Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Our Ghost Only Came Out At Night

                               My Bigmama's baby brother was a faceless, nameless entity. I never knew his given name until I gained access to the U.S. Census Collection, back in 1998. When he died in 1977, my sisters and I knew him only as "Uncle Gray Ghost"..... the man who knocked on our grandmother's front door in the dead of night. It was the ONLY time he visited.

                                I once asked my grandmother why she called her brother "Gray Ghost". She said it was because he only came out at night. I remember the way he knocked verrrrry softly, so as not to wake up the house. He'd loudly whisper "Ernest...Ernest, it's ME!", between his knocks. Bigmama would call back to him, "Aw, Brotha! You only come around when you WANT something! Now, go on before you wake these kids."  I was awake by then, listening to her open her door to him, and listening to their Grown Folks conversation. Bigmama would ask him, "How much you need? You need to stop drinking." I heard him profess his love for his big sister, promising to pay her back, and the sound of him kissing her on her cheek.....which she acted like she DIDN'T like, saying "Gone, now...go on, Brother."

                                The image posted was from a T.V. show by the same name. It was supposedly based on Major John Singleton Mosby, an Officer in the Confederate Army. According to Wikepedia's description, accounts of his "cunning" and "stealth" earned him the nickname "The Gray Ghost". Well, in hindsight, I can easily how those characteristics could also be attributed to my grand uncle!
                              
 
                             
                               Ernestine Daniels, my Bigmama, was four years older than her brother born in 1917. Their mother Mozell McArthur was married to Will Daniels when their daughter Ernestine was born in Manor, Travis Co.Texas ,1913. Mozell divorced Will Daniels, met Willie Robinson Sr., and gave birth to his namesake. She was not married to his father.

                             
                               I just recently found this Birth Certificate, and noted my great grandmother's birthplace as being Manor, Texas.....the same as both of her children's. Physician/Midwife weren't present for my uncle's birth. Looks like Granny toughed it out. I've been wondering if my uncle left any children on this earth. With all my DNA Cousins falling in 4th, and 3rd-5th range, I'm seriously wondering if one, if not some, are my Uncle Gray Ghost's descendants

                                I have no photos of him. All I know is that he was a soft spoken, dark skinned, thin rail of a man, with a dark rumpled suit hanging on him...under a hat. I couldn't point him out at a Liquor Store, Line Up or Soup Line. It's really sad for me to admit. It's even sadder to admit that I couldn't point out my Bigmama's OTHER sibling in a Library,(she was a Teacher). I met her once in 1975, and she was from the Austin/area. They shared a father, William(Will) Daniels b. 1890 Round Rock, Travis, Texas. He died in 1947, and is buried in Round Rock, Texas a few feet from his parents Monroe and Amanda (Washington) Daniels.

                                   
                                       Me and Bigmama in 1975....the ONLY photo I have of her. She looked like her father's people. If we weren't chatting while sitting on this piece of furniture, we'd be lying across her bed, talking about everything. She wasn't easily intimidated, or frightened. Speaking of ghosts, she shared a couple of experiences with me. I witnessed her acknowledging a swinging screen door with a "Hello", or "Come on in." My sisters and I looked at each other with questioning expressions when she'd do that, but I can still hear her saying,"Just because you can't see 'em don't mean they aren't there."

                                       I'm having a warm revelation about a big sister, her acknowledgement of entities unseen.....and why it would be only natural for her to call her brother "Gray Ghost"
                                     

12 comments:

  1. WoW! she was one strong and wonderful lady! I remember when Mom came to my Dad right before he passed. It was no way that door could swing open like that without somebody pushing it. Plus, she hated when people went thru her dining room to get somewhere, she say: "Why you coming thru that way!". So when it happened we knew it was Mom. Daddy passed shortly. My sister was at the kitchen table with her girlfriend and she called out to all of us, but we were all in different places. My sister said that was nobody but Mom! coming to get Daddy!

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    1. Uh huh! Without her, well, I can't even start finishing that sentence. Thanks True.Thanks for knowing what I'm talkin' 'bout :)

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  2. Wow, what a great story! Its caused me to reflect about those things that go fleeting by. Keep them coming

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  3. I absolutely love the interaction between the "Gray Ghost" and Bigmama . . . too cute. The playful, yet caring camaraderie that goes on between them reminds me of the playful banter and teasing that went on between my mother and her one and only big brother.

    WONDERFUL story!

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    1. Thank you Marlive! They truly love one another,huh? But to hear them? We'd scratch our heads sometimes!

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  4. Great Story! really has me thinking about the spirits that my grandmother swore were there. You couldn't tell her no different. Looking forward to your next post. :)

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    1. That's Right!! Couldn't tell mine NO differently, either! Thank you Denise:)

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  5. Awesome, brings me back to thinking how in my family we where raised not to answer hearing ur name called if you where not sure who was calling you....or even when my grandma passed a light tapping at front door or phone ring. We just knew it was her...

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    1. Andrea, don't mention the front door tapping! Wow! I ALWAYS answered my mom when she called my name....after she died.....for YEARS after.I KNEW her voice :) Folks around me thought I was crazy, but, what else was new!!! Thanks for sharing your memory with me :)

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