ELMA ALLYNE BOYD
(1907 - )
Elma A. Boyd, at this point in her lifetime, stands as a great monument to the legacy of Ben and Maggie Boyd's bloodline. She is well loved, respected, visited and cared for through this great ancestry.
Elma was born with many of her beloved mother's traits, as was each of her siblings. She possesses her mother's beauty and charm. Sometimes her beauty got her into many uncomfortable situations but she managed to prevail. Early in life she developed, and still practices, many of Ben Boyd's traits. Such as being able to do his well-organized stance known by each offspring as the "Ben Boyd hand-to-mouth, hip and finger shaking maneuver". Many years ago, this stood out as a quick fix for keeping wayward offspring in line.
Mama was very close to her many brothers and sisters. While a young woman she, along with her sister Easter, became caretakers of some of their siblings' offspring as well as their own children. The responsibility was welcomed.
The Jones Hill Boyds consisted of Dorothy, Betty, Eugene (Buster), Margaret (Poovie), and me (Mary, the good child). Although three adults and five children lived in close quarters in a small home, there was much love. There were always "charge positions" in the household. Sometimes when the grownups were busy at work the neighbors kept watch. The Boyd family practiced the African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" long before First Lady Hillary Clinton made the saying popular in this country.
There was never a dull moment in our home. At times Dorothy did not always practice what she was taught, such as when she would cuss out Mrs. Jones or Mrs. Fannie Lewis. Sometimes Betty Jane (Susan Jane as Papa affectionately called her) put too much dye in my naturally curly hair, and Poovie would hide dirty dishes until it was somebody else's turn to wash. Dorothy and Betty had parties by charging snacks on Uncle T's account at the neighborhood store. They didn't miss a beat performing mischief. Buster laid claim to plum bushes as far away as Munford and would get in scrapes to prove his young masculinity. He also tried to make out with any girl that came on the hill. But they would all cool down when Mama "gave them the business". As I said before, we had lots of love and plenty of good butt whippings from Mama, Aunt Easter, Aunt Adella, Uncle T Boyd, and Artway.
These were not easy times but because of Mama's many culinary skills, we managed to survive. Each sister had a natural instinct for preparing food and biscuits, beans, chicken and gravy were just some of the delicacies that graced our pallets. You could smell their cooking for blocks away. These may not have been easy times but they were good times.
Mama loved to play bid whiz and still does. She acquired the nickname "Knap Boyd" from friends because during long game sessions she would doze off and when she awoke she was refreshed to the point that she would often times run a Boston. As her daughter, I inherited the nickname and the skill. I put it to good use while staying with relatives in Augusta, Georgia where I attended college, but the real pro was my sister Poovie. Along with our cousins and friends, she took card playing to new heights.
Mama has traveled many times with family to as far away as Ohio, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, and Chicago, and as near as Munford, Alabama, Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia. She is captivated by each new place.
Today, Mama's beautiful brown skin is somewhat wrinkled, but her spirit is still intact. Her hazel eyes surrounded by a thin blue line still have that little twinkle and she still has that wonderful smile. She is surrounded by the love of her daughter, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and friends.
Even though she has lived long and is full of years, I can envision her living even longer because of her loving spirit.