"Mountain Memories" Page 7
In those days, these mountain people did not have "store bought" toothbrushes, so they just did the best they could by breaking off a short piece of a limb from a blackgum tree. They chewed the end of the stick until it was soft and pliable and this they dipped in soda and brushed their teeth.
Orie took them to the place where she got her toothbrush and showed them the tree. It was a "he" huckleberry, as the people around there called it, and it was very poisonous. Before she died, Lige came into the room and sat down and asked Orie to sing him a song. She looked at him and said, "Paw, I'll never sing to you again." Then she died.
It was Mark and Matt that had a little girl that got burned and died. They had gone somewhere and left their children at home alone with a fire in the fireplace. The girl's name was Nellie. Her dress caught fire as she was playing around the fireplace. When Mark and Matt were on their way home, he said that he saw Nellie standing in the road just ahead of him, but before he got close enough to speak to her she disappeared. It was only a vision, but when he and Matt got home they found Nellie badly burned. Mark said he knew from seeing the vision that she would die. And she did.
I was more acquainted with Nancy Self than with any of my grandmother's other sisters. She would come to my parents' home and sometimes stay for weeks. Usually she would bring us kids something, like a Baby Ruth candy bar. Once she brought my younger sister Edith a doll she had wrapped in pink silk. She gave me the piece of silk cloth and I have it today.
Nancy was a jolly old woman when I knew her. She would tease and frolic with my teen-aged brother Boyd, but she wasn't afraid to scold us kids. When Edith and I drank coffee she would say, "It will stunt your growth." Since I seldom saw my grandmother I had to be reminded now and then not to call Aunt Nance "Grandma."
Nancy married Tom Miller (no relation to my family; he was not Catherine Miller's son). I think he was from Georgia. I've