Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday Memories--Little Alma Fay

Some time in the 1990s I heard about Alma Fay, baby daughter of my great grandparents, born in Illinois after they left Tennessee. The story I heard from my father is that grand dad, as he called him, sold the little property in Tennessee left to him upon the death of his mother, and had a choice to take his family to either Texas or Illinois where he knew someone in both states. Apparently, the train to Illinois came through Dandridge first so the family got on board, and he and his large family became part of the core group who moved north for new opportunities. Many friends and relatives followed, including my grandfather, his brother and his cousin who married three of grand dad’s daughters, and he'd help each family get established. When the large Tennessee Reunions were held in northern Illinois in the 1920s - 1940s, my family was probably related to most of them. Four babies were born after the move, although I never heard my grandmother mention little Alma (her sister). Uncle Orville told me she was born in 1908, but that’s all I knew. Then a few years ago my friend Sylvia and her husband were cleaning up the cemetery records for Plain View where my great grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and sister are buried, and she sent me a photo with the birth and death dates.

I haven't become inspired by this week's Poetry Thursday topic, a version of the "dictionary game," but I thought I'd write an elegy for baby Alma. It is a word you don't hear often. Stay tuned or come back to visit on Thursday.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I often wonder why some long lost relatives are never mentioned. What is the story behind it? Why have those who once knew this person forgotten them?

It just makes me more curious about them.

Joan said...

I wish I could read the headstone. Was the child stillborn or was she months or years old? I guess you may answer that question in your elegy.