Mabel Victoria Dorsey (Hammonds), 18961986 (aged 90 years)

Name
Mabel Victoria /Dorsey (Hammonds)/
Given names
Mabel Victoria
Nickname
Big Mama
Surname
Dorsey (Hammonds)
Married name
Hammonds
Birth April 13, 1896 32 25
Alias
Big /Mama/

Birth of a sisterLois Tots Minetta Dorsey
January 31, 1899 (aged 2 years)
Death of a maternal grandfatherWilliam Prather Van Meter
December 2, 1899 (aged 3 years)
Burial of a maternal grandfatherWilliam Prather Van Meter
December 5, 1899 (aged 3 years)
Cemetery: Hix Cemetery
Birth of a brotherJoseph Edward Dorsey
January 27, 1901 (aged 4 years)
Note: Duke, Oklahoma was in Indian territory.
Death of a paternal grandmotherMartha Ann Yager
March 2, 1901 (aged 4 years)
Birth of a brotherEugene Stonewall Dorsey
March 25, 1903 (aged 6 years)
Birth of a brotherWayland Thomas Dorsey
March 21, 1906 (aged 9 years)
Birth of a brotherJoshua Haywood Dorsey
July 25, 1909 (aged 13 years)
Birth of a brotherIvan Carl Dorsey
October 7, 1912 (aged 16 years)
MarriageOliver Luther HammondsView this family
October 24, 1912 (aged 16 years)
Birth of a sonEugene Oliver Hammonds
November 4, 1913 (aged 17 years)
Birth of a sonFrank Marshall Hammonds
August 8, 1915 (aged 19 years)
Birth of a brotherClyde Dorsey
February 22, 1916 (aged 19 years)
Birth of a brotherClarence Dorsey
February 22, 1916 (aged 19 years)
Birth of a daughterMary Ann Hammonds (Fitzgerald) (Wadsworth)
October 22, 1916 (aged 20 years)
Birth of a sonClaude Victor Hammonds
June 23, 1919 (aged 23 years)
Address: Claude's birth places are listed in four different places: Hungerford, Palestine, Dallas and Navarro County. All in Texas.
Birth of a sonWilliam Jackson Hammonds
June 4, 1922 (aged 26 years)
Birth of a daughterIva Lee Hammonds (Evans)
February 11, 1925 (aged 28 years)
Death of a maternal grandmotherLee Ann Van Meter
November 15, 1926 (aged 30 years)
Birth of a sonRoy Luther Hammonds
November 11, 1927 (aged 31 years)
Birth of a grandsonBaby Boy Fitzgerald
1935 (aged 38 years)

Note: Born prematurely. Did not survive.
Birth of a granddaughterGlynda Ann Fitzgerald (Cumby)
January 26, 1936 (aged 39 years)
Birth of a daughterElizabeth Lois Hammonds (Pickle)
May 10, 1936 (aged 40 years)
Birth of a grandsonEugene Elbert Hammonds
January 14, 1937 (aged 40 years)
Birth of a granddaughterVira Lee Fitzgerald (Edmonson)
November 19, 1937 (aged 41 years)
Birth of a grandsonJames Frank Hammonds
December 25, 1938 (aged 42 years)
Birth of a granddaughterMarian Francis Fitzgerald (Terry) (Parent)
January 24, 1942Abt 6:00 p.m. (aged 45 years)
Address: St. Joseph Hospital
Ship Cristening December 28, 1942 (aged 46 years)

Note: Christened the USS Tomich, a destroyer escort vessel. built at Brown Shipyard. Tomich was killed at…

Christened the USS Tomich, a destroyer escort vessel. built at Brown Shipyard. Tomich was killed at Pearl Harbor and awarded the Metal of Honor for heroism. Mabel was invited to sponsor the USS Tomich because she had four sons fighting in WWII. Also serving was her son-in-law and four of her brothers.

