A COUNTRY DOCTOR THRU THE EYES OF A GRANDDAUGHTER|
by Nan Laura Tuggle (1918-19??)
granddaughter of Dr. Ferdinand Maddion Malone (1853-1943) and Laura Estill Lane (1973-1950)
daughter of Mary Irwin Malone (1893-1918) and Morgan Maxey Tuggle Sr. (1890-1960)
and step mother Laura Lane Malone "La" (1895-1978)
Born on a cold January day, 1818 I seemed to understand from the beginning that I was lucky, so very fortunate to have many, many people who loved me with all their hearts. So, I in turn, loved in return. My father preached and practiced, "lf you caint say something good about somebody, just don't say anything". I know that I haven't always lived up to this creed. The older I become, I realize how important this is. Daddy also told us when we bragged about a relative, "Every tubs got to sit on it's own bottom".|
My 1st. home, or the place 1 remember as home, (by now I've had quite a few) was with my Malone grandparents. It seemed a very long way from the "big road" up the drive way to a large two story white frame house. The"big road", spoken of by the colored people, was Pleasant Hill Rd. Coming up the drive, you first passed a small house, two rooms and a breeze, a big wild Goose plum tree, a row of cedar trees that bordered a small pond.
The small house was occupied on one side by Caroline or "Kiline" Buford as I lovingly called her, as did the rest of the family. She had two very high antique beds that intrigued me. I spent many hours with her. I loved the, flowers, mose, bachelor buttons hollyhocks, snap dragons and cock's comb.
Kiline's sister, Jenny Arnold, liven across the breeze. There was a cistern on the breeze way and sheds to the back. One shed housed Kiline's buggy. Each Sunday, the buggy with "Old Red" hitched to it took Kiline to Burdick's Chapel (on Malone Rd.) to church. Kiline always sang as she worked. I remember some of her favorites, "Swing low Sweet Chariot", "Don't let Him catch you like He did before singing and dancing on the bull room floor", Oh Lord 1 want to be in that number, when the Saints go Marching in." Jenny didn't have "very much religion" our Bill the handy man (their nephew) who hung around a lot. In fact any negroes around after dinner were allowed to come in the kitchen and eat leftovers. Kiline said of Jenny and Bill, who wouldn't go to church; "The devil's gyna get'm any hu'". Summer or winter, Kiline always wore at least 4 petty coats and sometime more. She said if they'd keep out the cold, they'd keep out the heat.
On the 4thof July there was always a picnic for all the colored folk. Early in the morning we could hear drums beating. They were allowed to leave the fields at noon to attend. The "Darkies" (as Papa called them) thought it their duty to celebrate thinking it was the date that set them free". In those days there wasn't any legal liquor, wine or beer. Somehow the bootleggers got around and many got more than they could handle. One hot 4th of July, Kiline came home from the picnic rather early. When some one asked why she left so some, she explained. Some were "stobbing with razors" and that she'd rather for them to say, "Younder she goes, "than to pick her up and say, "Here she is".
Out, day I was playing in the backyard. I wandered into the chicken yard where the Bee Hives were. I as only about 2yrs. old and l'thought 1'd found a doll house. I let out a scream when the bee's attacked me and Kiline came to my rescue, beating off the bees and cuddled we in her big apron. Papa doused me in ammonia and not a sting was to be found. Papa and Mama met in Saulsbury, Tenn. Mama's Mother housed the Academy and boarded the teachers. Papa came to run the school and met Mama. Mama was quite young when they married. Papa also taught at Glasgow Normal Ky. and Paragould, Ark., Ripley Tenn. They had been married quite a few years when Papa decided he wanted to be a Dr., as his father before him. That's when they moved back to part of the Malone section of land.
A country Dr. doesn't wake very very much. Farming had to be done to supplement. One of Papa's patients told him; "Dr. , I have to pay my honest debts first. "Papa was a good provider. He raised a beautiful garden - all kinds of fruits and berries. I liked to help him with the gathering of the berries.
By the same token Mama was a wonderful cook and seamstress. Papa didn't drive. So Mama drove him on calls. One of Papa's brothers shot his left eye out into a bow & arrow when, he was quiet small.
Papa's parents came from Athens, Ala. to settle in this area. This was before the Civil War.
