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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Share Your Mississippi Stories: S. Neyland

2017 is Mississippi's bicentennial! To celebrate, the Mississippi Library Commission has created the Bicentennial Bingo project. Throughout the year, fill in the squares in our bingo card to get the full Mississippi experience and learn more about our state. Even though the bicentennial year is almost over, the Bicentennial Bingo project will remain available on the Mississippi Reads site for the foreseeable future. It's never too late to participate. One of our favorite squares is "Share Your Mississippi Stories," the responses from which we'll be sharing here and on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. We're so pleased to share our first Mississippi Story submission below.

My Big “O” Grand-Mama; My Lit “O” Grand-Mama

I was born and raised in a family of 12 children in a small Mississippi town in Wilkinson County. Myself being number 6. I was the middle child, making me the more balanced child. We had a mother and father and two living grandmothers. My father's father passed away before I was born. Likewise, my father also died before my son and daughter were born. I plan to break that cycle with my children. My mother’s father is a different story for another day.

As stated in the previous paragraph, my siblings and I had two living grandmothers when I was a child. Once, we were getting ready to load into the family Chevy station wagon to go visit our grandmothers. My older sister asked the younger children, “Do we want to go see our big ole grand-mama first or our little ole grand-mama?” My mother’s mama was stout and my father’s mama was thin. When I went to see my mother’s mama I call her BIG “O” and like all grandparents, who like everything their grands do, she liked the nickname and it stuck from that time forward. Likewise, when we visited my father’s mama, we called her LIT “O” and the nickname stuck as well. We visited BIG “O” first, because she lived closer.

However as time went on LIT “O” got older, so her sons built her a house across the road from our house. She eventually passed way, full of years. However, she did outlive my father. She died while I was still single so my children never got to meet my LIT “O” grandmother. They did get to meet my BIG “O” grand-mama, or Grand-Mama BIG-O, as they would call her. Grand-Mama BIG-O, also eventually passed, full of years. I am looking forward to the time, I can be the Grand “O” granddad, or what every nickname by grands come up with. I will love it.

By S. Neyland

Until next time, happy bingo-ing!

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