Blanche Honeycutt

My Grandma Honeycutt asked me to share her life story on the internet. It's a fun story to read, bringing alive memories from the 1920's to the 2000's. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Growing Up

Grandma as a Child on the Right
(Grandma is the smallest girl, wearing a dark collar)

I was born Easter Sunday, April 4th 1920, in a four room log house on a farm in Union County NC, part of a very large family and my parent’s 13th child. Their first two babies, Brice and Bleeka, died when they were less than two years old with Colitis, a terrible intestinal disease. It took the lives of a large percent of children because medical knowledge and treatment were not available.

My dad, Reece Johnson Simpson, purchased the land where I was born from Mr. Milas Helms about two years prior to my birth. They had lived across the creek at the ‘Duncan Place’, where their youngest son Clyde, our brother was born. My sister, Florence, who was 2 years older than me was also born in the same log house and where our oldest sister, Bright gave birth to her daughter Ruth.

(Reece Johnson Simpson)
Reece Johnson Simpson

Clyde told me that our daddy also bought a small joining piece of land from Mr. Glice Allen for $25, using the money he got from selling a hunting dog! This plot is on Indian Trail-Fairview Road on the curve across from Simpson Road.

Our grandfather, John Culpepper Simpson and grandmother, Martha Ann Clontz Simpson, lived on the farm across the road. When they passed away our Daddy bought their property, which gave us a much larger farm for all of us children to work and play.

(John Culpepper Simpson and Martha Ann Clontz Simpson)
John Culpepper Simpson and Martha Ann Clontz Simpson

Our mother, Sarah Frances Rowell Simpson, passed away when I was 2 years and 8 months old. I have no memory of her, but have been told that she was very kind and sweet. Sometimes I feel I know her. She was a Christian lady that loved her children, but died at age 42, on December 1st, 1922. She was also pregnant with her 14th baby.

(Sara Frances Rowell Simpson)
Sara Frances Rowell Simpson - 7

The following year, Daddy married Bessie Helms, a good woman who treated all of us as we were her own children. She would take us with her to pick wild strawberries and blackberries and to the creek to go fishing! We would get canes beside the creek and make fishing poles then walk up and down the creek bank fishing. When we got home, we were so tired and hungry! She would bake a huge pan of cornbread and we would have with milk and beans that were left over from dinner or maybe kraut. Sometimes she would cook the stove full of baked sweet potatoes! Or she would bake large pan of “molasses bread” and we would have fresh green onions from the garden!!

Electricity and telephones were only available in the cities. There was no running water in the home, so we had to “run to the well” with a bucket in each hand and carry to the house. We carried water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, watering flowers, filling the T model Ford radiator or for whatever water was needed. Having large families was good when it came to chores!

(following is a postcard drawing of Monroe's Main Street in 1922, which is in the same county - Union County, NC. You can see the "city" Grandma referred to here)
Monroe, NC - Main Street 1922

When we did laundry, we had 2 or 3 large black wash pots in the yard. After we carried the water to the wash pots, we would start a fire around them to heat the water. When the water was heated, we would take some out and pour into tin tubs and scrub the clothes on a washboard, then back into the hot water, boil them, back to the washboard to scrub some more, then rinsed and hung on long clothesline to dry. On washday our house was completely surrounded with clothes drying on the line! When they were dry, it was time to iron! The iron was heated on the cooking range in the kitchen.

We used the same tin tubs, filled them with water and put them behind the cooking range to warm from the heat then Saturday nights it was bath time! There would be roll call and one at a time we took our baths!

Daddy planted several acres of cotton, cane, corn and vegetables. There was the planting, hoeing and gathering for all of us to do. Gardens were in several locations and we grew almost everything we ate. We had large patches or gardens of potatoes, onions, cabbage, turnips, greens, sweet potatoes, peas, string beans, lima beans, tomatoes and lots of okra. We all loved that okra! After planting time and all crops were cultivated, it was vacation from the crops until harvest time.

