Last June (2020) I wrote about Mom’s family, the Christys. This year, I received a note from one of the cousins thanking me for writing about them and posting pictures of his great-grandfather and great-grandmother, Floyd and Alice Christy. He asked if Mom might remember Alice, as she died some time back. Mom was happy to talk about her Uncle Floyd and Aunt Alice. I thought her special memories would make a fine follow-up to that original post.
Mom will be eighty-eight in December. She spent most of last year recovering from a fall that resulted in a broken wrist and hip. She has a stubborn streak that would make her mama and daddy proud. They were grandchildren of pioneers, as tough as they come.
Mom is now back in her small apartment, taking care of herself. She is walking with a cane, bright-eyed, loves to read, and enjoys sharing her memories. Here’s what she said about those days:
I loved Aunt Alice. I’ll always remember the long, drawn-out way she would say my name with her beautiful southern drawl: Jo-Ann…
I can hear her so well in my memory. She was nice, jovial, and a great cook. For some reason, I especially remember her coconut pie. It was heavenly.
Back during WW2, the family came out to Seattle (from Texas) hoping their daughter, Joyce’s asthma would improve. She was always so fragile. Floyd, Alice, James, Joyce, and Grandma Minnie Christy, who later married Parker White and lived the rest of her life in the little house they bought in Amarillo. She left that home to Joyce when she passed away.
Those days they stayed with us in Seattle are the happiest days of my childhood. Earlene and I just loved our cousins, Joyce and James. We played lots of board games, cards, Chinese checkers—you name it. PLUS, Uncle Floyd had a movie camera and we got to watch lots of Disney-style cartoons. Did we ever love that!
Aunt Alice and Mama stayed busy cooking for that bunch. Grandma too, but most of the cooking was done by Mama and Aunt Alice. Both were very good cooks.
In the evenings, we would all sit around and sing. Back in those days, everyone sang. Daddy and Uncle Floyd played guitar and Mama played the piano. Uncle Floyd also played a mandolin. Joyce had a beautiful voice, except for the asthma interfering at times.
When Uncle Floyd got a job, they moved to a little house close to where “we kids” went to school. My sister, Earlene and I were so sad when they moved. But we got to spend the night with them on occasion, so we were happy about that.
Then they decided Joyce was getting worse instead of better, and I believe Joyce and Aunt Alice were homesick for Texas. So, they all left, and I guess Joyce was better off in the drier climate (though not cured).
I heard that Aunt Alice and Joyce went to Denver for a while to see if Joyce was better there. She was, but she and Aunt Alice were ready to go back to Texas.
The only other times I saw them was when we were headed to Tennessee from California (on vacation). We always stopped in Amarillo, and stayed with Floyd & Alice, as Grandma’s place was so tiny. Aunt Alice would invite the rest of the family over for meals. Boy, what great meals they served. Southern cooking–WOW.
What a blessing for me to have these wonderful memories of Mom’s. Not all of her childhood was happy, as her parents divorced when she was still in elementary school. So, it was a pleasure to hear she had happy times. When she mentioned that our family visited with Uncle Floyd and Aunt Alice when we passed through Amarillo, I remembered those times with Grandma Christy and the full house with lots of wonderful food.
Best of all, I remembered the laughter and what special guys my twin great uncles were. I’ve enjoyed this short “revisit” with my extended family. I would like to thank my cousin who contacted me, otherwise, I would never have heard this memory of my mother’s. She so enjoyed relating it!