Recollections of My Parents,
Trigg and Bessie Edwards
By: Lena Edwards Hobbbs
Then I was growing up, Mom and Dad played baseball with us at Hoover School in Hazel Park, in fact, some of the Aunts and Uncles played also. The things we did as a family were mostly free, because money was so scarce. We went swimming at Jefferson Beach, night fishing out on West 8 Mile Road, usually with Burns and Van (Hay Scyphers) Edwards and their family. Burns and Van lived down the street from us on the East side of Milverton. Burns was Dad’s double-first cousin.
The biggest thrill of every summer was getting ready to go “down home” to Virginia to visit our relatives. We would leave early, 2:30 a.m., while still dark out and our favorite stop was at Chillicothe, Ohio. There we could buy a small bottle of chocolate milk for 5 cents! What a treasure that was! My brother, Elmer and I would sip it so slowly!
One trip down home, we had 12 flats on one tire on our car. It was so hot the patches on the inner tube melted and came loose. Dad and Elmer pumped the tire up on the side of the road again and again. Finally, we traded one of the jacks for an inner tube at Pikeville and didn’t have any more flats.
Another time going “home”, we were in Kentucky on a gravel road. Dad straddled the middle of the road – which was piled high with gravel – and our car flipped over on it’s side. No one was hurt – not even the car – but just shook up. We had help to push the car back over and continued on.
I can still hear those trains that ran beside the road and see the sharp tunnels (under passes), on the roads, that we had to slow down to make a sharp turn through them. We were lulled to sleep, Elmer and I, by the sound of the trains. Whenever I hear a train, even now, I think of those wonderful trips back “home”.
Dad, Mom, Elmer and I went with Uncle Freddie, Aunt Hett, Durward, Howard, Alma and Retta to Grassy to Great-Great-Grandpa & Great-Great-Grandma Epling’s house. We spent the night there. The adults stayed at Great-Great-Grandparents Epling’s – two beds in one bedroom for Dad, Mom, Uncle Freddie and Aunt Hett. In the middle of the night, Mom said she woke up and something was sitting on her legs. She didn’t scream or wake anyone up – she was so scared! It was not a cat, she said, she never found out what it was!
After dark the adults always told ghost stories – they scared us kids silly! I remember the story about “Indian Rock” (I think someone had been killed there), it seems as though us kids had to go up the road past this place to get to Uncle Jess’s house where we stayed all night. (Grandma thinks it was Uncle Jess’s). I remember some of the kids telling us we had to run as fast as we could to get by this place or something might happen to us. They really loved to scare us!
Recolletions of Lena Edwards Hobbs
March 18, 1996
In 1932, Dad, Mom, Elmer and I moved from 8282 Fordyce Street, Detroit, MI to Hoover Street in Hazel Park. We lived down towards Hoover School on the east side, next to a family named Garvock. Walter and Hazel had four daughters, Beth, Joan, Evelyn, Mardi and three sons, Malcolm, James and John. We became good friends.
Elmer and I both started kindergarten at Hoover at the same time. I was 7 years old, Elmer was 5 years old. Mom wouldn’t let me start school in Detroit. I only stayed 6 weeks in kindergarten and was transferred to 1st grade.
We moved to a bigger house down toward 9 Mile, on the west side of Hoover – 23101. I met my best girlfriend, Jacqueline Furlow, we were both 7 years old. She lived two doors, north of us. She had two sisters, Joan and Shirley. Jackie was a grade ahead of me, because she started at 5 years. We have remained friends ever since.
We met lots of new friends on Hoover and other streets close by. Herman and Flossie Canup lived across the street and had one son, Herman R. (Bob). The Tarpenions, from Armenia, Margaret, Ida, Dick and Arm, at the corner. There was Eugene Bell and the Pughs, Roy, Edna and Clestine. Mom used to quilt with Edna. There was Bert Pugh, Roy’s brother, and they were related to Cleat Cornett. Cleat had a brother, Cleaburn. Edith Green, whose grandparents, the Farnsworths, lived down across from Hoover School. Uncle Park stayed with Paul and Charles Farnsworth as well as with us. The Pattons on another street. Louise Patton married Uncle Zola in 1935.
Opal Edwards Henning came to live with us in 1934 – she was 14 years old in the summer when she came up. Then on December 16, 1934, she turned 15. She and I slept on a day bed in the dining room and listened to the Lux Theatre after everyone was in bed. Mom told us to go to sleep, so we turned the radio real low! Opal is like a sister to me instead of an Aunt.
After Hoover School, I went to Lacey Jr. High at John R & 9 Mile Road, for the 7th grade. Jackie’s family moved first. Her dad built a house on Guthrie Street, north of 10 Mile and John R.
In 1939, June 16th, we moved to 2041 “Maryland”, (changed to Milverton, later on), Troy, MI, north of 15 Mile between John R and Dequindre Roads. I went one year – the 8th grade – to County Line School, (a one room school house) at 15 Mile and Dequindre. Elmer went to 7th and 8th grades there.
I met Thomas Hobbs, who lived on Virginia Street – running off Maryland Street. I was 14 years old and he was 16 years old. We never dated until he went in the Air Force, I was 18 and he was 20.
We ice skated, played baseball, went swimming at Salt Water pool at 18 Mile Road and Rochester, where he saved my life after his brother pushed me in the deep end – in fact, Elmer jumped in to save me, but Tom ended up saving both of us! He really bawled out his brother, Ernie. I was 15 at the time, he was 17.
Then I went to Clawson High to 9th grade. Met two more good friends, Laurene James and Ellen Smith. We are still in touch, Laurene in California and Ellen is in Florida. Elmer followed a year later to Clawson High. We rode to Clawson with who ever was driving – sometimes, ended up walking. Elmer got a car and it was always full of kids.
Dad passed away July 9, 1986. Mom lived on in this house on Milverton until November 27, 1995. She passed away at the age of 86. Dad was 83. Elmer and I were blessed with a wonderful Mother and Father. We were always a close and loving family and that included Aunts, Uncles and lots of cousins. What a wonderful life they gave us!