My (step) great-grandmother Georgia Josey Hawthorne (1889-1984) was known for, among other habits, quilting. As a kid visiting older relatives in East Texas, and even in my own home in Dallas, I was constantly in the presence of if not using a quilt that she had made, or that one of her sons—my great uncles—had made. I remember one in particular that was on my bed when I was little: it was alternating red and white stripes, but jagged, not straight. I’m not sure it exists anymore.
In 1978, when Granny Georgie was 89, she was featured in a local Atlanta, Texas newspaper as that town’s entrant in the “Ms. Nursing Home of Texas” contest.
The article explains that during her three years at the nursing home, “she has pieced 34 quilts, put together from scratch an untold number of quilted dogs to give to children who come to visit, and produced a dizzying array of yarn covered coat hangers and shaggy, yarn-style miniature dogs.”
For reasons unknown I did not photograph the entire article, but it might be in my archives somewhere. Anyway, I still have some of the yarn-covered coat hangers in the closet.
Granny Georgie did not win the Ms. Texas Nursing Home title. That honor, bestowed by the Texas Nursing Home Association, went to Mrs. Annie Aynesworth of Marshall. Judging the contest were cast members of the television hit “Love Boat,” including Gavin MacLeod (the Captain) and Bernie Kopell (the doctor).
This post replies to this week’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” theme from Amy Johnson Crow: “Textiles.”
— Fred Dews