Death of a motherMary Lee Van Meter (Dorsey)
March 19, 1943 (aged 46 years)
Burial of a motherMary Lee Van Meter (Dorsey)
March 22, 1943 (aged 46 years)
Cemetery: South Park Cemetery, Pearland, Texas
Birth of a granddaughterJudy Darlene Rogers (Hammonds)
December 5, 1945 (aged 49 years)
Birth of a granddaughterMarvilyn Lee Evans (Heffner)
February 23, 1946 (aged 49 years)
Birth of a granddaughterSally Jo Hammonds
September 24, 1946 (aged 50 years)

Birth of a grandsonThomas Michael Evans
June 29, 1947 (aged 51 years)
Death of a fatherStonewall Jackson Dorsey
November 24, 1949 (aged 53 years)
Burial of a fatherStonewall Jackson Dorsey
November 26, 1949 (aged 53 years)
Cemetery: South Park Cemetery
Birth of a grandsonJon Lynn Hammonds
December 3, 1949 (aged 53 years)

Baptism of a granddaughterVira Lee Fitzgerald (Edmonson)
1952 (aged 55 years)
Source: S03270
Text:

Date of Import: May 20, 2001

Note: Freeport Christian Church.
Birth of a grandsonWillliam Jackson Hammonds, Jr
January 21, 1952 (aged 55 years)

Death of a brotherWayland Thomas Dorsey
June 15, 1953 (aged 57 years)
Birth of a granddaughterSusan Elaine Evans (Wailes)
July 14, 1953 (aged 57 years)
Birth of a grandsonDavid Marshall Hammonds
July 15, 1954 (aged 58 years)
Birth of a granddaughterDonna Kathleen Greer
January 22, 1956 (aged 59 years)
Birth of a granddaughterTerry Elaine Greer
June 29, 1957 (aged 61 years)
Birth of a granddaughterMarybeth Evans (Parker)
May 15, 1958 (aged 62 years)
Birth of a grandsonMark Taylor Greer
1958 (aged 61 years)
Birth of a granddaughterKaren Ann Hammonds (Tonnesen) (Patterson)
September 7, 1959 (aged 63 years)
Death of a husbandOliver Luther Hammonds
December 7, 1960 (aged 64 years)
Burial of a husbandOliver Luther Hammonds
December 1960 (aged 64 years)
Cemetery: Peach Point Cemetery
Source: S03270
Date of entry in original source: December 10, 1960
Text:

Date of Import: May 20, 2001

Birth of a grandsonKyle Martin Hammonds
March 2, 1962 (aged 65 years)
Birth of a granddaughterKay Lynn Hammonds (Price)
August 15, 1965 (aged 69 years)
Death of a sisterLois Tots Minetta Dorsey
August 27, 1966 (aged 70 years)
Christening of a granddaughterKaren Ann Hammonds (Tonnesen) (Patterson)
1968 (aged 71 years)
Death of a sonWilliam Jackson Hammonds
January 25, 1968 (aged 71 years)
Birth of a grandsonKevin Jeffrey Hammonds
September 1, 1968 (aged 72 years)
Burial of a sonWilliam Jackson Hammonds
1968 (aged 71 years)
Birth of a granddaughterVicki Ann Pickle (Stringfield)
July 18, 1970 (aged 74 years)
Death of a brotherWilliam Samuel Dorsey
November 4, 1972 (aged 76 years)

Death of a brotherJoshua Haywood Dorsey
November 29, 1978 (aged 82 years)
Death of a brotherJoseph Edward Dorsey
October 2, 1980 (aged 84 years)
Death of a granddaughterVira Lee Fitzgerald (Edmonson)
November 11, 1980 (aged 84 years)
Cause: Chronic Diabetes - Kidney Failure
Source: S03270
Text:

Date of Import: May 20, 2001

Burial of a granddaughterVira Lee Fitzgerald (Edmonson)
November 13, 1980 (aged 84 years)
Source: S03270
Text:

Date of Import: May 20, 2001

Death of a daughterMary Ann Hammonds (Fitzgerald) (Wadsworth)
June 23, 1983 (aged 87 years)
Cause: Though she had cancer in the roof of her mouth, Mary Ann died of a blocked blood vessel in her stomach.
Death of a brotherIvan Carl Dorsey
February 22, 1985 (aged 88 years)
Death of a sonRoy Luther Hammonds
August 25, 1985 (aged 89 years)
Cause: Cancer
Burial of a sonRoy Luther Hammonds
August 28, 1985 (aged 89 years)
Cemetery: Peach Point Cemetery
Children

Note: Gene, Frank, Mary Ann, Claude, Bill, Iva Lee, and Elizabeth Hammonds
Family Relationship

