You’ve probably seen those ads for kits to find out what kind of blood you have in percentages. For instance 30 percent Native American, 20 percent European and so on.
I’d like to have that test. It might help me figure out if any of the family lore and legends is true. How much American Indian blood do I really have? How much Scottish blood did I get from O’Daniels, McCutcheons and Cokers? Did my ancestors really name a baby Jesse James Parker because they admired the
outlaw? Is there really a saddle
floating around the family somewhere
that has that name carved in the gullet?
We’ve all got those family stories that
we wonder about. Is that really what
happened? Is it even true? Probably
most are partly true, but time has
colored, expanded and refined them.
One of my favorites is about one of my great grandmothers. We called her Big Granny, but she had obviously been a rounder. She lost her husband George Parker when he was still a young man. My daddy is his namesake. She had three young children.
Later she married Jasper Keeter. They all called him Jap. I have one misty memory of him.
I remember sitting on his lap as a toddler and he gave me this little solid silver shoe. It’s about the size of a Monopoly piece. That’s one of those things that is mine but my mother won’t let me have it. It’s been in her jewelry box ever since I can remember.
Anyway the story goes Big Granny and Jap went to town to shop in what was either a Model T, Model A or a Ford pickup, depending on who tells the story.
It seems Jap was having some assignation with “the one-eyed woman at the grocery store.” No matter who tells the story,that’s always how she is described. Every time.
Of course the stores are all around the square, so you can see in all the windows from other streets. As luck would have it, Big Granny sees Jap talking to this woman through the window.
Granny goes to the Model A, Model T or pickup and gets out a pistol, long gun, shotgun or derringer (belonging to her son-in-law the gambler), depending on who’s telling the story. She goes to the grocery store, opens the door and shoots toward Jap.
He says “Ellie, you could have killed me.”
And my Big Granny says, “Damn right. And don’t you forget it.”
I know, even that long ago I’m not sure you could have gotten away with shooting a gun in the grocery store. But it may be true. None of it may be true. Probably some part of it is. I’d like to know. I do know she would’ve done something along those lines.
True or not – she’s still my hero.

5 thoughts on “It’s in the blood

    1. I remember this story but heard she shot at him down the alley. Who knows for sure now. She also did not like her daughters in laws, our Granny’s. She gave everyone Christmas presents one year but them because they were not good enough for her sons. Funny how they were both married to her sons over 60 years and gave her 3 grandchildren whom she adored. Look at the Parker history on I’ve been updating it with my Mom’s notes. Pictures of the entire Parker family too.

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