Sunday, February 7, 2016
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
We only took 50 or so pictures by this car and her man was kind enough to do that for us.. Check out the rest on FB!
Sunday, January 31, 2016
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Friday, January 22, 2016
Vernal Rich was born April 1st 1918. In Farnham, VA it is now called Warsaw, Virginia. I looked up Farnham and it looks like there still IS a Farnham. Her sister still lives in that area in Robley,Virginia. She is 84 or 85. She can not keep up with her age but she knows she is older than she is.
Vernal was the second of nine children born to Edward and Hattie Rich. Her older sister was a girl and she thinks that when her mom got pregnant with her they wanted a boy. The parents ended up with six girls and three boys.Only her and her sister Irma are still alive now.
I asked Ms. Weaver to name all of her siblings. Imagine being alive so long that some of your siblings are in your distant memory!
Enos Rich ( he is deceased)
Edith Rich ( she thinks that is her name she is deceased
Russell ( she thinks that was his name
Irma it has been so long it is hard to remember She is still living.
And the youngest sister
She was born in the spring of the year and she was named Vernal because that is a spring name. I said yes like the Vernal equinox and told her what that was.
I asked her what her first vivid memory was and she said "oh let me see I am 97!!!"
This was her answer
I am so nervous I was always small for my age! She would be so nervous to go to the table to eat so she would go somewhere and cry and she would get a whipping if she was not correct or had misspelled words in her homework. so she just stayed nervous.It was a terrible feeling. She always felt shy and nervous
She said back years ago.. People would whip you for anything and everything.. Even your aunt and uncle would whip you.
How sad! Also how terrifying for a small little girl!
I asked her about her 1st house that she could remember, she said it was a straight house no plumbing,no electric,kerosene lamps her daddy worked on a farm. This house belonged to the owner of the farm and they lived in it.
years later they moved in her grandma's house. She then shows me a picture of the "sucker" she married and her grandma Lewis, her maiden name was Lewis, but she married a Veney.
Her great-grand dad was a Cherokee Indian she remembers him so she mentions him to me, he ws on her mom's side.
Fanny was her mom's mom Fanny Lewis Veney
Her grandma's house was just a just a plain old country house. She pointed to a chair and said that straight back chair is from that house and belonged to my grandma.
Her dad worked on a 100 acre farm and that house belonged to Frederick Booker who owned the farm. It was wheat, barley, corn and cattle and pigs and chickens.
When Mr. Booker stopped doing big farming that is when they moved into her grandma's old house while Grandma was in Paulsboro,NJ She remembers that in addition to what I said above it had 2 bedrooms a kitchen and a living room and a great long hall. She said that house was so cold woooo it will freeze ya to death!
Her aunts and uncles gave that house and property to her mom and daddy. When they became heirs they tore that ole house her daddy tore it down and built another house all on one floor.
Her mother put her in service working when she was 13. For Mr. Booker's daughter. It was the farmer her Daddy worked for daughter. She had to go to Arlington. She married Mr. Booker's daughter married Claude Richmond and she became Alene Booker Richmond While in their service she did house work and took care of children, washed down walls, and scrubbed floors
She said she could not use their bathroom. Where she slept was in the attic that had no flooring just boards for the bed.. Just boards for the slop jar and every morning she would carry that down and flush it down the toilet.. It was terrible smell.
She said she could not take a bath unless she went to get to get in a stationary washing machine tub in the basement to take a bath. I asked her what that was, she said it was a tub you washed clothes and stuff in.
She was there for four years.
They had running water and a furnace that burned hard coal. She was segregated from the house she could not sit on the living room furniture. When Amos and Andy came on the radio she could not sit on their wicker chairs (all though they were cheap wicker chairs) and she had to sit on the floor or bring a chair in from the kitchen. She cleaned all of that stuff too.
She got no money but $8 a month and that money was sent to her mother.
When she was 16 she decided she was going to quit the work.
She said every 4th weekend they would go downhome
and when she went home she decided she was not going back to work!
her mother got awfully upset that she did not go back!
Instead she went back to the third grade that was as far as she ever went. she said she was 16 in the third grade. I was a bit foggy on this.. I said how many years were you there?
How old were you when you went?
Why only 3rd grade?
She did not seem to have concrete answers for these, but I get that after awhile time runs all together you know name and dates and times they all run together.. I get that.
She said she wanted to be a Doctor the kind that worked with children and people She never finished did finish the third grade though because her mother got another job in Arlington and bagged up what little clothes she had and sent her up to Washington DC on the greyhound bus.
She thinks she cried all the way there.
This lady by the name of Dora Bell met her at the greyhound bus station.
She was still a child.
She was different than the first people because she understood her.
She was still segregated though. She put her in the basement on a folding cot. Where the coal furnace was.
But that was better than being in the attic and they they had a toilet and a wash basin down there. It was a great big white house. It was called a tourist home it took in tourists.
She said during the Cherry Blossom time it filled up! Now they call them motels but back then they were called tourist homes. She changed the beds and did the cleaning.helped with the cooking stuff. Mr. Bell had a filling station on Lee Highway.
He built onto it and it had a luncheon room and she would make a big thing of clam chowder and he would take it around and sell it to people.
She stayed there over seven years she can not remember how many exactly. Ms. Bell got sick and had a massive heart attack. That ended that job.
At some point during the 1940's Vernal got married to Mr. Weaver. She said she still had jobs though. She always went from one job to another.
She then told me more of how she broke away from the Richmond's. One Sunday she decided she she was not gonna work every Sunday..! She said she was not going to do washing on Sunday Ms. Richmond told Mr. Richmond she sassed her and would not do what she asked..so she went out to find a church and walked up the highway.
