Sunday, July 18, 2010

I, Emerson Vince Row, was born July 12,1918, in Stonington, Indiana, a small stone mill hamlet in the southeastern part of Lawrence County, to Odos Bellman Row (1886-December 6, 1969) and Grace Cletius (Akin) Row (September 30, 1893-April 23, 1973). They were married September 29, 1917.

Odos was born to William Henry Row (birth date unknown, possibly 1850 and died in 1886) and Rhoda (Krutsinger) Row (December 22, 1852-December 20, 1904). Grace was born to John Henry Akin (December 3, 1862-November 24,1934) and Dorothy (Lee) Akin (18_-December 14,1942). They were married December 27, 1888. Both are buried at Lawrenceport.

I never knew Dad's parents. They died while he was young. I know very little about Mom's parents except what I have heard. We lived away from Bedford when I was small and only saw them on rare visits.

Mom's Grandfather Addison Akin came from one of the Carolina's. The Pickett family (Mom's Grandmother's family) joined a wagon train out of Carolina headed west. Addison rode a horse. It seems he was the only Akin in the train. I don't know if he and the Pickett girl kept company before they left or if he met her on the way. Anyhow, fate brought them together. It seems as if the whole Pickett clan settled around Lawrenceport, Indiana, since I have heard Mom talk about different Uncles and Aunt Picketts.

John Henry, Mom's dad, was one of Addison's children. Mom's mother Dorothy was a Lee. I don't know anything about them except they must have been a prominent family as there was a Lee School at Stonington. John Henry was a farmer according to Nancy, Mom's sister. I never knew him to do anything except help his neighbor make apple jack and peach brandy. When I knew them they lived in a three bedroom house located where the Grissom Airport is now. The house was on the edge of a large fairly level field that has been used for an airfield for as long as I can remember.

After WWI men (boys) who were pilots during the war would acquire a surplus war plane and go about the country and take up people for a ride over town. I think they
got three dollars a person per ride. This was three days pay in those days. The plane was a biplane. It had two open cockpits and the pilot operated the plane from the rear seat, or cockpit. They were started (the engines) by one man getting hold of the propeller and spinning it by hand. I've never seen it happen, but I have heard of men losing an arm or head by not stepping back quick enough when the engine started.

The first time I remember at my Grandparents was on the 4th of July of '23,'24, or '25. There were three planes there taking up passengers. During the afternoon they put on an airshow. They would dive, roll and loop the loops. They had parachute jumps and men walking on the wings. A real good show for what they had to work with. My grand dad I thought was a little on the lazy side and liked to be babied. I remember it being told on him, he was sitting in front of the fireplace and the fire popped. Hot coals flew out into the room and he said, "Doad", a nick name Grandma went by, "Do you reckon that went down my shoe?" He always wore low top boots and when he sat down his pant legs were above his boot tops. Grandpa had chin whiskers a little longer than his hand was wide. He would sit on the front porch in a caned bottom chair. He would tilt the chair back on two legs with the top of the chair touching the house. He would stroke his beard with one hand and swat flies with the other, spitting tobacco juice once in a while, most of the time clearing the porch.

Grandma was a little on the short side and fairly plump when I first remember her. I don't think she gained weight by licking the spoons after a meal because the chickens that ate the scraps that were thrown out were never fat. But that woman could always fix up a meal out of most nothing. She made what she called "dog bread" biscuits made from flour and water, flat as a pancake but edible while hot, water gravy, actually hot wallpaper paste, and a vegetable if she had one. None of them starved. My two Uncles Lowell and Albert were living at home at that time. They would bring their girlfriends in for dinner. They didn't seem to mind. May have been they didn't have any better at home.

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