is for Arlee as in “Arlee Bird,” founder of the A to Z April Challenge. Arlee is my creative hero, the godfather of my blog. Before I stumbled into last year’s A to Z April Challenge, I had no real vision about what to do with my research on the Jollett family. A to Z rescued me from the dry and dusty deeds and wills, pointing me in the direction of story-telling. Thank-you, Lee. I appreciate all the encouragement you have given me.
My A to Z challenge this time will focus on the women in my database, particularly those with unusual names, some more unusual than others. First up is Alda Beatrice Clift, my first cousin twice removed.
When Alda was just 8 years old, she testified in her parents’ divorce trial. And what a story she had to tell:
|Deposition on file with Page County Chancery Causes|
online at Library of Virginia
Lawyer: Just tell me what happened when your father came to the house.
Alda: When he come in, Mama said she was not expecting him home, and he said I come home when you are not expecting me. Mama asked him if he wanted his supper and he said yesem, and he said what do you have for meals, and Mama said 25 cents, and he gave her 25 cents and she laid it up on the shelf. Mama cooked his supper and he set down and he eat and he pulled out a pass out of his pocket and said Sallie I got a pass for Luray. I am going to Luray and get me a divorce, and Mama went into the kitchen to wash the dishes and he got up and came out there, and Mama came back in the dining room and Papa pulled out his gun and held it up that away, and said I am going to kill you, and then me and Mama commenced to scream and I said Papa put your gun back in your pocket and then me and Mama went out doors, and he followed us out and when we got out to the gate he got his gun out again and then he said I dare you to come back in here, I will shoot your G__ D__ brains out; you or any other man. Me and Mama went on down street and then we went hunting for Mr. Whiteside, and Eddie Bricker come to me and Mama first, and we found Mr. Whiteside and he went on up home.
|Alda Beatrice Clift 1905 - 1982|
It looks like she has only one arm,
but it's behind her back.
Alda: Down to Aunt Vick’s (meaning Mrs. Decatur Breeden)
Lawyer: Do you want to stay with your mother or would you rather go live with your father?
Alda: I want to stay with my Mama.
Lawyer: Why would you not want to live with your father?
Alda: Because he is too mean to me.
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