I am sitting here wondering where and how to start about my grandmother. First of all, this is not the McGlothlin’s or Alderetes, whom are on my father’s side. The grandmother I am referring to is Lola Pearl Johnson Kennedy. My Dad’s father died in January of ’58 and his mother died when I was about 18-19 months old. To remember her, my dad’s mother? I don’t… but I have heard stories of how she doted on me. Now…back to Lola Pearl….better known as Mammaw. There are so many stories on her that this may have to be continued over several Sundays before I move on to another person. One of the earliest memories of her is when we would go to visit them. Usually when some of the other brothers and sisters of mom heard we were coming they would try to make plans to come in also…..and of course practically all 8 kids and their families showed up for our family reunions on Labor Day weekend. A tradition that my grandmother started but sad to say is no longer recognized. We would arrive – now picture this….a car pulls up to a house – a husband and wife, four kids, and a dog is falling out of the car to see who could get to the one bathroom in the house first after the 4 hour drive and our grandparents are at the door trying to greet us! The first thing my Dad usually had to do was fix the t.v. for my pappaw. He wouldn’t let anyone else touch it except for my Dad. Now this is Dad’s father in law who had at least one son that I know of that was trained in electronics but no one could touch that t.v. except my Dad and it didn’t matter if they sat there 6 months before we could get there with a broke t.v. or not. Only dad was allowed to work on it. Now let’s get back to my grandmother – It didn’t matter what kind of meal she cooked, every pot and pan was used – nothing was ever clean when she got thru and all condiments were brought out. My first memory I could just barely see over the table, totally fascinated by her hands kneading and rolling out the biscuit dough and cutting it into neat little circles, not realizing that those circles made the hot biscuits with butter and jam that I loved so well. I remember my mother fussing at my grandmother and instructing her not to be giving any of us biscuit dough when she would make biscuits for breakfast. Just as soon as mother would turn her back and walk away, Mammaw, with a twinkle in her eye and a soft chuckle, would pinch off some biscuit dough and sneak it to me. “SHhhhhhh…Don’t let your mama know I gave you some!!” And of course, I was right in there, being the staunch supporter of my grandmother, diligently keeping my floured covered mouth shut as I wolfed down the tidbit of dough. Both of us learned to perfect the most innocent look when it came to my mother even tho’ we were guilty as sin! And OMG, when we sat down to eat breakfast – eggs, sausage and bacon, gravy, grits, every kind of jelly or jam you could imagine that Mawmaw had canned, and those lovely hot fluffy buttered biscuits that she so lovingly made melted in your mouth as you ate until you hurt at Mammaw’s breakfast table.
Lola Pearl Johnson Kennedy
10 Aug 1908 – 24 Sep 1983