Sunday, February 8, 2015



This is me with my paternal grandparents, Granderson Monroe (Dutch) and Eva Mae Attaway Jones.  I am under one year old in this photograph, which dates this picture in the spring or summer of 1942.  The photo is at the back of my grandparents’ home at the intersection of Pine Street and East Fourth Street in Junction City, Louisiana.  Yes, it is Louisiana.  They live one block south of the Arkansas/Louisiana border, which is known as State Line Road.

My grandfather died when I was nine years old and my grandmother died when I was nineteen.  Therefore, my memories of them are cloudy.  I knew them as Granddaddy and Grandmother Jones, even though my grandfather had the nickname of Dutch.  This is the name that was in the 1930 Federal Census and also on his tombstone.  Even though I have asked all of my family, no one has any idea where this nickname came from.

We would travel from Unionville to Junction City on Sunday afternoons and they would always greet us with a warm welcome and open arms.  My favorite memory on our visits was to come into the kitchen door and peek under the heavy white muslin table cloth on the kitchen table that covered the leftovers from the larapin meal that grandmother had cooked.  There was always my favorite hot water cornbread cooked just right and stewed potatoes that had the most scrumptious taste of anything I had ever eaten.

Since my grandfather Jones died when I was about nine years old, I have fond memories of him, just not too many of them.  I remember my grandfather Jones as a small man who was in a wheelchair and was always seated by the fireplace in the living room of their home.  I remember him as confined to the wheelchair and with very poor eyesight.  I have tried to remember him earlier in our lifetimes at a time that he was active and able to move around.  But, sadly that is too early in my childhood for me to be able to remember.

My grandmother Jones died when I was about nineteen years old; therefore, I have more memories of her.  I remember her when she was active and was able to move around with very little trouble.  Later on in life it was difficult for her to get around and she was confined to her favorite chair in her bedroom.  After grandfather died she was always glad to see us and still was a very good cook.  One thing that stands out in my memory about grandmother was she dipped snuff.  She always had a dip in he lip and had her spit can setting down next to her chair so that it was always handy.

Since we lived with and next door to my maternal grandparents I have many more memories of them.  But I still loved and cherished both sets of grandparents equally.  By the grace of God, I have lived to see all five of my grandchildren and two of my great grandchildren.  I try to have those memory making moments and events with them that will last them a lifetime.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Some time ago, as my wife finished washing the coffee air pot from our genealogy meeting and was letting the warm water run to rinse it out, the glass bottle inside the pot exploded.  Or, you could actually say the bottle imploded since it was under a vacuum.  The explosion was very loud and frightening but thankfully my wife was not injured.

This incident reminded me of an exciting and frightening event that happened to me as a teenager at our Colvin and Jones Store in Unionville.  The event I remember from years ago at the store I call “the exploding soda pop bottle”.  One of my many jobs around the store was to fill the cold drink cooler before closing so that the drinks would be cold for our customers the next day.  The cooler was not anything like you see today in our modern stores.  It was a large insulated metal cooler that was filled with water which was cooled and circulated to keep the drinks cold.  The drinks were stored in wooden crates of twenty four bottles that had compartments to keep the bottles separated.  I had to carry the crates from the storage room outside into the store to load into the cooler.  It was the middle of the summer and had been an extremely hot day.  The bottled drinks had gotten very hot and I made the situation worse by giving the bottles a good shaking while bringing them into the store.

After bringing several crates into the store, I began to place the drink bottles into the ice-cold water in the cooler.  I finished loading one crate into the cooler with no problems but about halfway through the second crate something happened.  I had just placed two bottles into the water and reached down to get more when there was a loud explosion.  I ducked down and when I looked over into the cooler, saw that the upper part of one of the bottles was missing and the ceiling above the cooler was dented from the flying bottle top.  It seems that the combination of the hot summer day, the shaking that I gave the bottle and then placing the bottle in the cold water caused excessive pressure in the bottle that made it explode.  I was lucky to have been reaching for another drink bottle and out of the way of the flying bottle top.  From that time on, I was very careful to take care not to shake the drink bottles and to stay out of the way when placing them in the cold water of the cooler.

Monday, February 2, 2015



For those born too late - these handy devices were known as pants stretchers.  Mother always had a good supply of these for our blue jeans.  After the jeans were washed and had not been dried, these wire frames would be inserted into the jean legs and spread out to stretch the material tight.  The jeans were hung outside on the clothes line and when dry and the stretchers removed they did not require any ironing and had a perfect crease.  These stretchers work not only on jeans, but also on any pair of pants where you want a crisp crease and no ironing required.

These pants stretchers can be ordered from:  The price is $15.99 a pair (for one pair of pants) or two for the price of $30.00.  I have ordered a couple pairs of these and will report on them later in this blog.

Another household essential that was found in homes before electric/gas dryers were common in the household was a wooden clothes rack.  This was a wooden fold out rack that clothes could be hung on to dry when the weather outside was too rainy or cold. 

Mother used one of these drying racks and in the wintertime when it was too cold to hang clothes outside.  She would put the clothes dryer over the floor furnace and load it down with wet clothes.  I realize this was not a safe thing to do, but we made it through many nights without anything catching on fire.

Until next time – happy ancestor hunting.

Sunday, February 1, 2015



It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  It is amazing how many memories a photo can bring back to someone.  To me this picture is worth ten thousand memories and words.

This is a photo of my alma mater Dubach High School in Dubach, Louisiana.  This is the Southwest corner of the school building looking at the entrance that I used for approximately four years of my life.  The large building in the rear of the picture was the elementary school which was connected to the high school building by a breezeway and the auditorium.  The room immediately to the right of the entrance was the principal’s office which you got to visit when you had misbehaved.  I made a few visits to this office during my high school years.  The room to the left was where I took literature and English classes and the room on the second floor was where typing was taught.  In those days typing was a required subject for high school graduation.

One thing that interests me about this picture is the lineup of the now vintage cars in the parking area.  After studying these cars for some time here is my guess as to the make and year of the cars.  Starting from the left:  1967 Chevy, 1957 Ford Ranchero, 1963 Ford, 1957 Chevy, ???? Ford and 1959 Chevy.  My all-time favorite vehicle is the 1957 Chevy.  My father owned a 1955 Chevy and I loved it but the 1957 was a much better looking and “hotter” looking vehicle in my opinion.  My original estimate for the time of this picture was 1961-62 but the 1967 Chevy shot a hole in that guess.  Now I would say that this picture was taken 1967 or after.

There are many memories from Dubach Elementary and High School that I will be writing about in the future.  I am taking the Family History Writing Challenge from The Armchair Genealogist Blog and have committed to writing a story a day for the month of February to get me back on my writing again. If you are interested in writing your family history stories take a look at these two web sites.

The photo is the property of Donnie Barmore and is used by his permission.  Donnie attended Dubach High School several years later than me.  His parents were the drivers of the school bus that I took to school for all the years I attended Dubach School.

See you tomorrow.