Mississippi Plow Generations

Among the old family slides, was this image of one of my great-great uncles, also known as my great-grandmother’s brother, with a very old plow, and I don’t know about the horse. This is the branch of family tree descended directly from Ireland, from a young man age thirteen, traveling alone, who arrived in New Orleans from Ireland in 1847. The license plate on the mobile home says “Mississippi” and “Lauderdale” and 1963. I thought this photo was interesting because that plow is the kind of plow my grandfather and his brothers used when they were growing up, and if they didn’t have a horse or a mule for the day, then one of them had to pull the plow. I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been to plow entire fields that way in that Southern heat. But they did, they were sharecroppers, farmers. I mentioned this in a previous post about the photographic work of Walker Evans. So that’s a bit of cultural history there. Another photo from the same trip shows all the cars parked in the yard between the house and the mobile home. It isn’t so common a thing out this way, in this part of the country, or maybe anymore at all, but back then, it was very common for more than one generation to be living on the same piece of land, if not in the same house. So the trailer was home to my great-great-uncle and aunt, and the house was home to their daughter, my third cousin, and her family. It was also much more common back in those days to know the members of one’s extended family. Incidentally, Uncle Bradley was seven feet tall. His granddaughter was my fourth cousin, who was only eighteen months older than me. I grew up knowing these people, hearing these stories. It’s interesting to see some of these photos again.

TS

 

 

Cars in the yard. Lauderdale, Mississippi, 1963/64

 

My fourth cousin and me (on the right), San Diego, California, 1970

 

My fourth cousin and me (on the right), Gulfport, Mississippi, 1981 – We unintentionally wore the same colors we were wearing in the photo from when we were little.