H. Rowell (Henry) was Deborah’s grandfather.
All the kids called him Pop. Pop loved his grandchildren, but he
especially loved Deborah and Jennifer. Many in the family have mixed memories
of Pop, but all Deborah can remember is his unconditional love. He would always
sing that Hank William song to her: “Hey Good Looking, What Chu Gotta Cooking?” Meme, Deborah’s grandmother (MeMe) and Pop would pick up the girls after school on Friday in Montgomery and head to the cabin on Lake Jordan. There cabin was on the Titus side of the lake at Jones Corner. The original cabin was a two-bedroom concrete block home with a sleeping porch. What wonderful memories.
would teach all the grandchildren to fish, shoot a gun and MeMe was always
cooking up something southern and delicious in the kitchen. Deborah stayed with MeMe, Jennifer loved to
shoot the gun and Chess loved to fish.
Jennifer too would get up before daylight with Pop and go fishing; when
they returned there was always a big breakfast to look forward too. Later in life when Deborah and I married we
lived across the lake from MeMe and Pop.
I recall every Wednesday while I was in Montgomery at work at the family
business (Giles Enterprises), Deborah would load up all the children in the 28-foot
pontoon boat and head over to Meme and Pops for lunch. MeMe and Pop would always have every year a flourishing
vegetable garden, so you could always depend on fresh vegetables at the dinner
table. No one could ever cook like MeMe; it was made with so much love and you
know what I mean. Everyone always
enjoyed this special day of the week and when I got home from work, MeMe always
sent home plenty of leftovers. So, John
Boy ate good on Wednesday night after church.
worked up to a GS - 12 Civil Service in the Maxwell AFB Budget Office before
she retired. At the time, a GS - 13 was
thehighest level in the Civil Service. Pop
meanwhile was an entrepreneur and owned the American Shoe Shop in Montgomery on
South Perry Street for over 50 years. Pop
opened the shop May 14, 1928. One interesting
piece of history during WWII, the government put a ration on shoes, leather,
rubber and cement; Pop took advantage of this window before the rationing began
and had more shoes in house that he could repair if he worked around the clock
for a month.
hobby and first love was fishing, talking on his CB Base and Short-Wave Radio (His
Handle: The Old Shoe Cobbler) was a close second and making Pepper Sauce for friends
and family was always in the top tier of enjoyment. Pop had always mastered growing large acidity
tomatoes and beautiful peppers. Pop took
pride in picking the prettiest red and green peppers and his recipe went something
took one cup of apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon of sugar, one teaspoon of
salt; mixed themtogether in a saucepan and brought to a boil. He would place
the peppers (cleaned and de-stemmed) into a pretty bottle and poor the boiling
liquid over the peppers; seal and presto. In about a week the pepper flavor
would begin to marinate and infuse into the apple cider vinegar. Pop’s Pepper Sauce is great on all vegetables,
but especially on any kind of greens. It
never hurt to soak up a little Pepper Sauce in that fried cornbread either.
year, we are including Pop’s Pepper Sauce into some of our Christmas Edition Christmas
Baskets @ Agnus Dei Farm.