As we anticipate the 80th anniversary of the birth of Aunt Betty and my late father Billy Cartwright on May 27, 2015, I am very grateful that Aunt Dorothy has shared memories of that day. The following comments are reproduced here with her permission following an email exchange between the two of us on January 12-14, 2015.
“Your comment about where your Dad and Betty were born got me to thinking about the day they were born, and I wanted to share my memories of that day with you. No, they were not born in the log house by Bloodsworth Cemetery but in a small house just off Hwy 71 between Freedom and Boothe, near where Hwy 23 intersects with Hwy 71.
I was almost 8 years old and Virginia was almost 10. We were aware that Mama was going to have a baby and we were in competition as to which of us would get to hold and help Mama with it. I remember May 27th was like every other day except we were told to stay at Aunt Eva’s after school until Daddy came for us. This was not unusual and we suspected nothing. (In hindsight Mama was probably having labor pains that morning.)
Uncle General and Aunt Eva lived just down the road from us and Virginia and I would walk by their house on our way to school, which was located at Boothe. Our cousins, Jackie Lou and Janet would usually walk to school with us.
I am not sure how long we stayed at Aunt Eva’s that afternoon before Daddy came for us but I remember how excited Virginia and I were when Daddy told us there were two babies so we each could have one to help care for. And, I have no idea why my ‘baby’ was Billy and Virginia’s was ‘Betty’, but that was how we divided up our responsibilities as we helped Mama care for five children under ten years old.”
Like the conversation with our cousin Susan Snyder Hurley that I will be posting sometime soon, this is a good example of the way we can share memories of our family history in the context of our own lifetimes. Many thanks to Aunt Dorothy for sharing this lovely reflection.