This will be the life and times of me, James C. Alexander, sr. I need to add the sr because there are three Jim C. Alexanders; a senior (me), a junior and a third and we are all quite different from each other.
I was born at Hondo, Texas, at about 10:30 in the morning on Monday, January 27th, 1936. My Dad delivered me at home. My brother and sisters and maternal Grandparents, Alvha (Ab) and Lily Lorado Johnson were present. And, of course, my mother.
My family is my Mother, Georgia (Fae) Delilah Johnson-Alexander, my Dad, James Andrew (or Henry) Alexander, my brother, Thomas Alvha (or Buddy) and my sisters, Ramona Iona, (Mickey) Eva Mae, (Shi-Poke or Shike) and Alpha Joan. (Pronounced Jo Ann) Mother lost her first two babies. They were both girls. One was named Betty Fay and the other was Erma Lee.
I will tell of things that reflect my life and times. I will omit some things, which may not be pleasant, but are irrelevant and best left unsaid and unknown. I will insert an occasional comment about someone else if it will serve a good purpose in telling about me. I may omit but I will not lie.
It was suggested I write this account in ‘story’ form; i.e., ‘she said, he said,’ but I mean for it to be a journal rather than a story.
I will preface this with some facts that I think will be pertinent to this journal. The main one is the age difference between Mother and Dad.
When Dad and Mother were married, Mother was 17 years old and Dad was 34, I think. He had been married several times before and had children, at least two girls named Lit and Hodie. Lit was about three years younger than Mother. Grandpa and Grandma Johnson, Mother’s parents, agreed to the marriage. Dad was known to be an honorable and Godly man and Mother was the eldest of seven children.
The marriage was one of convenience, rather than any kind of love. Dad needed a strong woman and mother wanted her own home. The marriage was, by all accounts and evidences a mistake. Dad was uneducated and unskilled, able only to scratch out the meagerest of livings, and Mother was domineering and bossy and always wanted and needed more than my Dad could offer. Dad was turned to care for someone as a parent cares for a helpless child and Mother was turned to dominate everyone around her and to always manage everything. Still, she was a very protective Mother.
One of my sisters remembers Dad as a gentle, caring person and another sister remembers Dad as a wine drinking, gambling man who squandered his money instead of paying bills. My brother remembers Dad as an uneducated man who felt he could do no kind of work beyond menial labor.
Dad was old-fashioned about most things. One thing in particular was our demeanor at the dinner table. We were not allowed to chatter or sing or whistle. If there was something we needed to say, we could say it in a serious tone but foolishness of any kind wasn’t tolerated. My Dad was known to have slapped a child away from the table for singing or whistling. He was that way with the older kids more than he was with me because Mother would allow no one but herself to hit or slap me. I was her baby. My father was either good or bad, depending on to whom you spoke about him.
Everyone agrees that Mother was a bossy, domineering woman who would accept no sass from anyone. One of her favorite things to say when anyone disagreed with her was, “Don’t you sass me or I’ll slap the fire out of you!” Needless to say, Mom and Dad’s personalities clashed at every turn. Neither of them ever changed and the marriage was doomed to eventual failure. Neither of them should ever be considered either a success or a failure. They were just people.
None of these remarks are meant to be disrespectful or bias in any way. It is just the way it was.