Dec 24 2007
08:43 am
By: WhitesCreek

By Ray Collet

I received mail today from Pearl "Pealey" Peters Meador this week. Pealey is a member of the RHS Class of 1944 and quite a talent indeed. If you recall, a few months ago, she sent me a letter that she wrote about a return trip to her childhood home on Duncan St. in Rockwood, along with some of her beautiful paintings. The letter Pealey sent will probably run for the next two weeks, and it fits in perfectly with this being the Christmas season.
Here is what Pealey wrote......
."My Quilt Of Christmas Memories"
"When I was nine years old, my mother let me start a "nine diamond square" quilt. The quilt was all made by my hands except two squares. Two neighbor women pieced one square each, Mrs. Pearl Abel Hickey, and Mrs. Georgia Troxel Harness. I started it on a rainy Fourth of July in 1935."
"When the top was all finished, I quilted it. It has the most crooked stitches you would ever see and I can show you, for it is in my bedroom to this day ! The quilt, about which I am writing today, is made of memory squares tucked away in the old cedar chest of my long agos"
"The first square is green. The year was 1930 when Ruby and Mary Alice Burns lived next door on the South side of us on Duncan St. They each had a boy friend and each boy, Albert Watson and Floyd Dodson, brought a cedar tree to the girls. They in turn, gave one tree to us. Daddy took his saw, made a small wooden cross, and nailed it to the bottom of the small tree trunk. The tree stood in the corner of our dining room all green for there was not a single decoration on it! I was four years old and wondered just what it all meant."
"In later years, we four children would go with Daddy, cut a cedar tree, make popcorn, cranberry and paper chains with which to decorate it. We never had ornaments until we were old enough to work and buy them."
"The second square will be of a later tree decorated and with presents underneath. There were little wooden trucks for Theodore and Elwood. I got a doll with a small gold package tied to her hand. I kept that package, without opening it, until the next Christmas !. That was a good thing for the next year, there was no tree or presents. The country was in a deep depression. So I opened the little gold package on Christmas morning, and to my surprise, there was a new outfit for my doll !"
The third square would have to be the sweet aroma of Mrs. Coy Gibson's (Clara Abel) tea cakes. She always baked the best tea cakes in the whole world, with a bit of sugar sprinkled on top. She, and "Uncle Coy" ran a small grocery store across the street and, when my mother was sick, Mrs. Gibson would always be there with chicken soup. Of course, we four small children would get a taste."
"Now, I can't forget a pudgy Mr. Roddy, who also ran a small grocery store about three houses down across the bridge. The fourth square would have to be 1936 when he gave my mother four small boxes of chocolate covered raisins to put into each of our stockings. That was all there was for us that year."
"Now, for Santa ! The fifth square would be about him. Santa was a jolly old man with a big Ho Ho. You see, Mr. Brandon, who lived next door on the North side of us, would visit Uncle Coy's store, don his Santa suit and pound on all the neighborhood doors, laughing with all of the kids. This one particular night he pounded a little hard on our house and his fist went clean through the old weatherboarding and we were left with a large hole in our house."
"Of course, we told all of our friends, and kids talked about it for days about how Santa knocked a hole in our house."
We will leave Pealey until next week and find out about the remaining squares on her "Quilt Of Christmas Memories." What a talented lady ! Speaking of "Memories", remember my "Rockwood Memories" book is on sale in Rockwood at "Live and Let Live Drug Store", "O'Those Were The Days Antiques", "Shacks" and "Yonder Hollow", or call me at (865) 354-7680 and I will mail them also......Until next week, Ray

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