Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - 3/9/10

EARL E. (DON)                ROSSIE M. WICKLINE
MAY 25, 1893                            APRIL 13, 1894
SEPT. 27, 1976                          JAN. 20, 1974                 

Earl "Don" Crosier was born 24 May 1893 to Randolph Crosier and Annie Smith in Gap Mills, Monroe, West Virginia. He married Rossie M. Wickline on 28 July 1920 in Monroe County. He died Sept. 27, 1976 at his home in Gap Mills. 

Rossie M. Wickline was born 13 Apr 1894 in Gap Mills to Monroe Jackson Wickline and Lorenza Susan Workman. She died 20 Jan 1974 in Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

The couple had three children: Alma, Gaynelle and Jean [1928-1929]. 

While the Crosier's are not directly related to my line of the Bean family, they are nonetheless related to the Bean's through marriage [my grandfather's first wife was a Crosier, as was his brother's wife]. Don Crosier tied himself intricately to my immediate family when I was a teenager and my family moved from Norfolk, Virginia to Gap Mills. Don and Rossie lived two doors from our new home.

This was my sister and my first experience of country living. Don took it upon himself to become our official "unofficial" grandpa in residence. And yes, we came to affectionately call him "Pawpaw Crosier".

My Dad was in the Navy when we first moved, and he was away at sea. So, living on our own with just Mom, my Grandma Beane, and the two of us girls, we had to face many new obstacles. The greatest of which was lack of funds. During the move, Dad's military allotment did not get transferred to our new address and was lost for over six months. We didn't know from day to day what food we would have to eat for our meals. That year we picked poke greens, and cut poke stalks [they taste similar to okra when rolled in cornmeal and deep fried]. The greens we made into salad. We fished in the little creek that ran below our house and ate tiny sun trout pan fried. When our neighbors dug their potatoes that fall, Mom asked if we could glean what they missed. So like Ruth and Naomi we gleaned behind the harvesters. We ate small green boiled potatoes.

We didn't complain. We never went hungry. But Pawpaw Crosier must have guessed something was amiss, for nearly every single day he would arrive with something to eat. He always said he bought it from the grocery truck, that provided for the tiny general store in our very tiny town, CJ's was run by the Mann's, another dear old couple from Gap Mills.

Pawpaw Crosier would show up with a head of lettuce, the outer leaves beginning to wilt a bit; four tomatoes, some with tiny bruises or beginning to get a little soft; a small bag of onions, with little green sprouts beginning to form; a loaf of day old bread; a pound of margarine that had a stick that had partially begun to melt; a bag of coffee with tape over a small rip in the bag; and the items went on.

Pawpaw was a godsend to us.

When our little crisis was past, Mom told him and Rossie what a hard time we had gone through. With an exaggerated expression, Pawpaw exclaimed, "Well, I'll be! I'd of never guessed such a thing!"

When he died, the community turned out in force. It had only been a year and a half since we lost my Grandma Beane. I'll nver forget the feeling that overwhelmed me that day as I stood with the others at his graveside: "I will never feel as protected as I did with that dear old soul around me!"

Well, eventually, [twenty-two years later] I did find that same feeling of being protected, once more, when I married my dear Texican.

I'd like to think Pawpaw Crosier lives on in the many good deeds performed today by the lives of those he touched. You see, our family was only one of many in the community he reached out to assist.

Isn't that a legacy to be proud of! 

1 comment:

Kathy said...

White a nice tribute to what sounds like a great person (and couple).