My granny helped raise me; she lived in our house and spent the day watching me while my mama worked. Granny was born in the early 1900’s and spent her formative years on a little plot of land in the mountains outside of Asheville. She had memories of playing in the big kitchen of Biltmore House, while her dad sold or traded with the servants (there may have been illegal hooch involved).
She moved to New York when a young woman (illegal hooch may again have been involved—it was Prohibition, after all!), where she married, then quickly divorced. After the Depression began, she came home and married a traveling shoe salesman from West Virginia (my grandfather, who died before I was born).
She raised me up on stories of haints and witches, told me how to summon my true love with a silver knife in the light of a full moon, and cooked collard greens and black-eyed peas for luck every New Year’s Day.
She passed on nineteen years ago this week. I’ve forgotten too much of the mountain magic and folklore she related, and I wish I’d had the chance to ask about her adventures in New York as an adult, when she might have told me some of the things I’m sure she edited out when I was a kid. I thought about her a lot while writing Hainted, and I hope I did justice to what she taught me.
What about you? Are there any friends or relatives you’ve been thinking about lately? Or do you have a funny/interesting story about grandparents? Share it with me in the comments!