I thank our parents for allowing us to know our relatives like we do. Our parents always made the effort to travel to see their relatives and to open their home to any and all relations that would come visit and by doing that we all had the privilege to get to know each other so much better.
I’ve been watching the new TV series ” Who Do You Think You Are” and I can honestly say I’ve heard our family stories through the years. Especially on my mom’s side. Mom was very close to her maternal grandmother, Jenny Catherine Hinkle Eye, and listened to her stories very well. Now that our precious mother has gone to heaven it is my responsiblity to keep the stories going.
Aunt Wanda Belle Tracy was the youngest of three children and she took on the fair skin, light hair and blue eyes of her father, Claude James Tracy’s side of the family. Both her siblings had dark brown hair and olive skin, from their mother, Dessa Marie Eye’s side. When I was born she was still living at her parents home. So when my sister and I went to stay the summers with our grandparents in West Virginia she was there. She was a teenager and very busy dating and being with her cousins. Before the knowledge of the sun being bad for you I can remember Aunt Wanda and her cousin Bonnie Mullinax getting blankets and tanning in the sun behind the snowball bushes in the front yard.
Even though my aunt had several suitors with all of them trying to win her affection with jewelry and flowers; which my sister, Rose Carol and I enjoyed very much, she had already given away her heart to her high school sweetheart, Bob Tacy. He also brought her gifts and brought us candy. He was very smart like that. He was a football player and she was a cheerleader. After high school, Aunt Wanda went off to college at Asbury University and got her degree in elementary education and Uncle Bob joined the navy. Four years passed and they still felt the same love for each other. They are still the same sweethearts today as they were back then. And he still brings her flowers and jewelry. We all thought it was just real funny that she only had to drop one letter from TRACY to TACY when she married him.
They raised two sons in a Christian home, taking them every Sunday to Sunday school and church. Tim, the oldest lives in Dallas, Texas and Mark now lives in Chickamauga, Georgia. Uncle Bob has always teased him since he lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee for many years, that he had just learned to spell Chattanooga when he moved to Chickamauga. The Cherokee Indians had large reservations in this part of the country, hence all these Indian names.
After teaching 3rd and 4th grades for 30 years in Circleville, Ohio, Aunt Wanda retired. As a retirement project and since she had the birth dates of her last class she sent birthday cards to every student till they graduated from high school. I think that’s remarkable and I hope some of them remembered her birthday on March 26th. It’s never too late!!
Aunt Wanda has always enjoyed cooking and shared many recipes through the years. The one she is known best for is her 24 hour salad. She always made this for holidays and we were known to scrape the bowl clean by the end of the day. It’s nice too that you make it ahead and that’s one thing less to do for those holiday meals.