Category Archives: Grahams

Death, War and Slavery 1860 Autauga, Alabama

In November 1859 Crawford Motley Jackson, large slave holder, became ill. Bronchitis set in. On February 26, 1860, he died at age 43. He held 136 people in slavery.

Death of Gen. Crawford M. Jackson

The Autauga Citizen Prattville, Alabama · Thursday, March 01, 1860

It becomes our melancholy duty to announce to our readers the death of our distinguished fellow citizen, Gen. C. M. Jackson, who died at his residence in this county, on Sunday last, 26th inst. His unexpected death has cast a gloom over this whole county, in which he was universally known and esteemed. The Confederation, in commenting on the untimely end of one whom we all loved and respected so much, uses the following language: Gen. Jackson was a man of marked ability and intelligence and commanded great respect and influence among his fellow men whenever thrown into consultation and deliberation with them. He frequently represented Autauga county in the State Legislature; and two years ago was unanimously elected Speaker of the House; the duties of which he discharged with an ability, success and popularity rarely equaled by any of his predecessors. He has been sent upon two occasions to represent the Democracy of his District in the National Convention of the Democratic party, and always discharged his duties to the entire satisfaction of his constituents. Being a gentleman of varied information, of a kind, social and charitable disposition, his intercourse with his friend and neighbors was as charming and agreeable as it was useful and instructive. In him they have lost a friend indeed – one whose place will not be easily supplied, or soon forgotten.

The Autauga Citizen Prattville, Alabama · Thursday, Dec. 20, 1860

The death of such a man as Gen. Jackson is a public calamity. Endowed by nature with a mind and social qualities of the highest and most attractive order, he filled the duties of a patriotic and upright citizen in a manner that reflected credit upon himself and benefit to the State. Alabama had no more worthy son, and she has cause to mourn at his loss.

His remains were attended to the grave by the neighboring Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges, and a host of relatives, friends and acquaintances.

The Autauga Citizen Prattville, Alabama · Thursday, March 01, 1860

Crawford Motley Jackson belonged to one of the largest slave holding families in Autauga County. He owned 136 people when he died in 1860. His brother-in-law, Lunceford Long held 161 people in slavery. Jackson’s older brother, Absalom enslaved 61 people.

My 2X great grandmother, Prissy and her six children were among those enslaved on General Crawford Motley Jackson’s plantation. Using DNA evidence, at least some of her children were fathered by Crawford.

During the next several years, the estate was probated. Because he left no wife nor white children, his brother, and various nephews and nieces were his heirs. Several of them died during the process and the enslaved would have to be shuffled around to those still living, or sold off. The probate record is quite large and includes several lists of those enslaved among the mules, farm implements and household items.

Families were kept together until children reached the age of about 12 – 15, at which time they were often placed in a different household than the rest of their family.

1860 Map of Alabama with percentage of enslaved population based on 1860 census data.

According to U.S. Census data, the 1860 Autauga County population included 7,105 whites, 14 “free colored” and 9,607 slaves. 57.6% of the population was enslaved.

On November 8, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th president of the United States. The Slave holding South was enraged at the possibility of losing their enslaved workforce. Succession soon followed. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. As you can see below, no one was freed by it.

“Big Prices, – At a sale of negroes (sic) in this place on Saturday, 10th inst., five negroes, two boys 20 years old each, one woman 50 years old, one woman 25 years old, and her child aged four years, sold for $6,500, an average of $1,300 to the negro (sic). This would seem to indicate that the people in this region have very little faith in old Abe’s proclamation. It certainly beats any sale ever before made in this county.”Big Prices, – At a sale of negroes (sic) in this place on Saturday, 10th inst., five negroes, two boys 20 years old each, one woman 50 years old, one woman 25 years old, and her child aged four years, sold for $6,500, an average of $1,300 to the negro (sic). This would seem to indicate that the people in this region have very little faith in old Abe’s proclamation. It certainly beats any sale ever before made in this county.”
The Autauga Citizen (Prattville, Alabama) 15 January 1863

Poppy at Ford’s

We called my maternal grandfather, Mershell C. Graham, “Poppy”. My grandmother, Nanny, and his friends called him “Shell”. His co-workers called him “Bill”.

Poppy, 1919 Detroit, Michigan, newly married and working at Ford’s.

