Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Mom Friddle!

Sophia Dollar and David Carl Friddle
 m. 22 Dec 1908 - Johnson Co., TN 
My memories of my great grandmother are a bit hazy.  She died the day before I turned 12 years old...and there are some memories that I think that remember clearly.  Usually they had to do with her telling me stories that I am relatively sure now were not altogether accurate - but they made a good a story.

Today would have been her birthday, and as these anniversaries pass year by year, I always think about her.  When I hear the saying "They don't make em like they used to!"  Mom Friddle is who I think of...she was a pioneer woman when she came out west at 16 with a 1 year old to live up on Grouse Flats in Wallowa Co., OR.

You might wonder why I refer to her as "Mom Friddle."  It was what my mother always called her.  She and her sister Joan were Mom Friddle's first grandchildren.  Mom Friddle didn't really consider herself old enough to be a grandmother, so therefore she didn't want to be called Grandma.  So, the name stuck and my mother always called her Mom Friddle and called her own mother "Momma!"  I never heard her call either one any differently.

I now know so much more about Mom Friddle.  I have seen the place that she was born, photos of her siblings and of her parents.  I even have a photograph of her as a young child.  I know where her family came from and even have a picture of her maternal grandfather.
Taken about 1895 - Left to Right - Claude Elmer Dollar, John Dula Dollar holding Sophia Vestelle Dollar
& Bessie Margaret Elizabeth Dozier Dollar
However, so much of what I know was told to me by someone else or something I researched.  The few precious memories that I have of her that I know are mine are still very important.  Perhaps the most important one for me personally, was the afternoon I spent down at her house after riding my bike from house down to hers.  This was a big deal...my mother trusted me to ride my bike by myself.  I think there was a couple of miles between our houses.  You probably wouldn't let a kid do that today without adult supervision, but it was a different time back then.  I remember walking into her house and Mom Friddle sitting on the couch with her hankie in her hand.  Mom Friddle's head was always shaking - I think it was Parkinson's disease.  It never really bothered me because she had never really looked any differently.  She was wearing her dark glasses and I can't really say I ever saw her eyes. I knew I was welcomed and what followed was an hour or so of stories.  I now know that most of those stories weren't true...because I tried to research the facts.  Her grandfather wasn't a local sheriff and she didn't likely spend a night in jail cell as a child.  (This wasn't because she was in any trouble - she was staying with her grandfather)  Mom Friddle also didn't probably see a body hanging from a tree reflected on the wall in the cell in the moonlight...but it was a darn good story that definitely impressed me...and creeped me out.
Left to Right - Claude Friddle, Sophia Dollar Friddle, Jack Friddle, Capitola Friddle Shearer

So, today it is her birthday.  It has never been hard to remember as it was a day after my brother's. It would have been her 121st birthday...she died not that long after her 85th birthday, rather close to my own birthday...so yet another date that isn't hard to remember.  So, here are a few links to blogs that I have written about Mom Friddle that you might enjoy!