One Big Happy Family

Sara, Mamie and Rawa, late 1930s.

“In 1933 Rawa left for Delta State Teachers College in Cleveland, Mississippi. In 1935, Buddy went to Mississippi State and in 1936 Tiny to Ole Miss so for at least part of the year we were not so crowded, and Mary and I slept upstairs some. Big was always having trouble with John. He didn’t ever want to take a bath and would finally go in the bathroom after much nagging, sit down in the empty tub and get out and tell Big he was clean. Sometimes she would send him back and we would all be giggling.

Buddy, John, Roy and Rena (Rawa) Stott, around 1930.

“He didn’t like to go to school and had a habit of telling Big he was sick, so one morning she kept him home and made him lie flat on his back all day and do nothing. I was home sick and getting a kick out of the whole episode. He called for his crayons and she told him he was too sick to color. I think that day broke him from playing sick any more. He did not like doctors, and one time when Dr. Gillespie, who was very dignified, was called when he was sick, and John tried to kick him, which embarrassed Big something awful, but not so much as the time when he was to have his tonsils taken out. The date was set and with much protesting they left the house. I believe they were going to take them out at the Medical Building instead of the hospital. Anyway, they got him there and were preparing for surgery when he balked and absolutely refused to have it done. Big was humiliated, especially since she was a nurse, and was back home with him shortly, telling him to ‘go upstairs and stay there.’

John, Tricia and Son, all dressed up for some reason.

“Another time he threw such a fit to stay home and listen to the World Series on the radio that Big asked that he be excused for a day or two to listen. Somehow they pulled it off and John stayed home.”

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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