My elderly Aunt called last Saturday morning, and in the conversation she mentioned that Pearline had died. This bought back a flood of memories that have long lay dormant.
I have mentioned that I lived with my Uncle Luther for awhile after my mother had died, but I think I probably did not mention his wife , my Aunt Geneva. Everyone called her Neva of course us kids refered to her as Aunt Neva. She was a very small woman around the five foot line and slight of build. I think I did mention I was as tall as her by the age of nine. Her maiden name was Pennington, they were farm people. Aunt Geneva had a younger sister named Pearline. I can remember that there was a younger brother called Buster that was close to my age. Other than playing with him on a few occasions while living with my aunt and uncle I know not much about him or what he did later in life. I can not recall if there were any other siblings for my aunt I recall no interaction with them. I can clearly see the face of the father of the Pennington family. He was a small man also and to me he looked like a pretty wore down man from the labors of the farm, but I can recall a large smile on his face like a contented man. I also recall several visits to the Pennington farm out side of town. It also was one of those two storied farm houses. One thing I distinctly recall was in the upstairs bedrooms there were grates in the floors, that allowed the heat from down stairs to rise up to the sleeping areas at bed time. these grates opened and closed and I thought these were the neatest things as you could spy on the adults unknown. Of course after a short while you came to realise there was nothing of interest to spy on.
Pearline was a young teenager when I was in my fifth summer. In earlier chapters I have commented on my mothers ailing health and at this time she was very thin and often supported her self with a cane. Pearline came to stay with us and help Mom out. but mostly I believe her main purpose was to look after me. There were several teen age girls in the neighborhood and I believe it was a opportunity for her to enjoy a little social life away from the farm. I can recall roaming the area with three or four older girls and a gaggle of younger brothers and sisters. One such excursion which thrilled and frightened me to death was a visit to the near by Municipal Cemetery. In fact it was only about six blocks from the house but to me it was miles away and a forbidding place full of ghosts and goblins waiting to drag me away for ever. Like all old cemeteries of that area there were large headstones and marble monuments and statues galore. There was also scattered around family cripts forbidding looking places with weathered stone walls and often vines crawling up the sides. Some had heavy old bronze doors and others only wrought iron gates. windows were very small and only allowed dingy light to penetrate the interiors, all in all very spooky places. After wandering around the grounds we went into the mausoleum, where the older girls threatened to open up one of the tombs and and remove a body scaring the begeeses out of us younger kids. On the way home a fresh chicken leg was found in the road which one of the older girls picked up and by grasping a nerve or tendon at the junction where the leg was chopped off could cause the toes and claws to close in a grasping manner. Just what us younger kids needed to cause nightmares at nap time which most of us were still required to take at that time.
Pearline returned home at the end of the summer and eventually married a few years later. My Mom was slated to die and be burried near the mausoleum in a few short years. The next time I can remember seeing Pearline was while living with my uncles family and attending a family dinner on the Pennington farm. by this time she had wed and some of the men were shooting at a tin can on a fence post and not doing a very good job at it as I recall.. Pearline’s husband was one of the younger men present and went over to his car and on the off side pulled out a shotgun and blew the can to hell and back to everyones amusement. After my mothers death and my fathers remarriage my stepmother somehow became fast friends with Pearline at this time I was probably around eleven. Pearline and her husband had bought a small house in town and had a small son a little younger than my stepsister. I think he was maybe eight years younger than me. I remember they had named him Zane, because her husband love to read Zane Grey. Sadly, I heard Pearline lost him to Viet Nam.
Anyway the Penningtons were some of those good gentel familys that were scattered all over the farm lands of this great country of ours and it is good to have known and remember them.
Recon I’ll ramble on down the road of remembrance and see what else I can find.