Nancy Grammer Letter – School Books and Dad

Lisa Shea was working on a research project in 2002. Lisa wrote her great-aunt Nancy Warren Grammer for information about Nancy’s childhood. Nancy was the older sister of Lisa’s grandmother Jane Warren Waller. The three siblings were born in rural Tennessee and their childhood was during the Great Depression.

Nancy – June 8, 1918
Joe – January 3, 1921
Jane – December 4, 1924

Their father, Horace Blakely Warren, was born on June 13, 1887 in Yukon Tennessee. He served in World War I. He died March 5, 1947 in Fayetteville, TN. See more notes after the letter, about Blakely and wife Ora Belle.

This letter was written by Nancy dated May 14, 2002.

Dear Lisa,

It was so amazing to receive your book along with your newsy letter. I am really working on reading your wonderful book. The print is so small it is about out of my range. Maybe if I can get my reading machine set, I can do better. Your energies and activities are mind-boggling to this 84 yr old mind.

Before I forget, did you get the Baby Book stuff which Kate had run off for you?

My dizzy spells have subsided some. It is an inner ear condition which means they will be back. Keeping my fingers crossed. I will be glad to see you and Becky, but I have no warning about the dizziness. Things just suddenly start to spin.

The fried chicken was from our own back yard. We could not have afforded to have bought them.

Sounds like you played Pop the Whip too.

I liked to read Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears and all of my school books. We could not afford buying books etc. and the library was out of reach.

Dad (Blakely when Mother was out-done – Mr. Blake to the help and H.B. for letters and the like H stood for Horace). As I remember dad: He was a hard working, easy to get along with fellow. He had a small dairy which called for rising at 4am to milk and then at sundown there was a repeat.

That 4am procedure reminds me of an incident at church. Dad went to sleep one morning during the service. Mother punched him with her elbow which caused him to let out a loud expletive which did not blend too well with the sermon. Mother was left speechless of course.

Dad must have been a good dancer. He would JOG for us as he headed off to the field. He had a way with joking. I remember once as he was paying for having the brakes of the car tightened the bill was $19 (equivalent to $200 today) he said: “Too Tight!”. He liked sports. He played baseball. Jane sent me a picture of his team playing over on the south east coast. Guess they must have been pretty good.

Mother always said about Dad: “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Your research on wine sounds interesting. Due to health problems L nor I don’t drink any kind of alcohol. Mother was against all alcohol. Dad was a good sport. He probably would join the group. But I never saw him drink alcohol of any sorts.

Your motorcycle activities sound interesting and your fishing boat.

Glad that James is doing so well.

Hope that your work settles down. 24 hrs. on call is too much.

About the disaster zone [i.e. Lisa’s house being a complete mess]. That will be great preparation for your trip to Ripley. I keep thinking that I’ll do better tomorrow.

Thanks for your nice letter and sharing your lovely poetry.

Love, GREAT Aunt Nancy

– – –

Also, here is information from Nancy sister’s Jane’s notes about their father:

HORACE BLAKELY; b. 13 Jun 1887 in Yukon, Lincoln County, TN; m. Ora Belle Smith, daughter of Robert Pleasant Smith and Nancy Jane Hunter, 7 Feb 1916 in Fayetteville, Lincoln County, TN; d. 5 Mar 1947 in Lincoln County, TN, at age 59 of brain hemorrhage resulting from a fall from the running board of a truck; bur. 6 Mar 1947 in Rose Hill Cemetery, Fayetteville, Lincoln County, TN.

The Front page of a small New Testament he carried during WWI: ‘Property of Horace Blakely Warren during World War I, France 1918-1919, Casual Co. 4459 May 18, 1919. This passage encircled in red: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.’ Matthew 6:34.

Blakely Warren rec’d into church on 31 Jul 1901 in Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church, Prosperity, Lincoln County, TN. He was farmer after 1916. He was ill with childhood diabetes. He served in Army during WWI between 1918 and 1919 in France. His Social Security Number was #xxx after 1933. “Blakely” Warren served in the US Army in France during World War 1.

After the war, he farmed just south of Fayetteville until the early 1940s. In his last years, he worked at the Huntsville military base as a security guard. The Governor of Tennessee visited Blakely’s widow after his death to show respect for Blakely’s political support.

25 Oct 1965. Ora S. Warren letter to Jane W. Waller: “They trapped & hunted lots as kids, sold hides etc. had pet coon which was remarkable. B. always said they had a full, free, venturesome & most happy childhood & going into manhood. About 14 couples of young people in Prosp. Comm. parties, dinners etc.”

Same letter. Ora jotting down thoughts for a memorial to her husband [a plaque?]: “In Memory of H. Blakely Warren, Chairman of School Board, interested in Civic Affairs, Foreman of Grand Jury many years. 1st to get bus for negro schools & to raise negro teachers pay to level of whites. He really was ahead on those things & spent much time in free work for betterment of Co.”

Jul 1971. Ora S. Warren letter to Jane W. Waller: Lincoln “has been [Gore’s] strongest Co. since your dad won his first race for him in this Co.” (Co. = county)

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