Copied from Prince William County Historical Properties website
Its Black History Month, and I have a treat for you! Right in my own backyard is the preservation of history! I am not related to the Barnes family, but I truly enjoy the history associated with this property. The Barnes House was built in 1797 for a wealthy local family and eventually rented to Gavin and Susannah Adams along with 34 acres of land surrounding the property. The Adams used the Barnes House as a tavern and place to sleep for travelers passing through the area. The house and land were purchased by Moses and Nancy Copen in 1834, who owned seven slaves including Jane Barnes and her three children (included Eppa Barnes).
Alice’s 80th Birthday (front row, center) – Tampa, FL in August 2015
It’s been a long time since I published Mom’s interview questions so you can find the prior ones at the end of this post. I learn so much about my family history by doing the interviews. For now, lets focus on the last five questions. Enjoy!
Were you ever mentioned in a newspaper?
Not really other than when I got married, divorced and purchased a home. LoL
I was not mentioned, but my boyfriend, and ultimately, father of my children, was in the Mobile Register all the time while playing football.
Who were your friends when you were growing up?
Sugar (real name was Hermine) and her sister, Punch – These friends lived across the street from my Grandma Laura’s house. Sugar and Punch had tuberculosis, which was highly contagious at the time, so I was told not to go over to their house. In spite of her illness, I continued to visit until Sugar called me and told me not to come over. Tuberculosis almost wiped out their immediate family.
Alice (friend in college). When Alice came to our home during a college break, I was 16 years old at the time and in my first year of college. All my friends, even Yanetta who was younger, went to the Elk’s Club. However, I could not attend. My mother was very strict, and she told me if I went to the Elk’s Club, I would not be able to be a Debutante. I told her I did not want to be a Debutante, but it didn’t matter. I could not go. I thought my mom was the meanest person alive!
Yanetta (pictured above, front row, right) – We went everywhere together. The movies, parties, and fights…yes I said fights! Check out this story 10 Aug 2015 – The Ditch for details on how we became fighting buddies.
What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?
Brookley Air Force base would periodically have air drills. This was in preparation for an attack on the United States. During the drills, all the lights, both inside and outside the home, were required to be turned out. The siren generally started about 11 pm. The thought process was that the enemy could not see it’s target in the dark.
My mother worked at Brookley; however, she lost her job because someone went to the foreman and told him that she did not need a job because her husband worked. Mom was fired shortly after that incident.
In 1964, my family moved to Chicago, Illinois in an effort to make a better living. Our first home was in a third floor apartment on the South Side of Chicago at 68th and Harper. We lived in the midst of the Black Stone Rangers’ neighborhood.
The Black Stone Rangers originated on the south side of Chicago, around 65th and Black Stone Avenue, four blocks away from where we lived. The Black Stone Rangers were estimated to have more than 23,000 members. Years later I asked my mother about the Black Stone Rangers, and she said they had a bad reputation with the police and the FBI, but they actually tried to help people.
Eventually, my parents purchased their first home, still on the south side of Chicago, near 93rd and Jeffery. When Eva and I attended James Bowen High School, we convinced our dad to let us have a house party. Eva and I were very excited. My mother helped plan the party. She made sure we had enough food and drinks. I remember my mother frying chicken and making potato salad. We decorated the basement of our new home. The basement was a finished, full length basement with a full length bar, a kitchen with all the works, and a half bath. The bar lights could be dimmed gradually. Everything was going very well. Eva knew a lot of people, so people came from everywhere.
Around 9:30 pm, my dad told my mother he saw someone smoking in the house. My dad said he was not going to have anyone smoking in His house. Then, my dad said someone spiked the punch with alcohol. Next thing we knew, our father threw everyone out of the house and the party was over in a matter of about 30 minutes. It was our first and last house party we had at our home.
Years later, Eva and I would remember this house party. It was held during a time when house parties were the going thing in Chicago.
This is a true story written by my husband. The story is about my mother Alice (Great Grandma) and Taylor (Grand baby) when she young. Taylor had a stuffed animal that she carried with her all the time. It was actually a cow called “Mooey”. For simplicity purposes, we called it a teddy bear. Enjoy!
Great Grandma was taking her nearly two-year old great Grand Baby, our “Grand Baby”, to the Laundromat.Grand baby had her favorite teddy bear with her, THE teddy bear.No other teddy bear or toy, or form of comfort would do when Grand Baby was crying or sad, only this, exact, teddy.So this teddy went everywhere with Grand Baby: in the crib, out of the crib, in the high chair, out of the high chair. Teddy was Grand Baby’s nearly constant companion: inside and outside, dragged behind on floors, sidewalks, and parking lots, in cars and out of cars, on lawns, in shopping carts, everywhere. Teddy started out white and yellow and had developed a deep (and lovely to Grand Baby), gray patina, like that of a dust mop. Teddy was covered from the top of her frazzled head to the bottom of her frayed feet with nearly two years of love and grime. Grand Baby was not selfish about Teddy, she was generous.Grand Baby would offer her precious, precious Teddy to you: as a sign of trust, as a gesture of affection, or just to hold. It might be your honor to hold Teddy for Grand Baby at those times when Grand Baby’s own little arms were too tired to hold her dear Teddy, anymore… though… you might have to give Teddy back immediately if, filled with second thoughts, Grand Baby stretched a single arm back out at you..