During the time before harvest, our Dad’s out of town relatives would come for a visit. Sometimes they would stay for the weekend and sometimes for a week. The boys would give up their beds and find somewhere else to sleep and the upstairs would be used for the guest room. We would have lemonade made in new tin tubs and good food! Especially the chicken and dumplings, and desserts!

When the grain was harvested, men would come with threshing machines to thresh the grain. For payment, daddy would give them a portion of the grain. When the corn was gathered, it was put in large piles and the men and children would shuck the corn. Neighbors would help neighbors, the men working in the field and the women cooking. The kitchen would be covered with great food and desserts!

Our neighbor, Mr. Dave Furr had a corn mill and daddy took our dried corn to be ground into cornmeal or grits. The wheat was ground into flour for baking and biscuits! Our step mother made big batches of dough for the many biscuits she made for our large family. These biscuits were so good with the wild strawberries we picked for jam. Those wild strawberries were much better than the ones grown now!

The cotton fields would be white for the harvest and we would have to get up very early to pick. Our brothers would then load it on a wagon and we would walk on it to pack it down. Daddy would then take to the gin to sell. If the price was not agreeable, he would bring it back home and leave it under the trees until the price rose. We all loved to play on the cotton!

cotton ready to pick

Dad had a work shop that had a large pan that held coal. He would light a fire and let the coals get very hot, put the edge of a plow or other equipment into the hot coals, heat until red hot then take to the anvil and pound until they were sharp. This made the plow cut into the ground easier to work the crops. To keep the fire hot, it had a handle to turn that would blow air on the coals. I have turned the handle many times! The fire was so hot it would make my face very red and it was during the hot summertime!

There were pigs or ‘hogs’ on the farm that gave us plenty of side meat and country ham that was kept in the ‘smokehouse’. This is also where we kept our canned foods that were in half gallon jars. In the fall, before frost, we pulled green tomatoes and placed them in cotton seed then put in the smokehouse to ripen for cold weather.

We ate at a long table with a bench against the wall for the smaller children. When we had visitors, we were excited because we would have chicken, all different kinds of good food, cakes and pies! The adults all ate first and the children had to eat what was left, which did not include the best parts of the chicken!

There were cows that the ‘girls’ milked twice daily and gave us plenty of milk for cooking and drinking. We would put some of the milk in a churn and when it turned sour or ‘clabbered’, we would sit and churn until the milk turned into ‘buttermilk’. The buttermilk would separate from the butter, we would skim the butter off the top, put it in water to get the milk out, add some salt and form it into a ball or mold. We had homemade molasses and butter with homemade biscuits for breakfast. That is the only way I could eat butter, it had to be melted in molasses so I could not see it!

Daddy always woke us before daylight so we could get an early start working. One morning I slept late, so I must have been sick, because late sleeping was not allowed! I went into the kitchen for breakfast, we didn’t have anything but butter and molasses and I said that I couldn’t eat this after daylight!

The molasses came from cane stalks that we grew in a large field. Cane grows tall like corn with seeds that form on top of the stalks.
sugar cane
We had to strip all of the fodder or leaves off the cane, lay it in piles and cut off the seed heads with a very sharp knife. We would then tie them in bundles and load on a wagon. Our brothers would take the wagon to the ‘cane mill’ where the juice was squeezed out and boiled until it made syrup or molasses. We had a large L shaped back porch and the molasses was stored all winter in the corner where it would not get wet in a large 50 gallon barrel that had a spigot for pouring.

In a smaller barrel on the porch, we had homemade kraut that we had made from chopped cabbage. The kraut barrel wood top was covered with cloth and large clean rock sat on top of the cloth. All of us children would love to drink the kraut juice and we called it ‘Kraut Liquor’.

There was no refrigeration during those days and before daddy bought our ice box, we would put food into the well bucket and drop it down into the well until the bottom of the bucket touched the water. When we needed water, we would bring up the bucket, take out the food, let down the bucket for water, bring up the water and pour it into container, put the food back into the bucket then back down in the well again!

