Saturday, June 16, 2007

As grandma remembers...

Hanging out with Grandma this weekend I learned a little family history...

The overpriced house currently for sale at 404 E. Fern Street was built by my grandma's "Uncle Doc" Thomas. (Morgan Lester Thomas, as it turns out, a mid 20th century Tampa dentist.) The classic 1340 square foot bungalow with wrap around front porch is a scaled up duplicate of a smaller house Uncle Doc had on Waters Avenue before World War II, back when Waters was a 2 lane road leading out to the sticks.

As Grandma remembers...

“About a week before Christmas every year Uncle Doc used to come around and knock on everyone’s door and say ‘I’ll be looking for ya Christmas morning.’ Christmas morning you’d go over there and he’d have an apron on sitting on a high stool and he’d have a big ol Mixmaster going. He was making homemade eggnog with raw eggs and whisky! And his wife, Aunt Dora, she was a great baker, would be in the kitchen making cakes…coconut cake, orange cake, fruit cake, you name it she had it. And people would walk all over that house with a glass of eggnog in one hand and piece of cake in the other. There were so many people there you couldn’t find a place to sit down!”

“Uncle Doc died in the front bedroom of that house. His daughter inherited it. When she married, she decided to move to Maine and sold the house for twelve thousand dollars. That was 40 some years ago. Now it’s for sale for $264,000!”

“I always wanted to own that house. It’s not as nice or as big as my house, but I loved it.”
...
And another gem from Grandma's 21st birthday back in 1945 at the Barcelona Restaurant which sat on the southwest corner of Nebraska and Osborne:

"...waking up the next morning I was one sick cookie..."
...

I read in the paper that USF students have been conducting oral histories in the neighborhood as part of a Heritage Research Experience program. They'll be presenting thier research on Hampton Terrace at 7pm Wednesday, June 20th at the Seminole Heights Garden Center (5810 Central Ave). On Thursday, anthropology students will be presenting findings on the black community of Spring Hill in Sulphur Springs at 6pm at the George Bartholomew North Tampa Community Center (8608 N. 12th St.)

2 comments:

Seminole said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, it reminds me of the VHS I have of my grandmother telling me our family history. She's been gone for 12 years and I still miss her.

This is just the kind of history we need and I love watching.

Oh! I got a kick out of her 21st birthday story. I felt like she was sitting at my dinning room table talking to me.

Thanks again.

Bloggerwife said...

Great stories. Thanks. You're building a treasure of videos. I loved the memories your grandmother shared about the house on Jean street.