Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whitehouse Community Fund Raiser

Saturday, May 28 2011, Whitehouse Community Center is holding a Country Breakfast, Yard Sale and a Bake Sale from 6:30 - 10:30 AM at the clubhouse.
Breakfast Plates
Adults $5.00, Children 6-12 $2.50, Under 6 free

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Momma’s Teachings and The Shoe Cobbler by Elizabeth Whisenant Towery

"Do not expect my stories to be perfect in writing or language as I am not an educated writer ,however I try to write my stories in a language and manner so simple that everyone can read and understand."

Admittedly, Miss Betty is not an educated writer, that said, I would remind the reader of the published series of Foxfire Books. These were student interviews with older members of their communities. Miss Betty is an even more precious resource, a self-taught writer, who is willing to share her story-tales with you. I applaud her work and publish it with no editing. I have edited Miss Betty's stories and find that editing removes to much flavor to be worthwhile. Enjoy! KDMcCall

Momma’s Teachings and The Shoe Cobbler
by Elizabeth Whisenant Towery.

When I was very young and growing up in Asheville, Buncombe County N.C. I was taught much by my mother Geneva Poteet/Poteat Whisenant. ( My Poteat family are of Scotch /Irish descent ).As well as I remember mom said she received the equivalent of about a seventh grade education. I do not know where she learned the things she taught me but I well know her knowledge was more than what she was taught in her Enola School.

I remember many things that she said the Headmaster, as she called her teacher did say or teach but there is simply no way the school could have taught her all the things she passed on to my siblings and me. She quoted much of the Holy Bible, I feel certain she got that from her parents, as they were God-fearing Christian people although my grandmother was once churched for gossiping. (The last portion of the above sentence is from the minutes of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church ,Morganton N.C.).

Along with the Bible mother learned to sing the old songs and recited many poems. She quoted Mother Goose and Rebus Rhymes that she passed on to my siblings and me. Mother never called them songs or poems or old saying she called them little ditties.

I remember when a first cousin Leon Poteet, whose father Leon Gray Poteet ,my mom’s brother taught his son Rebus Rhymes.

I remember titles of songs Mom taught me and some songs. Mom sang such as Frankie and Johnny (Silvers), Barbara Allen, and the song her brother wrote about Gladys Kincade, a young girl killed near Mom’s and perhaps the girls home in the section of Enola, Morganton N.C. .

I remember in particular one song as I have more recently heard my Aunt Beatrice Poteet Hull sing the song. It is about a little girl whose mother made her a coat of many colors but Aunt Bea’s song told of a little girl had no shoes. If mom had sung that to me I had completely forgotten it. I thought of the song when Loretta Lynn sang her song of ’A Coat of Many Colors. I wondered if Lynn had heard the song my Poteet family sang.

I can’t write about all these things my Mother taught me but the little ditty that came to my mind today was the shoe cobbler ditty. My Mother called it a Mother Goose Rhyme. I believe Mother sang the verse rather than saying the words. I am not certain, as it has been about 64 years since I was a child growing up in Asheville. The verse I remember, although I don’t know the author was as follows.
Cobbler, cobbler, mend my shoe,

give it a stitch and that will do.

Here's a nail, and there's a prod,

and now my shoe is well shod.

I’m certain I ask all the questions concerning the words of the ditty but it wasn’t until after I married that I actually saw the work of a shoe cobbler. I will get to that. However I begin my story with the following thought in mind.

It has been said that every hamlet (Rural community or village) had its shoe cobbler just as they had their own blacksmith. Many of the rural communities had their own Silversmith.

Local history tells us that the Aaron Devinney who married Sarah Hunt owned and operated a store and was the communities Silversmith He was called as if it were his name Silversmith Aaron Devinney. He left many descendents scattered over the country. I will leave this unique occupation of Aaron’s for another writing.

History also tells us that the George Towery who married Rosanna Brackett was the blacksmith and had a blacksmith shop and became the community’s blacksmith. He too was called by the name of his profession Blacksmith George Towery.

