My Great Granny & the Mailman. And Sunday is Grandparents' Day

I remember. Her house was dark gray—small, tucked away on a side street in Winston Salem. The houses were knitted close together and her son lived nearby—a stone’s throw distance. Her house smelled of lemon drops and there was a Bible laying on the back of the toilet—for reading during quiet times.

I have a picture of her with me and my brother Tim—on Easter Sunday, all in our bonnets and hats in front of my Grandpa and Grandma’s house. She wrote me letters and I wrote her back in my first grade lettering. I remember really being scared and worried about her on this one particular day—the day Martin Luther King was assassinated and the radio on top of our refrigerator was blasting—riots breaking out in the streets of Winston-Salem.

I don’t remember her voice. My Mama said she was a talker and loved to talk. I guess as a child I was too busy playing, to listen. Mama shared this story about Great-Granny Lackey. It’s a funny story and I don’t think she would have minded if I share it with you. She probably laughed each time she told it.

Granny’s mailman walked from house to house on her little street leaving bills, postcards, and letters in small tin boxes mounted beside the door of each home. And it wasn’t uncommon for people on his route to meet him on their porches, in their yards, or at their fences, and stand and talk for a spell. My friend Mary, when we were at the community college, she invited me to her aunts’ house between classes for lunch. I’ll never forget—we walked in the back door and there sat Fred the mailman—laughing—drinking coffee—eating fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and pie. Mail carriers were not part of the stampede of the hurry-up world in the good ole days.

Back to my Great-Granny’s story—my Granny went out to greet her mailman and catch up on the happenings of the neighborhood—his family. And the story goes, my Granny was in the middle of a long-winded conversation of some sort with the mailman and it happened. Right there in broad daylight on her porch! It happened! The elastic gave out on her panties and they fell to her ankles!!


Now, remember I told you she was a talker—so what did she do? A skilled conversationalist, as she was—she didn’t missed a beat—she reached down, pulled up her panties and kept on talking.


I asked my Mama the other day if she had any more pictures of my Great-Granny. And she brought me a box of old photos to look through.


I told her I wanted to write a story about her. And Mama said, ‘I’m glad you are. You know—people get old and they die and then they are—forgotten. People forget them and their stories. I don’t know why. They just forget them.’


Many of us wouldn’t be where we are today without the prayers of our Grandparents and Great-Grandparents. We wouldn’t be who we are without their stories.


Sunday, September 11th is Grandparents Day—a day set aside to honor Grandparents Day.


And the word forgotten—it should never be used—especially when it comes to love and matters of the heart.







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