In the summer of 1953 my mother, sister and I stayed with my grandparents while my father was organizing a new church and parsonage across town. He stayed with his parents. We didn’t have a car and each morning we walked our mother around the corner to the bus stop where she caught the bus to Wayne State University. She was taking classes to get her teaching certification.

Pearl and Kris in the backyard with our horses. 1953.

I was almost seven and my sister Pearl was four. I remember spending most of the summer playing in the backyard. My grandmother would be doing what she did in the house, my great aunt Abbie mostly stayed up in her room looking out of the window. After 35 years, my grandfather was working his last months at Ford Motor Company. He retired on December 31.

My grandparent’s house and yard was surrounded by an alley on two sides. On the third side was the Jordan’s house next door and on the other side of them was the third arm of the alley. You can see on the map below that the long arms of the alley went through from Theodore to Warren Ave, which is where the bus stop was. My grandfather did have a car, but he didn’t use it to go to work. He caught a streetcar and it took him right to the River Rouge Plant. He had built a little ramp against the back fence against the wooden fence. We could see him coming home through the alley carrying his lunch box.

The Graham and the Jordan’s houses are in the light yellow area. You can see how the alley makes and “H”.

My grandfather began work at Ford’s Highland Park Plant on May 10, 1918, as a machinist. He was 30 years old and single. During that time Ford’s was paying five dollars a day, to qualifying workers, for a forty hour week. There were no benefits.

He returned to Montgomery and married my grandmother, Fannie Mae Turner, in 1919, they returned to Detroit the same day. In the 1920 census his occupation was an “auto inspector”. He was transferred from the Highland Park plant to Rouge plant on March 14, 1930 and went to work as an electrical stock clerk, which is the position he held until his retirement in 1953.

He was at the Rouge Plant during the May 26, 1937: Battle of the Overpass and the unionizing of the auto plants. My mother told me that after he joined the union, he carried a gun to work for protection. Unfortunately, I never heard my grandfather talk about any of this.

In September 1949 the UAW won a $100-a-month pension, including Social Security benefits , averaging $32.50 a month, for those age 65 with 30 years of employment with Ford’s. My grandfather was among the earliest workers to receive the pension when he retired at age 65 after working there for 35 years. His Social Security benefit was $85 a month. My grandmother received $42.50 as his homemaking wife.

Other posts about my grandfather’s life.

One Way Ticket
From Montgomery to Detroit – Plymouth Congregational Church – 1919
Mershell Graham and Fannie Mae Turner
Graham-Turner Wedding – 1919 Montgomery Alabama
F – FAMILY, MY GRAHAMS in the 1920 Census
The Graham’s in the 1930s
Mershell Graham’s Notebook – 1930s
Lizzie – 1934
1940 Census – The Grahams
The Graham’s in the 1950 Census

Working on the D. & C. line

Clifton Graham
Mershell Cunningham Graham, my grandfather.

The first job my grandfather got when he came to Detroit was as a steward on the Detroit and Cleveland fleet. His friend Cliff Graham worked as a waiter on the same fleet.

Mershell C. Graham’s WW1 draft registration card. Address and employment given. Race erroneously written as “caucasian”. Click to enlarge in new window.
John Clifton Graham’s WW1 draft registration card. Click to enlarge.

Traffic on D. & C. Route Increases

Two Boats on Cleveland Run Handle Larger Business Than at Start Last Year.

Yearly season Passenger traffic between and Cleveland this year have been somewhat in excess of the business carried on during the similar period a year ago, according to officials of the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation company.

The two boats of the line covering the route, the Easter States and the Western States, have been in operation since April 2. Besides an increase in passenger business the line has handled large shipments of automobiles and trucks in addition to the usual amount of package freight.

“W are now carrying about 50 more passengers on a trip than we did last year.” says A. A. Schants, vice-president and general manager. “To meet the increased operating costs we must do more business this year than ever before. With the larger boats in operation early in the season our costs are higher, but we feel that the prospects for a large passenger and freight business have justified this policy.

Detroit Free Press Detroit, Michigan • Tue, Jun 19, 1917 Page 1

Passenger Boat Rams Freighter

On her way down the Detroit river bound for Cleveland, the Eastern States of the D. & C. fleet collided with an upbound freighter opposite Ecorse about midnight.

The freighter, formerly the Pioneer, now the Natironco, was damaged to such an extent that she was put on the bottom.

The bow of the eastern States was considerably damaged and she was brought back to Detroit, arriving a out 2 a. m.