Note: Mother of Mary Ann Hammonds Fitzgerald and Grandmother of Marian and Glynda Cumby
Death December 30, 1986 (aged 90 years)
Burial January 2, 1987 (3 days after death)
Cemetery: Peach Point Cemetery
Family with parents
father
STONEWALL JACKSON DORSEY
18631949
Birth: September 10, 1863 28 28Glendale, Hardin, Kentucky, USA
Death: November 24, 1949Palestine, Anderson, Texas, USA
mother
Mary Lee Van Meter Dorsey
18701943
Birth: October 31, 1870 41 20Carthage, Jasper, Missouri, USA
Death: March 19, 1943Houston, Harris, Texas, USA
Marriage MarriageAugust 1, 1888Bryan County, Oklahoma, USA
2 years
elder brother
3 years
elder brother
3 years
herself
Mabel Victoria Dorsey
18961986
Birth: April 13, 1896 32 25Bowie, Montague County, Texas, USA
Death: December 30, 1986Palestine, Anderson County, Texas, USA
3 years
younger sister
Lois Minetta Dorsey Long
18991966
Birth: January 31, 1899 35 28Quanah, Hardeman, Texas, USA
Death: August 27, 1966Houston, Harris, Texas, USA
2 years
younger brother
Joseph EDWARD Dorsey
19011980
Birth: January 27, 1901 37 30Duke, Jackson, Oklahoma, USA
Death: October 2, 1980Houston, Harris, Texas, USA
2 years
younger brother
Eugene Stonewall Dorsey
19031991
Birth: March 25, 1903 39 32Duke, Jackson, Oklahoma, USA
Death: January 2, 1991Austin, Travis, Texas, USA
3 years
younger brother
WAYLAND THOMAS DORSEY
19061953
Birth: March 21, 1906 42 35Oklahoma, USA
Death: June 15, 1953Long Beach, Los Angeles, California, USA
3 years
younger brother
Joshua Haywood Dorsey
19091978
Birth: July 25, 1909 45 38Mangum, Greer, Oklahoma, USA
Death: November 29, 1978Houston, Harris, Texas, USA
3 years
younger brother
Ivan Carl Dorsey
19121985
Birth: October 7, 1912 49 41Magnet, Wharton County, Texas, USA
Death: February 22, 1985Madisonville, Madison, Texas, USA
3 years
younger brother
Clyde Dorsey
19161987
Birth: February 22, 1916 52 45Lakeview, Hall, Texas, USA
Death: June 27, 1987Montgomery, Montgomery, Texas, USA
younger brother
Clarence Dorsey
19162002
Birth: February 22, 1916 52 45Lakeview, Hall, Texas, USA
Death: December 2, 2002Houston, Harris, Texas, USA
Family with Oliver Luther Hammonds
husband
Oliver L. Hammonds
18861960
Birth: April 30, 1886 39 38Marble Falls, Burnet, Texas, USA
Death: December 7, 1960Freeport, Brazoria, Texas, USA
herself
Mabel Victoria Dorsey
18961986
Birth: April 13, 1896 32 25Bowie, Montague County, Texas, USA
Death: December 30, 1986Palestine, Anderson County, Texas, USA
Marriage MarriageOctober 24, 1912Bay City, Matagorda, Texas, USA
13 months
son
EUGENE OLIVER HAMMONDS
19132004
Birth: November 4, 1913 27 17Magnet, Wharton, Texas, USA
Death: June 13, 2004Houston, Harris, Texas, USA
21 months
son
FRANK AND MARIAN HAMMONDS
19151990
Birth: August 8, 1915 29 19Magnet, Wharton, Texas, USA
Death: October 15, 1990Houston, Harris, Texas, USA
15 months
daughter
Mary Ann Hammonds - 1962 Halloween Party
19161983
Birth: October 22, 1916 30 20Palestine, Anderson County, Texas, USA
Death: June 23, 1983Bellaire, Harris County, Texas, USA
3 years
son
CLAUDE VICTOR HAMMONDS
19191999
Birth: June 23, 1919 33 23Palestine, Anderson County, Texas, USA
Death: April 6, 1999Spokane, Spokane, Washington, USA
3 years
son
WILLIAM JACKSON HAMMONDS
19221968
Birth: June 4, 1922 36 26Palestine, Anderson, Texas, USA
Death: January 25, 1968Freeport, Brazoria, Texas, USA
3 years
daughter
Iva Lee and Marvin Evans Wedding Picture
19251995
Birth: February 11, 1925 38 28Ennis, Ellis, Texas, USA
Death: June 12, 1995Houston, Harris, Texas, USA
3 years
son
ROY LUTHER HAMMONDS
19271985
Birth: November 11, 1927 41 31Houston, Harris, Texas, USA
Death: August 25, 1985Lake Jackson, Brazoria, Texas, USA
9 years
daughter
media/Elizabeth Pickle 1.jpg
1936
Birth: May 10, 1936 50 40Houston, Harris, Texas, USA
Ship Cristening

