kinggnik

Story

In "The Way It Was", 1-Adeline (Addie) Kizer Dodd 1855-1937, 1-Joseph Hoffman Dodd 1852-1937, 2-John (Jack) Hampton Kinsey 1876-1914, 2-Lillie Luetta Dodd 1880-1955, 2-Minnie Anna (Sister) Dodd Garris 1874-1957, 2-William B. Garris 1879-1949, 3-Addie Elizabeth (Addie) Kinsey 1906-1986, 3-Alma Geneva Kinsey 1911-, 3-Charity Blanche (Blanche) Kinsey 1908-1935, 3-Edna Arline Kinsey 1913-, 3-Jessie (J'Mae or Ditta) Garris 1914-2011, 3-Jessie Ray (Ray) Kinsey 1903-1942, 3-Verlie Virginia Kinsey 1901-1951, 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), STORIES on June 9, 2013 at 6:47 am

When we went to “town”, it was Charleston. We would say we were in town the other day. Beautiful city with personality, and charm all of it’s own. The property was sold and taxed by front footage on the street. So every body had a narrow deep lot which required a long narrow house to fit the lot so this was the way the Charleston house was born. It was a long narrow three story house with a porch on the side of 2nd and 3rd floors.. There was a front door at the top of the steps on second floor; so you could not go on the porch until someone let you in The bedrooms were on only one side of the house and a hall running down the other

Aunt Bobbie (one of Mamma’s sister ) had moved down there after her husband Jack Kinsey died leaving her with six daughters to raise. They had lived across the road from the Kinsey Cemetery where my Mamma and Daddy are buried. Aunt Bobbie ran a boarding house on King Street in one of those big Charleston Houses. The girls worked when they were old enough, Addie had a beauty parlor , Ray and Blanche worked for the Telephone Company, and the others found work where ever they could

We visited them in Charleston. I remember I was not afraid of the big city as long as I had Mamma with me. How safe and secure that made me feel. We used to take them Pork, vegetables and milk . Every time you went anywhere you were always holding a gallon of milk in your lap so it would not turn off and spill. I remember going to see them and I was wearing a brand new velvet dress Mamma made. The milk leaked somehow and before I knew it, I was soaked with milk. I went on but I did not have a change of clothes so I had to wear those clothes smelling of milk all day. No wonder that I do not like to drink milk. I was drowning in it.

Aunt Bobbie’s girls were older than J’Mae and I but they were always very nice to us. I can still remember the lemon meringue pies she always seem to have. I think she made them every day for her boarders because they were a favorite. Charleston had many lovely shops with so many people , trolley cars and movies. One day the girls took us to three movies .in one day. That was utmost as far as I was concerned.

In Charleston, they used to have colored (black) women vendors selling fresh vegetables, eggs, baskets that they had made early in the morning. You could hear them calling “Sievey Beans butter beans) ,okra, corn, tomatoes, peaches, squash, rutabagas, turnips, sweet potatoes, spinach, cucumbers, and the list went on. It may contain shrimp or fish. Aunt Bobbie would run out of the house and I would go with her and she would buy her fresh vegetables for the day.. The vendors are no longer there today. There were brick and cobblestone streets in Charleston.. All the new fads and fashions came out of Charleston in my eyes.

I had fine very straight hair. I thought if you had curly hair your problems were solved and you would have nothing else to worry about. Addie who now had her own beauty parlor said to me one day: “I’ve got some sample permanents which I need to try on someone. Next time you are in town, let me know and I will give you a permanent”. I went and she did and I would up with all this curly hair. I could not believe I had this permanent. They were given quite differently then. They filled your head with all these curlers and they had to stay in for about 15 or 20 minutes connected to electricity while it processed. It was quite an operation but I enjoyed the permanent a great deal.

– “The Way It Was,” Chapter 19: “Charleston, SC,” 1999

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  1. I wish I knew more about this side of the family, but it’s really only from Momma’s memoirs that I know anything. She did always talk about Charleston being “The Holy City”, because of all the church steeples, and how going there was a real highlight.

    The story of the “permanent” is a hoot. Momma always used to comment that she seemed to always be slightly out of step with fashion. 🙂

    Momma did talk about the beach house at Edisto. That’s the one that was brick and built right on the sand. A hurricane took that house out, but she and Daddy both always loved the beach.

  2. What a dear story about the gallon of milk. I knew she did not like milk. She had said her Daddy told her the only reason she did not like milk was because they had so much of it. I remember she bought whole milk in a glass gallon jar from the Munns’s cow. Then she would spoon off the cream when it rose to the top…fresh whipped cream.

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