| || Notes for Gertrude Eunice Lindsay:|
Eunice was born in Union County, North Carolina, the second of eight children.Shortly after she was born, the family followed the other Lindsays and Cooks down to Tattnall County, Georgia.
When she was a little girl, she took some matches and went under the house and was playing with them.As a result she set her clothes on fire and was badly burned.
Times were hard for them back then.It took everything they could make just to put food on the table.Eunice said that she only went thru the seventh grade in school, because then you had to buy your school books, and her daddy was too poor to afford them.But she always tried to keep up, and continued to educate herself as best she could.
She was only 17 when she married her first husband - James Hardwick.A picture of her and her older brother, Ralph taken at that time shows a very self-assured young lady.They are dressed very sharply and in fashion, leaning against a new car.But Eunice tells a different story.The new coat and hat, she said, was borrowed as well as the car!Only Ralphs suit was new!
She was living in a house on the outskirts of Reidsville on the Glenville road when she and her first husband divorced.She got sick and her father, mother, Grace, Ralph, his three boys, Lois Mae and Cleo all moved in with her to help look after her three daughters, Marie, Norma Jean, and Louise.It was quite a crowed house with thirteen people living there!But room was made for all.
When the war broke out, she got a job working in a restaurant in Hinesville, Liberty County Georgia, near the Fort Stewart military base.She boarded there during the week.At that time she was going with a man that drove a taxi and he would take her to work on Mondays and go back the thirty miles on Friday to pick her up.Later in life, she was asked who the man was.'Frank McCall' she said."Later the mayor and one of the richest men in town."
Why didn't she marry him?
"He never asked me."was her reply.
One day a soldier who had been eating occasionally in the restaurant asked her to go to the show with him.She said that she thought he was the ugliest man that she had ever seen and told him that she had to work and couldn't go.He asked if she would go if her boss would let her off work.'Yes,' she said, 'but he won't.'
In the meantime she went to her boss and told him to say no, if that man asked if she could get off.
The man did ask, her boss said she could, and she had to go to the show.Eunice eventually married him and James Beshires was the father of James Beshires, Jr, and Judy Phyllis (Beshires) Rowland.
She continued to live with the rest of her family in the Lindsay house, as it was now known until at least 1943, as her first son, James Beshires Jr. was born there.
She and James divorced after a ten year marriage, and she later married Leon Tootle, father of Katherine Melita (Tootle) Collins.
They moved into a four room house near the middle of town.The rent was $10 a month, but remember this was in the early 50's.
Times always seemed to be hard for the family, but Eunice never let on.She always tried to have 20 cents in reserve each week for James, Jr.and Judy to go to the 'show'.
Even though the times were lean, she made them seem like fun.For instance, they raised chickens for eggs and as a meat source, but if they had none ready for killing, many times the only meat they had was bologna, and that was on Saturday.She would send James, Jr, to the store to buy ten cents worth ' cut real thin'.She would fry it, make sandwitches, and the children would think it was a great treat!Again, sometimes when the paycheck didn't quite make it until the end of the week, she would tell the children that she was to tired to cook, and they would have cornbread, or if they had it, saltine crackers, crumbled up in a glass of milk for their supper.That was also a treat for them.
Eunice made most of the children's clothes on an old fashioned pedal sewing machine.Shirts and dresses were made out of flour sacks, which in those days were always a patterned material.It seems that the flour companies knew that their customers used them for material.Customers would trade with each other to get enough material for whatever they were making.The only 'store bought' items were shoes, underwear, and church clothes.
Eventually things got better for Eunice and her family.They moved up into the ranks of the middle class in the late 50's with the purchase of their own house in what was known then as the 'Gentry Quarters'.This was near the Reidsville Pentecostal Holiness Church, which the family attended.