Our brothers loved to frog gig. The gig was made from a stick with sharp end to catch the frogs. After they gigged them, they would clean and skin them. We loved to watch the legs jump in the hot grease when they were cooking, but mostly, we loved to eat them! They would hunt birds and rabbits and they also had rabbit boxes to catch and trap them.

We never told our parents that we were bored; we always had something to do. The girls would play with dolls, which was a brick or corn cob wrapped in cloth. We also made mud pies at the branch in front of our house and decorated them with wild flowers or weeds. We played church, dodge ball or ‘Hailey Hailey over’, which is pitching a ball over the top of the kitchen and someone on the other side catching it. We also pitched horse shoes and the boys made sling shots to shoot at birds.

When we played church, Marvin and Clyde were the preachers and both grew up to become great preachers. We would cry and shout and then baptize, although we ‘pretended’ we were in water! We also cleared the woods and made houses, put moss around our pretend houses then we had a ‘brush arbor’ for our preaching! We also had pretend funerals. Just like the preachers did during burial service, we would sprinkle ashes into the grave and say “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust”.

I remember one day Marvin had a ‘Prince Albert’ tobacco can and told us that the picture on it was our daddy!

Our brother, Roy was about 20 years older than I was and the oldest living child and I was the youngest at that time. One day he told daddy that he was not able to work that day because his arm was hurt and may be broken. He put the arm in a sling, but short time later someone saw him out in the woods throwing rocks at a cat and that ended his vacation!

One day, Florence and I were peeling potatoes on the back porch when we got into a little argument. She had a potato on the end of her knife and hit me. The potato came off and the knife cut my knee, it bled and scared me and I started crying. Our daddy was going to whip her, but I told him it was an accident. He was a very stern man! He had razor strap for sharpening his straight razor and he would also use that strap on us!

I thought God was stern and got angry with us just like daddy and not until I became an adult did I understand that God was the opposite. I have always believed in prayer and remember when I was a child that I would love to pray when I was swinging!

Everyone had fenced in flower gardens to keep animals and children out. We had hollyhocks, lilacs, bridal wreath, Easter roses, zinnias, poppies, verbena and petunias. There were usually cut flowers in our home especially on weekends and when visitors came.
flower garden

Since we did not have electricity, we used kerosene lamps and had one special lamp that was only used when visitors came. We called it ‘Aladdin Lamp’ and I really loved it! The kerosene lamps globes all had to be washed and we had to trim the wicks. Always chores to do!

We had to bring in firewood for the fireplaces and stove wood for cooking so we kept some of the wood stacked on the porch. The stove was large and had a compartment or reservoir on the side that was kept filled with water, which stayed warm and a large black kettle on the stove that was also kept full. We would also have to clean out the ashes!

Daddy and our brothers would cut down trees, trim them and haul them behind our house. Then someone with wood saw would come and cut them into logs the length of our stove. The logs had to be dried and then split. We all split them and I have helped many times.

In the early spring, we would get sacks of dry beans still in the hull that we had picked the summer before and we would beat them with a stick to remove the bean from the hull. Daddy would pour them out on a burlap sheet and pick out the biggest trash then pour the beans into a bucket. He would then hold the bucket high, pour them slowly on a big sheet to let the wind blow the trash out. Some were for planting and some to cook in our big black cast iron pot with ham bone! We had white beans, lima beans and peas.

We had a large pond on the farm where we would fish and swim. I don’t remember how old I was when I learned to swim, but probably about 3 or 4. In the winter we would ice skate with no supervision! I guess the older kids watched over the younger ones!

Our closest friends were the Furrs, the Hills and the Helms, our brother Randolph married the Helms daughter Faire Helms. We would take walks on the roads with all these young people and sing. Another family we loved to spend time with was Mr. George Broome’s family and our brother, Louie married their daughter Velma. Her brother and sister, Ned and Maggie were twins. We loved to go to the apple trees at night when their family would visit. Under the stars we would catch lighting bugs and listen to the screech owls while we told scary ghost stories, or just sit around on the ground laughing and talking.

