I was talking to a lady today about her family that is buried at Davis Cemetery. By accident she had found the website I do for the cemetery and called me for more information. We chatted for a while and after she hung up, my mind drifted back to when I was a kid visiting my mother's people down near the cemetery.
My aunt Edna and uncle J.C. lived up on Number 10 hill. They called it Number 10 because the Number 10 mine was nearby and many of the workers lived in the camp. When the mine shut down most of the workers moved away, but they stayed there and lived in a big old white clapboard house with a steep pyramid like shingled roof. Her front porch had a fresh coat of steel gray paint on applied every spring and there was a Firethorn (Pyracantha) bush at the corner that put on orange ornamental berries about this time each year.
Uncle J.C. worked as a foreman in the mines if I remember correctly and was at work on most days when we visited but aunt Edna was always home. She smoked unfiltered cigarettes but she had a Bakelite cigarette holder the color of tortoise shell. It made the cigarette look like it was a foot long. The Pepsi man delivered co-colas by the case to her house each week and she kept them stacked neatly on her front porch. She would always let me drink as many as my mom would let me have.
She also had a swing as big as our couch that hung by shiny chains from a support beam. I entertained myself for many, many hours on that porch as a kid.
Another good thing about aunt Edna's house was her red velvet cake. She'd usually whip one up if she knew we were coming to visit. She and my mom would sit in her kitchen and drink coffee and talk while it cooked in her oven. I sat on the front porch and kept the swing moving with my bare feet as the aroma of the cake waifed out the screen door. By the time the frosting was spread, I was bouncing off the walls.
It's funny the things your mind holds on to, but I never have a bite of a red velvet cake that I don't remember my aunt Edna.