Lisa and Bob in
Memphis and Ripley Tennessee

Saturday: Aunt Nancy's House

We finished at the winery around 11:30 and had time to spend before getting to Aunt Nancy's at noon. We headed down Highway 18 and found where her number was about, small farmhouses amongst farmland with crops and cows. We went past for a while, to see what else was in the area. We found a small brick African American Museum, more farmland, little creeks. Eventually we turned back and hit the right number area around noon. Unfortunately, the house wasn't there! We stopped and called, and found out that we were on the highway EAST when we should be on the highway WEST. Apparently they reuse numbers on the other side of town central. We were only a mile or two away, though.

We got there in short order - a small brick house with farmland across from it and lots of farmland behind it. A large metal shed behind the house held Lynnwood's airplane, and there was cotton plants as far as the eye could see! We headed in to meet Nancy, Lynnwood, Aunt Becky and Kate. Becky is my dad's sister, Nancy is my dad's mom's sister, and Kate is Nancy's son's wife. Nancy's son, Warren Lee, joined us later on.

We had a blast, and I recorded a full 4 hours of audio tape during the afternoon as we talked and looked through pictures. I've put together a Page of Stories but will try to transcribe the actual stories soon.

We saw photos of Lynnwood when he was dating Nancy coming to pick her up in a beautiful horse-drawn buggy. Other pictures showed him at age 6 riding behind a team of horses doing farmwork, and a bit older, rearing up on a horse he'd raised from a colt. There were great pictures of him and his bomber trainees flying in formation.

We had a delicious lunch of pulled pork, pasta salad, BBQ beans with bacon on top, and Southern Iced Tea which seemed like sweet ice tea with lemon in it. For dessert we had a chess pie - sort of like a pecan pie without the pecan, and another pie which was like a merengue with light-fluffy parts over a ladyfinger-like crust. I'll seek out the recipes for those. Everything was delicious. We were told that in the south they loved everything fried, from fried chicken to fried okra (which Dad had asked us to try, but apparently it's not part of our heritage!) to even fried peach pie.

We talked some more, and then went out to look at the airplane and cotton fields. Lynnwood's cut a grass landing strip down the middle of his cotton field, and flies quite often. His friends come visit him!

I was fascinated with the cotton fields, they're so much a part of the history of this region. Lynwood talked about how, in the old days, it took a large group of people weeks to pick all of the cotton, and now a single machine can do the entire field in a few hours. Kate talked about being let out from school in the fall when the harvest was due, because all the kids were needed to help pick. I asked Lynwood if they had slaves in this area, but he said he didn't believe this area did, and his family definitely didn't. They'd use migrant workers to help with the harvest.

You can see the edge of the runway to the left in this photo. Boll Weevils are a huge problem, and green catch-pots were along the sides of each field that we saw, helping farmers keep track of these pests.

We went into his sister's house, who had passed away. The house was still kept up with the photos and drawings on the walls. A back room was where Mamaw stayed before she died (Nancy's mom) and there was still the big four-poster bed there, very high up. He had antique furniture that they collected, plus a china cabinet that he remembered his mom having from when he was very small. I saw a bluebird hanging out on the wire, and Bob found some cats in the nearby garage.

Soon we headed back to the house, and decided to drive over to Warren Lee's cottage on a nearby lake. Becky and Warren Lee took his motorcycle over, Kate drove alone, and Bob and I went with Nancy and Lynnwood.

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