People on the Eastern States made the assertion that the freighter was seemingly improperly lighted, her lights not showing clearly.

Part of the crew of the Natironco were taken aboard the Eastern States by Captain Lee C. C. Nike. The others made their way ashore in the steamer’s yawl.


On May 10, 1918, my grandfather started work at the Ford Motor Company.

Click photo for more sepia posts.

Other posts about my grandfather’s move from Montgomery, Alabama to Detroit, Michigan
Prologue: Montgomery
Bound For the Promised Land
The Land of Hope
One Way Ticket
The Steamer “Eastern States” – 1917

The Grahams – A Day In 1931

My grandfather Mershell C Graham was the son of Mary Jackson Graham who we saw scheduled to be auctioned off with her family after the death of slave holder Crawford Motley Jackson in 1860. We move forward 70 years to to see what was happening with the Graham family in 1931,

Click on any image to enlarge in another window. Click on any link to open relevant information in another window.

“Doris – Mother – Howard – Mary Virginia ’31”

These two photos of my mother, Doris (wearing the dress with scarf) and her family were taken in the backyard of their Detroit home in 1931. Doris was eight, her sister Mary Virginia was eleven. Baby brother Howard was two years old.

Dad – Howard – MV and Doris (Actually Doris and M V)

Maybe they had just come from church, or were on their way. I wonder if my grandfather was pointing to one of the airplanes that were just beginning to become more common.

Mershell was 44. My grandmother Fannie was 42. They kept chickens, had a large garden and several fruit trees. The girls attended Barber Elementary school several blocks away. My grandfather rode the streetcar to work and they took the streetcar to church. They didn’t have a car until 1934.

From my grandfather's little pocket notebook. This was the only entry from 1931. 
"Transferred from HP (Highland Park) plant to Rouge plant Mar. 14, 1930
Went to work in Elect(rical) Stacks
 Mr. J.H. Arthiston foreman"
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan) · 24 Jul 1931, Fri · Page 15

Below are some 1931 comments from Howard’s baby book, written by my grandmother.

Saw his first circus – 2 1/2 years old – and what a thrill. July 1931
On Oct 23 1931 – Howard came into bathroom while Dad was trimming my hair.
Where have you been I asked?
Answer …In the children’s room.
Question—What doing?
Answer – “Lecturing on common-sense.”
The above is true – Believe it or not.
Had more sense then any child his age we’ve ever seen.

In my grandmother Fannie’s scrapbook, I found two library cards made by my mother, Doris and her older sister, Mary Virginia in 1931. My mother was 7 and Mary Virginia was 11. There is no book listed on my mother’s card but Mary Virginia names “The Children’s Story Hour” on hers. I wonder what other books they borrowed and lent or if this was a one time happening. I notice that Mary Virginia returned her book on time.

Related Posts

The Graham’s in the 1930s
Mershell Graham’s Notebook – 1930s
Home Library 1931
Births, Deaths,Doctors and Detroit – Part 1- Grandmother Fannie’s notes

N – NANNY’S Recipe

This is my tenth A to Z Challenge. My first was in 2013, but I missed 2021. This April I am going through the alphabet using snippets about my family through the generations.

“On our back porch 1959. Kris 13 & Nannie. She’s just turned 13.” Nanny was 71.

When I was growing up in Detroit, my birthday was often celebrated at my grandparent’s house because it fell on August 30, during our school vacation. My grandmother, Nanny, would make my birthday cake. When we celebrated at home, my mother made one using Nanny’s recipe.

The recipe below was written on the back of a picture in the ‘frosting’ section of my mother’s falling apart cookbook.

Click to enlarge or read recipe transcribed below.

Mother’s Cake

A stand in for the real thing.

1 1/2 c. butter
2 c. sugar
3 c. cake flour, unsifted
4 large eggs
1 c. milk
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. lemon extract
1 t. vanilla “
1/2 t. nutmeg

Sift dry ingredients together. Proceed as usual.

Easy Chocolate Frosting

Melt 2 or 4 sq. unsweetened chocolate and 3 Tb. butter over hot water.
Measure 1 lb. sifted confec(tioner). sugar, add 1/8 tsp. salt, 7 Tb. milk, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Blend. Add hot chocolate mixture and mix well. Let stand. Beat until of right consistency to spread on cake.


My mother’s memories of her mother.
Fannie Mae Turner Graham 1888-1974 Part 1
Fannie Mae Turner Graham 1888-1974 – Conclusion

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter N

G – Glimpses in Detroit’s Mirror!

