What My Mother Said about Her 1920’s Childhood, When the Grownups Got All the Pieces of White Chicken

Wooden Monopoly Game Board from the 1920’s

What My 89-Year-Old Mother Said about Playing Monopoly and Eating at Her Grandma’s House

“Grandma always had a big house and all of the grandkids would be there at some time during the holidays.  Us, we stayed for days, if not for weeks.  Because I remember so many little games we played.  I learned to play checkers there and spent full days playing (I can’t think of the name). You know, where you buy property and pass go!  [My cousin’s] room (when he got just a little older) was off the main house and across a back porch, so we practically took our meals there so as not to interrupt the game. …

“Meals at Grandma’s on any occasion, since there was both she and [my aunt] to cook, were always fabulous.  More than one kind of cake and usually several pies and cookies.  Always fried chicken and Grandma’s greens.  She cooked them with a slab of fat back, it was called.  Very greasy!  And even on holidays, made herself cornpone—a plain cornbread without eggs and no baking powder—more or less a fried cornbread that no one liked but her.  But there was always plenty of other food and though the children ate at the last table, there was plenty left over for us.  We didn’t like the arrangement, and would sneak around to see if they were eating up all the good stuff.  And they did eat all the white meat of the chicken.

“There was usually ham, and fresh ham, at that.  She used a big lard can and boiled the whole ham in water for several hours with peppers and spices.  I loved it.

“I’ve got to go for now.  You asked for this so don’t complain if I digress and take hours at it. Ha!”

_______________________________________________________

I find the following statement to be absolutely magical:

“But there was always plenty of other food and though the children ate at the last table, there was plenty left over for us.  We didn’t like the arrangement, and would sneak around to see if they were eating up all the good stuff.  And they did eat all the white meat of the chicken.”

So very, very much is said in those 3 sentences.  My mother is talking about a time, when kids played simple games; were made to eat last; and habitually frolicked around the yard, spying on the adults.  My mother mentioned that kind of childish fun and peeking at other times: https://jackikellum.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/what-my-mother-said-about-her-1920s-victor-victrola/

I can attest to the fact that my mother’s grandmother had a big, old Victorian house, whose porches wrapped almost completely around.  The house sat in the middle of an immense, shaded lot, and my great grandparents had a large, cement goldfish pond.  By the time that I was a kid, the goldfish were big enough to eat.  Although we didn’t eat them, my cousins and I would often go fishing in the goldfish pond. We’d take a piece of string and tie a safety pin to the end of it. Then, we’d roll Wonder bread between our hands–until it became doughy. From the douhy bread, we’d form balls and attach them to the safety pins. It worked every time.  I am surprised that we didn’t fish that pond dry.

I have begun to collate some of the things that my 89-year-old mother has said, over the years.

In 2002, I asked her some questions.  I have begun a 3-Way Memoir, where I’ll record some of my mother’s responses.  I hope to have the memoir published for my mother’s 90th birthday on December 6, 2015.

Copyright Jacki Kellum October 16, 2015

All Rights Reserved

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3 thoughts on “What My Mother Said about Her 1920’s Childhood, When the Grownups Got All the Pieces of White Chicken

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