Sunday, April 20, 2014

In Memory of Doris Harrell Wheat

One of my childhood memories of my cousin Doris Harrell Wheat was her beautiful smile and her kindness. Cousin Doris was my maternal second cousin, her father Palmer and my grandfather Jasper Harrell, Sr. were brothers. Cousin Doris was always kind to me and my brothers no matter when we visit her home. She always offered us something to eat or candy and cookies. I don't have to tell you which of the two my brothers and I chose. The candy and cookies of course.

Doris Harrell Wheat
Doris Harrell Wheat was born in 1923 to Palmer and Manilla McCoy Harrell in Amite, Louisiana. She had a very loving way with children. She made us feel welcome in her home when we went over to play with  her youngest son Bruce. I stopped by and talked with Bruce last week and he and I went down memory lane. We both talked about the time we busted a lot of watermelons in his father's garden and his father didn't raise his voice or showed any anger toward us. After my mother found out what we did she told cousin Henry to give us a good whipping and he said no, kids will be kids.

I miss cousin Henry and cousin Doris and I often think about them not only as good neighbors but kind and sharing family members. They wasn't the kind of people that bragged about anything, but they were the kind of people that shared what they had with the community and family.

When Bruce told me he had something to show me, he came out of his house with a picture of his mother and I was so happy to see her photograph. She was a beautiful woman that loved children. Bruce was the youngest of the family and he was a little spoiled by his parents. Me and my brothers liked playing with Bruce, he was as gentle as his mother and father. Bruce had older brothers and no sisters, he had nieces and nephews at an early age. Of course they didn't call him uncle Bruce.
The Wheat Family and Uncle Palmer Harrell

As kids we never had a fight and if we did our parents didn't get involved, matter of fact we had better settle whatever it was before they found out. Beside we didn't have many neighbors were we lived,  and the ones that lived closed by was family. We all played together and got along very well. We didn't care anything about being third cousin or fourth cousins, we were cousins and that's the way it was.

Living next door to cousin Henry and Doris was Roy Wheat the brother of cousin Henry. Roy and his wife had several children. The girls were very beautiful to me, we played with them as well. We all loved each other and thats the way it was. We spent long hours playing in the woods, hunting for antiques and animals. Sometimes we would go fishing or bike riding.

Our great grandmothers' Emma's house was right across the road from our house. Little did we know that house could have been full of antiques items from our great grandmother Emma and her children. That house stood until one family member decided to demolished the house, just like they demolished my grandparents house. The house the Wheat's built is still standing and one of their offsprings still live in the house, I was so happy to see that. The Wheat's may be gone but they are not forgotten.