Thursday, April 29, 2010
Lloyd, Jr., My Nephew
This was a difficult story for Miss Katherine to talk about. She still keeps the baby picture of Lloyd Jr. on her dresser, as she has done for the past seventy-four years. Among her memories, I think this is one of the most upsetting for her to talk about.
My brother, Lloyd Sr., had a son, Lloyd, Jr., and he was the prettiest little boy. He was 13 years old when he and a friend were building a tree house. His next door neighbor, I can't think of his first name, his last name was Gibbs. Jesse Gibbs, that was his name. Jesse Gibbs lived next door to Patrick, well Patrick's father, because Patrick was a little boy when Lloyd, Jr. got killed. Patrick was 4 years old and so, I doubt if he hardly remembers him.
When Jesse asked Lloyd, Jr. if he would he like to help build a house in a tree. Lloyd, Jr. thought, Oh, that would be something else! So, they went right up there, across the street from the school building to the tree that Jesse thought would be nice for a house. And so, they went down there and climbed up the tree and cut out the limbs they didn't need. They found an old door. I don't know where, but they dragged it up there and put that old door up in the tree to make a floor for the tree house. Jesse told Lloyd, Jr. to walk out on that door. And so, he thought he knew what he was doing, I guess. He walk out on it and Jesse said, "Lloyd, Jr said, I sure hope this limb doesn't break." And, just as he said it, it broke, he fell to the ground and broke his neck.
Well, somebody got in touch with us immediately. I had to get in touch with my Daddy for him to go get him,because there was no funeral director in Yemassee. And so, he called Jesse's daddy and he, and my Dad went up there to where they were building the tree house and they picked up Lloyd, Jr. and he put him on the back seat in the car, and he was bleeding something awful. And got blood all over everything. Well, my Daddy said, when he came up to the house, "What do you want me to do?"
My Mother was sick at that time. Not anything serious, but she had to stay in bed for a few days. She couldn't do a thing, so she told me," Honey, this is something you are going to have to do. Because I can't do it." I said, "Mama, I haven't done anything like this in my life. I've never even gone with you when you had to do it." (They are making reference to funeral arrangements) Daddy and Mr. Gibbs had to go, but I didn't go, I couldn't go. They took Lloyd, Jr. up to the funeral people in Walterboro, and they came back and my Daddy said to me, "You are going to have to see about getting new upholstery in the car." And I did. I had to take that car to Savannah and had to spend the whole day with those people, because they had to upholster the front and back so that they would match.
My mother said, "You know, I bought a funeral lot, or something in Walterboro in this big cemetery there. I bought a place out there because I knew we would all have to go one day. I thought that would be a nice place for us to be buried. Then after Lloyd, Jr. died, she said, " I'm not going to bury him in Walterboro, I going up to the cemetery here, it's a nice cemetery, and buy some grave sites there. And so, that's what Mama did. "She said. " I'm not having him buried in Walterboro, and so, she said, "We are going to have the funeral right here in this house, too. She had him brought into our big room, living room and some people call hotel lobby. She had his body brought in there and she said, "We are going to have his funeral right here. Oh, Honey, I didn't think I could stand it. I didn't sit out in the room. I couldn't. I went into the bedroom, right next to the room, and I cried the whole time.
One of my best girl friends, she lived a few miles away, we called her and she came and sat here with me. And so, they had the funeral. Mama went up there immediately and had gotten those grave sites, one for each member of the family. That's where she had Lloyd, Jr. buried. Right there in that lot in Yemassee. Oh, Honey, I will never get over that. I can't, he was such a sweet little boy. I think he would have been so wonderful if he would have gotten to be a man. Oh, I tell you. He was so cute.
He called my mother, Mamaw. He said, "Mamaw, you know what they are doing? They are getting rid of the horse house where they sold horses and they are tearing that place down and they are building a place where they have movies. The man from Beaufort is doing that. Don't you think that is wonderful? We are going to have movies in our town." That was one of the last things he told us. But, he was so cute about that. Oh, man.
And his daddy, his daddy was out fishing when Lloyd Jr. fell. He fished every chance he had. He had a business, but when he had somebody running it for him, he would go fishing. He was down there fishing when that happen. When they called him and told him, about Lloyd, Jr., he came up there and saw me. He said, "You are going to have to go up there and do that, I can't. (take care of the funeral arrangements). I didn't expect him to. He said, "His mother and I are not going to be able to do a thing but stay in the house and you go do it, because I can't do it." And I did. I had to do it because mama was sick and I had to handle it all. I'll never get over it.