Yesterday, I stumbled upon a family blog wonderfully developed and written by Laura McQueen, aptly entitled The McQueen Family. Laura's blog contains beautiful pictures documenting the activities of her husband and children, other family members, and her friends. As I read through Laura's well-written and entertaining blog, I found a post about her grandmother, "Ganne," as she is known to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The post contained birthday wishes to Ganne on the occasion of her 75th birthday that had occurred earlier this year. Included in the post was a poignant poem written by Laura and her sister, Emily Stringer, as a loving tribute to Ganne. Reading that poem immediately brought tears to my eyes. I felt as if I already knew and liked Laura's "Ganne" simply by reading the poem. A link to Laura's post that contains the poem and a picture of Ganne can be found at http://themcqueenfamily.blogspot.com/2008/09/gannes-birthday-wishes.html.
A mention in Laura's poem that Ganne was a member of the Attala County Historical Society also caught my attention. I knew now that she lived in Attala County and was a member of the historical society there. And I still did not know Ganne's "real" name. But reading the poem had made me want to know more about Ganne and to share Laura's thoughts and feelings contained in the poem with those of you who read Attala County Memories and The Graveyard Rabbit of Attala County.
So, I didn't waste a minute in contacting Laura at the email address shown on her blog, told her how very much I had enjoyed reading her blog, including the poem, and asked if she would grant me permission to re-print the poetic and pictorial tribute to her grandmother on the Attala County Memories blog here. Laura promptly emailed me and graciously granted permission to do so. She even supplied me with another very nice picture of her lovely grandmother.
It was only in Laura's email this morning that I found out that "Ganne," is actually Anne Hughes Porter, pictured below, the author of a well-known publication about a place in Attala County, Mississippi, a book entitled "A Place called Sallis."
Anne Hughes Porter
Anne is also known well in Attala County, Mississippi, and elsewhere, as the individual who compiled a listing of those who are buried in Attala County's many cemeteries. I first heard about Anne's books about ten years ago, when I initially began my genealogy journey at our local LDS Family History Center. I feel fortunate that I have "chanced upon" Anne once again, this time through her granddaughter, Laura, who certainly shares "Ganne's" genes!
Below you will find a re-print of Laura McQueen's poem honoring her grandmother, Anne Hughes Porter, on the occasion of her 75th birthday:
She is a collector.
Of Hummels and postcards and books.
Of toothpick holders and L.V.’s folk art.
She is a teacher, and although retired, you are sure to learn something when in her presence.
She is a saver. She is a pack rat, an eater-of-leftovers, a coupon-clipper, and one who freely accepts (and often requests) the senior discount.
She knows how to create her own parking space.
She says things like, “Woo Ooh!” and, “I love you a bushel and a peck,” and, “Wonder who lives here.”
Her yard is colorful with its day lilies and yard art.
She cheers for the Whippets, the Bulldogs, and sometimes, to our dismay, even the Rebels.
She is proud to be an American and flies her flag with honor.
She is true Mississippian with her magnolia tree and syrupy sweet tea.
She has a sweet tooth. You won’t find her without chocolates or mints in her purse. Her candy dish is full of M&Ms or gumdrops and there’s Neapolitan ice cream in her freezer.
She is a member, and often a leader, of groups like DAR, Cameo Society, Attala County Historical Society, Twenty-first Century Club, Little Garden Club, and Colonial Dames.
She likes things from south of the border – from chalupas and chimichangas to her favorite game, Mexican Train.
She is a “cook who cares.” She makes special treats like cocoons and "goop". She leaves the cherries out of Emily’s fruit salad; Laura’s chicken spaghetti is topped with extra cheese; and Andrew knows he can have fresh blueberries or sweet potato casserole on request.
She is up-to-date with the latest technology (if you don’t include the cell phone). Our email in-boxes are always full of interesting forwards and “personal notes”.
Her hometown is "A place called Sallis."
She is at home in Kosciusko and has great memories from Monticello and Indianola.
She is a preserver of history who has researched and written historical accounts of her hometown, her church, and her favorite organization.
She has a new room full of memories.
She has nimble fingers that quickly type, beautifully play piano, and sweetly tell “face stories.”
She is full of energy and her house is always fun. With wind-up tub toys, phone calls to the library for story time (“Hang up the phone now please.”), a yellow bicycle-built-for-two, a tree to climb, and a closet full of toys and books from decades passed.
Her sleepovers bring back sweet memories of the fold-out couch with feather pillows, stories about Duke told in a voice unsurpassed by the most famous storytellers, her silky pajamas, and cold cream good-night kisses.
She decorates for every holiday on the calendar.
She has two Christmas trees: one dedicated to family and one to the state she loves.
She wears brooches and pins, and her necklaces are works of art.
She wears socks with a ball, clip-on earrings, and a ring shaped like a butter tray. (Actually, she hasn’t worn it in quite some time…it’s just sitting in her jewelry box…maybe she should let someone wear it…someone like her second-born granddaughter who has admired it since she was very small.)
She likes a good game. She is a Wheel of Fortune fan, follows high school and college sports on the radio and TV, and has a weakness for entering contests.
She is a traveler who prefers taking the scenic route (i.e., the Natchez Trace).
She has many opinions. Sometimes she doesn’t even have to state them aloud. You can tell what she’s thinking with one look at her face – the higher the eyebrows, the stronger the opinion.
She is a celebrity. She makes regular appearances in the Star Herald.
She believes in the power of prayer and prays for her friends and family by name each day.
Three generations share her name.
She is a friend, a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother.
She is our Ganne.