Last week, I wrote about a 1939 Packnett family reunion in New Mexico. My mother’s mother, Audrie Packnett Christy, was about twenty-six years old at the time.
My grandpa wasn’t with them but his family, the Christys, also have western roots.
Hello, Thursday Morning readers. Quarantine may have grounded us for a while, but it can’t keep us down. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my family during this time. I have pioneers and cowboys in my bloodline. They had to be tough and sometimes, well…it showed.
Grandpa Christy’s mother was a Younger. Her parents are pictured here. This is Alexander and Prilda Younger. I reckon they were farmers, or maybe ranchers from the looks of them. Great-great-grandpa Younger never went anywhere without that hat. Somewhere, I have a photo of a more youthful Alexander, in the same style hat.
This cute couple ended up living in a travel trailer, parked in their grandson’s yard in Amarillo, Texas. I wish I could’ve known them. Oh, what questions I’d ask them!
Alexander hailed from the Missouri Territory. His daddy was a Union sympathizer during the Civil War. I’ll bet he was a popular guy, huh? He looked a lot like one of the Duck Dynasty guys, with a long beard that hung to his belt.
Junior married and headed West to claim his own land. Maybe this is why I loved those Janette Oke books so much.
Years later, their daughter, Minnie Younger, would marry Great-Grandpa Christy. Those two had four sons. Grandpa was the middle child because the eldest two were twins. The twins spent their lives working for the railroad in Amarillo, Texas. Grandpa married Audrie Packnett. They left Oklahoma during the dustbowl days, seeking greener pastures.
There are so many stories in these old photos. I’m sure much of their life was ordinary but we know ordinary lives include magical days. There’ll be hard days, too, when the wells of hope dry up like those dusty fields of the thirties.
Looking at these familiar faces gives me a profound sense of peace. I have a good, strong heritage. Folks who weren’t afraid to work hard. Mom is the youngest in these two photos. She’s 86 now. When I think of all the places she’s been, what she endured after these sweet days of her childhood—the breakup of her parents’ marriage, her mother’s death when Mom was only 22—my heart fills with gratitude.
She raised me to ride the waves of hardship, knowing that difficulties come to everyone, but what you do during and after the tough times, that is what defines a person. Those hard times make the good times all the sweeter.
Thanks for joining me today. I hope you’re staying strong and healthy.
And if anyone out there knows what Great-great-grandma Prilda’s name means, I’d love to know. I couldn’t find any information. I’ve never heard of anyone else with that name.