Me: In her pictures she always looked stern.
My mother: Grandma?
Ma: Grandma Carrie? I know it. But she was funny. She was funny to me. She could say some of the, she could say some funny stuff. I know that’s where Mama gets it from. The little sayings.
Statesville Landmark, 20 December 1957.
My grandmother didn’t think much of Charles V. Taylor:
Course she met this guy and married him that she had known him when she was a child. Taylor. And went to New Jersey. She came back home, and Mama had high blood pressure, you know. But she kept, her doctors kept it in check. But he hadn’t let her go to the doctor for two times, and she had a stroke and died. Oooo. I could have killed that man. I was so mad with that man I didn’t know what to do. And when we went down there, Mama just got worse and worse. She went to the hospital, and they did everything they could at the hospital, and then they let her come home. And I went down there to see her one time, while she was at home, you know, and she couldn’t talk. She couldn’t talk, I mean. And she would try her best to tell me something. And I just cried and cried and cried and cried and cried. And I didn’t know what she was trying to tell me. So my sister lived not far from her. And she was a cafeteria manager, but she would come to see Mama between the meals. You know, in the morning breakfast and lunch, and then after dinner she’d come. She really did take care of Mama when she was living with that Thing. And she went to the hospital and stayed awhile, and he wouldn’t pay the hospital bill. And I took a note out at the bank, and Louise paid her doctor’s bill and everything, and when she died, he tried to make us pay all the burial expenses. And his brother came over there and told us, said, “Don’t you pay a penny. ‘Cause he’s got money, and he’s supposed to use it for that.” And said, “Don’t you do it. Don’t you give it to him.” And that man and the undertaker got together and planned all that stuff against us, you know. The three of us. It was terrible. And Mama had a lot of beautiful clothes, you know, because this man bought her things. And they were all in there looking at them. I said, “I don’t want a thing. I don’t want not one thing.” I think I got a coat. It was just like a spring coat. It was lined. And I think Louise insisted that I take it, but that was the only thing that I took.
Remembering Caroline Martha Mary Fisher Valentine McNeely Colvert Taylor, who died 56 years ago today.
Interviews of my mother and Margaret C. Allen by Lisa Y. Henderson; all rights reserved.