Why My Great-Grandmother Could Beat Up Your Great-Grandmother

Lizzie Adcock, my great-grandmother

My great-grandmother Lizzie Adcock. I love the bonnet!

My aunt recently sent me a 1966 newspaper clipping of an interview with my great-grandmother, Lizzie Adcock. Lizzie raised 13 children in a one-room log cabin in rural Tennessee, with no electricity, no heat, no running water and no 24-hour Walgreen’s down the road.

She was such a spectacle that tourists often stopped by her log cabin to meet her. Even in the 1960s, she seemed thoroughly of the past.

“Lizzie is a master in creating a roaring flame from the smallest speck of hot ash,” the article said, also explaining how “she used to love to get out in the fields and hoe the crops and finds it aggravating that she isn’t quite as capable as she used to be.”

But, perhaps most amazingly, was her childbirthing skills. “A midwife helped with the deliveries but sometimes she would arrive with nothing more to do than add the finishing touches to a job Lizzie had accomplished herself.”

Here’s me in front of her cabin. Note that I’m also wearing a bonnet. This photo, of course, is hung prominently in the Victory house. I can’t wait to go back to Tennessee one day and see what’s left.

Joy in Tennessee

5 thoughts on “Why My Great-Grandmother Could Beat Up Your Great-Grandmother

  1. DKN says:

    Beautiful post Joy! What a great story!! And MAN I wouldn’t wanna cross that woman in a dark alley, that’s for sure…especially not with the firewood. πŸ™‚

  2. Muhammad Howell says:

    I can readily identify with your granny, as I grew up in a 250 year old log cabin in the hills of south eastern Ohio. We had no running water, and often went without electricity. We pulled our water from an old hand-dug well using five gallon buckets. Cooking and heating the house was done with a cast iron cookstove which required you to build a fire to use. Our bathroom was an outhouse next to the chicken coop. Showers were accompanied by thunder and lightning. I was born in 1973 just to give you a frame of reference on this absurdity, and I am the oldest of six children who grew up in that cabin.

    Today I live in the modern luxury of a city apartment, working as a computer consultant and English teacher for refugees and immigrants. I guess my backwards rural upbringing enables me to identify more strongly with those immigrants and refugees than I do with my own people.

    Here’s a picture of the old cabin after my father “fixed it up” for us. Enjoy πŸ˜‰


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