Mixsonian Larry

 

1919
Wilbur Meets Rosalie

Wilbur was enjoying himself, after the hardships he experienced in the war, being home with family was just what he needed. He was looking forward to the gathering his father was planning in his honor, it would be good to see everyone.  With eleven brothers and sisters, it would be quite a crowd with all their wives and kids, not to mention all the neighbors that would come.   

The day of the celebration came, the crowd grew, and Wilbur was busy with everyone wanting to greet him.  He knew most of them, but there were new wives, children, and neighbors he had not met before.  He begin to tire of all the greeting, but he did enjoy the attention from the girls who took affection to him, being a war “hero”.   

After most everyone had arrived, the greeting slowed down so he milled about, talking to a brother, sister or friend when he heard singing and following the sound, entering the house where he found a group in the parlor with playing the piano and singing church hymns.  He made his way over and stood next to the piano and joined in.  It wasn’t long before one of the girls came up and gave him a kiss on the cheek followed by several others, each seeming to dare each other to do so.  Standing there leaning on the piano, he saw one girl step into the room and catch his eye, but then the turned and walked away.   He wondered, “who was this girl who turned away and didn’t kiss him?”, so he followed her out onto the porch and asked her name, “Rosalie Anderson” she answered somewhat timidly.  Wilbur was smitten with her as they say in the south and he asked her to sit next to him at the dinner.    

Around one o’clock, a bell rang indicating it was time for dinner and everyone gathered under the big oak tree The old oak tree was still there when I lived in the old house in 1975. Later, uncle Jimmy moved back into the house and had it cut down for it was doing poorly.
Larry Mixson
where tables had been set out.  His father made a short speech in honor of his son returning from the war and thanking all the family and friends for being there that day, then saying he would say the blessing.  Taking off his hat, bowing his head he spoke, thanking the lord for all of our blessings, family, friends, good health, good food and of course returning his son home from the war ending with a group “Amen”, then said “Let’s eat!”.  There were more than a few tears in peoples eyes as they looked up.  

Everyone that came brought some special dish of food which was laid out on makeshift tables covered with brightly colored tablecloths.  There was so much food that the boys were sent to the barn to get a couple more boards to set up another table just for the deserts.  Wilbur had never seen that much food, there was even more food than the last dinner on the grounds at the church.  There was corn on the cob, corn pudding, fired okra, black eye peas, turnip and collard greens, mashed potatoes, scallop potatoes, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, salads, and a few  dishes he wasn’t sure about.  There was fresh baked homemade rolls and cornbread, fried chicken, baked chicken, roast pork and beef, fried catfish, and what he thought might be fried cooter.  Even his brother James’ wife Onnie Lee made her famous hog liver pudding.  Oh! The deserts were heaven, cakes and pies of every kind, cookies, puddings, and sweet breads.  

He was encourage go to the front of the line being the guest of honor but he said no, the women and children should go first, but he really wanted to be in line with Rosalie.  Lines formed on each side of the tables and people talked with each other as they progressed down the tables heaping food upon their plates.   It was a slow process for as you approach the first of dishes you have to decide whether to take a spoon full now or perhaps pass it by for something better down the table.  No matter how much you wanted, you couldn’t fit even a small spoonful of everything on your plate and coming back later it might be all gone.  Oh, and everyone said you had to try Onnie Lee’s hog liver pudding or someone else’s dish.  And of course, there was iced tea, sweet of course, not that unsweet stuff the northerners call tea.  

After passing thought the line piling his plate high, he took his seat at the main table with his father and family with Rosalie sitting next to him. Rosalie seemed quiet and shy during dinner, not saying much, but then all the other family at the table were talking to Wilbur and others all at the same time.  Rosalie heard later that the other girls were jealous of her getting to sit next to Wilbur.  

Finishing their plates, he suggested to Rosalie they go check out the deserts and they got up and went over to the desert table.  There were so many deserts he wanted to try them all, but he was so stuffed from all the food he only took a small piece of pie while Rosalie only took a cookie.  As they walked away, Wilbur wanted to find a quiet place to talk more with Rosalie but kept being interrupted by people wanting to talk to him.  Rosalie seeing this excused herself and said she hoped to see him later.  

With all the family dressed up in their Sunday finest for the party, Wilbur’s father called them all together on the front steps of the house for a photo.

James Darlington Mixon with children
James Darlington Mixson and Family
Top Row: Left to Right: Job, Gilbert, Estelle, James Darlington Mixson, Lula. Middle Row: Henry, Viola, Wilbur, First Row: Charlie, Bessie, Alice (with hearing aid), Lois and Maxey

The evening wore on, the crowd thinned as most the people went home but several of Wilbur’s brothers, sisters and their children stayed and they talked late into the night, all the time Wilbur thoughts were on Rosalie.  

 

Rosaliie 1919