kinggnik

Story

In "The Way It Was", 2-Minnie Anna (Sister) Dodd Garris 1874-1957, 2-William B. Garris 1879-1949, 3-Evelyn Floy Garris 1910-1997, 3-Howard Garris 1906-1990, 3-Jessie (J'Mae or Ditta) Garris 1914-2011, 3-Wilhelmina (Bee) Garris King 1918-2007, Bee Stories, FAMILY: BEE & BOB TOGETHER, FAMILY: BROTHER & SISTERS (BEE), FAMILY: MATERNAL LINE (BEE), FAMILY: PATERNAL LINE (BEE), Round O, S.C., STORIES on January 20, 2013 at 6:04 am

We lived in a large two story white house that my parents had built in 1920 with porches all around and a porch up stairs as well . I do not remember this but they would tell stories about me always climbing around on the rafters. Once I fell while jumping and bumped and cut my head (Probably explains a lot) But I do not remember this. Funny, J’Mae told me about a year ago that she had told me to jump.

The house had three large bedrooms upstairs and three down stairs. Large wide halls running through the house and a bathroom on the first floor. In our house, Mamma and Daddy had the bedroom left of the front door, J’Mae and I slept in the one directly behind and next to the bath . Howard was across the hall from the bath and Floy always had the room to the left going up stairs. Other two bedrooms were used as guest rooms until years later. Then Mamma made a dining room den combination out of their bed room and J’Mae and I moved up stairs to the sleeping porch.

— “The Way It Was,” Chapter One: “The House,” 1999

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  1. When Bobby, Billy and I were little, we used to sleep on the Sleeping Porch on the back of the house. It was totally enclosed, but had no heat like the rest of the house. We slept under thick comforters, so we were toasty until you had to get up! It was large, and must have had two double beds in there. We could also hear the cotton gin running on the corner of the street, cranking up early in the morning, and when it rained, there was definitely the music of the downpour on the tin roof.

    The interior of the house had narrow width tongue and groove paneling on the walls and wide hardware floors throughout. I remember the room at the left from the front hall being the gathering / living / sitting room for the family. The room to the right from the front door was a formal parlor where grandma’s caned settee was.

    We had fun playing around those wide porches and picking figs from a huge fig tree behind the house. In those days the house had a “swept hard ground” front yard; there were bushes, but no grass. Any grass that came up was pulled out.

    Grandma inherited this house from her Sister, Floy, when her sister died (it having been left to Floy by Minnie Anna at her death). Floy had lived at home with Minne Anna until her death in 1957. Actually this picture was taken after Grandma sold the house, which was beginning to fall in disrepair with no one living there for a long time, since Floy had moved to West Columbia and left it locked up but unused. Grandma sold it with the understanding that the purchaser would restore and maintain the house and that made Grandma happy. I know this picture was taken after that time, because this red metal roof was the new one they put on then.

  2. Such great details! I had never heard that you could hear the cotton gin — what did it sound like?

    Also, did the tongue-and-groove walls run from the floor to the ceiling? Oftentimes when I’ve seen it, it’s only run on the walls halfway until a dividing line.

    ALSO, I am still trying to wrap my head around the inner layout of the house, and which bedrooms were where. Grandma said that there were three bedrooms downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs — so of all the bedrooms (her parents’, her and Jessie’s, Howard’s, and Floy’s), which of those was downstairs? Floy’s? Grandma mentions two other bedrooms that were converted into a dining room/den combination — is that the gathering/living/sitting room you remember?

  3. The cotton gin was a rumble… maybe like your dryer sounds when it’s tumbling a heavy load. It was a nice white sound of a small country town surrounded by cotton farms.

    I think the statement “Mamma and Daddy had the bathroom left of the front door,” should be “Mamma and Daddy had the bedroom left of the front door,”. What I remember was after my Grandfather Billy had died (he died the year I was born). Minnie Anna was using the bedroom that was Bee and Jessie’s (on the left at the back of the house), and had made her front bedroom (only one) into the gathering/living/sitting room that was to the left of the front door. Howard’s bedroom was across the hall from his mother’s downstairs (at the foot of the stairs) and Floy’s bedroom was upstairs over the parlor. I should comment that as a small child, I thought all these rooms were huge. I am guessing that the hall that ran from the front of the house through the middle to the back was 10 feet wide (but then I was a child then).

    I don’t remember eating in the sitting room – I thought we always ate in the kitchen behind the store. I am not sure how high up the tongue and groove paneling ran – I just know that whenever I see it in an old house now, it reminds me of our Grandmother’s house.

  4. Good eye, Aunt Boyd! I fixed the text about the “bedroom”/”bathroom.” 🙂

  5. Now, more questions …

    Just to make sure I finally get this right, do I understand that the three downstairs bedrooms were:
    1. Minnie Anna and Billy’s (later the gathering/living/sitting room)
    2. Bee and Jessie’s, and
    3. Howard’s?

    Does that mean Floy was the only person with an upstairs bedroom, excepting the other two other upstairs bedrooms that were used for guests?

    Where did the sleeping porch connect to the interior of the house?

  6. I wish I could be more helpful with these comments, but by the time I was 5 or so, both grandparents had passed away and we didn’t visit Round O much. I do remember going through the house and porches though. I think the front porch had a door from the upstairs hallway.

  7. Yes, I think that Floy was the only one upstairs until Jessie and B moved up there. But remember Floy was 8 years older than B, so when B was still quite young, Floy was almost a lady. I think Floy’s room was as big as the parlor down stairs. I am pretty sure that there were no closets, but they had big armoirs instead. We never went in either Howard or Floy’s rooms, but I remember all the other rooms.

    Bill is right that the front porch had a door into the upstairs hallway, but that porch was small and beyond the railing was open to the outside. The sleeping porch was on the back of the house and also connected into the main hallway that ran the depth of the house.

  8. Sometime I am going to need y’all to diagram this for me! 🙂

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