Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Old Man Al

This is a photograph of my maternal grandfather, Albert Wall. He was known around the neighborhood as "Old Man Al".  He is seated on the carport at the home in which I now live. He built the house in the 1920s.
I'm guessing the photo was made around 1968 by my older brother. 1968 is the year my grandfather died at the age of 88.
I remember Grandpa pretended to be much more blind than he really was. When I was a young child, he would "feel" his money and give me a $5 bill and then ask me to confirm that it was a $1 bill. I didn't fall for his ruse and I would fess up that it was actually a $5 bill. He would laugh and tell me to keep it anyway.
I remember the green wooden "couch" that he is sitting in front of. There were some matching chairs too. I don't know what became of the green furniture.
Notice the dipper hanging on the wall behind his right shoulder. That dipper was used to drink from the faucet that is shown just to Grandpa's right.
The faucet (right beside the first bucket) sticks up about two feet out of the ground and is wrapped in burlap. I always thought the water that it produced was so delicious. The short building next to the big house is a pump house that covered the water pump and holding tank that fed the faucet and house.
The pump house still remains, but it is no longer pumping water. The faucet is gone as is another faucet that was maybe 30 yards away next to our driveway. That distant faucet was used to water the garden and the mules. I believe I remember the faucet emptied into a trough from which the mules drank. The trough is gone too, if it ever existed anywhere other than my imagination.
Grandpa used the mules to plow the garden and pull his wooden tobacco sleds. I can hear him calling "gee" and "haw" to the mules. I think "gee" and " haw" meant turn left or turn right. And of course there was "giddyup" and "whoa".
I have some other memories which I will share over the next few weeks, including my memory of his death and funeral. I believe it is important that I write down these few scraps of information for my descendants.
I would give anything for the written memories of my Grandpa's father. I still shake my head that my great-grandfather fought in the American Civil War. Why? He owned no slaves.
Unfortunately all I have is a tombstone in a cemetery near my home. I will show you that tombstone.


  1. Very well written. I too remember walking behind the sleds pulled by mules. Handiing leaves to the stringers,housing tobacco in the barns. Those were "The good old days" Looking to see some more of your stories.

  2. We are about the same age "Cease", and I'm sure you remember me from your bookstore days.

  3. I'm sorry I don't recognize your face.

    1. I wear a hat that you normaly don't see people wear around here. You signed us up for vnet. All I can say publicly

    2. We ran the BOOKSTORE for 24 years. It's been closed for six years. We signed up hundreds of people for vnet.

      Of course I remember you, you're the guy with the funny hat.