Twenty years ago today my grandfather, Gray Gilmer, passed away at the age of 82. He was the youngest of his parents' nine children, was born and raised on the farm our family still calls home, and established the dairy my father and I operate today. A few years ago I wrote a blog entitled "My Farming Forefathers" which included a little bit about his life and my own childhood memories of him, and I hope you will take a few minutes to check that out. In addition, here are three passages my grandmother wrote about his early life in her memoirs, For Sentimental Reasons.
|Gray Gilmer, 1911-1994|
On his name:
George Gray Gilmer was born October 10, 1911, on the farm that is still in the family's possession. He was named for his father, George Franklin Gilmer. Even though Papa Gilmer was the most respected man in Gray's life, he didn't like the name "George". In our courting days, he wouldn't even tell me his first name.
On childhood farm chores:
As a little boy, he and Annie Mae were assigned the job of shelling and feeding corn to the chickens and everything else that ate corn. The despised job was tending to the geese to keep them from getting more than their share. There was always an old gander that kept watch, and when Gray's back was turned, the old rascal would latch onto him with his strong beak and beat the daylights out of him with those powerful wings. He said he always carried some ammunition of corn cobs in his overall pockets in case he had a chance to defend himself before the attack.
Summers were spent working in the fields of cotton and corn. He never minded the hard physical labor, but used to say what galled him the most was when Papa would insist on his helping their nearest neighbors "catch up" with the hoeing and chopping of cotton...He said he'd get his work done and then go help those slow and lazy boys while their father sat on the porch and instructed them as to how the job should be done.
George Gray Gilmer, 10/10/1911 - 4/15/1994. Husband to Mary, Dad to Don, Marianne, Josephine, and David, "Daddy G" to Donald, Doug, Mark, Tommy, Leanna, Amy, Charlie, Will, and Lydia.