Buckhead News • Betty Moore
Remembering Thanksgiving 1944, when the war department telegram came
Since the paper is going to press early I don’t have too much news. Monaray asked me to write one of my stories. I can write about Thanksgiving.
I will begin on a sad note. The day before Thanksgiving 1944 it was a drippy, foggy and very dark, late afternoon. Someone knocked on our door! Mama answered. She stood almost paralyzed. It was a telegram from the war department notifying her that her son Elmer Clairborn Brake had been killed in action in the United States Navy on October 30, 1944. The people handed her the telegram and left. This was before there were telephones lines that were stretched out in the country at Eatonton. The next day all of the family came. They learned of it then on Thanksgiving Day. There were no arrangements to be made He was away over in the Pacific, we did not know this. He was buried at sea. A memorial service was held later in Lakeland, Florida with is wife and young son. Some family members carried mama there.
On to another time in our lives. My sisters always had a good time laughing when they got together. I was the youngest in the family. It wasn’t as if I was left out at all. I was eight years younger than the sister next to me. They would tell thing that had happened in their family. You could hear laughter all over the house. They were usually in the kitchen. What did I have in common with them? Ours was a large kitchen with an electric stove and a large wood stove. During cold weather Mama generally had the wood stove going. The lids were clicking on the pots and the smell of a big fat hen was being cooked for dressing. They all liked green beans and turnip greens and whatever else that Mama wanted, maybe candied sweet potatoes. Everyone brought food. There was always a feast.
When the first one or two sisters arrived they would be talking and catching up on events and sometimes laughing. On this one occasion it was very different. The big talker arrived and all that she could do was whisper. Her voice was gone due to a cold. The sisters laughed and said that this time they could talk. It got away with the talker but all the times after that she made up for it! But all in all it was all a good thanksgiving each year. There were many blessings for us to enjoy.
I hope that each of you have a blessed Thanksgiving this year!
Printed in the November 22, 2012 edition