I store all kinds of things about cooking, quilting and some surprises in my cupboard. Check it out.

Mother’s Family Stories-Installment 7

My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in blue by Lillian

INSTALLMENT 7

Mother continues with her stories of the Applegate family, starting with my great-aunt Anne, John B’s sister; my father’s cousin, Almy; and the sister of my paternal grandmother, Lizzie.

Goldie_LizzieGoldie, wife of Bill Applegate, and my great-aunt Lizzie

Note the black and white dog on the running board

Aunt Anne (sister of John B), she was another one.  She would go into a store – she always took an umbrella with her and she would shoplift.  She got caught two or three times and they had to send her away – I don’t know where they sent her.  But they had to send her away so she wouldn’t be arrested.  But we lived beside her down there on Gotham Place (Cincinnati’s East End) out there during the war when the kids were little.  She had a great big old white dog and some way this white dog did something to the kid across the street from her – didn’t hurt him, just scared him – but every time she’d go down through there walking her white dog, that old man (the boy’s father) would sit on the porch and he’d say, “Oh, hello, Annie – how’s your white dog, how are you,  Annie, how’s your white dog” and he kept that up and kept that up and was tormenting her and pretty soon she said to him, “White dog nothing, you SB, you come down here, I’ll show you a white dog, I’m tired of your hollering at me.”  Well, he got scared of her, actually got scared of her, and he had her arrested and she come down to me, “Oh, Marthy, will you go to court with me?” – they all called me “Marthy” – and I said, “Yeah”, I said, “I’ll go to court with you” and so she got down there and she got up in front of the judge and he said, “Alright, just what did you say to this man?”  And she said, “I told him you big-bellied son-of-a-bitch, you come down here and I’ll….” and he said, “How old are you?” and she said, “72” and he said, “Case dismissed!”

3 pix (2)Aunt Anne, my mother, Grandma Helen

and the big white dog

And she used to sell bootleg beer all the time – in those days everybody made homebrew.  They were all down there – she had a whole gang in her living room and Uncle Jim (James Everett) and all of them was there that day, too, a lot of other people – and every time somebody wanted a drink, she’d go in the bedroom and she’d come out with the drink.  Uncle Jim was wondering where she was getting all this homebrew and he followed her in and she had it in her chamber – in her pot – and was dipping it out of there so nobody would find it – they always had to hide it.  He tore the house up – he like to killed everybody that day.

Almy, she was one of the cousins, and she always drove a Model-T Ford – in those days not many women drove a car.  You had to crank them and she always kept the crank on the seat beside of her and one day she had to come to a stop there as you turn on Wooster Pike going over towards Newtown there by the bridge and some man stepped up to her and said, “I’m going to rob you, I want your money”.  She said, “Rob me nothing, you SB” and she took that crank and beat him over the head with it.

Her husband died and she remarried, married an old man, and she was 65 or so at that time, had already had a heart attack.  She said all her life she always wanted a motorcycle.  She got her a motorcycle with a side car and she put this old man in the side car and they went all the way down to Gatlinburg, down in the mountains.  She said she couldn’t do it after she was dead – she had to do it while she was alive.  If she wanted to fix the roof on her house, she’d tie a rope around her waist and tie a rope around the chimney and she’d fix the roof of her house.

One time when Grandma-up-Dayton (our term for our paternal grandmother who lived in Dayton, Ohio) was with that old Murphy, that old mean Murphy, Lizzie – that’s her sister (Elizabeth Illie) – and Almy (an Applegate cousin) was there visiting and somebody brought in a big basket of pretty tomatoes.  Almy said, “I’ll fix that old Harry Murphy” and she put poison in the biggest tomato and put it right on top and Aunt Lizzie came along and said, “That old Harry Murphy ain’t going to get the biggest tomato this time, I’m going to get it” and she ate it and she like to died.

Aunt Lizzie, that’s Grandma-up-Dayton’s sister, was married to Sam Robbins – now there’s a character for you.  Grandpa, John (B), said he remembered the first night they were married, Lizzie and Sam, they heard a knock on the door, they got up and there stood Aunt Lizzie at the door in a great big fur coat.  Sam, all he ever done was coon hunt and fish and things, and he’d save and make furs and things like that and she had all his furs tucked up underneath that fur coat – she’d left him in the middle of the night.

