Precious Memories of the James Bess and Esma Crosby Rozier Family
My grandparents, named above, had six children together. Grandpa died in 1933, and Grandma died in 1964. Their children were: Gladys, J.B., Essie Mae, Owen, A.J. (my Dad), and Joe. Later, Grandma had a girl with her third husband, Silas Crosby, and her name is Virginia.
Aunt Gladys and Aunt Virginia are still living but the others left this world one by one. First was Daddy (1966), then J.B. (1985), Owen (1987), Mae (1994), and Joe (2001). Four of my first cousins are also gone on, James, Clyde, Wyley (Mae's sons), and Owen Jr (Owen Sr's son).
I remember as a child growing up in Patterson and Blackshear, Georgia, how the family would get together a few times a year. I always looked forward to these times..J.B. would drive in from Kentucky in that big old Buick Wildcat, and Aunt Gladys would come from Texas in her beautiful Thunderbird (she had a little dog that she would dress up...even paint its' toenails..never could figure out why). Then Uncle Joe and his family would come in that station wagon from Virginia. Owen, Mae, A.J., and Virginia's families all lived in Pierce county, Georgia.
I remember playing sandlot baseball and football on Grandma's old cow pasture, and in the lane in front of her house. I also remember "hog killing" times. Every fall, Grandma would have some hogs and a cow butchered for the meat, and the lard. It was done in her backyard by family and friends.
Once a year, we would all go to Jekyll Island and enjoy the beach. I remember Aunt Virginia's husband, Billy, taking an old tractor tire tube as a float. The sun was hot, the water was cool, and the picnic food was great. We did have to watch out for the jellyfish. Aunt Mae particularly liked the beach at old Jekyll Island.
Grandma had a big lap, and I remember sitting in it as she rocked me in her rocking chair. She also cooked some mighty fine vittles, and would always have something for us to eat. She had a tangerine tree beside her house (her yard was always kept spotless..no grass just sand that had to be raked), and you could tell that she loved her place. One day, Clyde and I decided we would sneak one of them tangerines despite the warning Grandma gave us..she had said , "Boys, don't touch them tangerines, they ain't ripe yet!"....Well, Clyde and I crawled under the house, snuck up by that tree, reached up to grab us a tangerine, and there was Grandma with a peach tree switch...we found out quickly that she meant business.
I also remember the brothers, three World War II veterans, and one Korean Veteran, sitting around Grandma's table, drinking coffee, and talking about old memories...they so enjoyed each others company. I wanted a cup of that coffee, too, so Daddy would let me drink some once in a while..but it was diluted with milk.
I remember that sad day in 1964 when Grandma's funeral procession left her home place, taking her tired body to her final resting place. After her death, the family still gathered together, but it wasn't the same without Grandma. Daddy joined her in heaven just two short years later.
I am blessed of the good Lord to be born in such a loving family. We still have a family reunion once a year, and my grandparents' descendents are increasing yearly.
There is so much more I could write about family memories but the ones I recorded were on my mind today.
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