Larry with Poochie at Grandpa & Grandma Turner's home place, about 1952-53
Larry with Poochie
Me & Larry, Grandpa & Grandma's old home place, 1952
I don't know why we were living with our grandparents, at Fyffe, Alabama, in 1952. I think it had to do with Dad traveling around digging water wells. The highpoints of of while we were living there are only a few. Aside from having fun on the picked cotton that they placed on the front porch, waiting for a full load to take to the cotton gin, we lived there when someone was ill, probably Grandma, though I do remember her in the kitchen cooking and churning butter. I remember leaning against her as she sat churning. We had great conversations, though I don't remember them, I do remember her talking with me and listening. Watching her dip out the butter from the churn. I'm sure, being a child, some of the conversations were about, "how is butter formed as you churn", and "why is there water left in the jug after you dip out the butter", "how long does it take to make butter?". There were even times I sat there pushed the "churn" up and down. I can still remember the white texture of the butter and it's sweet taste. Churned butter, did you know, is white, not creamy yellow.
My grandparents house didn't have electricity. They used oil lamps and the fireplace, which was located in the livingroom. I remember it being a large one, and I think there was a place even to hang a kettle. A kettle to hold and cook pinto beans and stews. In the evening, Grandpa Turner would shave in the kitchen. He had this piece of a mirror on the wall where we had the wash stand. The mirror had one corner broken off, and it was held on the wall with nails bent at each corner on top and underneath the bottom to form a frame. Hanging beside the mirror was a leather strap. Grandpa shaved with a straight razor. I can see him standing there, holding one end of the leather strap while he slowly slid the blade of the razor back and forth to sharpen it before he shaved. He had a cup with his shaving cream, and a shaving brush sitting in it. He's dampen the brush, stir around the cream until it frothed up, then he would smear it on the bottom section of his face. He'd hold up one side of his face, run the razor across his skin, rinse in the hand washing pan (drawing a blank on what this was called) with warm water, wipe the blade on a towel, then run across another section of his face. About that leather strap, I think we may have received a swipe across our backsides once or twice. It must of not hurt too bad as I can't remember it, just remember being told we had.
I remember Grandpa Turner as a quiet man. He went about his day doing what was needed. Be it picking cotton, repairing the house, feeding the farm animals, or going to the store. Living among a few females probably had a lot to do with that. Also, I have a feeling my Mom and she were a lot alike. They were the strong type. Grandma was like the female matriarch. Her kids gathered around her, even as adults and all had an aggressive personality. It's just in Grandma's era, the woman stayed at home and took care of the house and children. I do remember that Grandpa and Grandma loved each other. I don't ever remember them being harsh with each other or having arguments.
One of the projects I hated doing while we lived with them was hog killing. Every fall after the first frost, they'd bring out the old black pots. Grandpa, my Dad and my Uncle Lloyd would kill the hogs to prepare the meat for winter. Once the hogs were killed, they'd dip them in a pot of hot water to get rid of the hair on the skin so it didn't end up in the meat. I hated that! I don't know if it was the smell or what, but I didn't like that part. Nor did I like stuffing the prepared sausage into the tubes of skin. Now I don't remember if we bought this or if it was actually the hogs intestines. I never have asked about this. But I do remember the sausage grinder. All silver and metal. Stuffing cut whole meat into the top and it coming out as sausage.
Then we moved to Rossville, Georgia. I didn't find out until I became an adult that the reason we moved is because Daddy got a job at Peerless in Rossville and Grandpa had retired. Since there wasn't social security for him, he and Grandma moved in with my Aunt Agnes because they didn't have enough money to continue renting and living alone.
Esley and Frances (Tatum) Turner, 1940
Esley & Frances Turner (you can see the goiter on her neck that she had)
Where the old home place was located, Fyffe, Alabama
corner where old general store stood, Fyffe, Alabama
My Aunt Agnes & Uncle Jim's home where Grandpa & Grandma moved to. There was a veranda wrapped around the house.
The veranda continues around
back shot of the house
The old barn, between the house and barn use to stand an outhouse!