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The Minnie Years and Julia Town - Anna Bagby

The Minnie Years and Julia Town

Paperback

Published: 1st April 2010
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My Aunt Minnie was a tyrant. Nothing gave her more pleasure than to rear back on the hocks of her legs, arms akimbo, and Bellow at people in such a belligerent voice they were reduced to a state of nothingness. Cunning, greed and deceit were parts of her outward character discernible at all times, but her strong filial tendencies were known only to those in close contact with her. Aunt Minnie was a tall woman, close to five feet ten inches in height, weighing somewhere in the two hundreds. A wide face, small eyes spaced close together, gave her the look of a pouncing hawk. Needless to say, we stood in communal awe of her. We, being my nine brothers and sisters, entrusted into her care by my well-meaning, misguided father, whose only fault laid in his pride as sole provider of a family the size of ours. Father looked on the acceptance of charily in any form as a cardinal sin. Therefore; when times became hard, we were packed up and shipped off to a small rural parish in North Carolina, under the auspices of Minnie Although we were forced to submit to her absolute rule, there were times, to give the Devil his due, when she was most kind to us. As time passed, we learned to mistrust these moments of kindness . . . They seemed to precede Aunt Minnie at her worst. Now that I am grown and know something of Aunt Minnie's history, I am more given to understand her whole character. She was, according to my grandmother, never satisfied with her status in their small family which consisted of herself, my grandmother, and their mother. Born some months after the death of my great-grandfather, she was never sure she could rightfully claim the legitimacy that fell naturally to my grandmother, who enjoyed the safety of being born during the lifetime of their father. Consequently, she was a difficult child who grew to womanhood with a warped sense of love-hate toward her mother, sister and the whole world. This too would explain her late marriage. Having developed a tongue and temper akin to razor sharpness, it was a complete surprise when at the "old-age" of twenty-nine, she married a "ships'-hang-about" in Newport News, Virginia, and brought him home to the small house she rented on Charles Street in Norfolk, Virginia. Her husband, Samuel Bell was born of a dying mother in the early eighteen nineties. His birth date was never officially recorded. After the death of his mother, with no one claiming relationship and still an infant, he was sent by the authority in place to Suffolk Foundling, the County Home for orphaned Negro children. There he remained until he reached the age of eighteen. At age thirty two Sam, a loner with a heavy drinking problem, attended a June Nineteenth Masonic Picnic. There he met an unattached spinster; Miss Minnie DeComtessa Louisiana Blount, my Aunt Minnie. After the marriage, she supplied him with a push cart, work card, and a contract to sell bushels of wood from a local lumber yard, and promptly set about making this poor spineless creature's life a living hell for the next five years. When my mother was ten years old, Aunt Minnie gave birth to twin daughters. She was thirty-four years old at the time, and the combined facts of not being a younger woman, a difficult pregnancy, and a growing realization that she had married a lazy, shiftless man whose sole ambition was "jist to git by for today," drove her to extreme fits of temper. Each week during her pregnancy, no matter how inclement the weather or morning sickness, she would trudge the twelve blocks or so in front of or beside, (never behind) her husband's push cart, haranguing him all the way with foul words and name calling. When they reached the lumber yard, it was she who would sign for the amount of wood to be sold that week, her husband being completely illiterate. Each week the amount would be increased. On the day she gave birth, despite her labor pains, she made him get up earlier than usual (his day started at 4:30am), conducted him to the lumber

ISBN: 9781450015448
ISBN-10: 1450015441
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 190
Published: 1st April 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.12
Weight (kg): 0.29