Oh Those Good Ol’ Days!

The Banner – 27 May 2010


I’ve been enjoying the letters to the newspaper from Pearl Harris and that spurred me to send in a letter my mother wrote to her mother 64 years ago.

(This is a letter written by Edna Liggin to Laura Matthews Smith, postmarked July 11, 1946. This is one year after WWII ended. Laura lived with Edna during the war. She married A. L. Smith in 1946 and moved into her own home.)

Wednesday Night
July 10, 1946

Dear Mother,

We were all glad to hear from you today and glad to know you and Mr. Smith arrived safely with cow and chickens.

It really came a windstorm and rain just after you left–blew the corn over and just flattened some of your chicken corn in the garden. The water just poured under our front doors. It didn’t rain much at Shiloh and Bernice, though.

Carlton didn’t come after Bertie until night. They ate supper with us.

We peddled Monday AM and after dinner I canned 13 pints tomatoes and we made the men bring us up enough corn for 18 cans. Late that evening Frances took me over to Ruth’s to find out Mr. Smith’s initials. I wanted to write your wedding up for the paper and had forgotten his initials. All of them came out to ask me questions about you.

Monday at the supper table (we were having another rain) the lights went out so I got out of  washing dishes and churning. They were still of Tuesday AM, so I couldn’t wash. I churned and got over a pound Then Tuesday PM I washed. I canned 5 pints tomatoes, picked Bertie butterbeans and tomatoes. Also carried her the butter and milk this morning. She made out like she was starving and couldn’t buy anything to eat in town.

Our corn is gone. I only had 2 dozen ears for Mrs. Hicks today-four pounds butter beans and 13 pounds peas. She sold nearly all that before we got out of the store.

All we’ll have to sell now is peas, but will have more and more of them. I canned you 4 cans of peas today out of your garden.

Maradee is so good this week. She plays all the time I work. She has learned to say  “all right” when I tell her to do something. Her cold is about gone. She stays put in the cowpen while I milk.

Malvin and John bought Victor Tabor’s truck Tuesday for $450 and will get a new motor for it from Carlton soon. It has good tires, one new one. It ought to beat paying $1800 for a new truck. They’re gone today over your way (Oak Grove) with over 200 watermelons out of their oldest patch.

Ethel and O. W. Cargile are coming up tomorrow for the day so I asked Bertie down. Guess I’ll miss club meeting unless they go home early.

Frances is OK. (Frances was pregnant with Jerry)

I set a yellow hen tonight. I’m only getting 3 to 5 eggs a day.

I hope your cold is better. Miss Annie’s letter came Monday. Write again and we’ll be looking for you.

Love, Edna


I washed Mr. Smith’s shirt he left Sunday. I forgot to give you your biscuit pans and butcher knife.

(Notice the use of terms like “set a hen”, “peddle vegetables”, “church butter”, “canning tomatoes”, “staying put…in the cowpen”. Also the term “hanging out clothes” and many other expressions are no longer part of most people’s vocabulary….Also notice the amount of work Edna did in one day!! She washed clothes in a winger washing machine. She had no hot water so she had to heat big containers on her cook stove to add to the washer. She had to hand the clothes on the clothes line to dry. She picked and shelled and canned or shucked corn, peas, beans, tomatoes, etc. She milked the cows and made butter. She “peddled” or sold extra butter, eggs and peas/beans to Hicks Grocery store. She had a 2 1/2 year old child to watch after. She went to “club meeting” which was the Home Demonstration club. Wow! And we think we put in a day’s work.)

Molly Liggin Rankin

Editor’s Note: Folks around this area remember Mrs. Edna Liggin as the “bottle lady”. Her barn, located off Hwy 2 in the Shiloh Community was covered with vintage bottles and other glassware. Miss Edna was a precious, Christian lady who was loved by all.

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