Old Sam was a fiddle player and he made all his own fiddles.  He’d go out in the woods and pick a certain tree he’d want, he’d make the wood part, all of it.  He played fiddle all over – he played on the radio and everything.  He walked everywhere he went – never rode anywhere – he always walked – he’d go to all the fiddling contests and all that.  My brother and his wife (Ralph and Hazel Mount) said they remember going to his house back in prohibition days when everybody was selling homebrew and they’d have homebrew and baloney sandwiches and Sam would play the fiddle and they’d dance, but all he’d play was “Sally Lost her Petticoat Going to the Ball” and finally everybody’d get so darned mad hearing the same song over and over they’d finally leave.

END OF APPLEGATE INSTALLMENTS

Epilogue:

Although John B. had been a drinker all of his life, he met his match when he married Helen Conover.  She had already lost one husband in the 1918 flu epidemic, leaving her with three children.  She remarried and had that husband desert her when she became pregnant, so when at the age of 55 she met John B, she was in no mood to put up with much out of husbands.  Her strong will and strict rules about having no alcohol in the house, turned John B. into a sober man who rarely took a drink and then only if he could keep it secret from Grandma.  They were together until he died at age 65 in 1945 and Grandma lived on to be 92 when she died in 1978.  

3 pixMy grandparents, John B and Helen Applegate, 1943

My paternal grandmother, Lillian, was the perfect apple-cheeked grandma when I was growing up, baking and gifting us with lovely store-bought clothes.  
DCP03027
Grandma Lillian, ca 1942

In her later years, she married a Pawnee Indian Chief and moved to Pawnee, Oklahoma, where she died in 1968.  She wrote on the back of this picture:  “Lillian – from Grandma, Jan. 29, 1960 – headband was given to me in Pawnee, Oklahoma.  I was adopted by the tribe.”

3 pix (3)

My father gave up his beloved horses to give my sister and me a stable, old-fashioned upbringing.  He was a self-taught electrical engineer and built our first television set, one of the first in the Cincinnati area.  In 1950, he went back to the horse business and was a respected harness horse driver and trainer until his death in 1978.  He died of a heart attack after finishing second in a photo-finish in a race.  The family said he died on the track where he would have wanted to be, but he would have wanted to win the race.

horn75An earlier picture of a winning race for John A and Peter Horn,
the horse my father was driving when he died

This ends Mother’s portion of the tape about the Applegate side of the family and goes over now to her family – “not very exciting”, in her words.  Mother gives a nice description, though, of life in small town Ohio in the 1900s, along with some stories about her ancestors.

Mother’s Family Stories–Installment 6

My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

Uncle Jim was James Everett Applegate, brother of my grandfather, John B, and Bill was his rascal son.

EPISODE 6

Uncle Jim, he was the one who had Bill – that was his boy.  And that Bill – he was something else, he was a rough one.  Him and Johnny used to go down when Johnny was real young yet and they’d go down on Broadway down in Cincinnati, down to the saloons down there, and Bill would pick a fight every time – the bully of the town, that’d remind you of Bill – and he was really something but Grandpa (John A), he’d crawl under a table and wait until the fight was over.

Bill would remind you of Wallace Beery – just as ornery as the dickens but you couldn’t help but love him.

Bill ApplegateBill Applegate in one of his more peaceful moods

We lived beside him out at Tower Hill when Shirley (my sister) was born.  He’d get on those crazy drunks and one night he had poor Goldie, that was his wife, hold the lamp while he chopped up the garden – poor thing starving, that’s all they had to eat was the garden.  He chopped it all up in little pieces and then he took off and to get out of there he had to cross the railroad tracks.  Well, Johnny and the other boys they got to wondering after awhile if he got across that railroad track ‘cause it was about time for the train to come through.  They went up to the railroad track and there he was, he got tired, laid down, rested his head on the railroad tracks and was sound asleep just about five minutes before the train came through.

Bill’s wife, Goldie, she was a little on the strange side.  She was mad at Bill.  They had a little girl, Gertrude, and she got sick.  Bill was out running around on her and she called for Bill to come home and he didn’t come and little Gertrude died.  When she was put into the grave, a little piece of her dress got caught in the coffin and was waving and Goldie always said that was a bad omen.  Right after that she had twins – she had little Paul and Pauline.  She wouldn’t nurse Pauline and everyone said she let Pauline die just to get even with Bill for not coming home when little Gertrude was sick.  Now, whether that’s true or not, I don’t know.  (Or maybe the poor thing just didn’t have enough milk to keep both babies alive, my opinion.)

