Friday, August 29, 2014

Granny's Pantry # 23-- Mayme and Mose

The pull of High Rock is strong, even when one has been away for years. So it was with Mayme and Mose.  Both had close family ties to High Rock, but lived their adult lives in other states. Each found the way back home. 
Aunt Mayme at High Rock

Mayme was Granddaddy’s Cole’s sister and born and reared at High Rock.  How she came to be “Mayme,” I don’t know, but it fit her better than her birth name, Mary Dell.  Aunt Mayme was born on June 20, 1882, but please don’t tell her I told you, as her age was her secret. She had her pride. Most of her life was spent teaching business education to high school students, much of it in Columbus, Georgia. She loved her job and her students. I think they took the place of the husband and family she never had.  She traveled back home for summer holidays by train to High Rock.  I knew her when she retired and moved home to live in two rented rooms in a big old house on Kerr Street in Salisbury. She owned her own land and an old house about two miles from where she was born, but she never lived there.
Aunt Mayme’s world was her typewriter. She took greeting cards others sent to her, pasted her name over the senders’ names, turned the envelopes inside out, readdressed them, and off they would go again.  She recycled long before it was cool. She painted her fingernails a bright red, and had an autographed picture of Clark Gable, with whom I think she was in love. When Aunt Mayme could no longer live alone, she moved to a nursing home in Spencer, still within about 25 miles of High Rock.

She was generous and gave strange presents at Christmas, which I now realize were vintage treasures. She bought me a beautiful lavender dress for a piano recital (the event for which it was worn is better forgotten). Her wedding gift to me was a sewing basket I still use and a card on which she mis-typed “Anut Mayme.” Think about it. But she called my husband Prince Charming. She got that part right. Possibly her most infamous gift was at the Christmas dinner table at High Rock when she passed out envelopes with gifts for “Mothers of Sons.”  That sounds gracious and bighearted, until you understand that her sentiment only covered two of the eligible ladies at the table, and totally left out the other niece, who also never married and had no children. It was an omission that lives long in the annals of our family.
Mary Dell Cole—Aunt Mayme--died at 98, and her body lies at Lick Creek Church, a mile and a half from home.

Mose was Granddaddy Cole’s nephew, son of his brother, Moses Lloyd Cole, Sr.

We called him “Mozell.” It was years before I knew it really stood for Mose L. He was a bachelor who spent most of his life working in Norfolk, Virginia—I think in a shipyard. He came back to live in a house he built on land that belonged to his mother’s people, about 2 miles from High Rock. She was Jane Reid, and he built his small brick house about a half mile from the old Reid Plantation that stood on Cabin Creek. [The Plantation house, barn and outbuildings have now been moved and restored at the Denton Farm Park.]    
MoseL at the restored Reid Plantation outbuildings
Denton Farm Park

MoseL appreciated antiques and history and was politically and economically savvy. He loved his Dobermans and enjoyed Old Crow. He laughed easily and was well-liked in the community.  
MoseL lived alone, but took part in High Rock family gatherings after he came back to live. MoseL gave local pottery for Christmas or something old and interesting, like individual salt cellars. 

MoseL was almost 90 when he died, and his body also lies in the Lick Creek Church cemetery.

Aunt Mayme and Cousin Mose---every family should have them.
We miss them at High Rock.

 Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.
                                        Psalm 90:12

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