Aunt Georgia married beneath her. At least that's what all my folks used to say. I don't know a whole lot about it because she died when I was only fourteen years old and most of my memories of her were formed several years before that.
Aunt Georgia (shown here with my cousin Herbert during a visit to the Smokys in the 1950s) made the most wonderful deviled crab. We stayed with her family when we vacationed in St. Augustine, and deviled crab was her 'company specialty' dish and she made it with fresh local crab caught in Uncle Harry Shannon's traps. She lived in a tumbled-down shack in the middle of a God-forsaken swamp but she did everything she could to show her brother and his family southern hospitality when Dad drove all night from Knoxville on pre-Interstate highways for a visit in what was, to me, an exotic and strange land.
We always left Knoxville around eleven on a Friday night, after Dad had worked his last evening shift at ALCOA's North Plant and driven home to load the car for the journey. He reasoned that the overnight drive would be cooler in those pre-air conditioning days - we always went in summer - and, as he put it, "There's not a damned thing I want to see in Georgia". Ah, but I have memories of seemingly endless pecan groves and peach orchards in the clear, moonlit night as we sped southward through the empty two-lane highway. Saturday morning about dawn we would pass through Waycross into Florida. By early afternoon we were winding our way down the long, sandy, lane that was her driveway, palmettos brushing both sides of the car at the same time. A wide spot at the end held the ancient shack surrounded by huge grapefruit trees providing shade for the yard.
The last time I saw St. Augustine was the summer of 1960. Three carloads of kin made the flying trip, endured Aunt Georgia's rainy afternoon funeral, and immediately headed back to Tennessee. I briefly visited with Herbert in 1964 when I went to a tech school in Jacksonville.
I have been going through Mama's old cedar chest full of family pictures lately and I came across some snapshots taken during those vacations. There is also a packet of photos Dad bought during our only visit to the Castillo de San Marcos. Judging by the size of the infant on his lap (me), I would guess that the snaps were made in the summer of 1946.
This is my big brother Doug in front of Aunt Georgia's house. The boots show that he is ready to go with Uncle Harry to run the crab traps. Behind the screen door Grandma Frieda can barely be seen holding yours truly.
Dad holding the infant Kenny at the Castillo de San Marcos in the summer of 1946.
According to the packet, the following photos were "mfd. & dist. by Summerland Photo Service, 11625 N. E. 2nd. Avenue, Miami, Fla."
1 1/2 CENTS
(Click to enlarge)
Additional Postcards (including captions printed on the back)
OLD CITY GATES, ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA. Built 1743, consisting of two square pillars of coquina rock, 20 feet in height, 10 feet thick; walls are 30 feet in length and 10 feet thick, space between pillars is 12 feet and were protected with heavy iron bound gates, and the approach was by way of a drawbridge over the moat or ditch.
THE FAMOUS SECRET DUNGEON, CASTLE SAN MARCOS NATIONAL MONUMENT, ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA.
This dungeon in the northeast bastion was accidentally discovered by Lieut. Tuttle in 1833. The entrance having been walled up so carefully as to almost baffle discovery. In this dungeon were found crumbled human bones, a report of the finding of which is now on record in the War Department. The room is 20 ft. long, 13 ft. wide and 7 ft. high.
The Fountain of Youth attracts all visitors to St. Augustine. According to tradition, it is the exact spot, where Don Juan Ponce de Leon, the Spanish explorer, in search of the Fountain of Youth, landed April 2, 1513, and planted a cross and took possession of the "New World" in the name of the King of Spain.