when Granddaddy went out to kill hogs or chickens or turkeys. (I found that out the hard way.)         
When I went with him to the store, he would buy me little packets of Kool Aid.       
He caught fish in traps in the creek and Granny would serve them with homemade french fries. (The best!)
He dipped Old Navy Snuff. (It tasted awful.)
He took a short nap after lunch every day before going back to the field.
He went to bed about 8:00 every night.
He snored.
He always carried a big pocket knife for cutting up apples, cutting off snakes’ heads and whittling.
He listened to Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons, on the radio.  
He watched wrestling on TV (Johnny Weaver and the Great Bolo).

He told the best true stories ever…now lost in history.

He dressed up for church on Sunday, and sat on the front porch
Sunday afternoons with visitors.
When called upon to pray at Lick Creek Baptist Church, he would respond, “Beg to be excused.”
I never saw him get upset. The only time I saw him move fast was when he raced me to the mail box down the cedar lane…he won.          

He held me on his lap and read to me from the chick calendar from the feed store or the Sunday funnies.
His hands were large and hard from years of working outside, and I loved to hold them.     

He left us at seventy two…I played ”Be Still My Soul” on the organ at his funeral and made it all the way outside of the church door before I cried.
Granny Cole lived for the next twenty seven years without him…and died on the same day as he did, August 7.
Morning glories growing wild on the borders of fields will always remind me of Granddaddy Cole.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
James 5:7      
Honors: Grade A Farmer (1931, NC Live at Home Farming Program)
            "Country Squire Honorary Designation" (1952, Gov. W. Kerr Scott)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Granny's Pantry # 20-- Uncle Brooks and Aunt Lorene

Albert Brooks Cole was Granny Cole’s only son. He was born on the 4th of July one night when the mountain was on fire.   

 He served as a T Sgt in the US Army during World War II. Brooks and Granny always had a special bond.       

Brooks married Lorene McCord from Greenwood, SC. He often called her “honey.”  

Lorene and Brooks could have been a movie star couple. She looked a lot like actress Ava Gardner.   
Ava Gardner--NC born actress

 He was dark and handsome in a boyish way with a ready mischievous smile. 

 I heard someone say that Brooks could smoke a cigarette better than any man he knew…technique.                         
Aunt Lorene was one of “The Aunts” (along with Aunt Ruthie) who helped make High Rock so much fun. As the queen of the fairy walks, she knew how to make children feel special and imagine a special world within the ordinary around them.     

Taking a walk with the Aunts in the woods on Sunday’s or holidays—we called it a safari— or riding the fields in Uncle Brooks’ old Jeep (it might have been a Willys) was always high adventure.

He liked to “tinker”—was a smart jack-of-all trades who could do almost anything—survey, build, help run and auction, whatever. She was a queen of retail –a manager of ladies clothing stores, including her own. Together, they appreciated old things and collected antiques and property.

 They had two babies. A little daughter died at birth.
A son and his wife gave them a beautiful granddaughter.     


Uncle Brooks left us too soon. 

Aunt Lorene was beautiful even to her final breath.      

For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow…    1 Chronicles 29:15