Saturday, October 8, 2011

Basham Family Stories

Acknowledgement: Thank you to my cousin, John Basham, for the following stories. These are special memories that deserve to be shared and help us connect with the family's past.

Youngsters Run Amok

Life was hard during the Great Depression, but as boys Uncle Jim (Halstead), Elden Estridge, and John Basham made the best of it.

"We would run around naked all summer long, even if it rained," John recounted. "When company came we would put on clothes." He added that they never had tan lines.

Great Grandpa Basham's House At Streeter

It's hard to picture it now, but Streeter was a busy little town years ago. According to John, J. W. Basham's building was located on the right side of the road after you crossed the bridge (in the corner). It was his store, post office, and where he lived part of the time.

"The house went almost the same angle as the bridge - from the road almost to the creek," said John. In behind the store/house was an added on bedroom called "The Parlor" where boys and girls would go to court each other.

Alec Pack (related to Vernon Pack) had a house next to Basham's store and then came the old mill.

Lucy Basham Story

Lucy Basham (our great grandfather's second wife) was rocking a little girl to sleep who was very sick.
"Around sundown the little girl said 'mommy, do you hear them?' 'Here what?' asked Lucy. 'the angels,' responded the little girl. 'they're singing very pretty'. The little girl died shortly afterwards.

Great Uncle Ray - Sharpshooter

U.S.-Dominican relations between 1916 and 1924 were complicated. After I did a close reading on Wikipedia, I decided to just skip the history backdrop for this story. Otherwise, if the reader is interested, it is worth reading about the events that led up to the American occupation.

Ray Basham was a marine during this time. According to John, his father Ray (and this blogger's great uncle) was stationed in the Dominican Republic and was considered an excellent sharp shooter.

"There was a sniper's nest about 700 yards away [from him and the other marines]," said John. "He cleaned the sniper nest out. But, when they went down there they [discovered] it was boys 10 and 12 years old."

John said that for many years after his service Uncle Ray could not bother to hunt any animal.

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