Besides my attempt to document our Burnett family genealogy and history, there are other Burnett descendants who are writing and collecting memories of our ancestors. For many years Katherine Winstead Martin has been archiving these family stories. Katherine is the daughter of Betty Joyce Burnett Winstead, granddaughter of Allen Arnold Burnett, G-granddaughter of William Lander Burnett, GG-granddaughter of Loren Elbert Burnett and GGG-granddaughter of Alfred Burnett - making her my 3rd cousins once removed.
Katherine has been gracious enough to share some of these memories. If anyone would like to know more about these stories or perhaps send some of their own memories to Katherine; let me know and I will forward her contact information. Below are some memories of Katherine’s grandparents, Allen Arnold Burnett and Gladys Mae Green Burnett.
Granny (Gladys Mae Green Burnett) and the Bull
Don and Kathy Martin, Granddaughter
One fall day we went to visit Granny. She was in her 80s. She would usually greet us on the front porch, but on this day we had to knock on the door. She hollered for us to come in. She was sitting in one of her glider rocking chairs, huddled under a shawl. Her hips were hurting so bad that Kathy went into the kitchen and cooked supper. Now, you know that she was really feeling bad, because, she never sits down while someone else does the cooking. The whole time we were visiting, she was moaning about her hip. We served her supper right there in the rocking chair. She could not even make it to the table. After supper we cleaned the kitchen and visited with her until early evening, just before dark. I remember thinking, how glad we were to be there to care for her while she was not feeling well. When we were getting ready to leave, we noticed that Randy's bull had jumped the cattle guard. We went back into the house to tell Granny and call Randy. Well, there was no need to bother Randy for something like that. Granny flung her shawl down, grabbed her white boots, quickly stuffed her feet into them, and ran out of the house. She ran down that bull and chased him back across the cattle guard. Yes, we sure were glad that we were there to take care of her while she was not feeling well.
Granny (Gladys Mae Green Burnett) and the Woodpecker
Don and Kathy Martin, Granddaughter
September 1990, while we were visiting with Granny, she saw a woodpecker pecking on one of her Japanese Plum Trees. She calmly got up from her chair on the porch and went inside. Granny came back with her shotgun. When I saw Granny coming with that gun, I grabbed my stomach, thinking that Margaret would jump and kick. I was 8 ½ months pregnant with her at the time. Granny stood on the porch and started shooting at that woodpecker. She missed, and Margaret didn't even flinch. Of course, Margaret still doesn't move unless it is absolutely necessary. We were so thankful that she missed our brand new van, too. The woodpecker wisely chose not to return that day.
I Remember Granny, Gladys Mae Green Burnett, and Grandpa, Allen Arnold Burnett
Carolyn Elizabeth Winstead Gresham, Granddaughter
· I remember eating watermelon and sugar cane on the porch.
· Mixing butter into my cane syrup with a fork and putting it on my biscuit.
· Biscuits always on the table. (I have Granny's flour sifter and biscuit bowl.) The flour sifter was stored in the biscuit bowl. The biscuit bowl was always stored in the flour bucket.
· As a small child, I remember visiting them every Saturday. Grandpa would be at the Sale Barn. Everyone else would be visiting on the porch.
· Every time it was time to go home, I would stand on the porch and wave bye to my parents until Daddy made me get in the car.
· The only times that I saw Granny in pants was when it was very cold in the winter. She would put on a pair of Grandpa's pants to go out to the barn early in the morning.
· Grandpa always wore overalls and a long sleeved khaki shirt, except when he went to church.
· I remember sitting on the porch, trying to spit through my fingers like Grandpa did. I wasn't very good at it.
· I remember walking to the shed out behind the house with Grandpa. He had a ‘banny’ (That’s what they called it anyway. It was actually a Bantam) rooster that would attack you. When it attacked him, he hit it on the head with a pipe wrench. That stupid rooster attacked him again. He whacked it again with the pipe wrench. It took that dumb rooster 3 times before he left Grandpa alone.
· Grandpa taught me how a horse bites corn.
· If you walked too close to Grandpa at the end of the day, he would grab you and "beard" you. He would rub your face with his whiskers until your face was red.
· He told us about when he was out in the woods one day when a wasp stung his lip. His lip did not even swell because of the tobacco (or tabaccer as he would say) juice that was in his mouth.
· I remember all of Granny's funny little sayings:
o Butter, butter makes you stutter.
o My nose itches, I smell peaches. Someone is coming with a hole in their britches.
o What fur? Cat fur, to make kitten mittens. Old cat dies, you can have a pair.
· I remember the songs that she would sing:
o The choo choo train was a funny old thing and he huffed and he puffed like a big fat man. He'd toot his whistle, and he'd blow his horn, and his wheels go as fast as they can. Toot! Toot! Whoo! Whoo! Chugga, Chugga! I love that choo choo train.
o I like to help my mama when she cleaned my room. I like to help her sweep the floor with my little red broom, but sometimes my broom was a pony strong and through the house we'd gallop along. Giddy-up, giddy-up. Whoa. whoa, whoa.
o I am in the Lord's Army
· I remember Granny telling us about Robert sitting under the table singing when he was barely able to talk. He was singing "Doy, Doy, Doy" He had his hand over his finger like he was singing "This Little Light of Mine". He was confusing the 2 songs "I Have the Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart" with "This Little Light of Mine"
· Granny would always fix whoever visiting (well at least her Grandkids), their favorite foods. Mine was smother fried, stewed, mashed, or any kind of potatoes.