MY MOTHER (Mom)


From the Autobiography of Andrew Thomas Tyree


There has probably never been a mother as devoted to her children as my Mom. She used to say of the seven, "I wouldn't take a million dollars for any one of them, but I wouldn't give you a dime for another." She had a lot of humorous sayings like, "I've got lots of money; I keep it in a sand bank." Another, "A man is a fool to drink before he is fifty; and a fool not to after." She lived by that and eventually would drink a little wine in the evening. Which reminds me there was no drinking in our home as we were growing up.

In thinking of Mom, the first picture is of the table she set. Each meal was a party; and she was an excellent cook. I remember her saying, in giving a recipe, "A dash of paprika and a pinch of salt."

Back in Oklahoma, Mom used to accompany Pop to political rallies, where he made speeches. To break the ice, Pop would tell a joke or two. One of his favorites was, "My wife has been talking about cutting her hair. I don't know why -- she hangs it on the back of a chair every night anyway." This was a time when some women wore switches for the enhancement of their coiffures -- also the time when many were getting bobbed hair. So finally, my mother did get her hair cut and went with Pop to another political meeting. Sure enough, he told the same joke -- but was interrupted by a man who said, "Hey Judge, have you taken a look at your wife lately?"

Mom used to travel with Pop in West Texas; and they frequently stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Abilene. At the cashiers counter after eating, Pop would say, "Has my wife's snuff come yet?" Mom got even. Of course, she didn't smoke; but on this occasion when she arrived at the cashier's counter she said, "Give me a BOX of cigarettes." That's how familiar she was NOT with cigarettes.

Mom liked things -- pretty things, and her house was loaded with them. If she didn't have the money when she found something she had to have, she would make a small deposit and have it put in lay-away. She patronized the leading jewelry store in Dallas, Arthur A. Everts (slogan -- Everts on the box adds much to the gift but nothing to the price). And over the years she was on very good terms with the owner -- who I am told would actually give her some of the items she admired.

She collected buttons and would enter her button string in the State Fair of Texas, always winning first prize in that category. Eventually they asked her not to enter.

"I like hot things hot and cold things cold." It was common practice in a restaurant for her to return courses for reheating.

In the Fifties, Mom flew to Miami where cataracts were removed. She got to visit with Andrea and Tom and play our newly acquired Steinway Grand. We have a picture. As a young lady, she not only played the piano but also the violin and even gave lessons. These activities blossomed when she was at Salem Academy.

In the late Forties and early Fifties, Virginia stayed in Dallas taking care of Mom -- she deserves and has our undying gratitude.

When Mom died, Ellie and I went to the funeral in Dallas. Mom is buried next to Pop at Restland Memorial Park where, with foresight, Pop had acquired a family plot which can be used by any immediate family member who desires to do so.

 


 

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