Sometimes we would gather at different homes for a night of music and fun. There would be singing with piano, organ or guitar. There was also fiddling and dancing! This was during the time of the ‘Charleston’ and I really wanted to learn to dance, especially to square dance, but daddy said it was a terrible sin! I still get excited when I see dancing!

We would gather in the family room at night, tell funny stories, played checkers or tic-tac-toe and ate roasted peanuts, popcorn or sweet potatoes! When I was a teenager, our neighbors, J.B. and Rachel Deese would come over and we had so much fun together!

When our older sisters, Bright and Bettie Lee were teenagers, I was small, but remember they were lots of young people who would come over. They would all be in the parlor with the door open and I could hear the laughing and knew they were all having a great time.

Our house was on a hill and there were several trees in front, Water Oaks, Sweet Gum, Sycamore and Persimmon. When the Persimmons ripened we all loved to eat them! It was so much fun playing under those trees! We played horseshoes, which I loved, but one day I accidently hit my brother Smith’s son, Paul Simpson in the head and it poured blood, I thought I had killed him!

Those big trees also had lots of leaves that fell during the fall and we would sweep into big piles and burn them. I loved the smell of burning leaves! We swept our yard with brooms that we made from dogwood trees and we swept our house with brooms that we made from broom straw that we gathered in the fields. We made scouring brooms from corn shucks that we attached to a board with holes in it. We used these to scrub the floor using Red Devil Lye and soap.

For our social activity we went to Union Grove Methodist Church that was near our home. We were members at Benton’s Cross Roads Baptist Church and worshiped there on Sunday mornings, but Union Grove had Sunday School in the afternoons so we would also go there where we had lots of friends!
Methodist Church in Unionville, NC

Bill Ormond, the Sunday School Superintendent at Union Grove, would have ‘Turtle Races’ on Saturday evenings. We would take turtles, mark them, and put them in center of a circle. The turtle that reached the edge of the circle first was the winner. I don’t remember the prize, but it was lots of fun.

There were revivals that were called ‘Big Meetings’. I remember one of our neighbors, Mr. Amos Haywood, who lived just beyond the creek on Lawyers Road, who was a church member at Union Grove. He was a preacher and would pray the loudest of anyone I ever heard. We could hear him praying all the way to our house and Dot Furr McGraw, who lived about a mile away, also could hear him at their house. He was Godly man whose wife always cooked their Sunday meals on Saturday so she did not have to cook on Sundays.

We went to the ‘Big Meetings’ also at Benton’s Cross Roads Baptist Church. The church yard would be full of cars. People would drive long distance to hear the visiting preacher and on Sunday that the revival started, we would have ‘dinner on the ground’. There were no fellowship buildings or tables outside, so the ladies would spread table cloths or sheets on the ground in long row and put the food there. When our brother Clyde was a small child, he saw a lady wearing a low cut dress and when she leaned over to put her food out, he said that he saw ‘dinner on the ground’ through her dress! He was really teased about that!

Revival services would last a week and sometimes two weeks. The church would be completely filled, the windows would be raised and people would sit on the windows, stand outside the windows or drive their cars close and sit in their cars. They would shout and go to the altar and repent! Also all work would be stopped for the week! There would be services in the mornings with testimonies, then services at night. The preachers would visit the people in the community and then have meals with church members.

Evangelist would come to Monroe and other areas, set up a large tent, spread sawdust on the ground and put down benches. One evangelist was ‘Cyclone Mack’ and one local minister from Monroe, Preacher Mitchum, who was great speaker and was later broadcasting on the radio.

