PalmettoPathos

A look at better days in the Palmetto State

Welcome To PalmettoPathos...

Palmetto Pathos is an examination of a Southern family, from their 1684 arrival in Pennsylvania to Southern Spartanburg County in the present. By publishing these documents I hope to share my common legacy with my brother, sisters, and cousins. If, through this site, someone finds a photograph or trace of a lost ancestor then so much the better.

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Happy Fathers Day

Posted By on June 21, 2009

I don’t care much for “Hallmark Holidays” but it’s never a bad idea to remember your parents. And so today thoughts turn to my Dad, Stepdad and Grandfathers.

Here is Dad, Grandad and Cousin Bill on the front porch on the occasion of  his Roebuck High School graduation.

Cousin Bill, Dad & Grandad

Cousin Bill, Dad & Grandad

This is taken in Columbia, SC upon Dads graduation from the University of South Carolina. Dad (as well as my Stepdad) being a Gamecock led to many years of suffering I’m sure, especially after I enrolled and graduated from Clemson.  I think we all know who has the upper hand in that rivalry.

Grandad & Dad

Grandad & Dad

Here’s a photo of my maternal grandfather, Ralph Oswald Parris (PaPa), Dad, sister Robin and Grandfather W.F. Smith. On the back Dad labeled it “Those responsible- Grandads Parris and Smith. Also Tommy the Dad.”  Dad was in college at the time and the support of my grandfathers was important to the survival of his young family.

R.O. Parris, Dad, Robin & W.F. Smith Sr.

R.O. Parris, Dad, Robin & W.F. Smith Sr.

Annie Laurie Jones Smith- SC Drivers License.

Posted By on May 31, 2009

I was rummaging through a bureau filled with old news clippings, dead batteries and broken radios and stumbled across a container filled with all the minutiae a household collects and never throws away. A few old pennies, odd buttons and safety pins. Dried out pens, tie tacks and a spool of thread with a needle.

Near the bottom I found a small brass tag. Upon examination I found my Grandmother, Annie Laurie Jones Smith’s SC Drivers License, with expiration date of June 30, 1941.

I don’t know that much about my Grandmother, as she died before I was born, but I know she was a nurse. At this time my Grandfather was in the trucking business and on the road a lot, so Annie Laurie would have driven herself to work and to take care of the business of the household.  I posted a rare photo of her in this post.

The obverse reads:
“EXPIRES JUNE 31, 1941
MRS ANNIE J SMITH
GLENN SPRINGS, S C
SOUTH CAROLINA DRIVERS LICENSE”

Obverse, SC Drivers License

Obverse, SC Drivers License

The reverse reads:
“WHITE FEMALE DARK
BLUE 30 135 5-7
169847 6-30-37
S.C. STATE HIGHWAY DEPT.
MOTOR VEHICLE DIVISION”

Reverse- SC Drivers License

Reverse- SC Drivers License

Snow Day

Posted By on March 3, 2009

Whenever it snowed in Glenn Springs, usually once a year, Granddad would happily trek out across the lawn and take a few photographs. I’m sure he’d take in the scene, enjoying the quietness that comes with a fresh blanket of snow. He probably remembered hauling wood as a child, trying to keep the eight fireplaces in the drafty house burning during hard times. It’s hard for me to imagine him tossing snowballs at his brother Ralph, but his lifelong sense of humor and appreciation of a good prank doesn’t preclude such a pass time.

He’d later label his photos with a date and mail them to his grandchildren sweltering in South Florida, who’d pass them around and wish wistfully we were there.

Well, yesterday I was there, and I thought of my Grandfather.

homesnow

Groundskeeping

Posted By on March 1, 2009

A rare photo of  Thomas G. Smith, Angela P. Smith and Robin K. Smith together. Mowing the front lawn at the homeplace. The blooming shrub behind the mower is long since gone and the tree just behind it is now diseased and dying and will be cut down within the year.

momdadrobinmowing

GrandDad was remarried to Lillie Mae, and by this point (and to “Grannie Mae’s” credit) they were turning the overgrown property into a showplace garden.

King Cotton, and the Cotton Acreage Reduction Contract.

Posted By on March 1, 2009

By the 1930′s, cotton was no longer the prime crop in upstate South Carolina. Cotton was selling for 6 cents a pound in 1933, while it sold for 18 cents a pound in 1929. Growers responded to the price drop by planting more. To prevent collapse, the federal government agreed to buy the crop at an inflated fixed price if planters limited production to dictated acreage. This was the begininning of many farm subsidies to follow. The intent of the program was to support the planters as well as the tenant farmers but the law was unclearly written.

Nevertheless, Ralph Smith participated in the program though on a small scale.

cotton1cotton2

Farming

Posted By on March 1, 2009

This wasn’t taken on the Smith farm, as there were never any bridges like the one in the background nearby. This looks like a modified military vehicle with a spray setup on the back.

farmtruck

Old Photos from Wofford College

Posted By on March 1, 2009

A friend emailed me this scanned photo.  Apparently the original is in the Wofford College library.

The homeplace is the one on the right. If I’m not mistaken the friend who emailed the pic is presently living in the home on the left.

ldsmithandwfsmithhomes-3

This photo will help in the front porch restoration but I may stray from the color scheme.

Mary Kay and Thomas Grady

Posted By on March 1, 2009

Despite the age difference, Mary Kay always made time for little brother “Tommy”

Mary Kay & Tommy

Mary Kay & Tommy

Thomas Grady & Mary Kay

Thomas Grady & Mary Kay

Mary Kay, around and about.

Posted By on March 1, 2009

I’ve found quite a few pictures of Mary Kay, who was the Dandy’s grandaughter and daughter of William F. Smith. Of course, she was also the daughter of Annie Laurie Jones Smith.

Being the only daughter has its advantages, and one of them is having your picture taken more often.

Mary Kay Smith

Mary Kay Smith

This is taken from the front left yard of the house.

Mary Kay on the side porch.

Mary Kay on the side porch.

Here is Mary Kay on the side porch, my guess is the late 50′s or early 60′s and truly a low point in my Grandfathers life and the state of the family. The window to the left is the present kitchen. The photo is interesting because the banister woodwork to the left of the image matches the missing second story front porch in previous posts, and the straight pickets to the right of the porch clearly do not match. It’s my belief that when the second floor front porch was removed they relocated the millwork to this porch, and simply ran short and used the pickets to finish the job. The columns shown here have long since been replaced but one of them is still stored under the shed, and will serve as a pattern for both the side porch and the front porch. The millwork is still in place as pictured here and will be used as the pattern for the front porch restoration.

All my life I’ve wondered why that beam comes out from above the door. GrandDad had the porch roof rebuilt in the 70′s and the beam is still there.

The Homeplace

Posted By on March 1, 2009

Homeplace in 1951

Homeplace in 1951

Here is a picture of the Smith homeplace dated 1951. Of all the trees in the photo only the oak on the extreme left remains, and it now dwarfs the house as shown in the masthead photo.  The granite step visible in the lower center of the photo is still there. A circular drive used to intersect the front lawn and the step was on axis with the front door. A convenient place to exit your carriage.