I spent many hours in the swing on the front porch at Mama & Papa's. That way I could see the patients who came to Papa (Dr. F.M. Malone) for any & all their ills. The Dr's office had an entrance off the screened porch, back side. Real often I sneeked around to listen to their complaints. On one such day I heard Papa ask the man, who had given his name as Bob Jones, if Jim Jones was any relation. The colored wan said, "Lawsy, Doc., He's liable to be My Pa".
One day I was on the front porch when a salesman came. Since Papa was busy either with a patient or in the garden, I decided to entertain him. L had a new sailor outfit and I was proud of it and proceeded to tell the man about it. He didn't seem to understand. Mama came oat as I was saying, "a middy & a"kirt" -Don't you know what a "Kirt" It's just like a peddy coat".
The "big house" as referred to by Kiline, had a parlor on one side dawn stairs troll and Papa's office on the other. They were separated by a front hall with sliding doors. The stairway in the front hall went to 4 large bedrooms & one bath room. There was no running water, but a tub was in the bath roost. Water for the tub had to be brought up the steps by buckets. However there was a drain for the dirty water to run out. Down stairs, behind the parlor was the dinning roost, butlers pantry and kitchen. The screened in porch off from the kitchen housed the cistern, with a pump. A door in the kitchen went down to the cellar. To some it might have been a basement. Canned goods, sweet potatoes, & empty jars found a home there. If there was a storm brewing Mama always rounded us all up to find shelter there too.
There was a fire place in each room, but in the winter Mama & Papa's bed room was the only one heated after supper. Everyone gathered there. Since there was no radio or T.V. we played games. Dominoes and logomiky were favorites. Logomiky was cards that had beautiful pictures and letters to spell with. Often Papa entertained ume with post cards that he had saved from far away places. He kept them in his desk by the fireplace. Sometimes Mama was busy with sewing.
The back bed room, with a stairway to the attic didn't have a fireplace. The attic fascinated me. I could imagine a store place of wonderful things. Forbidden to go there, made it all the more interesting. One day Maxey and I, slipped away from the adults and crawled up on our hands and knees. The opening was one big hole. Soon we were disillusioned and ready to come down. It looked much more dangerous from that view. Maxey said, "Tuie, (his name for me) how we gona get down?. I was only 3, but I said, "Just turn loose and fall down Bu". This he did and hit his eyebrow on the foot of an if iron bed. I just stayed were I was. Of course he screamed with pain and help name. Papa h..d to sew up his wound. This was u scar that he carried to his grave. After everything had cooled down, he was asked; "Why did you fall down?", His explanation was "Tuie told we to."
Late one nite there was a knock on the door. Mama & Papa went down to find Cousin Manse Ford & His son, Charles. Charles had a store down in Capleville. The store had caught on fire and, trying to save valuables, Cousin Manse saved whiskey bottle about 1/2 full. Having a love for whiskey he turned it up and gulped it down.
To his amazement, it was coal oil. So Papa was engaged to pump out his stomach. The next morning we asked Mama, "How was Manse?." She replied; "Just smelled like a broken lamp".
Mama was a stately woman who carried herself well. Kiline often told me to, "Walk like Miss La, walk nice, talk nice, walk like you're stepping on pins". Kiline did most of the gathering the Vegetables and preparing them. This left Mama free to chauffeur Papa. Some times Mama would tell Kiline not to put so much grease in the vegetables. Kiline would murder; "Rich food never hurt nobody, po food'll kill anybody".
Jenny did the washing and ironing. She helped with the house cleaning. There was a huge black pot in the backyard where water was heated to wash the clothes. Underneath a big pecan tree was a low shelf for the wash tubs. There was no electricity available this far out in the country. We felt so fortunate to have "Carbid" lights. The house was wired or "piped" for this. So the irons for ironing the clothes were heated around the black pot or on the kitchen stove.
There was a small wire fence around a small front yard. This protected Mamas flowers, in case pigs, cows or chickens got loose. Her rose bed was visible from the dining room windows. There were iris in the front yard and lilies by the front steps. There were Aruba lilies that Mama had brought from Saulsbury. In one corner of the front yard was a tulip poplar. I thought the blooms were beautiful. In the summer, often one of the adults would dress me with these leaves. I felt like a queen.
There was a apricot tree and fig bushes in the back yard. Further back was a peach Orchard, strawberries, and blackberries. The raspberries were in the garden. The apples and pears were in an orchard up past the big barn. There were always colored men (Papa culled them Darkies) around to do the milking and chored.