Christened the USS Tomich, a destroyer escort vessel. built at Brown Shipyard. Tomich was killed at Pearl Harbor and awarded the Metal of Honor for heroism. Mabel was invited to sponsor the USS Tomich because she had four sons fighting in WWII. Also serving was her son-in-law and four of her brothers.

Children

Gene, Frank, Mary Ann, Claude, Bill, Iva Lee, and Elizabeth Hammonds

Family Relationship

Mother of Mary Ann Hammonds Fitzgerald and Grandmother of Marian and Glynda Cumby

Shared note

A Christmas Letter from Mabel Victoria Dorsey Hammonds 1984

Note: Along with this letter, Mabel included an old picture when she was a young girl living in Oklahoma with Mary Lee Van Meter Dorsey and Stonewall Jackson Dorsey and all of the children. The Letter is in her words just as she wrote.

She writes:

The Dorsey Family In 1900

Dear Family:

If you like antiques, you will like this picture. I was 7 years old, Lois was 5, Edward was 3, Stonie was 6 months, Claude was 10 and Bill was 13. Stonie, Claude and myself are the only ones in this picture that are still alive. Stonie is 80, I’m 87 and Claude is 90. (At present day, these three have all passed away.) I got the negatives from Clarence and decided all of you might like this old picture.

We lived in Oklahoma. Notice how the wind is blowing my mams dress. If you’ll notice, Edward has on a dress. Little boys woredresses them days until they was old enough to start school, there was no TV’s, Radios, Electricity or Phonografs. We had no telephones, no such thing as working machines. We washed our clothes on the rub board and hunt them out on the line. Our clothes had to be ironed. We didn’t have this good material lie we have now and our irons were the old flat irons. We had to heat on the stove. We usually had 3, so 2 could be heating. While we ironed with one in the hot summer time. When we had to iron we had to leave a hot fire in the cook stove. Claude, Bill and myself walked 2 miles to school and sometimes through the snow. There were no school busses. There were no car’s either. We Xmas came, we had no Xmas trees. We hung up our stockings and Santa filled them with candy nuts and an apple and orange and that was our Xmas, but we always looked forward to getting that, in fact that was the only time we got stuff like that. Me and Lois, we always called “Tots”, use to go up stairs and play cob dolls. We made our dolls out of corn cobs. We dressed them up with pretty quilt scraps. We usually had 4 or 5 a piece. We played like that was our family. We even made hats for them. Can you imagine kids now days playing with dolls made out of corn cobs?

My dad built this house there was only 3 rooms, 1 room and 1 kitchen downstairs and 1 room up stairs. Bill and Claude slept up stairs, me and Tots slept in the trundle bed, that was a bed we could push under the big bed in day time and get it out of the way; Edward and Stonie slept with mom and pop in the winter time.

We burned cow chips. We’d take the wagon and go down in the pasture and fill it full of cow chips. Can you imagine a big box of cow chips setting behind your stove in the kitchen? We had to buy the coal. The cow chips in Oklahoma seemed to be much dryer than they were here (South Texas).

We did not have running water either, we had to go about ½ mile to get it, we hauled it up from the tank in a barrel. We had no bath tubs, no inside toilets, and it was pretty cold to go to that outside toilet ona frosty morning, it was about ½ block from the house, some say they were the good ole days, but I don’t think I’d want to live them over. We had no ice boxes in them days either. I just thought how things was them days. We live in a different world now and don’t you think we’ve got a lot to be thankful for?

Hope you all have a Merry Xmas and a happy 1984.