Jim_Rose_Bill3Goldie and Bill

I remember one time Grandma-up-Dayton (my paternal grandmother) was sick in bed, about to have a miscarriage and Goldie yelled, “Get up, get up, there’s a snake under your bed!” and Grandma jumped out in the middle of the floor and she almost died.  Goldie swore she was psychic and she could make tables move by just putting her hands on them.

John (B) had a cousin called Everett, I don’t know which one of the boys he belonged to, but he owned a piece of land down on Eggleston Avenue (downtown Cincinnati), right at the foot of Eggleston Avenue, right where the McDonald Bridge is – right along in there – he owned all that bottom land along there – and he traded it for a cow and a fiddle.  And he was going away, I don’t know what for, but he had to go away and he told John that if he never came back the fiddle was his because John was the only one in the family who could play it – that wasn’t very well, but he could play it – and so Everett never came back and John kept his fiddle.  And everybody in the family argued who that fiddle belonged to but John kept hold of it and just before he died on his deathbed he said, “I want my first grandchild to have the fiddle” and that was Lillian and that’s how she came to get the fiddle. (John B died on March 31, 1945, while their home was being devastated by a major flood.  The fiddle was severely damaged in the flood, but I still have it in its case.)

JohnB_cigarMy grandpa, John B. Applegate, ca 1944

In the next installment, which is the final one about the Applegates, Mother talks about some female members of the family as well as an in-law who was an expert fiddler and who had tried very hard to get Grandpa’s fiddle away from him.  After that, she tells about her own family which was “not very exciting”.

Mother’s Family Stories–Installment 5

My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

John A and Grandma L 1932 - CopyMy father, John A, and his mother – 1933

Grandma loved this picture of Johnny.  She exclaimed, “Oh,

he looks just like a movie actress!”

INSTALLMENT 5

Mother tells some family stories about the oldtimers – my grandfather and his brothers.

That whole Applegate family was a wild bunch – those boys would get on the rampage – I don’t know what they’d do – they’d carry on and the sheriff would get after them and they’d run home and Granny had a great big sea trunk and she’d hide them in there and the sheriff would come looking for them – he’d look all over and finally he’d find them and he’d take them down to his house and he’d make them work around his house until they’d served their time and they wouldn’t run off – they’d serve their time – and he’d let them loose and they’d go back home and first thing you know, he’d have to pick them up again for something.

One day Uncle Jim (Note:  actually reported to be Uncle Court) and I guess Will (another Applegate son) were going hunting when they were boys and they were going through a fence and Uncle Jim’s (Court’s) gun went off and he shot Will in the leg.  They took him home and they laid him on the kitchen table and they got the two doctors in.  They were going to operate on him there on the table and Uncle Jim stood there with a gun and said, “He’d better live – if he don’t live, you’re both dead”.  They operated on him and they didn’t say one word – they went out and they got on their horses and took off.  Well, Will had died and they knew Uncle Jim was going to shoot them if he did.  Of course, it wasn’t their fault.

Granny, she just went nuts – they buried him and they didn’t bury his leg with him and she just went crazy and she just carried on and carried on until one night they had to go out in the night and dig him up and put that leg down there with him and from then on she was OK, she got over it.

Emily Jane-60My great-grandmother Emily Jane Reddick Applegate (Granny)

Uncle Jim (James Everett Applegate) was really a character – he was about the best loved one of the whole bunch, but he was quiet, a little quiet man, kind of put you in mind of that man on Lonesome Dove (Robert Duvall), about that size, twinkly eyes, but could fight a buzz saw.

Uncle Jims Family - CopyMy great-uncle, James Everett Applegate

If it wouldn’t be for Uncle Jim, none of you children, great-grandchildren or any of you would be here today.  He saved Johnny’s life (John A) when Grandma-up-Dayton (Lillian Illie) was about to have him.  Two of the brothers got into a fight and she got in the middle of them and she got pushed out a window backwards and she come near losing the baby.  They called Dr. Forman in and he said, “Oh, the baby’s breech – he’s going to be a breech birth”, he said, “I’m going to have to cut the baby in two to save the mother” and Uncle Jim said, “No baby gets cut in two in my house” and with that she went ahead and had him and that’s the only reason any of you are here today.  Johnny always had a very bad temper and his brother, Frank, told him the reason he had a bad temper was because he came in back side first and from that time on he always had his backside up in the air over something.

