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Reflections

Move To Town Meant More Visitors For Country Family

By Charles Cooper

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a good week.  I’d like to thank Jerry and Beverly Davis for sending a hand written letter of thanks for the columns I’ve written about Mr. Joyner.      

Actually I feel like I should be the one writing thanking you for what Mr. Chester and the entire family has meant to me. All of you will be special to me and I plan to keep in touch  from time to time.  In the past I’ve written about the Palestine and Jumper’s Chapel communities and although Nannie and Papa were charter members or Jumper’s Chapel, they actually lived closer to Palestine.  

Since both churches each had one service, and they were on different Sundays, they attended both. The communities consisted of Miss Ola Martin’s family, the W.O. Vick family, Young Ashford, John Ashford’s father, Gibb Harmon, Jim Gore, Robert Anderson, John Wright, John Sullivan, and the Jim Tate family.  As time went on The Wright, Martin, and Tate families died or moved away.

 The Martin place was sold to Walter Jackson, the Tate place to the Ed Nelson family and the Wright place to Lonnie Sartain.  The Gibb Harmon’s moved to Boyd Street and Mr. Harmon died there.  When we moved to town, we lived next door to Mrs. Harmon and her daughter, Georgia.  Papa was saddened at first at leaving his home of over 40 years, but soon he discovered that his old neighbors could all visit him more than they did when he was in the country.

Also they made many new friends including Jim Peacock’s grandmother; his aunt Emma Lee; Margie Green; Oscar Palmer; Ruth Smith; Mr. Morris, father of Dude; and of course their niece, Frances Crews.  

There was seldom a day that one and sometimes all would drop in for a few minutes.  Mr. Vick, who was one of Papa’s closest friends, would stop by at least once a week.  The house was practically a gathering place for the entire neighborhood.      

Although Papa would never admit it, I think he was happier that he had been in years as he was always a people person.  

Nannie could make herself happy wherever she was and everyone seemed to be drawn to her.  Mr. Palmer in particular would come up and discuss the Bible with her.  Nannie was a person who never spoke bad about anyone, but she said once that she wished Mr. Palmer would come by for a Bible discussion when he hadn’t been drinking. Nevertheless she treated him with respect, and he seemed to tone down his rough ways and enjoy his talks with her.  

Although Jim Peacock and I had known each other for a long time, we became good friends – a friendship has lasted over 60 years.  He is compiling a list of the children of these people and they will be included in future columns.  Now to back up to go some families that were not part of the Palestine community but were part of the Boyd Street community.  They include Mrs. “Buddy” Brower, who was one of Mother’s closest friends; across the road, her daughter, Mrs. Beck; and down the road the Poindexter family, who operated a sawmill for years by their house.  Then across the road was Mrs. Shepherd, whose late husband was a well-known Baptist minister.  Their house once belonged to my great grandfather, Elijah Badly, who died there in 1914.  The house next door belonged to Chester Shoemake, who taught in several area schools and was Principal at Camp Ground when I was there. He later was Superintendent of Education.  Next was the Bruner family and next the Stewart family.  

Down the hill was Cleve Peacock, who along with his father, Jim Peacock operated an ax handle mill for many years.  Across the road was the Fred Champion family.  I knew when I started the Boyd Street neighborhood, it would take several columns to do it justice.  So this week I’ll close with the promise of more to come.  My email address is charlescooper3616@sbcglobal.net or write me at P.O. Box 613190 Memphis, Tn 38101 and have a great week.

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