August 11, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 52

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
Emily Cooper came by here today to visit then she rode to Vidalia with Mildred to do a little grocery shopping.  While she was here I asked her if she remembered her grandmother, Selene Cooper. 
Emily Cooper Thomas
Selene is mentioned in Mrs. Allena Stafford’s book because she worked for the Hopkins family and was a slave at one time.  Emily said she did remember her. 
Emily was born in 1922.  Her father was Charlie Cooper.  Everybody called him Yiya Cooper.  I remember Emily’s father but I don’t remember her mother.  Her mother's name was Nancy.  
Emily & Bruce's grandson
Emily had two brothers, Stemmie and Little Charlie who died in WWII.  Her sisters were Cora, Carrie and Lillian.  I’ve known Emily since I was six or seven years old.
January 1, 1964 we took over running the dairy queen from my mother and father.  Emily helped us at the dairy queen.  We ran it for about two years.  When we closed it down, Emily came to work for us at home.  She worked for us up until 1989. 
I would get Emily recorded but she won’t tell you anything if you ask her.  She brought me some alligator gar the other day and I asked her where she caught it and she refused to tell me. 
You could sure trust her with a secret because she wouldn’t tell anybody anything.
Grandma Steele
When Emily’s daddy died, her younger brother, Little Charlie, was about twelve years old.  Emily’s father had always plowed Grandma Steele’s garden for her. 
So when he died, Grandma Steele started letting Little Charlie work around in her house and later in her yard and garden.  Grandma Steele even taught him how to cook.  
Several years later when Little Charlie went in the army, he wrote her a letter.  I remember seeing Grandma Steele crying as she read the letter and asking her why she was crying. 
She let me read the letter from Little Charlie.  
He thanked her for all that she had done for him.  He was a cook in the mess hall. 

Note:  Parts 1-51 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of this blog.

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