Monday, February 2, 2009

My Tribute to Mom and Dad

The information below from the October 15, 1994 Johnson Family Reunion booklet. The picture is of John Wesley Johnson and his wife Belle Zora (Quinn) Johnson.

My mother was Belle Zora (Quinn) Johnson.  My father was John Wesley Johnson.  Mom was born January 22, 1896(?).  Dad was born May 1886(?).  I don't know when they became man and wife.   They had 13 children.  Seven girls and 6 boys.  One boy died about 2 weeks after birth.  Another boy, named Harvey Lloyd, died at about 4 years of age from diphtheria.  My dad was a farmer and sometimes worked for Champion Paper Company.   Mom was a housewife.  My first memories were at Oklahoma Community about 4 miles from Tomball, Texas.  We lived on 9 acres in a ranch style house with three bedrooms and we had a long porch across the front of the house.  Only three of the remaining children were married so there was 8 left at home.  Mom and Dad worked hard and taught us the same.  Mom worked part-time in a sewing room at Magnolia, Texas.   She rode 15 miles one way.  Many times after working all day she would sew something for us girls for a special occasion.  We were given clothes from other people.  Mom would rip up and make over for us.  We didn't have a lot of clothes from new material, but we never felt ungrateful or mistreated.  We wore a lot of hand-me-downs.  The W.P.A. (Welfare) gave us groceries and clothes all made the same style and colors so everyone at school had the same types of dresses.  Not much chance to be different.
Dad got up at 4 am so [we] had to go to bed early.  We were supposed to be quiet.  Have you ever tried to keep 8 people quiet?  Seems everything was funny at night.  My mother's outlet from us kids was going fishing at the creek in front of our house.  She always brought back a string of fish.  Dad farmed the field and Mom had a big garden.  There was much canning of food in summer.   There were cows for milk and butter.  Dad raised goats and hogs.  He made our bacon and sausage.  In winter, he went deer hunting.  We ate a lot of venison.  He raised peanuts as feed for the cows and on rainy days we went to the barn and picked peanuts off the vines.  We always had chickens for eggs.  Not too often we had fried chicken.  all the girls learned to cook.  I remember making my first biscuits at 8 years of age standing on an apple box.  I made cake without cake mix.
One important thing I remember was the honesty taught us from our parents.  This helped us in our everyday dealings with others.  None of us have ever been in serious trouble with the law.  They taught much love by their taking such good care of us.   Dad died in February 1961.  Mom died in May, 1980.  There is 7 of the children left.  Six have gone to their reward.  I'm proud to be a part of a great family.  Someday there will be a family reunion.  I hope we will all be there together.  Family was so important to my mother.  She was raised an orphan though she also was the 13th child in her family that she never knew about until she had several children.  She always bragged on us.  They loved us very much.
Written by: Alma Johnson Dodd Rhodus, Daughter, 10/10/1994
Transcribed by: Conan L Massey Jr., Great-Grandson of John and Belle Johnson

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