Saturday, October 11, 2014
Every year on October 12th (or close to it) we gather to celebrate the beginning of our family. Papa and Granna were wed on Granna's 18th birthday, October 12th, 1924. Some of the details are a little cloudy in my mind, others are crystal clear. Help me, if you can, to complete the picture...
When Papa (Harold Reece) first asked Papa Cloud if he could marry Granna, she was just 15 years old. Papa Cloud (noted for his fiery disposition) was not enthused with the idea, "she's my best worker." But he promised that if they waited until Granna (Alma Cloud) was 18 that he wouldn't stand in their way.
When I was alone with Papa and Granna, I had a habit of asking them some pretty personal questions, especially in hindsight. Most often, Papa would answer for them both, Granna content to sit in her chair quietly, arms folded. She surprised me one day when I asked, "what did you wear for your wedding?"
Granna replied that Papa Cloud took her to a shop on the square in Marietta. He told her to pick out the dress she wanted. The one she chose was "robin's egg blue" and cost $24, a princely sum for the day. At the time I asked, she avowed that she still had that dress. I wonder what's become of it?
At the time they wed, lives were driven by the season, by the needs of the land and livestock. After their wedding, Papa and Granna were free to enjoy the afternoon and evening. The very next morning, they were expected in the field. The harvest would not wait.
Discipline governed their young life together. Discipline remained throughout their almost 73 years together. Discipline became the ethos for our family.
Our American Gothic began 90 years ago.