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Pa Jim and Granny Rose: Rock Solid Ancestors Build Strong Foundation for Family Values

Updated on August 18, 2012

Who is that tenacious couple in the sepia photographs? When I first saw them, I thought how strong and determined they looked. Later I would learn that indeed, they were. I was told that these were pictures of my maternal great grandparents, Pa Jim and Granny Rose.

How I admired the affectionate names that the grandchildren had given them. The photos were so well-preserved. As I stared at their images I could almost feel them staring back. This made me want to hear the sound of Pa Jim’s voice, tinged with that musical southern accent flavored with sweet tea and a little “nip” for good measure. And, I imagined the warm, cushy hug of my Granny Rose, who’d pull you into a sweet embrace that she reserved for favorite people, not just family. I knew right then and there that I loved them.

Pa Jim and Granny Rose
Pa Jim and Granny Rose

"All Doodied Up"

The picture-taking day sure must have been a special occasion for Pa Jim to get all doodied up in his church suit and felt hat. There was Granny Rose wearing her Sunday-go-to-meeting dress and her clustered earbobs. I don’t know if they said “Cheese” back then, but Pa Jim didn’t crack a smile. Just take me like I am, seemed to be his mood of the day. Through the photograph, I tried to connect to them in a way that only family can. They were my blood. If not for them, I wouldn’t be here to record this memoir.

I reached deep into my memory but couldn’t find Pa Jim there. He had passed away before I was old enough to realize his impact as a great grandpa. I know that he and Granny Rose lived the farm life, tilling the land and coaxing the fruits and vegetables to grow. Then there were the cows to milk, hogs to feed, and no doubt chickens in the coop. I know they took great pride in what they produced and in the fact that they were able to provide for all 11 children that they bore.

"Call Earl"

I vaguely remember traveling to the “home house” long years ago. Our Granny Rose was still alive then. It took a long car trip and a caravan of cars to get all the family members from our small town out to the “country.” The journey was guaranteed to make me carsick, as pretty much any car trip did back then. My relatives subjected me to every known and made-up “cure” for motion sickness, but nothing worked. I even tried skipping breakfast, which was hard to do since Mama would make those homemade biscuits stuffed with country ham, eggs and a gob of grape jelly. The most notorious non-cure that my daddy came up with was to fold a page of newspaper and stuff it under my shirt. Needless to say, it didn’t prevent that familiar stop by the roadside to "call Earl."

The Home House
The Home House

Running In the Red Dirt

At the home house, we children ran free. It was just us and the great outdoors; no electronics, cellphones and such, just a good ole time laughing and running in the red dirt till we dropped. Some of the older boys would be eyeing our beautiful country cousins, only to be warned that they were “kin.” Granny Rose would have been in the kitchen helping the ladies prepare a down-home feast. Though I can’t recall her face in person, I remember the printed apron she wore and how she used it to wipe her hands as she cooked. When it was time to eat, someone handed me a plate of collard greens from the garden and a slab of freshly-prepared pork. But, feeling sorry for the pig I saw in the pen, I just poked at the meat that day. It’s funny which childhood recollections stick out in your mind when you grow older.

The "Young-uns"

As parents, Pa Jim and Granny Rose were stern and smart. They raised their brood well, infusing their children with a work ethic of always giving their best. The “young ‘uns” were given chores to do, with no right of refusal. Any backtalk might result in a piece of kindling to the backside. Just as there was always enough food to go around, there was ample love for everyone. Often children today find themselves wishing for great sums of money and the opportunity to live lavish lifestyles, hobnobbing with the wealthy. But the offspring of Pa Jim and Granny Rose learned early on that they were abundantly rich in all the things that truly mattered in life.

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    • Debra Marie profile image

      Debra Marie 4 years ago from Northern California

      Oh I loved this. Thanks for sharing

    • Your Cousins profile image
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      Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I'm so glad you liked it. Pa Jim and Granny Rose are so precious to me.

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 4 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      Awesome Hub with Amazing Pictures!!! Thank-you so much for sharing this!!! AWESOME JOB!!!

    • Your Cousins profile image
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      Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      So glad you liked it! Please come back soon, I have a lot more stories to share about my family.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Loving your family hubs. It's great that you have all of this information.

    • Your Cousins profile image
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      Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hey Glimmer Twin Fan, Thanks for reading! I can't wait to tell you about a cousin we discovered in the "country" who was nearing the century mark.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Interresting hub and important that we record what we know. So much has been lost already. That is why I recorded what I knew about my Mom and Dad.

    • Your Cousins profile image
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      Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks for reading! Glad you had the opportunity to document information about your parents. It's so important to pass it on.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Loved this hub!!! You are lucky to have old photos--it is also great to hear about old stories about family--and what a great idea to narrate--

    • Your Cousins profile image
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      Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I was just so excited about sharing their story that I wanted to tell it myself :-) Thanks for taking the time to "sit a spell" with my ancestors!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Very interesting. I love studying geneology. People were just so much different back then, tougher, more resourceful. These are great photos for being so old. Excellent!

    • Your Cousins profile image
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      Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks tammyswallow. I truly love exploring my family tree and reminiscing about my relatives.

    • BobbiRant profile image

      BobbiRant 4 years ago from New York

      I absolutely love this kind of hub, what a great testimony to some wonderful relatives. The reading of it just made me smile and I love it! Great hub!

    • Your Cousins profile image
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      Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      So glad you stopped by to read about my Pa Jim and Granny Rose!

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 4 years ago from The High Seas

      I like your hubs but they make me a little sad that I don't know anything about my own family. Keep sharing with us all, please.

    • Your Cousins profile image
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      Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I am so glad that I am able to share wonderful stories about my family. Some memories are awesome, others are sentimental, but they are all special to me!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Your Cousins,

      What an interesting story of "Pa Jim and Granny Rose" really fascinating and compelling reading. it is wonderful you have so much info to include and family trees I find so important. I would love to go way back in my own and have always known my mum's ancestors included Robert the Bruce of Scotland but would love to fill in the gaps to my grandparents.

      Great write, voted up, interesting and shared!

    • Your Cousins profile image
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      Your Cousins 3 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks Suzie HQ. Researching my family's history has become a new hobby for me. Stories from our ancestors can be so wonderful and unexpectedly exciting and humorous. Give it a go -- you could meet some great relatives along the way!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      This is so cool! It mmakes me want go and start something now! Thank you! Up+

    • Your Cousins profile image
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      Your Cousins 3 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks btrbell. Tracing your family's roots can be an enriching adventure.

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