Article by Irene H Bartholomew

Early Days Of My Childhood

Irene Humprhey Bartholomew

I was born and grew up in the mountains of Tennessee. I had wonderful parents, Henry and Louise Humphrey, also two wonderful brothers, Carl and Cecil, and a sister Beulah. Beulah died a few months after birth. My oldest brother Carl had asthma all his life, and couldn’t do all the things the other kids could do, such as run and play. If he did he would have an attack and almost smother to death. When he grew up he wanted to go work in the coal mines with my dad. He worked in the mines until government opened CCC camps and he worked at Norris when they started Norris Dam. When World War I I was eminent he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was trained as an aircraft mechanic and sent overseas to Australia. His rank was Staff Sgt. After being discharged from the service he and his wife Juanita moved to Detroit, Michigan where he had accepted a job with Chrysler Corporation. He was employed there until his death in 1967. Carl was a Master Mason.

Cecil was my youngest brother. He was a good swimmer. He would dive off the cliff at the blue hole in Tennessee hollow. The blue hole was very deep. When he was just learning to swim he almost drowned. Jess Green lived across the road and creek in front of Haskell Queener’s grocery store. The water was quite deep there. Jess and Cecil were in Jess’s small boat when it capsized and Cecil fell out. Jess jumped in, found Cecil under the water, pulled him out of the water and revived him. Cecil was killed in action in Germany in World War II. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medals. I remember the time Cecil and I had the measles at the same time. After we were over them Cecil had trouble seeing after dark.

George Hoskins ran a grocery store nearby and he was a wonderful man to talk to. He loved kids and we loved him. Cecil would be over at the store after dark and we would have to walk him home. This lasted only a short time until he was back to normal again. Mr. Hoskins would always give us a big bottle of pop and a bar of candy. This was during the depression and people didn’t have much money. We would grow our own vegetables, and kill hogs around Thanksgiving that would last the winter. We ate good and had enough clothes to wear. There was a lot of love and sharing in our home.

I was married in 1950. My husband was from Oswego, N. Y. and we lived there three and a half years before moving to Detroit, Michigan. When my husband died four years ago, I moved back to Tennessee. I have renewed old acquaintances as well as making new friends. I love them all and I hope this brings back fond memories to all my friends and relatives. May God love you all.

This article is from a book by
Gene White.

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