Colquitt Family

4th Sunday in June (Continued)

(Click on this picture to see a scene from one of these 4th Sundays in June)

It was also about people.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and grandparents. Grownups, old folks, children.  Those who came every month and those who only attended Bethany once a year or even once every two or three years.  It was a day to visit, to catch up on family news, to see who cousins had married and which children were the most adorable - or the biggest brats!  The church service was not of great importance, even if it served to bring people together. What mattered was family and family gossip.

At the homestead of John Franklin Colquitt, the week before was always hectic. In certain years, it became even more so, when word came from Florida that Uncle Charlie or Uncle Raymond (and occasionally both) would arrive on the early Saturday morning train from St. Augustine.  Sometimes Aunt Jessie and Aunt Nanny came, too.  The train had to be met in Barnesville and a visit with the Hudgins and McKoys before leaving there.  Later the visitors would have to be driven around the county to see the changes that had taken place and to visit briefly with friends from childhood.  Tales of the days that they all walked to Oak Grove School and memories of the years spent at Berry were part of the Saturday conversation.  They stayed through Sunday and then caught the evening train back to Florida to be at work on Monday morning.  Good thing they both worked for the railroad because that meant free passes to ride the train!

Besides food and people, the other big component of 4th Sundays in June was music.  During church, with Blanche McDaniel on the piano, there would be at least one special bit of harmonizing with Aunt Pattie and Aunt Tonie being joined, when she was there by Aunt Nanny.  Others would sometimes offer their best tunes but the afternoon was all music!  The afternoon was "The Singing"!  An afternoon of gospel music with one of the Upson County families of gospel singers in charge.  That old building would rock with the sounds that came forth!

By now the children were barefooted and in their play clothes and they could run and play and enjoy the music outside or slip in to a pew to cool off when they needed to get away from the cousins who might be playing too rough.  The food that remained was there for the hungry to pick up another piece of pie, to grab another slice of watermelon, or to plead for one more glass of lemonade or iced tea.  The elders could sit and fan inside the church, listen to the music or slip out for their own extra dessert or cool refreshment.  

And there was always one last visit to the cemetery to say a word to Mama and Papa or to recall days past with one of the others resting there.  Perhaps a tear as a memory came to mind of other 4th Sundays in June.

This was Homecoming at Bethany in a time that will never happen again but that lives on in our memories.

By: Anne Howell Jones

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