maw
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This is a cellBessie Florine Timms Beal - 09/19/1911 - Spring 1999. Deceased, Mother, and while I knew her, the best friend I ever had. She was always "maw" to me... not ma, mom, mother, mama... just maw. Her father was Thomas Jefferson Timms (I think) and I don't remember her mother's name. She was born September 19, 1911, probably at home in Felton, GA, the baby of the family. Her siblings were Emma Timms Carnes {married Homer Carnes}, Chester "Chet" Timms, Clarence Timms, Myrteel Timms Davis {married Rice Davis} and Thomas Jefferson "Tommy" Timms. She rarely left Felton in her younger days. She was born a naturally kind and jovial person. Her childhood and young adulthood were spent mostly with her family. She went to school, but quit after third grade because she simply wasn't interested. She always told me the only subject she had any interest in was geography (which she called "jogafy"), but there wasn't enough of that to keep her in school. Besides, the family was dirt poor, school cost money, and she was needed at home to help with the work of daily survival - planting, tending, harvesting and canning of the vegetables to get the family through the winters, as well as cooking, cleaning, washing, making and mending clothes, etc. At some point, probably in her late twenties to early thirties, she began working with the WPA, which meant she walked six or seven miles, one way, every day, to a mill in Buchanan. Throughout her life maw was one of those back country women of the time who, if never married, were called "old maids". She never had much interest in men or sex. She never "dated" (the term was alien to them) or went to socials. She would have probably remained an old maid except that she decided she really wanted a baby. She heard of a guy named Tom Beal, from over in Alabama because he had recently gotten out of prison and was doing logging work (with mules and chains) with her brothers Chet and Tommy. She liked him ok and decided she would marry him so she could have her baby. It was a little late in the game for her (she was 39 years old), but in the fall of 1950, she married Tom Beal. He was 50. For eight years she plodded along in her life and had surely come to despair that she would ever have her baby. Tom already had a family from a previous marriage, and probably had little interest in it any more. I know they did have sex at least once, somewhere in the summer of 1957. She later told me I was the product of her very last ovulation, so in that sense, I am the dregs, the bottom of the barrel. At around 5:30 in the morning (perhaps why I HATE mornings) of March 23rd of the following year, maw finally had her only baby in Polk General Hospital (which has since become Polk Medical Center) in Cedartown. From her genes I seem to have inherited my "feminine side," my tendency to be "too good for my own good," the traits of being a listener, kindness, good humor, and a predisposition for obesity. I knew her for 41 years and in that time, could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I saw her really angry. Maw never hit me - not once. Never spanked, slapped, switched or whipped me. She even stood defiantly between my dad and I when I was a teenager and he thought he was going to whip me again - even when he pulled the pocket knife. She laughed a lot, which always made her "Santa" belly go up and down. She was simply the kindest and sweetest-natured person I have ever known. She saw me through measles and mumps, near starvation, field work, school, and finally a marriage. She told me to "always play fair" (because she believed it and didn't know any better), told me "that's ugly," when she caught me under the porch looking up her dress through the cracks when I was five. She always told me and showed me that she loved me and was proud of me ("even when you're sixty years old, you'll still be my baby"), and always gave to me of everything she had to give. I consider one of the best things I ever did for maw was taking her on a road trip which included Washington DC, the Statue of Liberty, Pennsylvania Dutch country, the St. Louis Arch, and "J.R. Ewing's" ranch in Dallas. I was so proud maw finally got to see some real jogaphy. At one point I tried to build maw a little house next to ours in Ariton (which she always called "Arington") but, for various reasons, never finished. Her final years were spent living alone in a Housing Authority apartment in Ozark. I tried to visit at least once a week, usually more. After she had her stroke, and I realized she could no longer live alone safely, and I could not take care of her and had nowhere to put her, she was moved back to Cedartown, into the same nursing home (what a Stephen King character called, "Hell, with a fresh coat of paint") that her sister Myrteel was in. There, she died of a heart attack in 1999. Though I had seen her death coming for years, there is no way one can truly prepare for such a thing. You just kinda play it by ear. By this time I had long been an atheist and did not trust myself at ALL to sit quietly through yet another traditional southern funeral full of lies and damn lies. I decided I would have no part whatever in her funeral, but would simply allow her nieces and other relatives to stage the usual production number, as they always did. I did my grieving and said my goodbyes to maw in the chapel of Lester C. Litesey funeral home in Cedartown. I wept the sorrow of the absolutely lost for about an hour; I held her cold dead hand and kissed her forehead one last time. I knew, of course, that maw was no more. That she had not "passed on," "gone to a better place," or other such euphimisms the weak minded use for death. Maw was simply dead - nonexistant. Then I left the carcass for my kin to do with as they would. I'm sure they buried her body in one of the cemeteries around Felton, though I still don't know which one. I have no particular need nor desire to go and look upon a small patch of ground which contains what's left of the body which once contained my dear mother. ................................