Grandma L and tub - CopyMy grandmother, Lillian Illie Applegate, hard at work

on some fairground – son Frank in the foreground

If Uncle Jim would get to drinking and carrying on they’d have to call the sheriff down and he would get his back up against the wall and he’d just take them all one by one – nobody could whip him.  He never went far in school but he could just figure, read, write – just as sharp as he could be.

Uncle Jims FamilyFront row: a neighbor and Uncle Jim

back row:  a neighbor, Goldie and Bill Applegate, Aunt Rose (Jim’s wife)

In installment 6, we’ll hear about some of the Applegates in the 1930s – as wild as ever.

Mother’s Family Stories–Installment 4

My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount Applegate, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

INSTALLMENT 4

martinreddickandmatildacreagerMy great-great grandparents, Martin and Matilda Reddick

In this installment, Mother tells about John B’s mother, Emily, his father, Joseph Martin, and some stories from the 1800s.

When Granny (Emily Jane Reddick) and Grandpa Applegate (Joseph Martin) were married, her father (Martin Reddick) had give her a piece of land up above Marathon, up there in Brown County – the old home place is still standing there, no one lives in it now, but the old log cabin’s there – they put stucco over it and fixed it over and there’s always been an Applegate living there. But he took her up there when they were married and built a log cabin and he was a very good man, never no harm was ever said of him.  Aunt Anne (sister of John B) used to say he would be out in the fields plowing and the girls would go to him and say, “There’s a dance tonight, we want to go to the dance” and he’d stop right in the middle of the field and he’d go on in and take them to a dance.  He’d just do anything for them and every morning when they’d get up all their shoes would be sitting in the front of the fireplace, they’d all be shined and slick – he was just real good-hearted.

Jos Martin Applegate - CopyMy great-grandfather, Joseph Martin Applegate

But Granny – she was something else.  She’d want to go down and see Uncle Jim (her son) – he lived down in Marathon – and they’d hook up the spring wagon and every place she went she had to take her feather bed.  Well, they’d put the feather bed in there and take Granny down to Uncle Jim’s and she’d no more than get down there – she wouldn’t stay – she’d want them to bring her back and they’d have to load the feather bed up and bring her back.

Emily Jane-60My great-grandmother, Emily Jane Reddick Applegate

In those days they made their own stockings and hats and gloves and everything and every night they’d sit and knit and they had a “spinning lady” they’d call her who would go around from farm to farm – they had their own wool but this spinning lady would go around and do the spinning into yarn for them and they had a spinning wheel.  That spinning wheel is underneath those steps and boarded up in the house and as far as I know it’s there to this day.

grannyGranny (Emily Jane Reddick Applegate) at 80 years of age

It was wild up there in that country in those days.  They said they shot an Indian out of a tree up in front of the house – there was still Indians up there yet when they first moved there and they said that Sherman went through with his troops (maybe Morgan?) and they had to hide their horses and hide things out in the field so he couldn’t get them.  They had lived there that long.

Uncle Court (Courtis Applegate, brother of John B) I guess was about the oldest one in the family but he always lived in the house and he raised his children there and they raised their children there and I think there’s some of them living there yet.  Uncle Court and Aunt Bird – they never spoke for years – I don’t know how they had so many children ‘cause they hadn’t spoken to each other for years.  Uncle Court would eat dinner and go out and sit on the porch, lean his chair back and he had a pet chicken that would sit on his shoulder and that’s how they found him dead – he died and never even disturbed that chicken.

Uncle Court was very hard of hearing and they always called him “Dickie” and we always thought his name was Richard and we were going to name Shirley (my younger sister) after him but evidently that wasn’t his name, they just nicknamed him that.

