Sunday, January 15, 2012


This past week I have actively been involved in the Kilgore Cousins Group on facebook.  Since the site was set up, we have doubled the number of relatives in the group.  But in viewing the activity, the posts and comments have been active for just a few in the group.  That certainly doesn't diminish the importance of these posts and the involvement of those participating.  My desire is that we truly see "kilgore cousins" group involvement from the 3rd and 4th generations of John Wesley Virgil Kilgore.  Those generations have no ties to the Kilgore old home place in Nauvoo, Alabama but they are our future and they have been left a great legacy.

How many people in this world can return to the house and the land where their great grandmother or great grandfather was raised?  My wife, Pat who is an Albertville, Alabama native cannot even return  to the houses where her own mother and father were raised.  We are fortunate that we can return to the actually house build in the early 1900's by our own Grandpa.  A very large and special family was raised in that house.  That is why the house, barns, and land are sacred to us all.

The Kilgore old home place evokes memories in the minds of all the first cousins.  Many of us stayed overnight with Granny when she was left a widow.  Papa Kilgore died in December 1949.  We each had our season in the role of providing nightly companionship for Granny.   But at first, one of her children and their spouse moved in with Granny so she would not be along. I do not recall the order of the children's stay because I was only five years old at the time.  At some point, the grandchildren took over fulfilling that role and it was a memorable one. But as I got older at some point Carolyn McKeever and I stayed with Granny every night.

The house had only one heated room which served as the both the seating area and the bedroom.  The room's furnishings were simple and functional.  There was a sewing machine on the corner wall,  rocking chairs around the fireplace or later on, the stove, and there were two beds. The bathroom was a "pee pot" under Granny's bed which was emptied every morning after a night's stay. The beds  had iron bedsteads and mattresses that would sink in the middle.

We all slept in the same room; Granny in one bed and Carolyn and I in the other bed.  This would be unheard in today's world. That arrangement was stopped by our parents when I reached puberty.  Never could understand that at my naive age.  Following Carolyn and me, my brother, Mike and my cousin, Jim too over.  They became the official nighttime companions for Granny.

What memories of those days!  Granny would tell us all kinds of stories as we lay in the bed.  Most I've forgotten, but some I do recall.  One centered around the death of Uncle Johnnie who was killed in motor cycle wreck coming home from Birmingham in 1939.  Granny was good at telling "ghost stories."  I regret that many memories have gotten suppressed over the years.  Let's dig into our memory banks and see if we can relive those days through the memories recalled.  I look forward to hearing from you

Johnny Kilgore

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