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paw
This is a cell Robert Thomas Beal - 4/26/1900- April, 1976. Deceased, Father, and while I knew him, the strangest individual I knew. From his genes I seem to have inherited my tendency toward a quick temper, rebelliousness, craving knowledge, need to write, etc. I was the second time around, familywise, for him. He already had seven living (and two deceased - a male unnamed child and a girl named Susie? beside whom he fetched up in death in a cemetery in Jacksonville, Alabama) children (with his first wife, Ollie) before he met my mother. Dad apparently had a thing for "J" - his sons were John, Junior, Joseph, Jim and Jack (though Jack is actually Robert Louis). He started the girls with "M"; Mary and Marie. His youngest, Marie, lived with my mother and him for a time before she got married. He and my mother were married in 1950 and I was born in 1958. He was 57 and my mother was 45 at the time of my conception. He spent some years in prison during his thirties, most or all of it in Atmore, Alabama (fortunately for him, and ME!?), he was out before the prison burned in 1949). One of his greatest fears while there was possibly being transferred to Kilby. According to his interpretation of the Bible, his daughters were to service him just as his wife would - the conviction was apparently for incestuous sexual relations with at least the eldest daughter, Mary, and possibly with Iva as well. While in prison he was assistant to the State Chaplan; he was apparently still a Baptist. At some point he became enthralled with Jehovah's Witnesses founded by Charles Taze Russell, and thus, dragged my mom and I to meetings at the Kingdom Hall in Cedartown, Georgia (it's now for sale - see link). We helped to clear the lot and BUILD that Kingdom Hall. Before that, there were meetings in various private homes. This is a cell
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iver
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Jimmy
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SAM
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Iva Marie Beal Timms - deceased, my half sister and the mother of James Thomas Timms, known variously as "Red", "Jimmy", and to me, "my Jimmy" (also his siblings; Jacqueline Marie {Jackie}, Billy Daniel*, Stephen Randall {Steve}, Robert Earl {Frog}. Interesting fact about Marie: She very much wanted to have children but discovered the man she had married, Elbert, was apparently sterile. She loved Elbert, and saw no need to go through a divorce or any such disruption, nor did she see any reason why this setback should prevent her from having children. So, she found other men to impregnate her. She kept this secret until very near her death when she decided to share it with me, though she didn't tell even me the names of the men. She said that Jimmy and Jackie were the only two that had the same father, and other men fathered Steve, Billy and Frog. I'm not sure how many knew this secret, even Jimmy didn't know, and I have my doubts that even Elbert knew/knows. James Thomas Timms - deceased, "my Jimmy". Samuel Scott Cain - deceased Philis Annette Beal - ex-wife, disabled Lil - former lover Bessie Louise Rodriguez - former girlfriend, fiance, lover Melinda Sue Beal - current wife George Zeinelde Jordan - good friend Iva Marie Beal Timms - deceased, half sister and mother of James Thomas Timms, known variously as "Red", "Jimmy", and to me, "my Jimmy" (his siblings; Jacqueline Marie {Jackie}, Billy Daniel*, Stephen Randall {Steve}, Robert Earl {Frog}. Interesting fact about Marie: She very much wanted to have children but discovered the man she had married, Elbert, was apparently sterile. She loved Elbert, and saw no need to go through a divorce or any such disruption, nor did she see any reason why this setback should prevent her from having children. So, she found other men to impregnate her. She kept this secret until very near her death when she decided to share it with me, though she didn't tell even me the names of the men. She said that Jimmy and Jackie were the only two that had the same father, and other men fathered Steve, Billy and Frog. I'm not sure how many knew this secret, even Jimmy didn't know, and I have my doubts that even Elbert knew/knows. James Thomas Timms - deceased, "my Jimmy". Samuel Scott Cain - deceased 05/20/1958 - circa 1991. Aside from maw and Jimmy, the best friend I ever had. I first met him when we were 12 in 1970. His folks had moved (from Liberal, Kansas) into a trailer about a quarter mile down the road from our house when we lived in Felton. We spent the 70's together, and some of the 80's, and kind of drifted apart. We sang a lot together, we laughed, we cried. We went through marriages (his to Terri and mine to Philis), (his) fatherhood (he has a daughter named Angela), (his) various relationships with females and males (I lived vicariously through him for a while), were jailed together... and the last picture I saw of him showed his body with huge black splotches - the ravages of AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma. He died at 33 - his father refused to have his body brought back to Georgia for a funeral or burial, and the last I heard, his ashes were on a mountain somewhere around Estes-Park, Colorado. FLASH: One of the worst things I ever did. Jimmy, Sam and I, along with several other boys were at Jimmy's house one day. Somehow, talk got around to Sam, as it tended to do when anyone other than Jimmy and I were involved. Some other kid made some snide comment about Sam being a queer. Made me mad. And yet... somehow the jeering continued, I supppose Sam didn't help his case much, and I think maybe he made some comment that irritated me, especially since I was already irritated and my testosterone was flowing. I pushed him, he pushed me back, there were the sounds of boys laughing and jeering louder, and adrenaline combined with the testosterone, and I sort of went away for a few seconds and I slammed Sam against the wall of Jimmy's house... hard enough to make the entire house shake and his head bounce. I was 17 with rippling, bulging muscles, a desperate need to fit in, to be liked, admired, respected, somewhat feared; a need to feel like a man... I was there with a fist drawn back and a visualization of my fist passing through his head and into the wall, and there wasn't the slightest shred of doubt this would happen if I let go... It was a moment frozen in time in my mind... a few seconds which seemed much, much longer, that forever affected my life... me with cocked fist, on the verge of murder... and torrents of emotions raging within me, the "animal side" wanting to hit and feel the satisfaction of release, the grim crushing sound of bones under my power; wanting to feel the awe and approval of the boys behind me... this at war with the "human side", seeing the stunned look of pain, fear and utter betrayal in the eyes of my friend... an incredible hyperspeed movie of scenes of my life after letting go... a palpable feeling of sickness like a rotting skull lying in my stomach... rising into an awareness of near-betrayal of my... self. The tableau thawed, my fist slowly lowered, sound returned to the world, like when you've been underwater and thenbreak the surface, though there remained an almost funereal quietness in the previously jeering boys. I hugged Sam, he hugged me back, I told him I was sorry and we never spoke of it. But I never forgot. It took a little while to process but gradually I realised, with gratitude, that I had experienced a great life lesson; that of the greater power of restraint over force, of love and compassion over lust for blood, perceived power and approval, of "human" over "animal", of the light of reason over the blindess of emotion.