This week my family lost another precious memory-keeper. Aunt Janavee was the last of my Grandpa Stepp’s siblings and somehow despite seeing her so seldom, so long as she lived there was a link to Grandpa and to all of my great-aunts and uncles that surrounded my childhood. Ironically, Daddy and I were talking about her just last week and I had tried to reach out to one of her sons to check on her. I had just been saying I really need to go see her.
If you’ve been visiting the blog for a while, you’ll remember my new year’s resolution a couple of years ago was to visit. Well I’ve been pretty successful at keeping that resolution, but there are just so many folks to visit that I don’t seem to be able to make much headway on my running list. Still, every moment I get to spend with an aging neighbor or relative is a win in my mind because every visit yields new stories or reminders and details to stories I’ve always heard.
This whole weekly blog is dedicated to preserving these memories of our mountain people. Losing an octogenarian strengthens my resolve to record their stories, to tell them to my children and my children’s children.
I’m always asking you faithful readers to share your thoughts on the blogs. Today I want to ask you to share your stories. Please click on “comments” below and share a memory you have from your own childhood or from time with your grandparents. Maybe you’d like to share a story your grandparents told you about their own childhood.
So let me share a little story from one of Janavee’s childhood friends, Dimple Norris Young (in her own words as nearly as I can transcribe them).
We’s talkin’ about the time they’s gonna give us shots for Small Pox.
They said it was goin’ to be Small Pox shots.
I remember Janavee found out what it was going to be and she slid out some way or another and she just flew down the road.
She said, I’m not stayin’ and let him poke me with that thing.
I’ve always wondered if she made it home or if somebody went and got her.
I remember not too many years ago, we went to church and somebody brought us part of the way home. We had to walk over there by Conard’s [Atkinson] and all there. And a dog got after me and her and like to scared us half to death. We jumped bean poles and I don’t know what all through the yard there down to Uncle Millard’s before we ever got down there we just about tore ourselves up gettin’ away from that dog and it probably wouldn’t bite nothin’.