|Posted by Sherry Gray on April 12, 2014 at 9:30 AM|
Not only did my parents stress the importance of education to their children. They lived it in the community and with the kids who worked for them. In my younger years, besides being hog producers, Mama and Daddy grew bell pepper. At harvest it was taken to a local Campbell’s Soup co-op. I remember getting to go to the dinner and meeting held each fall after the crop was in. At each table would be cans of soup and I always wanted the clam chowder but usually wound up sitting at a table that had cans of vegetable soup, which did not thrill me in the least. Mama’s soup was better than theirs!
In my teen years, collards replaced the bell pepper. At harvest, the collards were cut, tied with string and as they were loaded onto the truck for transport were hosed down with cold water from a local branch or creek. Driving to the Atlanta Farmer’s Market did not begin until late afternoon. Off-loading happened at night when it was cooler and the wholesale market was in full swing. Collards required more help because it was labor intensive and more acres were raised, so kids from the Ivy Log community were hired to help. But those kids could only work if they stayed in school – that was the rule and none of them tried to get around it. When Daddy passed away each of those kids came to the funeral home and specifically told us what working on Seldom Rest Farm had meant to them and to their future because they finished high school. As an aside… I never tasted collards until twenty years later.
Below is a picture taken on June 15, 1976 of most of our family and the kids who worked with us. We were all congregated at Poteete’s Grocery in the Ivy Log community. Daddy and I were waiting for our ride to Alaska and the others had come to see us off. My sister and her husband were on their way, driving the camper and pulling a Jeep, to us from west of Blairsville and eventually drove up for us to begin our three month journey. I remember how impatient I was to get on the big road and see sights I had never seen before.