An old woman lives in my head and likes to tell stories. I finally started writing them down. Her name is Beana and I'm working on her telling her own story. Let me know if y'all would like me to continue Beanas' stories from time to time.
I was born Wilhelmina Parker Richards. Wilhelmina for my grandmother, Parker was my other grandmothers’ Maiden name, and Richards was my daddy’s name. I started off living with a bunch of “everybody’s” stuck into one name. I reckon that’s how I ended up as Beana. To tell you the truth, weren’t none of them good people. Well my Mama was good, but she never said too much so it’s hard to remember a lot about her. I was the last of seven children, and my Mama was plum worn out. She pretty much just let me follow one of my older sisters through childhood, since Mama had already had to teach her everything, I guess she just figured my sister could pass it on to me, and save everyone a lot of time.
In all my years growing up in that little old two bedroom house, with Mama and Daddy in one room, me, two sisters and four brothers in the other – I don’t ever recall anyone ever mentioning their feelings. I’m guessing we had some, but I have no idea what any of my siblings felt back then. Of course, we all knew how Daddy felt – about everything. When he walked in the door at night, the floor was his. He would start with what was wrong with our president and then work his way down the ladder until he got to our dog. In Daddys’ eyes something was wrong with every body and every thing. I guess he just took up all the room there was for family feelings, and there just wasn’t any room left for the rest of us.
I was eight years old when the depression came. Our whole family left Houston, and went to East Texas where my grandparents lived. That sort of took some of the wind out of Daddy’s sails. These were Mama’s folks, and they didn’t much cotton to long speeches. We all tended the garden and chickens, except for Daddy who had a job in town working for the city water department. We grew stuff, tended to it, pulled it up when it was ready, cooked it and ate it. I just don’t recall that being real hard times, though I know that it was.
My grandparents had a neighbor lady about a mile down the road, named Miss Ola. I sure did love Miss Ola. Because I was the littlest, I guess that I sometimes got in the way when there was a lot of harvesting to do, because they would send me down to Miss Ola’s house for the whole day. She was a seamstress for some of the women in town who had money, which wasn’t hardly any since the depression came. She was lots older than Mama, but we did not know peoples ages back then for some reason. I remember my Mama saying that Miss Ola was half colored. I still remember thinking that the colored half must have been under her clothes.