She was not sure which way to go on Lee Highway she did not know whether to go right or left cause she was always with them taking care of children she realized she really did not know where she lived.
(Her legs, back and shoulders and hurt. She took so much meds today)
She went to the Lee highway took a left headed to Falls Church passed Hall's Hill. I looked that up that was a black segregated community.
After walking and walking and walking.. And going up and down hills.
After walking forever
She came to a church with brown shingles.
she had no idea if it was a white or black church. It was a black Methodist church. Ms. Weaver could not remember the name but with the help of a friend I found out it was Calloway United Methodist.
She remember so many people there they were great.
Pastor Robinson was great
The women took her under their wing.
Maybe this was the beginning of the end of her time with the Richmond family and she left them all together, when they went downhome that time.
She remembers going with the church people to Sparrow's beach which was a black beach owned by black people in Maryland this lady from the church took her to that beach.
When she went to that beach she loved it
she loved being with people of her color
They were able to go Washington DC also She went to Wisconsen ave in Georgetown and met some black folks at a restaurant once there she met a girl named Lily Mae Standback She was a whole lot older and going to night school Francis Jr. High school black school.
She could not keep up though she did just did not have enough learning and people made fun of her years ago when she tried to get an education and she still remembers it.
She then went to a nursing school but could not keep up with that.
then she went to a sewing school and could not read the pattern.
she tried to get an education but just could not.
She started staying nights at Lily Mae's
Then she would go to the Bell's house it was on Adams street off Lee Highway
So then she gave up on education no one would help her.
She started doing day work
She got paid $2.50 a day plus bus fare.anywhere around Washington DC, Chevy Chase, Bethesda she lived on Prospect Ave in Georgetown. Lily Mae was rooming there and she stayed with her.
It was owned by a lady named Ethel Hamilton they payed $10 in rent.
It was a nice house. They lived next door to a well educated man. He was the head man at Ft. Belviour (the Army place) his name was Smith.
She met her husband she was going to night school, they met at a concert. he was at Phelps vocational school. He was taking auto mechanics
They had a program,
she used to sing but she does not anymore.
He was at this concert with Lily Mae's friend..
His name was Cliff
Then she lived on Olive Avenue in Georgetown.
She still tried to go to school but she just could not get it and it did not work.
On Prospect Ave. she knew Mr. Smith who was big shot like a general or something like that. He would get them into dances at Fort Belvouir.
He would get them tickets.
There was a woman that also went to the dances named Juanita, she picked at her everytime she saw her
EVERYTIME she saw her..
Once at a dance at ft. Belvouir she put a stop to that .. She was going down the steps Juanita was going up and Juanita kicked at her and Vernal pulled at her leg and pulled her down by the leg bump bump bump each leg
Then she straddled her even though she was small ad only weighed 105 lbs.
She picked her up and beat her head against a wall until she passed out she left her there and went upstairs to go dancing
and she did not have trouble with her no mo..
The house they lived at on Olive Ave. had everthing on one floor everything was handy there 2 bedrooms, living room and it did not have no dining room just a kitchen,but the living room was big.
Then they moved NE to Maryland Ave. It was a beautiful house her friend had a big 3 story house and rented rooms it was a nice house.
Then they moved to Bealeton,Virginia. Cliff or Cliff's father ( I am not sure and did not write it down right ) had a farm 100 acres of land there.
They had a house that had never been painted. It had pasteboard for plastering it was cold!
They had coal heaters and 2 bedrooms, a living room a dining room and a kitchen there was no bathroom and no running water.
Half of the the time she did not know where Cliff was he was out drinking and rippin and running and she was stuck way out in the country all by herself. She did not know anyone. ..
She worked day work still she went to Falls Church, Vienna, and Rockville
She worked day work for one lady 50 years!
The lady owned a business called Tart Lumber company.
she took care of that families children and cleaned and stuff like that in Sterling.
Then after that all of that she had the house remodeled.She had it stuccoed and had electric and bathroom put in.
she got it for free from Tart,Because they were going to tear it down so she got a free bathroom and other things they were going to get rid of anyway.
She said one thing we CAN give Cliff credit for is he always worked.
When they rebuilt her house she got windows and a washer and dryer ..
she thinks her legs ache now from being out in the cold washing her hands or working with the coal and the propane and the wood heater. After Cliff died she lived up on that hill for 20 more years. She got tired of living by herself and she sold that house and has now been at Oak Springs retirement apartments for over 12 years.
She is OK with Oak Springs, but she had to straighten out some people because they thought her and my Dad were having sex ( they were not)and they gave her a bad name
she said she told them do not corner me, cause if you do she will you will knock the hell out of them ! She said they would get jealous when her and Bill would go out and go places and when he would pull up to pick her up at the front of the building they would make him move. They loved to go to Great American Buffett in Manassas. She said she could tell me or anyone everywhere she went with my Dad , cause they never went anywhere bad. He never took her to to a bad place.
She also told me that once my Dad's "frenemy" Bo Dickie took his phone and said he could not get his phone back.. She said to him give Bill his phone! He took the phone and threw it at Billy! and she picked it up and threw it at she said give that phone to Bill nicely he did not throw it at you! She said the next time she saw him he would not speak to her. She said she did not like Bo Dickie and she also bawled him out! She said if he had hit her she would have beat his head up with a chair!
That is all I got my first day. I will be going back up this week to get more so stay tuned!
When I stepped out of the steamboat museum I saw this slide. I had not seen one of those in YEARS. I did not even know they still HAD them.. I had to go down it so I did, you can check out the pictures on FB. I asked L if he would go down he said he would not "have to" like I did I said well what if we saw one and I wanted to slide down, he said I would not stop. I said well what if I was driving..and DID stope WOULD YOU SLIDE DOWN???
The verdict is still out. I guess I need to find one now..