Saturday, September 12, 2009


I received this email today from my grandmother, E.B. Hope you enjoy....

I thought you might like this story of my personal nine/eleven:

......... 64 years ago. Bill and I had traveled by train from Memphis to the farm on Saturday. I was 8 months pregnant and the lady who had rented me a room while Bill was on Base was getting nervous that I might have the baby there . She had rented to me on the condition that I Daddy didn't have a car then and gas was rationed . Maybe Leland Henderson picked us up. Bill left on Sunday to hitch hike back to the Naval Base at Millington.I walked out to the mail box on Highway 307 with him and walked back after he had caught a ride.
On Monday, Mama was going to Mayfield to join her siblings in getting ready for the sale of Grandma Gillam's furniture . Mr. Gillam , Mama's stepfather, had been dragged and kicked to death by a horse he was beating . I decided to go with her and stop in town at the hospital with my government papers to make arrangements for my baby's birth at the Fuller- Gillam Hospital . Incidentally, Anita was the first baby in our family to be born in a hospital...
Leland drove us there before school started. He dropped me off at the hospital and took Mama out to the farm. Uncle Alton, Aunt Pauline, Uncle Curlin, Aunt Mildred, Aunt Myrtle were all there with grandma.
It was a long wait to see the doctor. He was just discharged from the service and the retired doctor who had been called back to the hospital during the War was on a well-earned vacation. Finally I got in for an examination. "Oops", he said, "you're in labor ." "I can't be ", I replied. "I'm not due until October." He said I was dilated, but I had no idea what that meant. I hadn't seen a doctor since I left Athens ,Georgia , 2 months ago . He let me go home to get my necessities for entering the hospital , but he didn't know that I would walk (in high heels) the mile out of town to Grandma's house (at noon on a hot September day ). Everybody was at lunch when I walked in with the announcement : " The doctor says I'm in labor !"
Chairs flew as people jumped up. It was decided that Uncle Alton would take Mama and me back to the farm. All the way,he kept saying, "Don't you have that baby in my car !"
Well , actually, it wasn't until the next day that Anita Ruth made her apperience into this world. She weighed in at 5 lbs, 9 oz . The doctor said he slept in his clothes next to the phone, expecting to be called during the night. I wouldn't let Mama call Bill until the birth had taken place because he was due to solo as a pilot that day ;and I was afraid he would be nervous. So she called him to tell him he had a daughter.. It wasn't the Marine's custom to give leaves for maternity during the War . They had a saying that they hadn't lost a father yet...but one of Bill's friends was on the desk when he got the call and wrote him a leave. He walked in about bedtime grinning from ear to ear. Yes, he had hitch hiked all the way from Memphis to Mayfield .

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