(photo of Grandma "Blanche" with her dad, step-mom, and brothers and sisters)

School Days

I was 5 years old when I started school, which was in a one room school house and had 7 grades with one teacher and a large wood stove in the center of the room. We walked to school in every kind of weather. When each class finished their lessons, they would sit on the front row at the teacher’s desk. Every Friday we would have spelling bee and I loved that very much. On Friday afternoons, we had entertainment, which was singing or speaking. It was so much fun to participate!

The boys and girls used the same restroom, which was in the woods beside the school on Ridge Road. The girls used the woods that were the closest to the road and the boys went farther into the woods!

The school house is where I got my first love letter and was from my cousin, Spurgeon Rowell, he wrote:

“The cow gives milk, the hen lays eggs and apples grow on trees.”

My little heart skipped a beat as I read so much love!! He would bring me biscuits with homemade peanut butter that his mom made. His dad was my mother’s brother and his grandfather owned a store near the school. On very special occasions we would walk there from the school to get penny candy.

When I was in third grade, we started riding the school bus and going to Unionville. It was a large white two story building, where the community building is now.

(following is a photo of Unionville School about 1926. Grandma is not in this photo, but you can at least see the school building)
Unionville School 1926

In my first year at Unionville I was very nervous and shy with so many people in my class. I remember we learned the multiplication table with cut-out fish on a string and we would have to stand before the class to recite. One day it was my turn and I was so nervous I wet my pants! I asked the teacher if I could be excused and I will never forget that!

The restrooms were outside johns that were nasty and you had to get upon them like a chicken on the roost! I guess I really just wanted to leave the class and cry! The drinking water came through a long pipe with holes in it and someone had to pump it while you drank. It tasted like rust!

I remember when the Union County Health Department came to the school to vaccinate for Typhoid Fever. The teacher was guiding us to the area and as we turned into the doorway, I ran by the nurse and out the door. Someone had to catch me!

My sister, Florence was not very interested in the boys; she wanted to get a good education. I thought I was smart enough already, so I took a strong interest in boys!

Everyone carried their lunch and we carried fried potatoes, fried okra, tomato or whatever we had left over from the night before. We also took ham biscuits and would trade with someone that brought something that was more interesting. One day I traded my ham biscuit to my school teacher, Ms. Evelyn Snyder, for a bunch of grapes!

My grades were good, but it was because I listened in class, not because I studied. Florence was valedictorian, but was too shy to accept.

I got adjusted to the big school and when Clyde started driving, he was our bus driver, so I felt very important, just like we had our own limousine to drive to school. During my senior year, Unionville and Fairview built new elementary and new high schools. Our class was then split with part of our class being the first graduates at Unionville and part the first graduates at Fairview.

Grandma as a Teen

In my senior year, I planned an outing for our class to slip away from school! So on April Fools day, Charles Hamilton brought his mules and wagon, the girls brought lunch and we went to a spring in the woods. It was near the site where Piedmont schools are now. We had a wonderful day and my strict daddy never found out! I graduated on May 1, 1936 at 16 years old after eleven years of school. Twelve grades did not exist until much later.

Grandma Young and Posed

My Marriage, Children, Grandkids

Grandma Young and Pretty

The first time I saw Houston Honeycutt, a tall dark haired, handsome man, was at church when I was 16. He and his brother Ralph would come to church with their Uncle Harvey Baucom. I could hardly wait for Sundays, and had been looking for him and watching him every Sunday, not realizing that he was also watching me!

I started praying for him and that God would bring us together! Even though he had never spoken to me, I continued to pray! One Sunday after church, my cousin, Claude Simpson and his wife Ruth asked to drive me home and he rode with us! This was truly an answer to my prayer!

After that first Sunday, every weekend, he would walk about 6 or 7 miles from his home to see me! Then two months afterward, he asked me to marry him! I didn’t give him an immediate answer because I was so young, but the next weekend, I told him yes I wanted to be his wife! We were madly in love and wanted to get married so much, but did not have any money; however, five months after he asked me, we got married! He was working for my uncle Lemuel Simpson, so he borrowed some money from him and we got married on August 7, 1937. Claude and Ruth took us to get married and we stayed with them on our wedding night!

