Tybee Island Reunion Family Nugget

These family nuggets have been provided by Loren Williams (aka Cousin Loren, aka Poppa Loren) except where noted.

Post Reunion Family History Nugget/Recipe
One of the things we've learned over the last few months is that the dining experiences at 715 E. 38th Street were different for the first and second sets of grandchildren. The second set never experienced Namas steak and onions; the first never experienced grits and salmon as prepared by Uncle Juddie for Uncle George. I may have come close to the latter however, as I believe that I learned from Aunt Eleanor that one could add things to grits besides butter. Things like cheese, bacon, sausage and ham - but if slamon was on her list, I've totally repressed it. One other thing I learned about grits from Aunt Eleanor when I was 4 or 5. If your grits seemed too hot to eat, you should eat the grits around the edge of the plate first - because they would be cooler there than in the middle of the plate.

But, accepting the risk of offending sensitive palates, I propose that we share our efforts to enhance the taste of grits and salmon. For openers, how about this:

  • grits cooked in beef bullion
  • add butter (or margerine)
  • salsa
  • cheese - and finally
  • salmon (skin and bones removed)
heat and stir until cheese is melted

I remember [in Nama's house] the sideboard or something like it in the dining room and also a glass fronted cabinet of some kind. There were treasures in both. In one of the drawers I discovered Pete's pistol, but was not allowed to touch it. In the cabinet, I discovered a china bowl full of money (coins). I took it and went to the corner store and spent it on candy. I later learned that it belonged to someone else (Juddie) and that what I had done was wrong!

Guest Nugget from Cousin Leland --
I remember that one fun thing to do at Nama's house was to raid a drawer in her dining room for goodies like advertising pencils (ball point pens had not been invented). I remember pencils from American Can Company, for whom Pete worked. This recollection raises a question in my mind. In what piece of dining room furniture was that drawer? I think it may have been a quartered oak sideboard matching the table and chairs, about which I have previously written. I don't remember ever knowing or wondering, even, about that piece of furniture. Can anyone help me? Does anyone know who got that piece of furniture? Is it quartered oak? Where is it today?

Guest Nugget from Cousin Carolee --
Who remembers peeling off the brick colored asphalt shingles off the edges of Namas porch? I think some of my female cousins may have been with me.

Which prompted this from Loren:
In August 1940, we (Leland, Cooper, Mom, Dad and I) were coming back from a trip to the NY World's Fair and Canada. We had to lay over in South Hill, VA. for a couple of days because all roads south of there were flooded. It was a hurricane (and did extensive damage in the mountains of N.C.) The waters began to recede and by taking back roads we continued our trip and went straight to Savannah, which we (Mom at least) knew had felt some effects of the hurricane. As we got to 715 E. 38th, Mom let out a cry of anguish. It looked to her as if the siding had been torn off the house, BUT, what she saw was the half completed installation of the brick colored asphalt shingles that Carolee and cousins began removing a few years later.

Guest Nugget from Cousin Leland --
One of my happiest childhood memories is of sitting on Nama's porch on a summer night listening to the adult conversation - Papa, Ibbie, and my father in particular. I remember Ibbie saying (must have been about 1943) that the US should ally with USSR only so long against Germany, then change sides so as to wear them both out. Maybe the cold war would have been over sooner if Ibbie had been Secretary of State!

Another memory I have on that porch is of Papa paying me a nickel to scratch his head until he fell asleep.

It was probably on that porch that Papa talked to me about becoming a preacher -- he preferred Methodist, but Baptist would be OK. I am convinced that you, Enoch, are the fulfillment of that legacy.

Guest Nugget from Cousin Leland --
Then there were Sunday mornings before church, or it might have been afternoon after church. Juddie and Pete were there. Pete wasn't married yet, so it was probably late 30s. Don't remember George in this context. Juddie and Pete would send me and/or Loren to nearby store for Sunday newspaper. I remember Juddie trying to con me into accepting a nickel reward instead of the promised dime because the nickel was larger! The upstairs sleeping porch was the scene.

Pete was a practical joker. He called me Sallie. And he always remembered my birthday with a dollar. Except for one year, when my birthday card from him came with no enclosure. But later in the day, I got a special delivery dollar. You couldn't trust the PO for such precision today.

Which prompted this from David:
I can well remember once or twice in Richmond trying to convice a next door neighbor(several years my junior) of the same logic behind trading dimes for nickles. As I recall, it didn't work for me.

Guest Nugget from Cousin Leland --
Soon after arriving at Nama's house, my Daddy would walk with me to a nearby grocery store for pineapple punch -- something like a pineapple julius.

Guest Nugget from Cousin Leland --
I was in the car with Nama going home to 38th Street after Papa's funeral. I remember two things:
The minister had said something about faith being like an insurance policy ready for any crisis. But she was very sad, so maybe it didn't work that way. I believe I suggested to her that she just had not cashed her policy in yet.

She also said that if there was anything I wanted out of her house to get it before her funeral because she was leaving instructions for someone to strike a match to her house while the funeral was going on.

