Friday, March 20, 2009

Louise's memories: her parents' early years

Dollie Cates and Vennie (Louvenia) Watson @1916
My mother started her memoirs any number of times. This version was begun in 1999---paragraphs would have been nice, but I'm so happy she decided to put her life into words. (Double click on the page to make it larger and use the back arrow to come back) This first page tells a little about her father (James Wesley "Wes" Wicker), his personality and his drinking.
The second page is mostly about her mother Vennie Marie Watson Wicker and the Cates Family. I've included some photos of the Cates Family and their farm. From what I understand, Vennie's mother (Martha Silas) was the housekeeper. When she was committed to a mental institution, my grandmother (around 12 or 13 years old) was taken in by the Cates family who lived in the Coldwater area near Hornersville, MO. The Cates family remained close to my grandparents even after they moved away.
Here are photos of my mother and Dollie's son J.H.Cates when they were toddlers and later when they were in their 20's. I even corresponded with J.H. several times trying to learn more about Vennie's family.

Here are photos of me visiting J.H. Cates---around 1947. I can see my grandfather on the right.For many years, my only memory was of the chickens. As you can see by my body language, I was a little afraid of them and remember them pecking my hands trying to get to the seed that I was "feeding" them with.

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