This is my tenth A to Z Challenge. My first was in 2013, but I missed 2021. This April I am going through the alphabet using snippets about my family through the generations. On Saturdays I’ve combined my usual Sepia Saturday post with the letter of the day. A double challenge.

Several years ago I shared the photograph below from my grandmother’s scrapbook of my mother dancing at a formal dance. The other day I decided to see if I could find any more information in the newspapers. I was overjoyed to find two articles in two different Detroit papers with photos and mentions of my mother. Both were African American newspapers. The Tribune was published by my maternal grandmother’s first cousin, James McCall.

From my grandmother Fannie’s scrape book. An article from The Tribune March 18, 1939

I am sharing the photo from the Michigan Chronicle and the original photograph from my grandmother’s album and the article from the Detroit Tribune, because it mentions what my mother was wearing.

In March 1939, my mother was 16 and a senior at Eastern High School. She graduated in January 1940, and entered Wayne State University.

The Michigan Chronicle, March 18 1939. My mother is in the center of the circle looking up at us.

Glimpses… In Detroit’s Mirror

By Sylvia Penn

The Detroit Tribune, March 18, 1939, page 4

Hello , Folk! The hour for twisting and turning our “little ole” mirror for you to catch reflections of the doings of Detroit, is at hand again. We have always heard that the weather is a safe topic of conversations at any time; so right here for a second or two, we shall discuss the weather Sunday and Monday of this week, we were tempted to think of Detroit as the “Crystal City,” instead of the Motor City for the handiwork of nature stretched before our gaze a picture of dazzling beauty with trees, houses and streets encased in ice. The sparkling beauty of it all equaled the splendor of the jewels in the King’s Crown. It was a magnificent sight, but it is all gone now, except the memory of it and in it’s stead we have warm sunlight, which reminds us that spring is just around the corner.

Yes, Folk, but there have been other scenes of beauty in Detroit other than that afforded by Dame Nature. Such was the Chesterfields ball at Wayne university last Saturday evening. The affair was as colorful as a rainbow and was distinctly an occasion for dress. The frilly crisp gowns worn by the young ladies were as beautiful and picturesque as springtime. The gowns were rampant in color, ranging from polka-dots to mulberry taffetas, sky blue satins and black and gold nets. Then there were the many lovely corsages, also orchids for two of the Chesterfieldians chose and pinned gorgeous orchids on the gowns of their company. The members of the club identified themselves by wearing green and gold ribbons in their lapel, these being Wayne’s colors. They further used the same color scheme in the. ceiling decorations. Of course, there were multi-colored balloons and a profusion of confetti. The swingy, swingy music brought forth the usual group of jitterbugs doing their number on the sideline with maybe one or two doing the “Boogey.” The Chesterfieldiana and their invited girl friends were: Bobby Douglas and Doris Graham, Doris looking very sharp in peach chiffon and corsage of sweet peas and roses, Howard Tandy and Martha Bradby, Martha very cute in black and white net, Jack Barthwell and Marjorie Cook, Marjorie being quite smart in black chiffon; Leven Weiss and Helen Nuttall, Helen very sophisticated in black taffeta striped with gold; Theodore Washington and Margaret Book, Billy Allen and Alice Tandy. Alice very ravishing in red and wearing orchids too; Tony Martin and Lorraine Porter. Louis Bray and Shirley Turner, Shirley lookin lovely in white crepe; Conklin Bray and Harriet Pate. Harriet quite charming in blue and white. Demar Solmon and Lillian Brown; John Roxvourgh and Mary L. Singleton; Robert Johnson and Veralee Fisher, Vera very stunning in her new gown of aqua-blue chiffon, embroidered with silver; Charles Diggs Jr. and Christine Smoot. …

Today I did two “G” posts, unawares. The other is G-Gardening.

Click to see other Sepia Saturday
#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter G

The Cherry Tree – 1934

In tree 1934
Doris Graham

My mother in the spring of 1934 standing on a box by the cherry tree in the backyard.

Mershell C Graham picking cherries.

I’m not sure what kind of cherries these were, but here is a picture of my grandfather picking cherries the year before. If they were pie cherries, I’m sure my grandmother made pies. There was also an apple tree, a garden and chickens in their Detroit backyard.

With the chickens Mershell, Fannie and Doris.
Spring 1934. Mary V, mother, Bonzo and Doris .