Guest Nugget from Cousin Leland --
Sleeping at Nama's house was a special experience in winter. You got as warm as you could by the fire in living room or dining room (in later years there were oil heaters there). Then you would race upstairs and jump into a cold feather bed.

Guest Nugget from Cousin Leland --
In various combinations, Loren, Cooper, and I spent a couple of weeks each summer with Lillie and Ibbie. Lillie would take us to the movies. Recently, I brought Beau Geste home on video and reminisced about seeing it first run at the Bijou Theater. Ibbie would take us to his farm. I remember corn, scuppernongs, gourds, poison ivy, and picnics. Then there were street games with lots of kids on 39th Street. By the time they moved to 52nd (?) Street, I was either too mature for street games or there were no kids there. Mammy Cooper was always sitting on the porch on 39th Street.

Guest Nugget from Cousin Leland --
Juddie's warehouse was a curiosity for Cornelia, Carolee, and me. He always showed us around and gave us some things. I remember one thing -- a pink styrofoam picnic cooler, which we used for a long long time.

Guest Nugget from Cousin Leland --
I arrived in Savannah with Cornelia, Carolee, and Lee for a visit with Nama and found a note on the door from Juddie. That was the weekend she died. Later, when we got in the house we found a chocolate cream pie she had in the refrigerator for us. I don't remember discovering it, but I am sure she had country fried steak ready to fix for us.

Guest Nugget from Cousin Leland --
I am not sure who made the decision, but we got Nama's quartered oak dining table with 5 chairs and one leaf. Juddie arranged to move it to Lillie's house until I could get there. When I realized there was only one leaf, I asked Juddie to look for more. By that time, the house had been sold, but he knocked on the door and enquired. He found one more leaf for me; it was in bad shape, but I repaired it and then made two more. Lee and Wendy have the table and chairs now. Enoch has the bill of sale from Papa Hendry's furniture store, a business he had before he was Chief of Police.

A Bannister Story

Guest Nugget from Cousin Leland --
Lorraine Hendry Williams (daughter of Enoch Lee Hendry), her husband, Wyman, her son, Leland Hendry Williams, and his wife, Cornelia, and their two children, Carolee and Lee all attended the 1979 Hendry family reunion at Hinesville. It so happened that the home of Dr. Alfred Iverson Hendry, Lorraine's grandfather, was being demolished at the time. Leland and Cornelia, wanting a keepsake from the house and with Lorraine as an accomplice, "liberated" four banisters while Wyman sat in the car pondering both propriety and intent.

A few weeks later, Lorraine wrote to Leland and Cornelia about her memories of the house. Dr. Alfred Iverson Hendry was born in Taylors Creek in 1834, graduated from the Medical College in Augusta, and married Alethia Bradley. Enoch Lee was the ninth of thirteen children. Dr. Hendry died in 1926. Lorraine remembered many happy childhood days in the house -- perhaps climbing on those very banisters. She remembered many trips alone on the train from Savannah to McIntosh (about five miles from Hinesville), where she was met with a buggy, and always whoever met her bought a big block of ice to take back to Hinesville.

Some time later, Wyman (now understanding intent and overlooking propriety concerns) made a small table for Leland and Cornelia using the four banisters as legs. Leland and Cornelia have the table with a postcard from Lorraine reciting the memories recorded here, pasted and varnished on the underside of the table. They also have a panoramic photograph of the house showing family all across the large porch, which is surrounded on two levels by banisters just like the "liberated" ones. Enoch Lee's family is a very small part of the entire group in the photograph, which could be dated about 1910 by the apparent relative ages of the children: Lorraine 8, Enoch Lee, Jr. 5, Eleanor 3, Iverson 3 or 4 months. Dr. Alfred Iverson Hendry would have to be 76 by this analysis since he was born in 1834, but he looks more like 86 or 90. He was 92 when he died.

Leland and Cornelia also have a small photograph of family at the 1979 reunion.

Which prompted this from Carolee:
Was the Hendry reunion we attended in 1969? I only have one memory of going to the reunion as an adult and that was with Grandmommy in '84 or '85. I think Cooper was staying with Granddaddy. Grandmommy rode the bus to Charleston and the next morning we left for Savannah. Only we left too late to get to George's house in time to travel with them. It was an eye opening experience to observe Grandmommy's and George's frustration with my tardiness. I thought those genes had only come from the Williams side of the family.

A Horse Story

Guest Nugget from Cousin Leland --

Lorraine and Wyman were given a beautiful pink polyester horse (about 10" high) by a foreign student (Chinese ?) at the University of SC. The horse usually stayed behind glass doors in the secretary in the living room, but Lorraine liked to take the horse out to play with. She broke it frequently and the two repairers known to me were Loren III and Leland. My memory is that every time I visited during her later years, I found the horse broken and I repaired it. My guess is that Loren III has the same memory.

When it came time to divide the household goods (I remember that as great fun) both Loren III and Leland bid for the horse. Leland won, but with the stipulation that Loren III would inherit it from Leland. At that time, Loren III found a missing piece of the tail in the secretary to complete the horse.

