When I woke I wondered, what grandmother Fidella may have cooked on this special day after marrying grandfather William Theodore Gray, October 22, 1897 in Vancleve, MO?
I wonder.....If this transpired?
Grandfather either raised a turkey, killed it by chopping off it's head or perhaps he purchased one from a neighboring farmer. I know not.
Or, this being their first year, possibly they road in a buckboard to grandfather's father Charles C Gray and stepmother Martha Ann PICKERING-Gray's home in Crocker, Pulaski County, Missouri Off Hi-way 42. 4 miles away. Charles and second wife Martha recently married on July 4th, 1897 in Pulaski County, MO where my great-step mother made a sumptuous feast? No, certainly not, just too far to travel.
However, we can probably assume the 4-month pregnant Fidella wanted to travel almost 20-miles away to Fidella's parents home in Boone, Maries County, MO. Her father's name is Zachariah `Zac' Pendleton and mother's name is Catherine `Cas' Burd-Pendleton. Without a written record and the weather more than likely like ours today - a mere 22° this a.m. or in the vicinity - she and grandfather Theodore stayed home or perhaps visited with nearby neighbors.
A trip of 30-miles via horse and buggy/carriage took almost a full day. The trip was well before state hi-ways were approved on November 11, 1926 and paved roads came along to Vienna after 1942. Most roads were mere dirt and some gravel. Too harrowing of a trip for a new mother-to-be.
I was told often, his mother Fidella, was a real good cook, by dad. And he was told that via his father.
If grandfather and grandmother entertained this special day, then the day before or so, he and or Fidella had to either pluck the feathers or heat up a vat of scalding water, lower the turkey into it, test it every so often to see if it was ready for the feathers to slide off, something he did when butchering hogs.
Perhaps Fidella made the turkey and neighbors came to their home. (I'll have to see if I can locate a Vienna, MO Gazette paper from 1897. These small community newspapers mentioned all the goings on of who visited who. I love perusing them when I have time.)
I just found this interesting article from a town not far from Vienna, MO.
So what else would have graced their table this day?
At any rate, it's now Wednesday, December 25, 2013....yes it's Christmas Day. Here in Saint Louis, MO the temp is 30 degrees, overcast with no hint of snow, but the promise, so stated the newscaster that we'd have Sun. I sure hope so as I love the sun.
I woke this morn thinking about what to write concerning grandmother Fidella and thought of a precious photo I have of her first son and daughter plus another of her first through her fifth child.
It's now Friday, December 27, 2013...my youngest, Ashley, is sick and home with momma....while she sleeps off her Bronchitis, I'll add a few items.
This eyewitness account appears in: Holt, Hamilton, The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans as Told by Themselves (1906).
Since writing of grandmother last year I've learned that there was a new moon over Missouri and other midwestern states that began November 24th, 1897.
In 1898 Thanksgiving was also on November 24th. But this year on March 25th, 1898 (just 5-months after marriage), Fidella and Theodore had a bouncing baby boy whom they named Elzie Rosco Gray. Elzie became a tall 6' 1" man who created and lost (4) large fortunes according to my father Wm. Victor Gray. One was a trash hauling business and another a landscaping business. I know not the other two. Not only that......but my uncle Elzie married (13) times! Nope, that's no typo! After his first wife Mildred Duncan-Gray died March 5, 1932 during her 5th pregnancy .....and after his only daughter Irene died March 29, 1928 of heart failure and another son Delbert Eugene died February 29, 1928 of pneumonia, uncle Elzie seemed to never totally settle down. He was survived by two sons, Wilburn Byrle and Allen Gray. Both lived a full life.
Wilburn Gray was in the Navy and a survivor of Pearl Harbor. Allen was in the calvary in WWII.
Interesting note....grandmother Fidella must have just gotten pregnant with her second child Clora Dove Gray-Haggerty around Thanksgiving because aunt Clora was born the following year on July 6th, 1899.
Here it's 10:54 a.m., the sun is peaking out and the turkey's been in the oven since 2 a.m. Oh, the scent that is wafting my senses! Yum-yum to be sure!
Three of my four adult children will be here for the feast at 3:30 p.m. or sooner. Rachel Nicole Lambert, Kenneth Blake Questell and Ashley Victoria Questell to arrive today. Richard Caleb Lambert is in LA, California persuing his Screen writting and acting career and will arrive in St. Louis for Christmas.
I'm very thankful for all the years I've had with my beautiful children and all the years the grand Universal energies have kept us sheltered, clothed and fed. A grand gift none should take for granted.
All the Best!
I'll return with more information of recipes from the late 1800's soon......