Friday, April 22, 2011

I Love The South

Yes, I do love the South. I love the history of the South and I love living in the South. My family all lived in either East Tennessee or Southwest Virginia. I am truly a southern girl or woman.

My great-grandfather was a sheriff in Southwest Virginia. My grandmother was a storyteller. I guess that's where I get my gift from, if it is a gift. She would tell me stories about growing up in the mining towns.

Coal was the king back in the early 20th century. There were mines all up and down the hills. The mines were not safe, but the people who mined them were interesting. There were Irish, French, and Hungarian all mining in one mine. Each nationality had their own sub-community. There were probably Germans since her maiden name was Cress. On her marriage certificate it is spelled Krauss. It is so interesting to watch the way the names changed through the ages.

I'm sure the names were changed because of the census taker. Most early American's could not read or write and had no idea how to spell their name. I know that is what happened in my husband's family. There are several different spellings of his last name.

My grandmother told one story about the hangman staying the night with them. Since her father was the sheriff, the hangman stayed with him. No one knew the identity of the hangman and he came and went to the house at night. He carried a bag with the noose and the head covering for the man to be hanged.

Grandpa Cress could throw his voice. Granny said the kids were all acting up one night when the hangman was there.Grandpa threw his voice so it sounded like it was coming from the hangman's sack. It scared all of the kids and they went obediently to bed.

It was so different back then. People worked side by side, even if there were prejudices. Everyone in the family had a job to do. I'm glad Granny gave me so many good memories.

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