This story was submitted to me by Kookie Hemperley, and it was written by her brother, Tommy Stanley. Thank you to Kookie for sending the story in.
Emma Pearl Bain Martin
by: Tommy Stanley
I remember going to Granny Pearl’s house when I was three or four years old. We lived at Grogan’s Mill, two miles south of Bivins, Texas, in a company house. Daddy worked there. He had a two door black ’35 Ford sedan.
Daddy quit there and went to work for White and Walker Mill in Bivins. We moved from Grogan’s to Wayne Crossing, in a store building, until Mother could find us a house in Bivins.
We went to Ida every weekend; Saturday night-Sunday. Granny Pearl lived just east of Ida. When we got to her house she would pick us up and kiss us and love us. When she put us down we would take off to play with the other grandkids that lived with her and nearby. We always had fun playing with Aunt Gladys’ and Aunt Nan’s kids. Some of us could usually get in trouble!
Granny always had something good to eat, ‘specially on Sundays. I don’t know how she managed with so many to feed. She was a very good cook as were all her daughters.
As mean as we were, I never saw her loose her “cool”; get mad; or holler at anyone—kid or grown up. And there were times she had a reason to. I look back now and don’t know how she handled having so many every weekend, plus add us two weeks every summer (Coot aka Jim, Wink aka me, and Ed who was Charles).
If we happened to come in the daytime she most likely would be fishing on the creek between her house and town. She loved to fish. I suppose that helped her provide food for so many.
We loved to climb the huge pin oak trees in her front yard.
I remember being dangled over the well a few times by Johnny or Ray; they thought it was funny. Scared the hell out of me!
When we left for home on Sundays, we would get about halfway to Ida and Mother would discover she had left her purse. Almost always! You know how bad Clyde hated going back— like a black cat crossing the road! (He was very superstitious.)
I remember Granny Pearl as one of the sweetest, kindest and most gentle ladies I ever knew.
During the War when Daddy had to work seven days a week from before daylight ‘till nine or ten at night, Granny’s dad, Grandpa Bain, or Uncle Ray would bring her to see us at Bivins. She always brought us kids a present. That was about the time Uncle Ray was drafted or joined the Army. She always seemed worried after that. Uncle Roy went into the Army too. Johnny didn’t have to go as they didn’t take the last son in a family.
It wasn’t too long before Granny died. Soon after returning from her funeral and back to duty, Uncle Ray got killed. That was a sad time. It never seemed quite the same after that, though we always enjoyed visiting aunts, uncles and cousins.
Until just recently I thought I had seen Papa Walter once, but I discovered that I couldn’t have. I was only two when he died.
My Granny Pearl was a “very special lady!”