Thursday, 19 February 2009

View of Opies' Farm

In 1931, Opie moved back to the family farm to help his aging father. Opie and Fredda remained and worked the farm on Shatto Road outside of Ripley, West Virginia until the late 1970s. He was a self sufficient and progressive farmer.
The day the banks closed, as a result of the depression, the Jackson County sheriff met Opie at the mouth of Joe's Run to relay the message of the banks closure. The sheriff asked if he could help in any way. Opie said that he had 75 cents and a few checks in his pocket. The checks were not of any use at that time, but that he was in better financial condition than most. He indicated that he had plenty of food from the farm and that he could provide most of his needs.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Opie Hyre

Opie Franklin Hyre was born the family farm in 1889. He was the youngest of five children.
After his formal education, Opie went into joint business ventures with his brother. They timbered in the spring and fall and thrashed wheat in the late summer. On one venture, they covered a wagon with metal roofing and went into the local comunities selling patent medicines and remedies. With little success in his business ventures, he decided to further his education, through extension courses from Marshall, New River State, and Glenville State Colleges. After several years, Opie completed the requirements for a teaching certificate. The majority of his 35 years of teaching were at one room schools in rural areas of Jackson County.
During this time, Opie married Fredda Mae Stewart at her home in Parchment Valley on March 16,1912. The couple had their differences, Opie was six feet and two inches tall, Fredda was about five feet tall; he was a Democrat, and she a Republican. These constrasts along with their good nature, provided many an enjoyable hour at family reunions and election times.
I painted the portrait of Opie on a 16" x 20" canvas in oils. Except for Sunday dress, the bibbed overhauls and blue work shirt were standard atire for Opie. Fredda placed patch upon patch. All clothing was worn untill it was beyond repair.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Freddas' Depression Glass

I swiped this off my daughters blog. She is a much better writer than I am.
My mother sent me this photo of a painting she had just finished last week. What you are seeing is pink dog wood depression glass. This luncheon set belonged to my Great Grandmother Freda. As seen in an old advertisement it originally sold in the 1930's for under three dollars. Freda earned it a piece at a time from the general store.
8 x 10 inches , Oils on masonite. I've been wanting to paint a picture of glass. I had fun with it and look forward to giving it another try. A friend recently gave me some beautiful Blinko Glass. I have so enjoyed watching the sun reflect through it.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Fredda Mae "Stewart" Hyre

Freda "Stewart" Hyre was all of 4’10" tall. She was small in frame but large in spirit. She was born to Ephriam Stewart and Cora Mae "Casto" Stewart, in Parchment Valley, West Virginia, on August of 1889. Fredda lived to be 96 years of age. She was buried with Opie in the cemetery at Fairplain. Her mind was as sharp as a tack, she was physically active, but her heart finally gave out. She swore that creamed tomatoes were the secret to her long levity, and she ate them almost everyday of her life, breakfast, lunch and supper.
Like most people her age, she never let anything go to waste. Freda canned vegetables, made her own soap and quilted into her upper eighties. She would complain about her back, and at the same time work circles around all of us. She was spirited and talkative, while Grandpa was serious and quiet. But, It was fun to watch her and Grandpa Opie set and recite poems and verses. She would start in and he would join. Reciting these verses gave them great joy.
A few Stories about Granny Freda
Freda acted embarrassed about marring a younger man. She was 4 months older than Opie.
Her mother had three milking cows. The Black cow would continuously swat you with her tail. To prevent this, before milking, grandma would tie the cows tail to its’ leg.
She raised turkeys for the eggs and meat. She kept a big stick by the kitchen door. When she fed them, she would take the big stick. As soon as she opened the gate, the turkey gobbler would drop his wings, lower his head and run toward her at full speed. She used the stick to force him to keep his distance. The thing she didn’t know was, grandpa would aggravate the turkey to make him mean. With great delight, Opie would watch the escapades from a distance.
Painted on 16x20 canvas. The background of the painting is a suggestion of the pattern and colors of one of her favorite quilts. I took it from a photograph my husband took of her quilts hanging on the clothes line. Grandma, made quilts for all her children and grand children.
A Fair face may fade, but a beautiful soul last forever. I read this on a fortune cookie this a.m.
It brought to mind many people I have known, How true it is.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Ada and Stelman Pennington

Out of fondness I painted this picture of my aunt and uncle. They are standing on the side porch of their home. It was one of the old brown shingle homes. She always raised beautiful plants in old tin cans or what ever container she could find. The rich mountain soil produced beautiful plants. Stell farmed and Ada ran the Dry Fork Post office in the front room of their home. This room also contained what amounted to a penny candy store. They sold penny candy to the children who attended Dry Fork Grade school next to their house. The Grade School and their home are now torn down.
We always stopped at their small house on our way to my grandmothers. Anytime you would visit, Ada would insist that you sit down and eat. This is part of the mountain culture. I was told that it came out of the depression period. If you had food to share, a visitor should never be allowed to leave your home hungry. Anyway, Ada would quickly remove the table cloth that covered the food, fresh bread, canned jams and home made pies. She would set the table with plates, silverware and serve Kool-Aid or fresh milk for the kids and coffee for the adults. I was always fascinated watching Stell sip his coffee from a saucer. Now that I think about it, I don't ever remember Ada sitting down and having dinner or a snack with us. She was always busy making sure everyone had what they needed.
Oils on a 16x20 inch canvas