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
Wearing necklaces made of buckeyes
One time, I had a little friend named Virginia and she was crippled because she had infantile paralysis when she was little and Morrow had never had a fire engine – they always had the kind of engine that men had to pull and we had just gotten this new red fire engine this day. This is the day that Virginia and I decided to go up in the graveyard. Alice Mae (Mother’s older sister) and her friend, Jeanette, had told us that there was a monument up there that had six screws in it and had two hands pictured on it. If you took those six screws out and you looked in there, those two hands would be shaking up and down, up and down. This was the day Virginia and I decided to investigate and see if the hands were there. We got one screw out and they let loose with that new fire engine siren and like to scared us to death and we took down over that hill. I’d run a little ways then I’d wait for Virginia, then I’d run a little….and to this day there’s one screw missing in that monument. I don’t think anybody ever did look in and see if the hands were there.
My daughter and I made a trip to Morrow on July 16, 2016, to visit the old cemetery. We visited my grandfather’s grave and remembered how Mother considered the cemetery her personal playground because her father was buried there.
The monument with the clasping hands is a big beautiful piece.
We checked the “shaking hands” portion of the monument and the screws were all in place on this side….
…but one is still missing from the back plate.
Then one day Alice Mae and Jeanette – we never were allowed in the house, Alice Mae was a very good little housekeeper – she’d clean house and she wouldn’t let us in. So, one day she told us, she said, “Come in the house”, her and her friend said. We went in and everything was real dark and all of a sudden they jumped up from behind the davenport, they had two of Mom’s sheets on – Mom would have killed them if she knew they had her sheets – and made like a ghost – like to scared us to death.
One time when we were little and going to school we lived beside a preacher and Mabel (Mother’s younger sister) was little at the time and she called them the “peachie kids”. We went to school one day and we used to always just go get our lunch and we’d just stand around the table and eat and Mom would always leave us money and we come home and the neighbor next door told us that the preacher’s kids – she looked over there and they were in the house, they were eating our lunch and taking the money. So, Mom went to the preacher to ask him about it and he said…he got ahold of the kids then and yeah, they had candy and balloons and everything bought with the money and he made them give the balloons and everything to us and he gave Mom back her money but he said it was Mom’s fault because she tempted the kids by leaving money lay out.
I used to love my grandmother – that was my father’s mother – and I’d go and see her – oh, just any time I’d walk over and see her – she lived a couple of streets away from us. But she was a very little woman, would rarely have anything to say. Lillian reminds me so much of her. The only thing I can ever remember her saying was – she’d look through those old bifocal glasses and she’d say, “New dress? Did your mother make it? Hmmmm.” On cold winter days she’d have our cousins stop at school and tell us to stop in for dinner and she would have beans and dumplings and all kinds of jellies and relishes and all kinds of things like that – Lillian reminds me of her like that – just every kind of a jelly thing you could think of and oh, we loved that.
Next time, Mother will tell about her big brother, Ralph, and about some mysterious day-before-Thanksgiving visitors.