A Little Twig from Ladonia (My Family Tree)
By Mary Katherine James Dowell -- 1987
Provided by Glenn Ann Dowell Hunt
The James' -- (1 of 4)
The home of J.A.J. James and "Miss Kate" was truly a beautiful house and a show place for many years. It was the kind of house to delight a small girl's fancy. There was a "plunder room" upstairs which held an accumulation of all kinds of junk which are antiques today. You could play all kinds of games here and let your imagination run wild.
Each door had a transom over the top and wainscoting prevailed in every room. I was always happiest when we were going to spend the night at Grandmother James', especially in winter. She not only had a fireplace, but a triple fireplace! That is - a fireplace in three rooms, served by one chimney. Galleries were on all sides of the house and little porches on three sides upstairs. All were trimmed in "gingerbread". After the sun went down "Buck" and "Queen", her guard dogs, reigned supreme.
To get to the house, which sat in a grove of trees, you had to go through a big gate, which was always kept closed. It was every childs privilege to drive through the gate after the older person had opened it. Then you stopped the car on the inside and after the gate was closed your elder took the wheel and drove up to the house. My cousin, James, drove through one day, after his mother had opened the gate. When he got through he didn't stop. His mind just went blank and he kept going. He was darting in and out around the trees and didn't hit a one. Aunt Ruth was after him and trying to get in the car. Grandmother James calmly walked out on the porch and called, "Ruth, get away from that runaway car. It will stop when it runs out of gas." James never made a bobble and I suppose that was the best driving he ever did. After about ten minutes he calmly turned off the key. Aunt Ruth was pregnant at the time, but it didn't hurt her either. Norma Lee got here safe and sound.
I can remember Grandmothers "Sunday Dishes". They had a big fish on them and I always wanted one of the plates but I never did get one.
This home, like so many more old places was destroyed by fire years ago. But there is a saying, I don't even know who said it - "Memories are what is left, after the happy times are gone."
I do have a platter that Grandmother James' daughter-in-law, Aunt Josie gave me. It is English ironstone. When Grandmother James' first child, John, was born, Grandfather James bought her a "barrel" of dishes. This platter is...
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Her mother's book provided to us by:
Glenn Ann Dowell Hunt