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GANGY
by Thomas Givens


"A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair
and gold in his heart." ~ Anon.


As a young kid in the late '40s and '50s, I hung out with my grandfather. I called him "Gangy" and adored him. He always lived close by our home, so I stayed with him quite a lot.

Gangy, aka James Preston Givens, was born in 1887. He left the La Grange area just south of Eupora, Mississippi, in the early 1900s, moving to the Delta where he hooked up with the Warnock family. They owned land south of Dockery, Mississippi, and also owned acreage a few miles away near Shaw. The Warnocks lived in Ornaga, Illinois. Gangy more or less took care of the land in Mississippi and rented and farmed it.

Then my family got connected with the Thomas Edmonson Estate. This was controlled by Sam Beck and his son, Son, and Lawyer Wiley. We rented and farmed their land until I graduated from college in 1959 and a while thereafter. Just laying some groundwork there, because . . .

As I have said here before, I was born in the home there on the place. That was the Edomonson estate. Dr. Oscar Ringold came out from Cleveland to do the necessary in the living room of the home. The home was basically a shotgun, with an ell to the right. Gangy lived there.

Later on, we rented the Grey place next door. There was a home there and Gangy moved there. I spent most of my time with him. He had one of those old cold stoves, called "Warm Morning," and that thing would get red hot; it would glow and heat up the whole room.

When I was a young child, I made just about every step my grandaddy made. Tom Conger's grocery in Ruleville, where I told him I didn't want any red money, wanted white money. He was there for most of my adult life . . . Daddy was busy making the crop, and Gangy was there to take care of me.

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TRUTHS ABOUT GRANDDADDIES:

Grandfathers are for loving and fixing things. ~ Author Unknown

The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap. ~ Author Unknown

One of the most powerful handclasps is that of a new grandbaby around the finger of a grandfather. ~ Joy Hargrove

Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers. ~ Lewis Mumford

You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was. ~ Irish Saying

Our land is everything to us . . . I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember that our grandfathers paid for it - with their lives. ~ John Wooden


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Judge Tom Givens is a former Mississippi Deltan who now hangs his hat
in the hills of his native state. His memoirs are favorites at USADEEPSOUTH.


Here are a few:

The Halfway Store
Cats
Ben Johnson ~ actor
Reunions
Kornfeld's Department Store

Write Tom at DeltaJudge2

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