These questions were asked of Jane Warren Waller by granddaughter Thamzen Waller, daughter of George A. Waller, in 1996.
Q: Can you tell me about your family when you were young?
A: I was the youngest of 3 children: Nancy 6 1/2 years older and Joe 3 years older. My father, H. Blakely Warren, owned and ran a farm in middle Tennessee. My mother, Ora Smith Warren, was a home maker.
Q: I wish I had known you when you were my age.
A: We would have been great buddies. I had a pony named Billie and a nanny goat named Tippy Tap.
Q: What were you like then?
A: A tomboy.
Q: Can you tell me something special about your parents?
A: Daddy had a delightful sense of humor, hard worker, honest and civic minded. Mother was the “keeper of the family morals.”
Q: Who do I resemble most?
A: Your mother
Q: Can you tell me about the other children in your family? Did you get along with them?
A: Joe and I were great buddies, until he had a visitor, then he would ignore me. Nancy is serious by nature and 6 1/2 years older, so she seemed like an adult to me.
Q: What did your family do together?
A: Attended church, visited relatives, went to community parties
Q: Can you give me a favorite family recipe? Why is it your favorite?
A: My mother’s fried chicken was the best eating in this world.
Q: Did you ever get into trouble for doing something you weren’t supposed to do?
Q: What was it?
A: February 14, 1930 my paternal grandfather, Daniel Webster Warren, died at our home. We three children were bathed, dressed, cautioned to stay clean and sent outside to play while the adults prepared for the funeral. At some point a difference of opinion was settled in a three-way brawl with rolling in the dirt, torn clothes, noses blooded, hair pulled etc.
Q: How old were you?
A: 6 years 2 months 10 days
Q: What was one of your greatest adventures when you were small. Tell me about it.
A: For some reason I decided that God lived on top of the hill about a mile from our farm house. The woods getting to the top of the hill was very, very dark, but I made it to the top-this may have been the bravest thing I have ever done. I remember it as blissful. I started to school at five, and this was before I started school.
Q: What was one of the funniest things that happened to you when you were young?
A: As you have gathered from previous answers my sister, “Ole Nan” as she was known, was much elevated from the realm of her uncivilized siblings. She did join us in sharing a watermelon, though, but didn’t like it at all when we would spit watermelon seeds at her. She tattled to Mother and Daddy and when they seemed rather relaxed about our unseemly behavour, we plotted a final “Ole Nan Revenge.” Joe and I grabbed her, pulled her to the ground and washed her face with a watermelon rind.
I’m almost 72 years old and still laughing. I must have been in my mid 20’s when I realized that my sister was really a nice person and it was just a difference of maturity.
Q: How did you two meet?
A: On August 7, 1941 at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, during WWII, at a dance sponsored by his 33rd Division Signal Company for a group of young ladies from the surrounding towns who belonged to Victory Clubs.
Q: Tell me about my parent’s birth.
A: I had never been around a newborn baby and hadn’t read as much as I thought I had. I did not know that a baby’s head was soft. When he was brought to me for the first time his head was rather square coming to a point, having taken the shape of the bassinet. He had enormous blue eyes and when his curls grew in he was a show stopper.
Q: What was your favorite thing to eat?
A: Living on a farm “real food” was plentiful and economical, so it was the things that had to be bought that lured me: cheeses, peppermint candy, sodas.
Q: What sport did you like best?
A: I rode everything on the farm: horses, ponies, mules, goats and even the cows.