My aunt Mary Vee was 13 years old. My grandmother Fannie was 46. My mother Doris was 11. Bonzo was five years old. It looks like they are just back from church service at Plymouth Congregational Church.

In 1934 they got their first car, a model A named “Lizzie”, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. My grandfather worked as a stock keeper at the Ford Motor Company Rouge Plant. My grandmother didn’t work outside of the home. Mary Vee attended Eastern high school and Doris attended Barber Intermediate school.

I remember a summer in the 1990s when my husband worked for the Michigan Department of Transportation. One year they were building Highway 31 from Pentwater to Ludington. The route went through some orchards which were doomed to be bulldozed. One July weekend we went and picked so many cherries! There were red and black and yellow and they were fully ripe. We went a few times. Never have we eaten so many cherries. So delicious and so sad the trees were destroyed.

P – PLYMOUTH Congregational Church – 1928



A model A Ford that looks like Lizzie

When I decided to write about my grandfather Mershell’s car, Lizzie, I thought it was a model T, but when I went looking at pages that tell you how to tell whether a car is a model “A” or model “T”, and what year it was made in, I found that based on the shape of the headlights, the bumper, the running board and the doors, that it was a Model “A” Tudor sedan and built in 1931. I was happy to find the note below in my grandfather’s little notebook. I remembered various stickers on the back window and thought it must have been purchased used and the note also mentions that.

Lizzie stats
From Poppy’s notebook – Ford Car – Model A Motor  No – 3068244 License No. 13-520 –  1934 Mileage when purchased 43.985 miles

Lizzie, my grandfather Poppy’s old Model A Ford, was the first car that was a regular part of my life. We didn’t have our own family car until I was eight. Lizzie was black with a running board and awning-striped shades on the windows. We pulled them down when we changed for swimming at Belle Isle.

Poppy didn’t have a garage. The back of his yard was taken up in a large vegetable and flower garden with a winding path and bird feeder, so he rented a garage from a neighbor across the alley. Was it the family with all the kids?  I don’t remember. I do remember my mother telling me one of their sons mentioned to Poppy something about his pretty granddaughter and I figured she was going to say Dee Dee, my older, beautiful cousin. At the time I was skinny with glasses and hair in two braids. I was truly surprised when she said he was talking about me. Come to think of it, he was skinny with glasses too. Anyway, I don’t remember ever talking or playing with him or any of my grandparent’s neighbors. We stayed in the house or yard making up plays, building fairy castles, playing imaginary land and swinging.

In Poppy's garden
Pearl, Barbara, Kristin with Poppy in the garden.

Back to Lizzie. Poppy did not drive to and from work. He worked as a stock clerk at the River Rouge Ford Plant, quite a distance from home. He caught the bus. According to Google maps that trip takes over an hour now. Bus or streetcar service might have been more direct in the old days. I hope it was. The car was used on the weekends to do errands on Saturday and to go to Church on Sunday. I remember riding in Lizzie with my grandfather to go to Plymouth Church where he was a founder, a Deacon and the man who fixed the furnace and put up bulletin boards and everything between. We would run around and explore the empty church while he worked.

My sister Pearl’s memory

I remember the back window had a little shade you could pull down. I remember loving the running board because you could stand up on them and look around before climbing in. And I remember when we went with Ma and Poppy to trade it in and one of the doors flew open. I wish they’d kept it. (Note: As I remember it, the car door the door of our old gray Ford Betsy flew open as we drove into the parking lot to trade it in on a later model used car, not Lizzie.)

Car/train crash
From my grandfather’s notebook.

Car struck by M.C. (note:  Michigan Central) engine  Mar. 10th 1935
At 2:15 P.M. Doris in car with me.
No one hurt very bad.
Doris received small cut on left hand
M.C. RR settled for $25.00 part cost on fixing car.

Sunday, March 10, 1935 was a cold, rainy spring day. My grandfather and my twelve year old mother, Doris were on the way home. They were crossing the railroad tracks when they were struck by a Michigan Central railway engine.

My sister Pearl remembers: The train was backing up. They were crossing the tracks headed home. Poppy didn’t see it because it was on his blind eye side. Ma saw it but didn’t want to hurt his feelings by telling him. How crazy is that?!?!?

