Saturday, December 03, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mamaw Lorene ~ 93 Years Young and Counting!

My husband's grandmother will be 93 next week. She is an amazing woman who decided to get her GED at age 77 (that is not a typo), then received a college degree (with honors!) and taught GED algebra at ECCC for several years. A pastor's wife, many times Mamaw wrote Christmas plays (or rewrote them) to make sure each child had a part in the Christmas play.

Even at age 5, you can see the determined look on her face.

She wrote the following for our enjoyment, and I hope she'll be able to share more of her life with us on Calico Trails in the weeks to come.


Mamaw has wonderful penmanship, but it's a bit shaky these days. Her post is transcribed below for your reading pleasure.

I am the last of my family living and I came into this world in 1918 December 7th. I had three older sisters and 2 brothers. I was the runt of the family but I was determined I was not going to be bossed around. We had to walk 3 miles to school, and when I was four years I went with my 3 sisters and 2 brothers every day my mama would let me.

I was sick a lot but I loved school and when I was five I was a regular student. We called it the Primary Class. I could write to 100 and knew my ABCs but I wanted to learn to read so bad. I would cry at night for somebody to help me. Everybody was studying their own lessons, but the first one that got thru, Mama would make them help me.
Lorene Jones Graham, age 5, bottom row, third from left

We went to a country school: a two story building, primary thru fourth on the bottom floor and the fifth thru ninth upstairs. This was a two-teacher school. We were not allowed to go upstairs until we got in fifth grade.

I learned to read. I made first and second grade the second year. [ie: she skipped a grade] I wanted to get upstairs so bad after 2 more years. I made it!

We could then go draw water from a neighbor's well and bring it back to the school house for everybody to drink. Only one dipper to drink out of, but noboby knew any better.

Lorene Jones Graham "Mamaw", age 9, third row, far right
Mamaw's husband, Andrew Dow Graham, simply "Pappy" or "Bro Dow", is fourth from the left, top row

My girlfriend and I went to get water one day and we had to draw it up with what they called a windless, and I lost control of it and it hit my head and made a big knot on my forehead.

At Christmas time, the schoolhouse burned down, and that was the end of our country school.
Lorene Jones Graham
"Mamaw" to everyone

Thank you, Mamaw, for sharing this slice of your life with us. I, for one, would love to read more from your pen. We all love you very much.

Happy 93rd birthday!

Your grand-daughter-in-law,
Pam Hillman

Mamaw loves mail, so comments, questions, and Happy Birthday wishes are welcome. She's not online (not for lack of trying!), but don't worry, she'll get a chance to read every comment and respond when she can.

Feel free to comment here on the blog, or on Pam's facebook personal page, or on Pam's Author page.

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