And Mable Makes Four

Mabel Petty, Mamie, Tiny and Sara, ca. 1928

“Mable Petty, who lived right across the street from us, was our best friend. She was Tiny’s age but played with all of us and was almost like another sister. Her daddy was a postman, and they did not have a lot of money, but Mrs. Petty wanted Mable to have everything that the Evans kids had. Mama always said it must have been quite a struggle for poor Mrs. Petty to try to get her every toy that we got. If we had a tea party and did not include Mable then pretty soon Mable would be out in front of her house having a tea party too.

“We played some over at Mable’s house too, and I liked going over there. She had big figurines in her living room, and Mr. Petty told me that he got them from under the ocean, and I believed him. They had a garden and fig trees which we liked to play under and pretend we had a house there.

“Mr. Petty died while we were living on Strong Avenue and I guess he was probably the first person I had known who died. We stood out in the front yard and watched people going in across the street.”

I wonder now which of the neglected homes on that block of Strong Avenue belonged to the Pettys, and what became of Mable and her mother after Mr. Petty’s death. The Depression was looming and the Evans clan would soon be gone for their three years in Jackson, never to return to the brick bungalow on Strong Avenue. So many questions. Including this one: Why doesn’t anyone name their baby girls “Mable” any more?

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About sec040121

Hello....I'm in possession of a priceless collection of memoirs and memorabilia left by my mother, Sara Evans Criss. She was a native and lifelong (88 years!) devotee of our small town, who covered this peculiar and volatile corner of the world for 30 years as the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Greenwood bureau chief, a job that started out with debutantes and high school football and wound up spang in the midst of one of the twentieth century's most enduring social upheavals. This blog is dedicated to her memory and the legacy she left behind, both for her family and her community.
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