In the Applegate family there’s an awful lot of hard of hearing.  Bill (Applegate – Jim Applegate’s son) had a hard of hearing boy and almost every family had a hard of hearing child so it runs in the family.  Of course, John (B) was very hard of hearing but he could hear very well if he was on the telephone or if he was in a car.  Riding with John in a car – he could hear alright but him with his chewing tobacco, he would spit out the window.  He always wanted to sit in the front seat and I’d sit in the back and he’d always want to sit on that side because I was lighter to try to divide up the weight because of the bad tires and he’d spit out the window and it’d fly back and hit me and, aw, I’d get so mad at him.  One day I had a brand-new dress on with a big white collar – we were going to the fair – he spit out that window and speckled my white collar – him and his chewing tobacco!  But he chewed tobacco when he was only four years old – he nursed up until he was four years old.  He’d be out playing and he’d call Granny from behind the door to come in so he could nurse, then he’d put chewing tobacco in his mouth and go on out and play.

JohnB_cigarMy grandfather, John B. Applegate (1945)

In the next installment, we’ll hear stories about the colorful Applegate brothers back in the mid-1800s.

My Knitting Projects for March

socks

I’m a little late reporting on the knitting I completed in March (since it’s almost time for April’s projects), but here are my completions.

I spent a lot of time struggling with a personal project – knitting two pair of socks from the toe up and knitting both socks at once on circular needles.  I bought a wonderful video tutorial from Knit Freedom (www.knitfreedom.com) but had a difficult time, mostly because I didn’t switch yarn at the right time and had to unravel many, many times.  I thought it would be better if I tried a pair of slipper sox in heavier yarn with bigger needles and as I made mistakes and corrected them, would continue on to a pair in light fingering sox yarn and would do a much better job on them.  That didn’t necessarily happen, but I did get both pairs of socks completed.  They’re far from perfect but wearable and comfortable.

March (2)

As a future family member gift, I made a scarf of soft sport weight yarn in a pretty shade of pink.  This started out as a washcloth and since it was going well and was the right width, I just kept going, adding a section of plain knitting in the center.  I like this scarf very much.

Apr16 (1)

For Easter, I made each of my daughters a tiny basket that would hold one Cadbury egg.

baskets

For charity knitting, I tried an easy mitten pattern link (Basic cuff-up mittens on Ravelry.com) and made one pair for Scarf It Up, a group that supplies scarves, hats and mittens to the homeless in northern Kentucky, and the silver/tangerine pair for the Arkansas Special Olympics.

Apr16 (4)

I finished another pair of booties (http://bevscountrycottage.com/bevs-baby-set1.html) for a hospital near Columbus, Ohio (http://www.touchinglittlelives.org/ )

Apr16 (5)

And, of course, more nests for the Wildlife Rescue group (https://www.facebook.com/wildliferescuenests/).  I always have one of these going on a spare set of needles.

March (1)

IL nests

I’m still enjoying my newfound hobby, although I get discouraged at times with my lack of progress.  An old dog can learn new tricks but it’s a much slower process than it would be for a young dog.

Mother’s Family Stories–Installment 3

My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

My grandfather, John Black Applegate, married Lillian Frances Illie, and their first child, my father, John Alonzo, was born on May 19, 1912.  Mother had accumulated a few stories about Johnny’s childhood for her tape.

When John (B) and Grandma-up-Dayton (Lillian Illie) were first married and Johnny was just a little boy, they lived in Mt. Orab (Ohio).  Johnny (John A) was born in Lerado but they moved to Mt. Orab and John had a blacksmith shop and they were doing very well, had a garden, had a cow and chickens and everything, and they were doing very well.

shopJohn B and John A, ca. 1913

There was a family who lived next door to them who had a million kids – and Grandma-up-Dayton (our term for Grandma who later lived in Dayton, Ohio) would just let them come over and help themselves to milk and cream and eggs – whatever they wanted.  Well, it just happened that Johnny had a pet chicken that followed him around all the time.  One day one of the kids come out and said, “Guess what we had for dinner?”  and Johnny said, “What?” and he said, “Chicken” and Johnny said, “Chicken, where’d you get chicken?” and he said, “It was yours”.  Well, he went inside to Grandma-up-Dayton and she was so mad she went over and like to beat the tar out of the Old Lady and that was the end of the free milk and cream but her brother, Philip (Illie), ended up marrying one of the kids, and Grandma never did forgive him – she never liked her from that day on – she held it against the whole family.

One day Johnny was playing in the sand and he didn’t have too many toys back in those days and he was playing in the sand and he had a big chain and he was pulling it around through the sand in the road like a big train – playing like it was a train – and two boys from the city, Cincinnati, came up and they said, “Oh, look at the little boy playing choo-choo in the sand” and he just kept on playing, never paid any attention, and they just kept that up – “Aw, look at the little boy” and finally he got up and he took that chain and he beat them over the head and like to killed them.  (Every time I read this section, the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, knowing what a temper my father had and how he would react.)