Sunday warning there was no question as to who would go to church. Everybody went. One summer Sunday it was decided that we'd go to Overton Park for a picnic after church. We came back to get food. Somehow 1 got the urge to go to the attic. Each car thought I was with the other. I heard the last car pull out and realized I was left. I ran down to the front door and beat on it with no avail. I was left? I went up stairs and lay on the bed crying when someone came back for me. After Easter and Mother's day, came Children's day at church. All the children had new shoes. Mine were usually black patent. We practiced for weeks on songs and pieces to recite. Also books of the Bible.
At the close of school each May there would be an Operetta. Costumes to resemble flowers were made of crape paper. One year I was a Fairy. This really pleased me.
On the back side of this farm was Papa's parents home. It was now the home of Papa's sister Aunt Ella. She loved Mama & Papa dearly. On many occasions. Aunt Ella would come, driven by her handy man, bringing pecans and apples. The Malone home is on the corner of Malone Rd. & State Line Rd. A huge pecan grove to the side of it. One Sunday Mary Louise and I decided to sit by Aunt Ella during church. We both admired her coral necklace. She gave it to Mama and told her to divide it between us. It was quite bag and made a nice necklace for each of us.
Mama & Papa had raised 4 girls and 3 boys. Frank, the eldest had been to France in World War I (at the time I was born). He returned to go to Med School. This pleased the family very much. While there he wet & married Aunt Frances Wheatly, who was in nurses training. He went to Clarksville, Tn. as the County Health Dr. and there remained. Four children were born to them, Mary Frances (who I thought was beautiful). I named every doll I had for her. Buddy (Frank Jr) was next, a most lovable cousin. He made the 4th. Dr. in a row. Then came Sara Jane, following in her Mothers steps, a nurse & marrying a Dr. Then came Sam (Sammy Joe) the youngest.
My Mother, Mary was the 2nd Malone child. She and my Daddy fell in- love & married seen after high school. Daddy always said that his father left him enough land to live on -- not to get rich. Just enough to keep him from "amounting to anything". Grandpa Tuggle had died early, when Daddy was away at Boarding School (McCaully in Chatt. Tn.) Daddy, with the help of his brothers, Uncle Sam ,a very good carpenter and Uncle Rich, a plumber, built a house on Pigeon Roost Rd., adjoining Uncle Sam's property.
My Mother never seem to recover from my birth and passed away in six months. This left my Father with 2 babies, Maxey 20 mouths and me 6 mo. Leaving the home that he had built for my Mother, he moved in with Mama & Papa Malone.
The next in line of the Malone children was Laura, called Miss Lil La by Kiline. She had gone to Norman in Memphis and was teaching in Levi School. After my Mother's death, she returned home to take care of Maxey and me. We could never have known the difference between "La" and our Mother Mary. She gave up any plans that she might have had to do completely for us. La was gifted in many ways. A very talented lady. She started making decorated making decorated cakes before I could remember, birthday, anniversary, wedding etc. She must have made hundreds, mailing them all over the states. She sent her nieces & nephews birthday cakes wherever they were. Her wedding gift to all the brides in our area was a decorated cake. La always said that she didn't make her cakes to sell - never for money - just for love.
According to age Aunt Louise was the 4th Malone child. She had married before my birth. She and Uncle Jones Ross lived on Shelby Dr. at Ross Rd., next door to Uncle Jones' parents. They had u country store on the corner. Uncle Jones raised cotton and had a dairy. They were the parents of 5 children; Mary Louise, the oldest, was 7 week older than me. Anne was next, then Laurence Malone, the oldest son. Betsy came next. born on Valentines day. Bub (Jones Jr) was the youngest, born Dec. 24th. l loved to go spend the night with Mary L. & Anne. One winter nite I spent the nite with them and came home to say that Uncle Jones got up for work in the middle of the night. This was something new for me.
In the fall of the year, when crops were coming in, Mama and Papa would ride collecting. This was the only time that Papa could get paid-after cotton was sold. Sometimes they still didn't have any money. They would offer a Chicken, eggs, sweet potutoes, or corn. One day as Maxey and I were riding with them, only cucumbers were offered. Some days they would offer to come cut wood. This was always a needed job. There was a woods on either side of the house and wood was needed for cooking and for heat in the winter. In the summer most of the cooking was done in the morning, so that the house could cool off. Palm leaf fans were the only means of cooling off.
