Happy Past Experiences
Alot of my past is best left forgotten, but I am grateful to have had a Great Grandmother who adopted us (my mom’s mother died when grandma Laverne was 8) and looked after me when I was very small.
That was Grandma Marie. She always saved me The Mini Pages from the Washington Post and seeing her was always a peaceful and interesting time. She told me the story of my great great grandfather the crazy Cherokee Hayes Wheeler Mayo who went missing for three days when the Maine blew up. The Navy apparently thought he was dead until he turned up drunk with some interesting and apparently inplausible excuse that Grandma Marie seemed to think was characteristically colorful and odd. She also mentioned my taking somewhat after him, being a ‘rambunctious child’ and never staying still. She always had a smile when she told me about him, and frequently looked at me with that same slightly mischievious and ever so slightly almost shocked look. It’s hard to explain, but I always felt that she stood somewhat in awe of him, whilst looking just a tiny bit askance at the same time, and wondered just how closely I took after him. Whatever the case, I nearly felt like he was a hero as she told funny stories about him which I’ve forgotten details to, but remember the love with which she told all of his descendents about him. Grandma Marie, to my knowledge, never had children of her own, but my grandmother, mom, and I were like her own descendents, and I am proud of that. She taught me how to sew on an old black Singer treadle sewing machine, stitching the words I Love You onto the cloth, explaining how she had been a seamstress and her husband, Adolphus Johonson, a very kind man, had been a tailor. She once told me to make sure to carry at least $50 at all times because one day years ago Grandpa Johnson had been arrested for Jay Walking and he didn’t have the money to make bail. She laughed as she told me how she had to go down to the jail and get grandpa out, lecturing him on the way home, as she was known to do. She was such a strong personality, and so loving and bright.
And a wonderful Great Grandma.
Marie Nash Johnson.
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !
22 February, 12016 HE
– Grateful to a Grandmother not of my blood, but certainly of my heart and soul
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But she never told me about his heroism in battle, with other Colored Soldiers of the 325th Field Signal Battalion: courtesy of Professor Spriggs: https://dh.howard.edu/tmg_regireleases/6/
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