I feel certain the community had it own shoe cobbler but I never heard who it was or if Golden Valley had a shoe cobbler. I know that there were many families where either the father or the son did the shoe cobbling for the family and most of the same did the mending of the grand children‘s shoes.

In the Higgins Towery family the son Clevie became the shoe cobbler. He never had a little shoe cobbler building but he did have a special place to do his shoe mending. It was a certain area on the back porch that he mended the family’s shoes.

By the time I became a member of the Towery family Clevie had a church bench on one of the three sides of the wrap around porch of the house. It was on the backside of the wrap around porch and there is where he placed his shoe cobblers tools. Clevie had pieces of car tires that he used to mend or make the soles and heels with. His shoe tacks were kept in a tin ‘Dental Snuff ‘can .The tacks were all of one color but that made no difference as the tacks were never seen anyway.

Clevie also had a shoe lasts, which is a form in the approximate shape of a human foot, used in shoemaking to produce the fit of a shoe or boot. In later years Clevie bought taps to put on shoes. Those taps were put on the side of the shoe or heel that was worn so as to let the foot sit level instead of leaning to one side.

Cleve also had some really good, glue. A hammer, pliers ,an awl , and a rasp he used to roughen the pieces of tire that he cut to make a shoe sole so the glue would hold better. He kept a very sturdy needle and heavy thread and a punch and also a can of shoe wax in the box to polish the shoes. He never threw away a pair of shoestrings. They were saved and used until they wouldn’t tie with out breaking. These items or as Clevie might say supplies were all kept in a wooden box with a leather home made handle on top of the box Clevie had made the box for the purpose of keeping everything he needed all together. The handle wasn’t the only part of the shoe box that was made of leather. He had a strip of leather tacked across the top of the box onto the box, that acted as a hinge.

When Clevie finished his shoe cobbling he neatly placed every item in its place in the box. He kept his box behind the back hall door where there were shelves that had been built for another purpose. When he was ready to mend a shoe he picked up the box and carried it to the church bench there he had all his supplies ready for use. When he was ’low’ on an item he always said to his spouse, don’t let me forget to get shoe tacks (or what ever item he needed) the next time I go to the store. Clevie did a professional job at keeping the family’s shoe repair work done.
In today’s society we usually have one place of business for all our shoe repair, heel repair, boot repair, shoe shine and accessories needs and that eliminates the need for a shoe cobbler in every family.

Source: Personal knowledge .
Written about 1988.

Canning the Family’s hog meat.
Written about 1988.

There were shelves from near the top of the house to the shelf near the floor that Clevie’s wife Beatrice had her son Talmadge build for her to place her canned goods on. As she emptied a jar of canned goods she would wash the jar and place it back on the shelf. When canning time came she had her jars handy and ready to be rewashed and sterilized for her next canning work. To sterilize the canning jars Beatrice would put water in clean jars and place them in a pan of water, then she heated the jars to the boiling point and boiled them for several minutes.

Beatrice canned more than fruits and vegetables. When a hog was killed, she canned sausage, rib meat and the meat from back bones. She canned the ribs, bone and meat together but the back bones took up too much room in the jar so she removed the bone before canning the meat .The ribs and back bone meat were canned all in the same jars.
Beatrice cooked the meat before placing in the jar then cooked it more after it was in the jar. She would turn the jars upside down for the grease to solidify and remain on top of the jar and meat.

With the process of home canning the family could still have meats for their meals all summer.

I don’t know how Clevie got permission to use a place on a shelf for his shoe cobbler box because those shelves belonged to his wife, but there is where the box remained for as long as he mended shoes.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Golden Valley Community Club Meeting May 16, 2011

Here's a quick link to the Community Newsletter for the month of May. Loyce Broughton from the County Commun ity Development Credit Union will be our guest speaker. Mrs. Towery has shared a story with us, there are several announcements and more.

The Cherry Mountain Fire Department Auxiliary is hosting a Friday night dinner meeting.