Vicky Sexton Martin was my grandmother. You can see her in the picture on the left holding baby Stanley, my father, born January 22, 1894. In the group photo she is standing at the upper left. We called her Mammie. Long before I was born, and after her first husband died, Vicky Martin ran the general store and post office on Wynn’s Ferry Road, at Wynn, TN. That store and post office once stood in the yard of the two-story farm house on Standing Rock Creek, where I was born and raised.
Wynn’s Ferry Road was the route used for west bound covered wagons crossing the Tennessee River at Big Sandy. Vicky’s store was the last stop for supplies before crossing the river. Vicky was married three times. She and my grandfather, Reuben Martin (Rube) had six children, including my father. After Rube died, Vicky married twice more, but divorced both of those men. According to hearsay, one was shiftless, and the other did her wrong in her merchandizing business. The longer I live, the more I realize she was ahead of her time, strong and independent. I admire her greatly and like to think I inherited some of her toughness.
Vicky lived her later years in Murray, Kentucky in a house she shared with her daughter, our Aunt Katie. I remember her putting used coffee grounds in all the pots of flowers she had growing on her curved front porch. Vicky (Mammie) liked to crochet. She sat in her small rocker, crocheting white cotton squares which would later be stitched together to form a bedspread. One such bedspread is on a bed in Dot’s and Dudley’s house in Nashville My father and mother, Stanley and Hattie Martin, bought his mother’s old house when she moved to Murray, and we continued to live there until I was away in college. We visited Mammie and Aunt Katie in Murray many times at their house on the corner of Fifth and Olive streets. My oldest sister, Dot, lived with them while she attended Murray State College. We loved visiting Mammie and Aunt Katie. My sister’s husband, Benny, told me later in life that he used to take a gallon jug of moonshine liquor to Mammie now and then, while she lived in Murray. That was news to me as any drinking that she did never showed, and I had no idea. Besides Vicky Martin, the other people in the group photo are my mother’s mother, Sarah Ellen Stavely McHood, my mother, Hattie McHood Martin, and my four older siblings, Imogene, Dot, Leita, and Dale. There was no me when this picture was made, probably in 1926. I, Pattie Mae Martin, came along three years later, in 1929.
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Dear Pattie-the-Blogger: I love the interesting stories you offer and your direct and clear style of writing. I’d think a very wide audience of readers will enjoy reading your stories and appreciate the thinking-about-life your recalls stimulate. Thanks, and keep them coming.
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