In addition to the broken tail, the horse has two broken legs. The tail has never been a problem; I think the repair just after I got it has held until now. One of the legs is broken along a plane perpendicular to the weight vector. This repair lasts a long time. The other leg. a hind leg, is broken along a plane parallel to the weight vector. This one has always been a problem to keep repaired. Since our return (the horse's return also!) to Columbia, the half life of a repair on this leg has been very short. Recently, I broke down and augmented that repair with a stilt to bear the weight.

Which prompted this from Carolee:
I thought the grandchildren (my generation) broke the horse at least once if not from time to time.

Gail's father, my Uncle George, was a senior sales executive for Hunt Foods. As such, he took part in the popcorn "popoff" when Hunt was evaluating several existing brands to determine which one they should buy to add to their complement of food products. The winner of the "popoff" was Orville Redenbachers Gourmet Popping Corn.

Guest Nugget from Carolee --
Enoch's memories of Nama and Aunt Lilly are different from Coopers. For example he has no memories of steak and onions. But remembers that his dad always made salmon and grits, that's canned salmon mixed in with grits whenever George came home from Georgia.

Guest Nugget from Leland --
Cornelia and Leland were the first family to visit Pete's grave at the US Cemetary in Masstricht (or is it Masstracht), Netherlands. We went in 1968. Mom and Dad (Wyman and Lorraine) went some years later as did Lil and Peter. We arrived at the wrong town one evening, having missed the one vowel difference. So, we spent the night there in one of our more memorable small B&B hotels and proceeded to the nearby correct town the next morning. After visiting the cemetary, we wanted to visit the former school girl who had adopted and cared for Pete's grave. Lil had given us her name and address. Wanting to call her first, we looked for a public phone and and found one inside a small bakery in the small town. While looking up the number and making the call (we were invited to visit), I noticed a beautiful strawberry pie in the display case and noticed that there was not much else there.

We were greeted cordially, and after some conversation the husband excused himself. After he had returned, we were invited to have some refresments. You guessed it -- we were served strawberry pie!!

When I was 7 or 8 my Uncle Juddie gave me an air rifle. I was very proud of it. I took it across the street to a vacant lot where the neighborhood kids played. The "big boys" there liked my air rifle too, so they beat me up and took it away. I ran home crying to my mother. She immediately marched across the street, confronted the big boys, took the air rifle and brought it back to me. I was proud of the air rifle; I was even prouder to have a mom who could and would do that!

Some of you have read Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation. Let me tell you a little bit about MY favorite uncles and World War II (subject to correction and elaboration by Savannah Hendrys). Juddie served in the Army Air Force as an air traffic controller or tower operator at an Air Force Base in the Hudson Bay area of Canada. That base was one of several that provided an air supply route over the North Pole from the USA to Russia.

George served as a medic in the US First Army, under General Courtney Hodges, in its final push across Germany between armies commanded by two of the more flamboyant generals, Patton and Montgomery.

Pete took part of his Army training at Fort Jackson, outside of Columbia, and he and Aunt Lil stayed with us on King Street. Following training he went to Europe and served with the 8th Infantry Division on the northern shoulder of the Battle of the Bulge. He was killed in action in December, 1944. School girls from The Netherlands adopted U.S. Army grave sites to care for them. My parents met the then young woman who cared for Pete's grave site when they visited there in the '60's.

"Cousin Bobby", better known as Robert E. Lee, whose portrait as a young army officer and whose relationship to the Hendry family is presented in David's "Tybee Island Current Plans" website, has a Savannah connection. In the 1830's, as a lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers, he was involved in the supervision of the construction of Fort Pulaski, which was to guard the mouth of the Savannah river. (He makes a cameo appearance in Eugenia Price's Savannah, first book of her Savannah trilogy.) Casimir Pulaski was a Polish general who distinguished himself in 1760 battles between Poland and Russia. He then emigrated to what the British still thought of as "the Colonies" and joined our Revolutionary Army. The fort named in his honor was state-of-the-art at the time of its onstruction, but never quite completed. Military technology had changed by the time of its only combat test, when in December 1864, Sherman's artillery units, using long range rifled cannon, pounded it into submission. These artillery units were located on - you guessed it - Tybee Island.

Uncle Wyman and Aunt Lorraine's best friends in college were Ellison and Xepha (known to some of us as Aunt Bill) Smith.

George Hendry,. Gail's father and Loren's uncle, was to nephew Loren, a very cool character (to use a vernacular that had not yet arrived in the early 30's). George used to visit his sister, Lorraine at 722 Meadow St. in Columbia when he was at USC - on the freshman football team. He was staying with us just before going home to Savannah for Christmas. Lorraine was doing his laundry; a cold front moved in - and George's underwear froze solid on the clothesline!

Sam Cooper Williams' great, great, great, great grandmother, Mammy Cooper (Edith Hendry's -Nama's - mother) used to entertain her great grandson, Loren, by telling him stories about helping to bury the family silver to protect it from Sherman's troops in the winter of 1864-1865.