John A and dog-1915 - CopyJohn A and dog (with a big chain) ca. 1916

Johnny said he never could figure out why people were so upset over black and white people and getting along and everything.  He said he slept in the same stall with George Williams (a fellow harness horse driver) since he was a little boy – he said they always slept in the same stall together out at the fairs and he said he couldn’t see no difference in them – black or white (they were best friends until John A died in 1978).  But how George Williams got started – up in the country Doc Parsons was training horses up in there somewhere and every time he’d get his horse over on the back stretch, the horse would make a break in the same spot and he couldn’t figure out why.  So one day he stopped the horse and got out and looked and here’s this little black boy throwing stones at his horse’s feet right in the same spot and he ran after him and he grabbed him and he said, “Well, if you’re so interested in horses, you just come on over here and I’ll put you to work.”  He took him over and he put him to work, sent him to school, trained him and that’s how George Williams got his start.

Johnny started driving horses when he was real young.  Him and Frank both took care of horses from the time they could remember.  They’d each have to stand on a chair to harness them – they were that little – but one day up at Owensville they were making a big deal out of a boy that was 16 years old that was driving and they were just carrying on how big he was and how great he was and Doc Parsons was sitting on the fence alongside of Johnny and he turned to him and said, “How old was you when you started driving horses?”  And Johnny said, “Twelve” and he said, “Yeah, I thought so.”

helen55-copyJohn A – ca. 1950s

Next time, Mother will give her version of stories about the old Applegates – the parents and siblings of John Black.

My Mother’s Family Stories–Installment 2

My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories of both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

INSTALLMENT #2

In 1921, John B and my grandmother, Lillian Frances Illie, were divorced when my father was 9 years old and his brother, Frank, was 7.  John B got custody of the two boys and took them with him on the road to blacksmith at county fairs.  Here is my mother’s version of some of their adventures.

John A and Frank A 1917Frank and John A. Applegate

Ca. 1920

Then when John (B) and Grandma-up-Dayton (our name for our paternal grandmother who lived in Dayton, Ohio) had separated, John had the boys (John A. and Frank E. Applegate), he was taking care of them – he’d get drunk.  Well, Frank was so little they couldn’t leave him out so when he’d get drunk and they’d put John in jail, they’d put Frank in with him and he’d get in there and he’d climb up and down the bars like a monkey and rattle the tin cup up and down and they’d finally  have to let John go to get rid of Frank.

One time John (B) and Frank and Johnny (John A) were shipping horses on a boxcar train out to Missouri, I guess it was, and John was drunk as usual and they were all shut up in this boxcar with the horses and for some reason they got side-tracked and put onto another track and was left sitting there for days.  They didn’t have a thing to eat, nothing to drink, and the horses and Grandpa drunk – that was a bad time for the boys.

When Frank (Applegate) was a little boy, Grandma-up-Dayton (Lillian Illie) and Grandpa (John B) were still married at the time, gypsies came through and they wanted to tell their fortune and they said, “No, no, get out of here, we don’t want our fortunes told”.  Grandpa said, “Get out of here”, John (B) said, because gypsies, they’d steal anything that wasn’t fastened down and they said, “Either tell your fortune or we’ll put a spell on that baby”.  John said, “Get out of here, get out of here” and he chased them off.  Well, right after that, Frank just went into convulsions and had fits and they thought they were going to lose him.  John got on a horse and he took out and he hunted those gypsies until he found them.  He found this woman and he said, “You take that spell off that baby or it’s going to be the end of you” and so she did, she took the spell off the baby, she took the spell off of Frank and he didn’t have any more convulsions.

When Frank was little and hadn’t gone to school yet, Grandma-up-Dayton made them both little baseball suits to match and Johnny took him to school to visit and all through school they kept smelling something and smelling something and thought what on earth is that?  When he got up to go out of the room, they found out what it was – Frank had pedooped all over the back of his baseball suit, it was all yellow – Johnny was so mad at him.

school-j&fSchool Picture – John A (4th from left, row 2) and Frank

(3rd from right, row 1)

Next time, we’ll hear some stories about Johnny before his parents divorced and about life in rural Ohio in the early 1900s.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 665 other followers