In "The Way It Was", -- Rebecca Hoffman Fox 1829-1911, -- Thomas Miles Dodd 1826-1880, 3-Wilhelmina (Bee) Garris King 1918-2007, Bee Stories, FAMILY: BEE & BOB TOGETHER, FAMILY: MATERNAL LINE (BEE), Round O, S.C., STORIES on February 10, 2013 at 6:10 am

My family had lived in my great grand parents house for several years and I guess I was born in one of those rooms. It consisted of five rooms: including our kitchen and dining room . The smoke house,( their kitchen) and the two rooms behind the store were probably a parlor and a dining room.

The smoke house was filled with hams, sausage, shoulders, sides of pork hanging on strings from ceiling, sausage. One process of curing the meat was to build a fire underneath and the smoke would help cure the meat and give it that delicious flavor..

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

  1. I remember going into the smoke house when I was a kid, but nothing was hanging in there by then. Of course I think that GGranddaddy Ben and GUncle Howard were the primary hog workers, so with them gone from the farm by the time I can remember, there would have been no one to run that process. But the smoke house was still there, and still smelled of smoke.

    If the smoke house had been Tom & Becky’s “old” kitchen, it had been thoroughly convered to smoke house by the time I arrived. There were no appliances, tables, or other kitchen equipment inside. It had a dirt floor and hooks in the ceiling joists from which to hang the meat. The building between the smoke house and the main house was the place we were told to not go, and for me they called that “the old kitchen”. By the time I was an adult and decided to “explore” the formerly forbidden space, I remember at least three rooms. At that time one of them had a bed.

    Also by the time I arrived, the two rooms behind the store were the post office and behind that, the kitchen. The place I remember as the post office also held the wringer washing machine. Of course it wasn’t a post office as we know them. It was a room with a desk, a safe, and a “egg-crate” type of leter sorter. It didn’t have many spaces – I guess there weren’t that many people to get mail, and other than the safe, security didn’t have to be that tight.

    So I’m trying to line up my memories with hers, but her memories go way back beyond mine. Maybe Douglas has a few memories. I do have his first effort at his memoirs, which confirm some of my memories of the “new” kitchen:

    “At the Garris house, we would have supper in the detached kitchen behind the store, and supper usually consisted of leftovers from the noontime dinner. Perhaps there would be cold steamed rice topped with cold pork-flavored, speckled butter beans, cold stewed okra, and fresh sliced tomato with bell pepper. There might also be deviled eggs.
    Most of us drank sweet iced tea, but Grandmah Garris drank Postum or Bouillon cubes in a cup of hot water. Aunt Floy drank Maxwell House coffee, and my Dad (Lowell Young) always drank coffee anytime of the day and all day.
    After supper, we’d lock up the kitchen and take the uncovered crosswalk straight across to the house and then sit on the porch until dark.”

  2. Douglas’ memories are beautiful! And in terms of “sitting on the porch,” correspond with what Bee/Momma/Grandma wrote here: Thank you for typing them.

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