Lots of love, Big Mama

I HAD TWO MAMAS Written by Tom Evans

I am luckier than most people. I had two Mamas. Iva Lee and Big Mama. Big Mama was by grandmother. And she was something else. She could cook more good food than Forty relatives could eat on a Sunday afternoon. I'm talking chicken and noodles to beat the band. Cornbread, and sweet rice. Apple pie and homemade ice cream. And don't get me started about the Fried Chicken and mashed potatoes Oh Man, I am drifting backwards. When we were through eating, and after we finished Chuckin acorns at Roy and Gene and Bill, all of us kids Would to the back bedroom and watch "The Wizard of Oz, Or most likely, "Lassie." We liked those shows But Big Mama and Papa's favorites were "The Real McCoys" and "Lawrence Welk". I remember watching "Davy Crockett" there. I remember watching a full moon Cast light and shadow across the lawn Through the open window. I remember my first day of sixth grade. Big Mama got me ready and sent me off. I lost my fountain pen when I jumped the ditch And was terrified I'd be in trouble. Mr. Shifflett said, "It's OK." Mr. Shifflett wouldn't say anything else, would he? I remember Big Mama throwing water through the big window fan at me when she'd hired me to mow her yard. I remember Big Mama throwing a glass of water on my head When I complained that I didn't like the glass she'd given me. I remember Big Mama giving me hot biscuits with home made butter and sugar. (I was usually in my underwear when I ate those.) I remember Big Mama and Papa giving me a Silver dollar for my birthday. Over and Over. I still have those silver dollars. I remember Big Mama rocking me and singing me "The Pickeniny Song." And I remember Big Mama singing me the "Froggy Song"…when I was small. I remember standing by Papa's bathroom heater on a Winter's morning, trying to grip up to a walk to School. It wasn't far, but I didn't want to leave Papa's heater. The heater is now in my art Studio At the base of my easel. I remember Big Mama's laugh. I remember Big Mama's humor. I remember when she told me a Kitten's tail was its handle. I remember Big Mama wringing two Chicken's heads off at one time. I remember her referring to her hens as "my girls." I am lucky. I had two Mamas.

MARIVLYN'S RESPONSE TO "I HAD TWO MAMAS"

I love this. It is not only your life but mine since we were only 16 months apart. Thanks for sending it. I am going to send it to Delaine. I want her to get a glimpse of my childhood even thought she has already heard most of these things.

What about when Big Mama used to put ice and june bugs down your pants? And when Papa ate with his knife and fork in the opposite hands and let green peas roll right into his mouth off that knife. And the catsup he put on his eggs. The only thing I ever remember him saying to me was "Don't kick my can." That was as I was getting into the 50 ford for him to take me somewhere. And playing in the feed store. I loved to jump all over the feed sacks. But oooh would we ever get into trouble for that! And picking up pecans. And weighing them and getting money from Big Mama.

Our Mama loved to pick up pecans. I called them "Bacans. And sometimes still do. And Glynda saying to Big Mama after she would wring the chicken's necks, "Wind 'em up and do it again, Big Mama!" I loved those days. Happy memories. Marv!

GLYNDA'S REPSONSE TO "I HAD TWO MAMAS"

I remember Big Mama cooking banana pudding in her kitchen when she lived in Kashmere Gardens in Houston during World War II. She was always cooking, because there was always a crowd at her house-especially when "one of the boys" was home from the service. It seemed like there were always boys home from the service-after all Big Mama had four sons, a son-in-law and four brothers fighting in the war. (They were so handsome in their uniforms.)

I remember the twilight playing of games in that yard and that all the adults played too. So funny! And at that house, I remember Big Mama twisting the heads off of chickens, and it was there that the request for a rewind took place.

In Palestine, I remember some of the breakfasts Big Mama cooked-there would be biscuits, gravy, bacon, ham, eggs, fried chicken, and fresh butter. Fact is, it was all fresh off the farm-the products of the work of their hands. I remember Mama and Iva Lee helping Big Mama can foods. It was a steaming hot job and they all worked so hard. But I think they enjoyed it.l

One of my fondest memories took place in Jones Creek. Aunt Iva Lee and Uncle Marvin bought a small house just up the road from their house for Big Mama and Papa. The people who lived in it before were just trash filthy people and there were loads and loads of trash inside the house. So we all gathered for the weekend to clean it up. There were people washing, people carrying out trash, people painting, both inside and outside, people cleaning the yard, someone planting a garden out beside the house. It was truly a family event.

I only remember Big Mama fussing at me once and I'm sure I deserved it. One of the best things she ever said to me was when I was a teen-ager. She said, "Sometimes I just don't understand your mother!" (My mother and I had a difficult relationship.) The fact that Big Mama did not understand her was like a huge burden lifted off of me-I wasn't the only one who did not understand her.

