Monday, August 5, 2013

Memory Monday #31

     For the past few weeks, my brother and I have been trying to compile information for a book of the History of Pike County, Illinois that the Historical Society is putting together.  We decided to focus on our father's family as they were the ones who lived for generations in the area.
     I never knew my grandfather; he died the year before I was born.  But I well remember my grandmother...she lived to be 98!
Jesse Carroll Venable (my grandfather), Fannie A. Edmonds Venable (my grandmother)
and John Edmonds Venable (my dad)
     This picture was taken when my dad was probably seven or eight years old...early 1920's.  He was an only child, so other than his half-aunts, there were no relatives around as I was growing up.
     My grandmother remarried when I was probably seven or eight to an older widower who was looking for a "proper" woman to take care of him, clean and cook, be a traveling companion in his old age.  He was very good to my grandmother, but because he had never had children nor been around children, he was somewhat scary to us!!!  My memories of him are pretty vague but I do remember the house he built for my grandmother in New London, Missouri. It was  a nice little brick two bedroom house with a great area for a garden.  My grandmother raised all her own vegetables, had chickens, and did a lot of canning and preserving.
J. Guy Biggs (my grandmother's second husband) and my grandmother
on a trip, Hot Springs, Arkansas (I think)

      We would go over for a visit on Sundays; my grandmother was a fabulous cook!! Her fried chicken was out of this world!  And she made a killer coconut favorite!   Remember... this was pre-television days and pre-ipads, kindles, etc.  And their generation truly believed in the maxim..."Children should be seen but not heard"!!! My grandmother's cooking was about the only thing we had to look forward to!!!  
     But being polite children, we would take our coloring books and sit quietly while the adults conversed about exciting topics like the weather, the crops, the price of livestock!!  My grandmother's husband was a pretty well to do farmer and, of course, these were subjects dear to my dad's heart too, through his auctioneering and farming businesses.  I am sure we were there no more than three or four hours....but in my seemed like YEARS!!!!


  1. I have a very hard time envisioning Grandma Biggs taking care of a garden and chickens. I always picture her as a city gal!!

  2. so interesting and fun reading your memories of your grandmother. i had a grandmother (on my dad's side) who also made such good fried chicken. and her cookies were great too. i remember as a teenager asking her for the recipe and she wrote it down for me. i couldn't believe that she didn't actually measure anything; it was truly a "pinch" of this and "two handfuls of that" sort of recipe. i never did give it a try but i'm pretty sure i still have it somewhere. at the time i was in a home ec. class that was teaching me how important it was to measure everything as accurately as possible. lol

    i've missed visiting you Jay.

  3. Hey Jay, I came over from Libbyquilter where I saw your comment asking about Our Beautiful world, yes, you can post picture from your old folder as long as they are fit the word prompt.
    Love your story about your grandmother too, love that you mentioned 2 of my favorite thing, fried chicken and coconut cake, yum!
    I hope to see you soon at Our Beautiful World! : )

    ~ kirsty