Sharecropper’s Daughter

I ran home this past weekend for a few reasons, namely since it was the weekend after Memorial Day and I knew I wouldn’t be fighting traffic, but also to be counted in on the vote for the new preacher, since I’ve kept my membership at the church back home in Valdosta. The service was great and it was amazing to see the church filled to the brim like it used to be every Sunday back in high school. I have all faith that this new minister who was called will bring attendance back up, as he truly preaches the Word instead of telling anecdote after anecdote like some are prone to do.

The unexpected point in the trip home came when Daddy and I went up to see Granny on Sunday afternoon. I’d seen her on Sat. for a few minutes on my way into town, but it’s always good to have an unrushed visit with her. When we got to the retirement home about 3:30PM, Hazel had already put on her PJs–she’d gotten up from her after-lunch nap and since it was so overcast, she thought it was time to get ready for bed! Bless her heart, if I live to be 95, I doubt I’ll know what day or time of day it is either, but she sure can remember everything else to the T, as illustrated by the following story. Daddy went down the hall to visit with another one of the ladies, and Granny took advantage of the privacy to tell me this in confidence. I’ll try to remember it verbatim, since she put such emphasis on it…

“Son, I’ve never told anyone this before, but since I know you like to write things down, I’m gonna tell you. Charlie’s (my grandfather’s) mother didn’t want him to court me. His sister told me this a few years after we got married. Any time his Mama saw him walking down the road towards my house, she’d make sure to tell him when he got home that he should take an interest in the ________ twins at church, both of whom were fine girls and would make a good wife for him. The only reason I can think that his mother disapproved of me, though she was always kind to me, was that I was a sharecropper’s daughter. Daddy didn’t outright own his land yet, but he soon did after Charlie and I became acquainted. But you see, back then sharecroppers were frowned upon. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you this story while it was on my mind, so that you can record it if you’d like.”

Now I don’t think for one minute that Hazel Felts Tucker has truly kept that a secret all these years, but it puzzled me that she would take it upon herself to tell me the story in private. I couldn’t help but thinking, as Carrie Bradshaw was chronically fond of saying, what would’ve happened if Old Mrs. Tucker, my great-grandmother, had won out. The same could be said of my Dodd side of the family as well; it’s very easy to take for granted that what happened before we can along happened for the right reasons and in God’s perfect plan, but Granny telling me this story just made me think. If my grandfather had married one of those twins, then Granny wouldn’t be my grandmother, which would mean that I wouldn’t be me, to a large extent. Such philosophical ramblings aren’t worth pondering, many may say, but all the same, I’m glad she’s my Granny.

Me, Granny, & Cousin Kristy, 1981-ish

I thank God so many times that I’ve had the opportunities to learn about my Tucker family history from Granny, since Granddaddy died when I was about the age I was in the above picture. It’s important to know where you’re going, but it’s invaluable to know from whence you came. I’m doubly blessed to know my Dodd side of the family’s history as well, and the roots of that family in Missouri. To think that my own parents met in an evening Education class at VSC in the early 70s (that neither of them wanted to take!) is yet another example of God’s perfect timing. Thanks be to the Lord!

brt

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