My Aunt Anna Marie and Hank Williams
Today, I just want to share a little family story with all of you.
If you’ve viewed the “About” tab on my website, you know I was born in Montgomery, Alabama and grew up moving every 2 ½ years as an Air Force Brat. My parents were born and raised in lower Alabama, referred to in the South as LA.
My mother had 10 brothers and 3 sisters. Trips “down home” to visit were annual when we were stationed in the U.S. During several cross-country military transfer moves, I spent the last months of my school year and most of the summer at my paternal grandparents’ home in Georgiana, Alabama.
By that time, both of my maternal grandparents were gone. However the family home in McWilliams, Alabama was maintained and we also stayed there. My mother and her siblings often talked about going to school with Hank Williams. They attended the Moore Academy School in Pineapple, Alabama. It was constructed in 1881 as a wooden structure. In 1922 a brick building was erected and still stands today. My mother and her siblings attended a one room school house in McWilliams in their early years and I’m not certain how old they were when they went to the Academy.
In McWilliams, Hank’s Aunt and Uncle owned a small store located near my Grandfather’s Company Store. Their store was like a miniature UDF or 7-11 of today. The one room was about 10×12 with wall mounted shelves of merchandise, a counter with cash register and their beloved Coke machine. That electric Coke machine looked like a small chest type freezer of today, was lined with aluminum and had a big heavy lid. After presenting my nickel at the counter, I’d go over to that magical contraption and open the lid. I loved the way I could, reach down inside and slide the bottle along the metal track until it reached the dispenser lever, then I pull up and it was mine. Then I’d go around to the side of the machine insert the bottle cap under the opener and pull down to pop the lid off. Sometimes glass would come off with the cap and we kids were taught to always look at the bottle lip before drinking; avoiding a cut lip or swallowed glass.
Sorry for rambling; now back to my story. The small town of McWilliams has a cemetery located behind my Aunt Joyce’s house. Today it’s surrounded by a chain link fence and back then, it included an old gazebo type structure used by the town for Memorial Day and other special occasions. That’s where my story takes place………
My Aunt Anna Marie (my mother’s sister) was about the same age as Hank. By the time she was a grandmother, she had retired from teaching school in Selma, enjoyed buying all her clothes at the Parisian shop in Montgomery and could melt butter with her sweet nature and southern drawl. She was a precious woman and shared this with me: “There was a day the town was having a ceremony at the cemetery and I was so happy to be wearing my beautiful new dress. Everyone was there sitting on the wooden benches (under the gazebo roof). Hank and I were about five years old and sitting near each other on an old rickety bench. I felt something wet on my dress and looked over and saw that Hank Williams had wet his pants – that bench was so crooked and slanted, it just came over and got on my dress. I was so mad at him for messing up my new dress! He was the sorriest thing! “
Hope that made you smile, I so enjoy that piece of our family history.
on to the medical information I promised. Long story short, I’m having right hip replacement surgery on June 19th and it will likely involve a six week recovery period. My plan is to try and keep this weekly blog post up to date. Once I’ve recovered, I’ll share this unexpected experience with you. In the meantime, no worries; I expect to be back on the golf course in August.
Please stop by next Friday for the white shoes, red/white/blue fashion dilemma