Lizzie crosses the tracks a few blocks from home before being struck.


all of us at zoo
Some of us rode in Lizzie to the zoo. Marilyn in front, Barbara and Pearl next; in back row, my mother, my aunt MV, Cousin Dee Dee and me. About 1956.

Cousin Marilyn’s memories

My cousin Marilyn was the youngest of the cousins. Before she started school she used to spend the week at my grandparents while her parents worked. Poppy would drive her back home for the weekend. Her memories are below.

Marilyn and Poppy about this time.

Hey cuz, yes I remember LIzzie, the dark blue car!? I was always embarrassed to be in that old car when Poppy would bring me home to Mama’s for the weekend. I was just a little girl. I remember ducking down in the seat when we would come down Calvert. Those mean kids would say “Why your Grandpa got that old car? It’s so ugly!” Or something to that effect.

My cousin Dee Dee had so many memories, I gave her a separate post here -> Lizzie Part 2
How to identify Model “A”

For more Sepia Saturday, Click photo above.

Lizzie Part 2

These are my cousin Dee Dee’s memories of Lizzie. You can see more about Lizzie in Part 1

My cousin Dee Dee McNeil remembers Lizzie

Our grandfather called his Model T Ford “Lizzie.” I always referred to Poppy’s car as a Model T Ford, but when I looked up the photos, I think his car might have been a little later Ford Model B or Model 40.  This I decided after looking at photos of the Ford Motor Company 4- cylinder engine, 2-door cars. Lizzie was all black.

Just about every Sunday morning, me, my sisters (and sometimes our two cousins, Kris and Pearl) climbed up on the running board and piled into the backseat of Poppy’s historic black Ford that rumbled down Theodore Street on the East Side of Detroit, Michigan, towards Plymouth Congregational Church.  Our grandfather, who we called ‘Poppy,’ always drove, with his wife Fannie Graham sitting proudly in the passenger seat by her man’s side.  Unlike the youthful looking grandmother’s of today, our soft spoken, proud grandma always looked like a grandmother.  Her gray hair was always neatly braided into two braids that were bobby-pinned across the top of her head.  Her blue veins shown through slender hands with long, delicate fingers and when she was upset, her lips were pursed in a straight, stubborn line across her sweet face.  Every Sunday, in the summertime, (when we often stayed at our grandparent’s home) we rode in Lizzie to church and then to the cemetery to visit the graves of my mother’s two brothers who died as children.  In our innocence, we thought that lovely, well-kept cemetery was our private park, as we body-rolled down the slightly sloping hillsides, arms and legs flailing past the cemetery markers.

In the back yard.
My grandparents, Fannie & Mershell Graham in their yard, 1958.

I don’t remember Lizzie having leather seats or being fancy.  The seats were of some sort of cloth, because Nanny (our grandmother) used to sew and repair the small rips and tears.  She also darned Poppy’s socks, using a plastic egg and she taught me how to do the same as a young child of maybe eight or nine years old.  I remember, when I was older, nearing my teen years, several hippie looking, young, white boys used to drive up next to Poppy’s old iron car and roll down their windows to shout at him. 

“I’d love to buy your car.  Is it for sale?” 

Poppy always kept Lizzie sparkling clean and well kept.  If it was a cold morning before church, he’d have to let her run for 2-3 minutes before we took off. 

“She’s got to have her engine warmed up,” he’d tell me as he adjusted the ‘choke.’  Those cars had a throttle and a choke you adjusted by hand.  I think that old collectible car lasted so long because of Poppy’s good care and the fact that he never took it on the freeway.  He always putt-putted down the avenues at about twenty-five to thirty-miles per hour, much to the frustration of those driving behind him.  Several times I saw impatient, rude, and irate drivers pull around him and call him everything but a child of God for driving the speed limit.  I’d cringe, but he’d just whistle a tune, as though they were invisible and keep driving at his slow rate of speed.  There was always the slightest smell of gasoline and oil in the backseat of Lizzie.  Underneath the carpeted floor there were wooden floors.  All four cousins could curl up in that back seat of Poppy’s old Ford and we’d sing songs or giggle, the way little girls do, over little to nothing.  I remember there was a little switch on the wall inside the car that could turn on the overhead, inside light. Lizzie was a familiar ride and we felt safe and comfortable in that Ford Model “A”, until my Aunt Doris, (my mom’s sister) finally persuaded her dad to sell that car and step into the 2nd half of the twentieth century.  Today, those old Fords are a hot-rodder’s dream.

Read Part I here Lizzie