Martha E. Jones and Genva C. Hosch Jackson
To date, I’ve not come across any true black sheep in my family. There are probably those that present and deceased family consider / considered black sheep but in the true sense of black sheep are not. As a result, I never have had anything to contribute to Black Sheep Sunday and even this is not about Black Sheep but the funny story of two aunts, my dad’s big sis, Martha, my mother’s baby sister, Geneva, and one man, Cleveland. I thought that Black Sheep Sunday was the perfect day to remember it.
Now I don’t think I was born when this story took place (if I was I don’t remember any of it) and to tell you the truth, I’m not even sure my parents were married at the time. So, it’s another story that was relayed to me by my mother and it’s one I laugh at every time my mother tells it because having known both aunts, I know all of this took place in exactly the manner as my mother tells it.
Until I find out differently, let’s just assume that my parents were married at the time this story takes place. My two aunts, Martha and Geneva, were both dating Cleveland at the same time. Now my mother knew they were both seeing the same man. Dad on the other hand didn’t. So, as time went by whenever Aunt Martha saw Cleveland’s mother, she would say there goes my mother-in-law, etc., etc., etc. Now momma could have told Aunt Martha that Cleveland was seeing someone else but mom never said a word. Momma, you know you were wrong for that.
I’m sure by now you can guess where this story is heading. Yes, it was soon announced that Aunt Geneva and Cleveland were getting married. Reportedly dad says to mom, “I didn’t know your sister was seeing Sister’s boyfriend.” Mom always thought it was more that Aunt Martha was seeing her sister’s boyfriend.
One day, after she and Cleveland were married Aunt Geneva, I imagine with her usual cackle, asked her hubby why he decided to marry her instead of Aunt Martha given the fact that Aunt Martha was a school teacher and all and she was just a country girl who longed for the action of the big city. Uncle Cleveland liked Aunt Martha but thought she was just a little too bossy.
Aunt Martha never married. She doted on her 6 nieces and nephews. She never forgot our birthdays. To a certain degree, she was the preserver of the bit of family history that I do have on the paternal side of my family. The older pictures that I have of my Jones, Ewell, and Everett ancestors were Aunt Martha’s. She’s the only person I personally know that has been back to the motherland, Africa. She did a couple of trips bringing goodies back each time. (I have some of her artifacts.) Aunt Martha died in 2000. I get constant reminders of her presence, whether it is looking after her house, which she left to my dad, rummaging through the pictures for something to post for Wordless Wednesday, or just staring at the masks and sculptures that she brought back from Africa that now have a place of honor in my own home.
Aunt Geneva, my cousin Leon (Aunt Geneva’s son) and Uncle Cleveland moved to Detroit. Aunt Geneva and Uncle Cleveland eventually added my cousin Maynard to their family. Aunt Geneva was always sending us packages from the big city. One of my favorite dolls and one of my favorite elementary school outfits came from Aunt Geneva. Aunt Geneva died in August 1995. My last remembrance of seeing Aunt Geneva is May of 1995 when she came to North Carolina to attend Uncle John’s funeral. She stayed with Aunt Marie. Aunt Marie didn’t have a microwave. Aunt Geneva upon realizing that Aunt Marie lacked this vital appliance declared in true Aunt Geneva fashion, “Awww Marie, everyone needs a microwave. When I get back to Detroit, I’m going to send you a microwave.” And she did.
So, there you have it, the story of two aunts and one man.
Until Next Time!