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Grandma Mattie

Angeline Marthene West Adams
Aug 2, 1865 – Oct 10, 1944

Grandma Mattie married January 15th, 1880.  She was 14 years old.  Her husband, Elliott Levin Adams, was 32.  Granddaddy died when Mama was 3 years old; Aunt Rosa Mae was 7 and Aunt Lizzie (Martha Elizabeth) 11.  He died during the flu epidemic in 1894.  Grandma was left with three girls and no place to live.  Uncle Captain gave her some land and the community built a house.  It had just three rooms with a porch across the front.  She lived there until she died in 1944 outliving her husband by 50 years.  Aunt Lizzie never married and died in 1929.

Mr and Mrs Elliott AdamsGrandma’s house was a short walk from our house.    We would go spend the day with her, and when you walked into the house you could smell yeast rolls rising.   Grandma had a well with a bucket that was round and long. 

When we were at her house she had this large tree in the backyard.  We would climb up and go out on the limb that ran out from the tree.  We thought we were way up there, but when we went back later after we were grown we could stand and prop our elbows on the limb.  It was not as high as we thought. 

Close to the house, there was a road that came into the road that she lived on.  There was deep sand on this road and cars would have to slow down to drive through.  We would lie down, catch the bumper of the car, and let it pull us until they began to pick up speed and then we would turn loose.  It is a wonder we did not get hurt. 

Grandma always wore black and white and sometimes grey but never a bright colors.  She wore her hair in a bun.  She always had on an apron (from waist down) with pockets to carry her snuff box, when she died she had a perfect set of teeth. Maybe we should start dipping.
She loved to play rook cards.  When things weren’t going in her favor, she would say “allie and lizzieWell Gentlemen!.”

 She had a little dog with long white hair named Topsy.  She loved that dog. Grandma was at our house when she died.  Topsy was okay until Mama and Aunt Rosa Mae went down to the house to divide things and clean it up.  They took Topsy with them.  After that he would not eat anything.  We would try to feed him and play with him, but he just grieved himself to death. 

We always wonder now how Grandma made a living.  Back then you did not have welfare or other programs.  We knew that she sewed, crocheted, made quilts and sometimes worked in the fields, but no one knew for sure how she made ends meet.

Mama would send things to Grandma.  Our school bus passed her house each morning on our way to school.   Grandma would be on the porch and wave at us as we passed. Mama would give us butter and we would throw it out the window as we passed her house.  George Smith, our bus driver, would see us lower the window and slow up so we could toss it. 

One time she was at our house for dinner and we had chicken.  We passed the chicken to her and she got the pulley bone.  We all wanted it but she gave it to Topsy.  When you had eight to feed, you would only get but one piece.  Mama would end up with the feet. (Yes they cook the feet then).

grandma mattie and friends Grandma was afraid of fire.  She would have a blaze about 2 inches high in the fireplace.  When it came to a rainy day, Daddy would go there and start a big fire.  The soot in the chimney would catch fire and would sound like a freight train.  She would always say on a cold day (she did not say never, she would say ne’er),  “Ne’er mind the weather as long as the wind didn’t blow.”