Journal Entries of WILLIAM EARL ANDERSON
archive item # 26
The Journal Entries of WILLIAM E. ANDERSON - 1969-70
The following entries are pertinent to the exchange of info between Aunt Pauline and Billy in 1969, her death, and the loss of our heritage…
Thursday, June 19, 1969
[written during a visit to Georgia] …At 1 we picked up Aunt Sara & stopped at Providence Church where Great g'mother Anderson's kin are buried. Then we went to Lineville, Ala. and saw my great great Aunt Pauline and Uncle O.B. Yates.They (esp. a. Pauline) are just so delightful and sweet, but they are so much in pain of old age. I got loads of information on our family. It is all fascinating. I fell in love with the family Bible-all names & dates. It rained while we were there…
Tuesday, August 26, 1969
I got two letters from the South today. The first was from Grandmother…The other was from Aunt Pauline. Even tho she's been real sick she sent me information on the family and is getting Florence Anderson Murrow to write to me. Also~her precious treasure: letters written in 1862 by her father & his 1st wife Fannie & one from John R. Anderson in perfect condition. Now I love her and I will treasure these priceless articles close to my heart for I am a Southerner~~
Sunday, June 21, 1970
I felt quite saddened this morning. Dad called G'daddy to wish him Happy Father's Day", then Grandmother got on the phone - she was quite upset when Dad told her only we were coming - then he said (I was at top of stairs on my way to get a shower),"No, Earl didn't know about that. "Mom started asking him what was the matter but he didn't answer. When he hung up he came to foot of stairs and told me that they buried Aunt Pauline yesterday. It hurt me terribly, and I had an empty feeling because I thought that maybe if I'd written to her and told her that I was coming to see her, maybe she'd have held on until I got there. By looking in my 69 diary, I saw her my 1st and only time on June 19 a year exactly before she died, only a year! The last time she wrote was Dec. 11 and sent me more priceless Civil War letters, incl one from that evasive figure on the charts John Anderson who died for Jeff Davis ( James, too).
Monday, June 22, 1970
… Tonite I entered the saddest date in my fam. tree. June 19, 1970 which is the date that in all probability Aunt Pauline died on (according to Southern burial customs)
Tuesday June 23, 1970
"Today would be dear Aunt Pauline's 77th birthday, and I know Uncle O. B. must be worried that he will have to be put in a nursing home - Aunt Pauline always hoped that he'd go first because she knew he couldn't get along without her. I do hope, tho, that perhaps I was one of the special people she thought of in her last hours, in reading a letter I got from Aunt Sara, I do find that she knew I got into National Honor Society. When I do write my novel it will be dedicated to her; she knew of plans to write it, waited patiently, and died before she had a chance to read it:"
Friday June 26, 1970
…Aunt Pauline had a heart attack Sat 6-13 & died at 9:30 the next night! Funeral was the next Tues in the Baptist church with the only members of the family - G'dad & G'mother, aunt Sara & Rebecca Ramey. The husb if he dies first, next in line is his family So we can get none of the pictures or silverware. Uncle O. B is in a nursing home and the house is just lying there waiting to be broken into. It makes me heart sic, to know our heritage will be lost…"
Saturday June 27, 1970
"Aunt Sara told me more about the funeral - the preacher had no trouble with the sermon, desc. Aunt Pauline as "cultured, intellectual, and charming." The family is now looking for W.R.Anderson's will which leaves his things to Pauline's heirs. Uncle O.B. has everything in his name, so the Anderson's can't get any thing (Aunt Sara thinks that is "ugly") and said, when told of his wife's death, "I declare." The Bible is mine tho, and Aunt Sara was to get her grandfather's clock & all the pictures but we can't get them cuz it would be breaking and entering. Had a light lunch, then Tina & Warren got back from fishing - 12 fish. and we all sat around at our own pastimes. At 4 all of us went out to Harmony Church and saw the cemetery - full of huge weeds & ill-kept. the plantation is torn down, another heart break.
Tuesday June 30 1970
"Monthly analysis: …I'll make it short…[list] and I was saddened to learn of the death of the oldest member of the Anderson family, Aunt Pauline, but am thankful she sent me her letters when she did…"