We moved into a small house across the road from my sister, Betty Lee and her husband, Lloyd Price. My daddy gave us $35.00 to buy used furniture to furnish our house. Houston’s dad bought us four chairs and a cow named Sunshine! Houston made about $4.00 per week and our rent was $2.00 per month! The previous renters had a garden out back of the house and had left some Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes. We were so thrilled and thankful that we had these vegetables!

We were very happy and really wanted a family. We had been married for about 6 months and not pregnant, so I was afraid I would not be able to have children. We discussed children before we got married and agreed that we wanted to have six, which is exactly what we did have!

Later when we learned that I was pregnant, we were so thrilled and on Sunday, January 1, 1939 we had a beautiful baby boy we named Jerry! He was born there in our little home. I did not realize what a mother’s love was and how my mother loved and cared for me until that moment! We were just kids ourselves and Jerry could not be more loved! When he could sit up, we put him in a shoe box and pulled him around the house!

One day Houston was working in the field for my brother-in-law, Lloyd and I carried him some water. With water picture in one hand and Jerry on my other shoulder, Jerry started slipping down, so I pulled my arm up, but pitched him on the ground over my shoulder! He was not hurt at all, but I was scared and cried and cried! Houston was very upset with me!

We had the same wonderful feeling of joy and love with each of our new born babies and the hospital nurse would always ask if the baby was our first because we were always so excited!

We struggled with finances and when Jerry was about 6 months old, Houston was fortunate to get a job working third shift at Cannon Mills in Kannapolis. That also meant that we would need to move. We got the opportunity to move near Mooresville into a two story house with Houston’s cousin Madry and her husband Carl Belk. My brothers, Roy and Marvin and their families lived in Kannapolis and later Florence and her family moved there.

We also had our first car, which was a 29 A Model Ford. Houston had traded our cow ‘Sunshine’ for the car. We were living there when our second child, Geva was born on October 3, 1940. As before, I was planning to deliver at home, but there were difficulties that prevented our plans, so Houston drove me to Cabarrus Memorial Hospital in Concord on a very cold frosty morning for the delivery!

We moved to Kannapolis on Lane Street and Florence and her family lived beside us. Our homes were identical and so close that a car could barely drive between them! Then ‘Pearl Harbor’ came! I will never forget the Sunday we were in Union County at daddy’s home and we heard the bad news. Houston and I had our little family; we were so in love and had never spent one night apart!

So Houston had to register for the military draft! Soon we received the bad news that he had been drafted into the U.S. Navy. I thought I would die and cried continuously! He left on December 10, 1943. I was devastated and so was Jerry, who was almost five. Geva was too young to realize what was happening. I was just a kid myself with two small children to care for and never felt more alone! I went to work at Cannon Mills to help with the expenses and my brother Smith’s daughter, Faye Simpson came to care for the children while I worked. She only stayed for couple weeks because I cried all the time and it was too much for her! I quit the job and depended on the government check we received from Houston’s military service.

Grandpa in Navy

I was so thankful that Florence lived beside us! Houston had a 1936 Ford, but he did not teach me to drive before he was drafted. Now that he was not there, I needed transportation. So I decided to drive! Florence and I put our kids in the back seat and away we went to Union County to see our family! Drivers license were not required and I was driving everywhere. We went to church, grocery shopping, driving uptown and anywhere we needed or wanted to go! This helped me so much to be able to do the things that I needed to do. Florence, the kids and I had some really great times together!

Simpson Clan - Original

Houston and I wrote to each other very often and I treasured those letters I would get from him! The children started school at Jackson Park Elementary. Jerry was in the first grade and Geva in Kindergarten. We had a small dog named ‘Blackie’ that would follow Jerry to school. The teacher would have to send Jerry back home to return him! I was so scared especially at night. So the children and I would sleep together, me in the middle for protection! Three kids growing up together, we had a very special closeness!