There was a curb market in Memphis, near Baptist hospital on Madison. Mama & Papa had a booth and took berries, home made bread, pecans, butter, cottage cheese, cakes, etc. The money derived from these things would be spent at Piggly Wiggly. Of course there would be a stop at the "ice house" for a 100 lb. chunk of ice. Papa would have a toe sack to put it in and rest it on the bumper. This meant we would have ice cream for Sunday dinner.
When I was about 2 1/2 yrs. old I become quite ill.
was taken to a Memphis specialists. My recovery took many weeks, making it necessary for me to learn to walk again. I didn't eat much. Kiline was anxious to fix anything I wanted. One day Lu asked me what I'd like. 1 replied, "Just anything". La said; "What?' I answered, "Don't you know what just anything is?" "Its creamed potatoes". Thru the years I've never lost my taste for creamed potatoes.
One day as we started to Mpfs for an appointment with the Dr., Dad's car started smoking and the motor was on fire, He had to the big pillow the La was currying we on, to put the fire out. I don't remember, but I think daddy fixed the car and we went on. In these days of the early 1900 +there just were'nt that many cars. About us many buggys as cars. I can remember the mail carrier. Mr. Bartie Kyle was his name. I can hear Pupa now calling "Bartie". It seemed funny to we but I suppose they were about the same age. Papa was 60 Yrs. older than me. Mr Kyle drove a horse to his buggy to deliver the mail. He didn't come as far as our house, since we were the only house between Holmes Rd & State Line on Plesant Hill. So our mail box was at this crossroads. Now more than 65 yrs. have passed. Our home has fallen and been torn away. There still is no house along this road. The road is a little wider - as are the cars. The trees just don't quite meet over head to shade you as you walk.
The fall that I was 5 yrs. old, I asked Miss Hall if I could start to school. She was very sweet and said that one more would'nt matter. She was my lst grade teacher and I was the Youngest in the class. I rode the "wagon-nette". We just sat on planks on the back of a truck. There was a top and isen glass was let down to break the wind and rain. It was in no way a bus. It came to our drive way and turned around.
When I was 7yrs old La & Dad married in April. Dad worked all summer adding on to his house that he had been renting, He added a bed room down stairs and 2 upstairs. Maxey and 1 would each have a room upstairs. Uncle Sam had dug a well & had piped it dorm the hill to us. We were thrilled that we would have running water in the bath & kitchen. Uncle Sum & Babes were like 2nd parents to us. Maxey often said that he was "Sam's boy". Other nieces is nephews called her Aunt Laura. We affectionately called her "Babes". Almost every Tuesday nite we stayed with Uncle Sam & Babes. Babes was a dear person, crippled with arthritis. Uncle Saw along with their sons; Bob & Sammy would be playing pitch. Maxey and sometimes me would be playing too. Babes would come in with a plate of chocolate fudge. When La & Dad would come back from Helen & Ed Watson's from playing bridge, we would always be hiding in the folding bed.
One summer Maxey was playing with a bunch of boys. They had found some wild "pok" berries & had mashed them and put them in bottles. They were playing in Uncle Sam's big hay barn, running & jumping. On one jump Maxey fell and the bottle broke and cut him in the middle. One of the boys, Otis Nevin, came running to the house saying; "Maxey's gotten cut and his liver's hanging out". Papa was called to come sew up the wound.
The 5th Malone child was Jim (James Henry). After attending U.T., Jim went to live with Robert Lane (Mama's only brother) and his wife Willie May (Taylor). They were so happy to have him as they didn't have any children. They lived in Memphis and Jim had gotten a job with Memphis Street Railway Co. When World War II came it was evident that he should enlist. He was sent to Randolph Field, Texas. While there he met und married Virginia (Bee) Brian. After the duration they moved back to Memphis and back to his old job. While living in un apartment they restored the "Old" Malone home. Two children were born to them; Jimmy (James Henry III) and Laurie.
Alba was the next in line. She finishing high school as I began 1st grade. So she was as near my age as to La's. I've always thought of her as a big sister. By the time I went to college she had a job and supported me in my every endeavor. Thru the Years she has grown dearer to me.
Ferdinand was the youngest child. He married Virginia Krebs. Their children Were; Jimmy (James Carroll), Ferdinand III, Mary, George Allen (born on my 10th birthday), Jim / Margaret Imogene), Johnny, Barbara & Jackie.