There is a family story I love and can totally visualize. When Mama was a girl, she and Big Mama prepared meals. And one time Gene wanted a refill of his glass of milk so he tossed it to Mama and told her to fill it up. So she filled the glass and turned around and tossed it back to him. That's my Mama. I bet Big Mama loved it.

Big Mama was the heart of this family-she was fun, she shouldered huge burdens, and there never was enough money. She was a survivor. One time Dana asked her what life was like during the depressions. Big Mama answered, "Shucks, it was pretty much like every other year

Marian's Response to "I Had Two Mamas"

I have a different view of Big Mama. I felt that I was the ONLY one of her kids, grandkids that was ever rocked by her. (At least that's how I felt. She made me feel that in that rocking chair, I was her only kid. I loved her so much. Note: I ended up with that rocking chair cause I had been rocked the most in it. I think I ended up giving it to Kathleen.

She would play funny jokes, but one day, I played a scary type of joke on her and she screamed at me and held her chest and told me I could have caused a heart attack. Things changed after that. I wasn't as close to her as I thought. I had let down my heart and she screamed at me and I knew I was not a special person/ to her then. But that passed and life went on with all of us.

One time, I was out playing and Big Mama had let the cows out to graze in the yards to "mow" the yard, so to speak. I'm sure I aggravated that cow and she chased me up that side tree by the house and there I hung, screaming for Big Mama or Papa to come to my rescue. It seemed like hours before Big Mama came. I'm sure it wasn't that long, but that old cow stayed under that tree scraping my bottom. I was sure I would be eaten up. After that, I wasn't too fond of cows. I stayed away from them.

And, how about that old living room you older kids (Glynda, Vir, Elizabeth, Gen Albert and Jimmie) dug out down the hill. Made of dirt, it was your secret place to go and act like grown-ups. Smoking sassafras roots. You thought you were really big. Us little ones (Marvilyn, Tommy me and someone else I can't remember) were not welcome too much, because we would tell Big Mama on you. But, we kept our little secret and as the next wave of kids came along, it seemed like we let it wash away. We had too many other things like the hammock. Do you remember the hammock? All wrapped up in that thing and just Swinging.

MABEL DORSEY SPONSORS THE U.S.S. TOMICH December 28, 1942

Champagne Sparkles in the Bright Sunshine

By Glynda Fitzgerald Cumby - Grandaughter of Big Mama

The day Big Mama christened the U.S.S. TOMICH it was very cold. A frigid Texas norther had blown through Houston the night before and the wind was extremely cold. But I remember clearly that the sun was shinning brightly and the sky was a beautiful deep blue.

A limousine took Big Mama, Papa and Elizabeth to the ceremony at the Brown Shipyard where the naval destroyer escort vessel was built. Elizabeth and I were six years old. I remember we walked a long way to get to the ship.

The U.S.S. Tomich was named for the late, chief water tender Peter Tomich, who was killed when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Peter was awarded post-humously the U. S. Congressional Metal of Honor for Heroism.

Big Mama was asked the sponsor this ship because she had four sons in the service. On that day, Eugene was a twenty nine year old radio technician in the Navy. He was stationed in Houston, at the Navy School at the University of Houston. Twenty three year old Claude was serving in India in the army air force. Frank, who was twenty-seven years old, was serving in the Pacific in the Navy. Twenty year old Bill was in the Navy School at Texas A&M.

It was a very impressive ceremony, but what I remember the most is that when Big Mama christened the ship by striking the bow with a bottle of champagne, bubbles of champagne flew into the cold air and sparkled so brightly in the beautiful sunshine that they looked like diamonds.

Granddaughter of Big Mama Written by Marvilyn Evans Heffner, Grandaughter of Big Mama

I will always remember the very special time that I was Big Mama's companion during those lonely days after Papa died. I would walk down to her house usually around 5 or 6 pm, eat supper with her, spend the night, and catch the bus from her house the next morning. Many times I was doing my homework while listening to her clean the kitchen after supper. One cold winter night, it seemed late, I walked into the living room and to my surprise Big Mama was sitting on a "Big Mama stool" by the gas heater, holding a burning match to her legs. I was surprised, but not worried. I knew there was probably a clever explanation. Sure enough when I asked what she was doing she told me with a twinkle in her eye, "I am shaving my legs." With all the large veins she had from all of her long hours of being on her feet over the years as a school cook and all the other jobs she did to help make a living, she could not shave with a razor. I thought that was pretty clever but... I didn't want to try it.