I hope she’s in Papa’s arms now

This beautiful, magnificent woman, Gladys Green Parker, decided to go on home last night. I was lucky enough to be her oldest grandchild. She was a poet, an artist, and the Matriarch of our family. Right now, I hope she is reunited with Papa and Mama Green and listening to their stories again.

 The Story of Gladys

 Let me tell you about my family and my earliest recollections. There was Papa, Mama, six boys and me, the only girl. Two boys came along before I was born – Alvah, age 4, and Morris, age 2, who was called the “knee baby” because he was just walking good and after I was born, he was “next to the baby.” Four more boys came later.

My Papa, Baxter Council Green, was a wonderful, smart man. He was born and raised in an area known as “the green swamp” near Abbottsburg, N.C., a little old place outside of Bladenboro. Although he only had a fifth grade education, Papa was a smart man. He could do figures as well as anyone and read real well, too. His learning was all from experience. He and my brother Alvah invented a system for cement septic tanks that were eventually put down all over Myrtle Beach, S.C. Well known and respected in his time, everyone in Myrtle Beach called him “Plumber Green” – and a sign with those words written on it hung on his house, making him easy to locate. When he died, his funeral was a humongous affair – one of the most heavily attended in Myrtle Beach in those days.

He was the quiet type, a true Southern gentleman. With his light brown hair and clean cut appearance, he was handsome in a reserved way. He never had a moustache or a beard. I remember watching him was his face and how he would bale water up on it over and over again. The only remarkable feature he had were his outstanding and expressive blue eyes. When he smiled, his eyes would twinkle. For some reason, he was unable to laugh out loud, so instead of laughter, tears would shine in his eyes.

Sometimes he was rough and stern on the boys when they needed it, especially Morris, who was very witty and dry and seemed to have a knack for getting into trouble. But Mama, who never fussed about a thing, in her quiet way, knew just how to calm Papa. He always put Mama on a pedestal.

There has never been a woman born like Mama. Harriet Adrian Gladden Green, called “Hattie”, was a beautiful lady with soft brown eyes, dark brown wavy hair, a nice, almost olive complexion, a short curvy figure and a sweet smile. No wonder Papa decided to marry her the first time he met her. Papa said, “The first time I saw your mother, she and her Daddy were sitting on their porch, and my stomach did an upside-down.” They both talked to me separately and told me all about their courtship days. His talk was all about her. It seems as thought she was the “Belle of Masonboro Sound” and he had to ride his bike eight miles on an old oyster shell road when he went to see her. There was a lot of pushing pedals for him to woo her away from the Masonboro fellows.

The Courtship of Hattie and Baxter C.

by Gladys G. Parker (7/16/1968)

I always like to hear

Her tales of long ago

I’d draw my chair up near

Her voice was soft and low

Hattie talked the most

About her courtship days

Then she’d smile and boast

About her wiley ways.

The country boys had not a chance

For, coming up from town

Was “Dude”, her new romance,

Biking, ten miles down.

“Dude”, really not his name.

His name was Baxter C.

But, the fellows played the game

Of green-eyed jealousy.

Baxter C. had a friend

Who also lived in town.

One day Bill slipped away

And brought his surrey down.

Oh! She thought she was a duchess

Riding in a carriage.

She had forgotten Baxter C.

Who had his mind on marriage.

Little did she know

He was on his way right then

Suddenly, she saw him!

Cycling around the bend.

No, not a great big fight

But, oh the flurry flew

Alas! She knew that very night

Baxter C. would do.

Papa often smiled

While she talked about her beaus.

He really didn’t care

Because he loved her so.

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6 thoughts on “I hope she’s in Papa’s arms now

  1. Ginger,

    I know you are hurting to have lost such an important person in your life. I can only offer you a long distance hug and our condolences.

    How blessed you were to have had such a wonderful person in your life.

  2. Ginger,
    I never knew either of my grandmothers so even in your loss, I envy you. Your writing is so vivid and heartfelt. What amazing people to have had grace your life!

  3. This is so powerful… you are a wonderful storyteller!

    I lost my grandfather 3 years ago this week… reading this takes me right back to those early days without him. It hurts to lose a grandparent, this much I know.

    I hope that you find peace in your days, Ginger.

  4. Thank you all for your kind comments.

    I have something to confess. This post was not written by me. These words were written by Gladys Parker, my talented grandmother. She wrote and published a book of poems, entitled “Then and Now” and she wrote her life story, which I am in possesion of, and used an excerpt for this post.

  5. I’m so sorry about your loss. Like I said in the other post, your grandma reminded me of mine.

    This reflection on the two of them is beautiful and lovely.

    Thank you for sharing. And your family is in my prayers.

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