Saturday, August 03, 2013

This is Home, Part 23 - General Lee, the clay statue of the surrender, Spencer switches sides, Victor Rice, surprise cousin

This is part 23 of my mother's book about her life, written in 2004.

General Lee

I was fascinated by General Lee. The famous Southern General Robert E. Lee in the Civil War. I asked Uncle Doc one time if he had been the right age to go, which side would he have fought on. He said he thought General Lee was an honorable, upstanding man and he admired him. He also said that Missouri had good people fighting on both sides. He said he would have fought on the side of the North. He said all the states were part of a union, and without the states staying together they could be defeated by a foreign power.

The clay statue of the surrender

I admired General Lee so much that I made the scene where General Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House in Virginia to General Grant. I drew in the background inside of a box -- the courthouse, trees, etc. Then I made General Lee riding up on Traveler, his horse, out of clay. General Lee was very detailed -- his beard, his face, his horse, his uniform, his gun, and his hand holding the reins. In those days, we didn't know about the kind of clay my children and grandchildren used. This was made of clay -- a type of soil.

I think there may have been a dog or two in the scene, also.

The art teacher thought it was really good. There was some sort of contest she wanted to enter it in. She thought it had an excellent chance of winning, she said, if she could just get it there. She said the roads were really bad and her car was sliding around a lot -- that it might break on the way. She left it up to me what to do. I decided to let her take it. I couldn't keep it forever.

Next time I saw her, she told me she was sorry, but General Lee didn't make it. The roads were too bad.

Spencer switches sides

Katie Jane (my double cousin) told me a funny -- as in odd -- thing when David and I were back there in 1997. She said our grandfather, Spencer P. Rice, was in the Southern Army, but that near the end of the war, he joined the Northern Army. He wanted to protect his family and keep his home from being destroyed. His crops and animals, also.

Victor Rice, surprise cousin

Maybe the Civil War was why Victor Rice and I didn't know each other when we both rode the bus from below Darksville to Huntsville High School. I had people asking me if he was my brother.

Finally, he came over to me and said, "Is your name Maudie Rice? I keep getting asked if you are my little sister." We decided to ask our families that night. We found out we were cousins. This is all I was told by Mom. We didn't really become friends, although we continued to ride the same bus together for two years, until he graduated. We always smiled and spoke. Martha (my friend) thought Victor was cute. He was tall with brown hair and blue eyes. Actually, all the older Rices I saw had blue eyes. Uncle Doc would correct me. He said he had green eyes. Dr. Rice may have had brown. If so, he was the only one.

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