Miss Lottie

Certainly I am not the only person who wakes up in the middle of the night for no reason at all, and then cannot get back to sleep; everything is quiet and there I am traveling around in my private thoughts remembering people and details instead of creating sweet dreams.  Believe it or not, in the still of the night is when many of my columns begin to develop, although when I open my laptop the next day, I sometimes struggle to recall all the countless details that I remembered about precious family members during those midnight hours. 

Although detailed research reveals that none of my ancestors were particularly rich or famous, generally they were distinctive in the fact that they were individuals who were kind, cared about their neighbors, minded the law, worked hard, told the truth and loved their family. 

One of the older relatives that I remember was Lottie Davenport Lain, she had several other names because she was married three times but that is a story for another time.  She was my paternal great grandmother who was born in January 1880 and lived to be eighty-six years old.  I was a newlywed when she passed away and although I have documented countless details about her, I wish that I had asked more information about the days of her youth.

By the time I had specific memories about my great-grandmother, she was a widow who stayed close to home and kept busy cooking, sewing, caring for others and playing endless games of solitaire.  She had short white hair, was taller than most everyone in the family with a soft but clear voice who drank no spirits or said no discouraging words.  She made homemade biscuit, prepared fresh vegetables, and served the sweetest tea imaginable. 

Miss Lottie dedicated her life to serving others, she was the mother of three girls but only one child, Ruby Teel Scott, and my maternal grandmother lived to be older than twenty years old.  Johnnie and Vesta passed away as young women, one from a ruptured appendix and the other from influenza; they are both resting at Hopewell Church cemetery in Fayette County, Georgia.   She supported her family by running a boarding house on the outskirts of Atlanta; but she preferred calling it taking in boarders. 

Rutherford B. Hayes was the nineteenth President of the United States when she was born; the president that was seriously wounded while fighting for the Union Army during the War Between the States, his predecessor was Ulysses S Grant.  

She was in her thirties during World War I, not quite fifty years old on October 29, 1929 which was called Black Tuesday and the beginning of the Great Depression.   She was in her sixties during World War II, and cried when she heard that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.  Lyndon B. Johnson, number thirty six, was in office when she passed away but I have no way of knowing if she ever voted in an election. 


Brenda S. Brown 


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