Then in 1945 the war ended! Houston had been in the Pacific Theatre, a Gunners Mate on the USS Wisconsin Battleship and covered the landing at Iwo Jima. He also witnessed the bombing of Hiroshima and was in the military for total of two years. Drafted on December 10, 1943 and discharged on December 10, 1945.

USS Wisconsin 2

In 1946 we moved back to Union County. Daddy had built a smaller house across the road from the home place so we lived in the big house for a short time. We then moved into a new house that my brother Louie had built. While we lived there, Becky was born on May 20, 1947 and Mike was born October 29, 1948. They were so close in age and I remember during church service one Sunday, Becky drank Mike’s bottle of milk while we were standing!

Jerry, Geva, Becky

In 1949, we purchased a small 50 acre farm with a four room house on Rocky River Road. Houston was still working for Cannon Mills and riding in car pool to work. His job included picking up heavy bundles of towels and he ruptured a disc in his back. Eventually he had back surgery and I had to go to work.

Our fifth baby was a boy we named Tommy Dale who was born on August 16, 1953 the same year that my youngest brother, R.J. was killed in automobile accident. R.J was in the Navy and stationed in Portland OR. During the Christmas Holidays, he was with friends driving too fast around a curve and had an accident. He died on January 3, 1953.

Jerry graduated high school in May of 1957 and I was pregnant with Randy, our sixth and last baby who was born October 30, 1957.

Grandpa with Randy

Jerry enlisted in the Navy and I thought I would die when he left! Geva graduated high school the next year in May of 1958 and was married September 20, 1958 to Vann Hill. Jerry had met Linda Braswell from Unionville when he was on leave from the military and when he was discharged, they were married on June 2, 1962.

We had new house built across the hill on our property and on July 4, 1964 we moved into our first new home! Jerry and Geva were both married, but we still had Becky, Mike, Tommy and Randy and we were all thrilled!

Becky graduated high school in 1965 and married Greg Rushing on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1965. We only had three boys left in our home! Mike was senior in high school, and graduated in 1966. He was soon drafted into the US Army to serve in Vietnam. Geva was divorced in 1966 and on March 24, 1968, married Ken Whitley from Oakboro.

In 1969, Tommy was 15, had his driving permit and loved sports. He was on the football and track teams. Then on April 23, 1969, he was measuring the shotput throw of an opposing team at a track meet and was accidently hit in the temple. He only lived for 19 hours after the accident. Tommy was a sweet and loving person and we will all cherish his memory forever.

Uncle Tommy in the 60's

When Tommy passed away, Mike was able to come home and not go back to Vietnam. He and Patsy Byrum got married and he was stationed in GA until discharged. They later divorced and Mike married Alice Ball in 1980. Randy graduated high school in 1976 and met Tina Adcock from Crossville, TN while in broadcasting school. They got married in 1978, but later divorced.

Jerry developed esophageal cancer and suffered for a very long time. He passed away in January, 2001 at age 62. It was so hard to lose another child and no one knows the hurt a mother feels when their child is gone forever.

When all of the children were gone, Houston was having many health problems. He was in the veteran’s hospital in Salisbury for several months and eventually went to a rest home. He passed away on January 21, 2003.

Grandma and Grandpa Honeycutt 1983

In 2004 I moved into an assisted living. I was not able to cook, clean house and take care of my home properly, then after falling and injuring my shoulder, my children convinced me that I should consider making this change. I have really enjoyed being with the new friends I have made and know that it was a very good decision.

Grandma's Prom - Red Dress

I am so thankful for all of my children, who have loved me and cared for me especially during the later years of my life. God has blessed me with wonderful children, grand children and great grandchildren. He has been so good to me and my family and I thank him for His love to me and for His rich blessings upon us all.

Grandma, Becky, and Mom again 2010

More Photos:

Grandma playing piano
Grandma Playing Piano