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Ida Dell

Ida Dell

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Published by Nancy Williams

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Nancy Williams on Sep 13, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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11/27/2012

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Ida Dell
My grandmother and I had a real mutual admiration society. We wereso close. In 1890, she was born Ida Dell Craft, in her parents¶ home, in ruralBraxton County, West Virginia. Her husband, William ³Doc´ Pierson, grewup as her neighbor, on a nearby farm. Since he died when I was only threeyears old, I don¶t really remember much about him. Doc was a traveling drygoods salesman, for Guthrie-Morris Campbell. He drove to general stores,all over the central part of the state, selling fabrics and other merchandise.Back in those days, traveling salesmen were called ³Drummers.´
³
Granny,´
 
 
as we called her, worked as a registered nurse at Memorial Hospital, inCharleston, working many years, after Doc¶s death. She never drove, so weeither picked her up at the hospital, when she finished her shift, or she rodethe bus home.The two of them lived in Rosedale, then Sutton, West Virginia, beforesettling on the West Side of Charleston, in 1921. They raised a son, Ralph,and daughter, Betty, my mom, in a crowded little court, called WoodwardCourt. It ran off of and perpendicular to Garden Street, which was brick-covered, as were many of the streets in the neighborhood. The houseslined both sides of the narrow walkway, which extended down the court,from beginning to end. They were crammed together so closely, that theoverhangs from their roofs nearly touched. In between the houses, was asmall, three-foot space.My grandparents¶ brown, one-story, wooden frame house was typicalof the vernacular architecture of their neighborhood. Doc was a master furniture maker, and built a woodworking shop behind their home, overtopof the garage. The house and shop were connected, by a stairway, which ledup to the shop, and down to the back yard. After he died, the gray woodendoor to his shop remained closed, as if there were memories behind that door too precious to be disturbed.
 
 
Being a devout Baptist, and the matriarch of the family, Granny setthe standards for much of what we children were allowed, or not allowed, todo. Decks of regular playing cards, which were used to play poker, werenever allowed in our home. We couldn¶t discuss our going to dances withher, since she didn¶t approve of such behavior. To me, the most fanatic ruleshe had, was her ban on Root Beer, because of the obvious reason«it wassome kind of ³Beer.´My immediate family and Ralph¶s family, his wife, Virginia, anddaughter, Joyce, visited with her often, especially since we all went tochurch together. We spent a lot of time with each other at camp, and our homes were only a few blocks up the hill from hers. When we went for visits, we rang her doorbell, and waited at the front door. She pulled up the blind, on the window of her door, and was always so thrilled to see us. After she rolled up the blind, to reveal who was there, she threw her hands up,raised her eyebrows, and dropped her jaw from excitement.More often than not, when we went to her house, she was makingmedical bandages to send overseas. This seemed to be her self-imposed, personal mission. For many years, she tore up white sheets into long, thinthree-inch-wide strips, then rolled them tightly into bandages. These weremailed overseas to missionaries, who were in dire need of medical supplies.

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This is a biography about my wonderful, deceased grandmother.
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