Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Some Notes on a West Alabama Family by Laura Vonceil Duckworth, Reform, Alabama.

In this final article of a series of postings by Laura Vonceil Duckworth of Reform, Alabama, she writes a tribute to her late mother, whose words reflect the respectful wisdom of the family-oriented culture of the Deep South.  Both are descendants of Christopher Holyman, Sr. (1618 - 1691).

 Right, Mamie Lou Clemmons and Dewey Bonner in the 1970s

My mother, Mamie Lou Clemmons, a descendant of Hollimans, had a great influence on my life.  She always was at home taking care of seven brats.  Very few times was a switch used, but she used her soft voice for corrections, teaching us that it was wrong to talk about others. 

West Alabama Wisdom from Mamie Lou Clemmons 

- ‘If you can't say anything good about other people, it is best not to say anything. 

 - Never take anything for granted.  

- Always give a helping hand when you can, as you never know when you might need help.  

- Learn and use your mistakes when you have children of your own.  

- Always tell the truth and then you don’t get into trouble because your daddy has checked the mileage of the old car. 

- Other people will look at you and know what kind of parents you have by the way you act.  

- Your education can never be taken away.’

Mom’s parents passed away while she was still a teenager.  She dropped out of school in the ninth grade, and she married at the age of nineteen.  Dewey D. Bonner was fourteen years older, but he provided well for her.  He always said she was different from any of the other women he had dated.

Never in my life did I hear my mother utter a curse word.  One of the most wonderful things I ever heard her say was, 'The greatest thing I get out of life is helping others.'  What a tribute to leave behind.

 She passed away on January 13, 1984 in Birmingham, Alabama from complications of acute leukemia.  She had been diagnosed two weeks before while in a hospital in Columbus, Mississippi.  She had a heart attack the day she left that hospital and a stroke the same night.  What a defeat.  

Or was it?  She longed to see her husband whom had passed away May 16, 1979.  I say she was received with open arms.”

 Soon another reminiscence of West Alabama by Dr. Rhodes Holliman, a prominent Holliman family historian....

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