Good-morning, kittens & dawgs! Did y’all have long holiday weekend? It was nice to spend the extra day with DH. On Saturday, we took a trip to Brevard, NC which sits at the edge of Pisgah National Forest. Come back tomorrow for a little photo share from our visit. Sunday, we stayed home and watched the last of the NFL play-offs. We rooted for the Packers, but in the last two minutes of the game the Seahawks got with the program and pulled off a victory. The second game, we figured there would be no contest between the Patriots and Colts. And, as it turned out, we were right. The Patriots ran away with the game at 45-7. So, Boston and Seattle will go head-to-head in Super Bowl 49. Who will you root for?
I’m happy you decided to join me this morning. Recently, I started digging into my family’s past and kicked off my genealogy series with Meet my parents and this morning I want to introduce my maternal grandparents to you.
Born in McDowell County in southern West Virginia on May 15, 1924 as Joe C. Hagerman, Grandpa was known by most as Crockett.
Grandpa was lanky. I think he was dubbed the nickname Stringbean which was perfect fit.
On June 11, 1926 Leatrice Joy Payne was born. I remember Grandma telling me she was named after a well-known silent film star.
Joy was a good name for Grandma with her sweet personality which radiated joy through her smile.
Grandpa enlisted in the service during WWII, but it’s unclear if he actually saw combat. My grandparents married July 11, 1944 and my mother was born in 1945.
Grandpa worked in the coalfields of West Virginia and like many miners, the Black Lung disease forced him out of the mining industry. Life was simple in the hills. They tended a garden in the warm months and kept chickens & hogs. I think they had cow and a horse, but my memory isn’t 100% certain or not. Gathering eggs with Grandma was a bit frightening. The old hens would fly around in the coop and I was afraid they’d scratch my eyes out or peck me to death if they get tangled in my long locks, but still I followed close behind Grandma to lend a hand. Why I even helped to slop the hogs with Grandma or with one of uncles. Both chores were smelly, but I don’t think I minded too much. That was just the way things were.
My grandparents were decent folks, hard-workers, and charitable. Grandpa was an old timey preacher. He didn’t need to attend seminary school like many do today. In fact, the only education he ever received was from grammar school. Everything he learned about God came straight from the Bible and everything God placed on his heart to speak, he spoke to others. His service to God was non-pretentious and true.
In my early years, I learned how faith worked through my grandparents. Every time I was sick, grandpa and grandma prayed over me. Any time, I had an achy tooth or sore ear, I asked them to talk to God to make me well. When I got hurt, they touched my body and asked God to remove the pain. I don’t recall ever a time that my suffering wasn’t made better when I asked for them to pray for me. Teaching a small one that faith is the belief in the unseen is an essential first step for a child to understand God’s gift of eternal life.
Grandpa and Grandma ministered not only to a person’s spiritual needs, but to their physical necessities. They worked in a program providing food and clothing to the under privileged. My grandparents were the type of people who would give the shirt off their backs to help another. Their hearts were pure gold. Looking strictly from a monetary stance, I don’t know how they got by except to say God provided for them daily and I know they felt richer for it.
In 2011, Grandpa went home to heaven. My grandparents were married 67 years. At the close of my grandparents’ lives, I truly understood their devotion to one another. They were more than husband and wife. They were best friends, soul mates, and life partners to the end. December 2012, the circle completed as Grandma crossed into heaven to be with Grandpa.
If you knew my grandparents, please share a story about them with my readers in the comments section. Next up, I’ll share my paternal grandparents in Meet the grandparents part II. I hope you’ll join me for the next installment of the Roberts/Hagerman Genealogy.