Tennessee Mountain Stories

A letter from "Just Mom"


You have all met my great-great grandmother here previously.  She spent the last years of her life abed and kept diaries and scrapbooks the whole time.  Today these are a wealth of information for me.  I am captivated by letters that have survived and Grandma Todd was a prolific letter-writer.  And her letters were undoubtedly a blessing to family and friends alike.  I wanted to share this one from 1946 with you.  Even if you don’t know the people – and I sure don’t know them all – I think you can still see the beauty of her story.  I’ve left her spelling as-is since that part adds color all its own!

May 6, 1946, Monday morning,

Dear Cecil, Ruth and everybody,

How are you all – well I hope.  I am as usual.  Dad grunted with his head all last week but he is o.k. now.  Delsie is all-right.  She has breakfast about ready.  Dad is eating.  We are getting on just fine.  Beula is in the hospitle.   I had a letter from Wavealen she sayd Beula had an operation, she is in Green Cross hospitle.  Wave sayd her Grandma Trout was staying with them awhile.  Beula was in hospitle but she sayd her and Dewane done most of the work as her Grandma was not very strong.  Floyd is worried, the Dr. told Floyd that Beula could go home in about 8 days.  Anyhow it is bad to be in the hospitle, don’t you imagine.  Stocia, Emma J. and Ruby are excited too?  I sent Beula a card to her home address.  I didn’t know how to address it to the hospitle.  I knew Floyd would take it to her.  Ida sent her a card too.

Did you hear about Rev. Holden’s accident?  You know there was a conference at Montrey well Friday Apr 26.  Rev. Holden and his wife came to see me in the afternoon as they were at Montrey conference.  Well Rev. Holden was promoted to be a conference preacher.  He talked church like he always did.  They were so nice and sweet, he has a darling wife and I love them.  We had a lot of fun.  He sayd he got my letter and was keeping it always.  Yes, Virgina sayd Wesley had that letter in his book and would preach from it too.  Ha.  Wasn’t that quite a compliment?  I just can’t see why people talk so about all my letters.  I don’t even write interesting or spell correct.  Well as I was saying, on their way back home Friday night a drunk man staggered in front of their car and it proved fatal.  It happened close there to Montrey  and this drunk was laoded in whiskie.  I haven’t got the full details yet.  Anyhow it is awfl for a drunk man to get killed an meet a just God.  Awfl.  Rev. Holden and his wife boath wrote me about it.  Poor kids, they knew I would understand.  So I wrote them a letter yesterdayAbout the hardest letter I ever wrote in my life.  I realy prayd for wisdom to write to them.  Keeps me worried about Donald.  He is out a lot with his car and you can never tell when a drunk man will run into you.  Well, Clyde Whiticor is home, he got a discharge so Donald took Ida and Lois to Stacie’s Saturday to see Clyde.  Dewey and family and Sam Dodson left for Dayton, Ohio Friday May 3rd.  We had a good letter from Mary, they were all well.  I got a top card from Evelyn and Hollis.  It is so cute.

Well I recon your Dad has the prize garden so far.  The salad peas are higher than the palings and blooming, the bunch peas in full bloom.  Cabbage are cupping in to head.  Tomato plants fine.  He just pats himself on the sholder.  Ha.  He tells one how fine his garden is.  I told him he was like his mother, she could just walk through a garden and it would grow, so I think he has his mother’s touch when it comes to garden work.  My mother’s day tree is growing fine.  I ask about it often.  Say Verna Whiticor, Stacie’s mother-in-law, sent me a big bunch of American Beauty roses.  They are gorgeous.  Mrs. Sam Taylor sent me a big bunch of iris and roses so I always have flowers even if I am emumed. Ha ha.  Well today is mail day again, I had a real good letter from Ova and she sent me a dollar too.  She seemed to write more like herself.  We had a letter from Beecher last week and one from Willie.  They were boath well but homesick.  Well I have some more writing to do so I will say by for now.

Just Mom to all

Can’t you envision a whole book about this woman – I think I can…