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Family

Mrs. Blanche Parker has many fond memories of her family.  Not all of the stories could be represented on this page, but this page contains a few memories she shared when talking about her family. 

Grandma and Granddaddy Dunn

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Grandma and Granddaddy Dunn lived in Huntersville, North Carolina.  They owned a country store about 500 yards from their home on Beatty's Ford Road.  

Dunn Family home

Photo courtesy of

Blanche Knox Parker

Whenever Blanche would visit the Dunn's, her grandma would cook her oatmeal for breakfast.  Blanche thought oatmeal was wonderful and she still eats it every morning.
 

Blanche also remembers her Grandma Dunn sent her and Merle (Blanche's sister) to the store to buy some vinegar.  Merle and Blanche argued over who would have to say "vinegar" because they could not pronounce it.  Blanche ended up asking for "vin-gar."

Grandma and Granddaddy Knox

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On Sundays, the Knox's would have a big dinner at their house. There would be 2-3 tables set up in their dining room to accommodate approximately 25 people.  The family would sing and dance.  Blanche says she did not sing because she was the "only Knox that can't carry a tune."

The Knox Home

Photo courtesy of 

Blanche Knox Parker

 

The family would also go to the Knox's for Thanksgiving.  Blanche remembers one Thanksgiving it was so cold that the children sat by the chimney and cracked walnuts all day.

Adrian "Papa" Knox

Whenever her papa was plowing, he would yell "water" and Blanche would run and bring water to him.  Late in the afternoons, Blanche would go down in the fields and ride on a mule ("Old Sue") back home with her papa.
On the day of Blanche's wedding, her papa came and picked her up at work because she worked the night shift until 7am. On the way home, her papa looked at her and said, "I'm proud of you, Runt." You can hear Blanche tell this story below:

Connie "Mama" Dunn 

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Photo courtesy of

Blanche Knox Parker

Blanche's mama lived to be 104 years old.  Every Wednesday, Blanche, Clara (sister), and their mama would go to Hardy's.  Mama always ordered a burger with extra onions, and a black coffee.

Mama was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.  Every year she sold poppies in front of the post office.  The picture to the left was taken in 1997 when she was 103 years old.  

Merle (Sister)

Clara was devoted to Merle, and did not want Merle out of her sight. So when Blanche and Merle would go downtown, Blanche would walk ahead and Merle would hide behind telephone poles so that Clara could not see her. Together, they would go to the library or to buy something at the grocery store. You can hear Blanche tell this story below:

Leona (Cousin)

Leona was her father's brother's daughter (cousin). Leona caught the chicken pox and Blanche was not allowed to see her. One morning, Blanche woke up with the chicken pox and was so happy, she ran down the hill and got into bed with Leona. Leona lives in Rock Hall now, and Blanche has remained close with her. You can hear Blanche tell this story below:

Charles Parker (Husband)

Charles went to Davidson Public School but was a year ahead of Blanche. She did not know him that well, but one thing she remembers is that she used to buy his books to use secondhand. You can hear Blanche tell this story below:

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Photo courtesy of

Davidson College archives

 

Charles also attended Davidson College.  One day, Blanche saw him and he said to her, "Let's go to Mooresville."  It was Halloween, and they walked the streets and saw everyone that was dressed up.  Blanche wore a coat with red lining inside out and a scarf.
Charles asked Blanche to marry him several times. Blanche recalls the first time he asked her to marry him and later when she finally said yes. Watch Blanche tell this story below:

 

 

Blanche remembers Charles used to come to the door of the home and would make faces at their children so that they would chase him.

Blanche also remembers that Charles wanted to buy a boat, bust she refused to sign the note to purchase it.  For that Christmas, she bought Charles a little boat and wrapped it in a small box.  When he opened it, she told him she would sign the papers for the boat. 

Charles always made sure he was home at 5pm on July 22nd because that was when Blanche and he were married.  One July 22nd,  he came home from work and spontaneously asked Blanche if she wanted to go to the mountains to spend the day.  They ended up packing a picnic and went to the mountains with their children.

Charles used to work as a carpenter in the summers to supplement his income as a wrestling coach.  He always wanted a shop of his own.  When he was diagnosed in 1975, Blanche told him they would build the shop.  They sold the lot they owned to help finance the shop.  When it was finished in 1977, Charles got great joy from working in it.  He made items ranging from pencil holders to a grandfather clock.  

 

Janice (Daughter)

When Janice was less than a year old, Charles and Blanche went on a camping trip to Chimney Rock.  While they were there, the rivers flooded and water came into the tent they were sleeping in.  In the middle of the night, they had to move to higher ground.  They ended up staying in a community center and sleeping on the stage.  

Janice graduated from Mary Baldwin on a scholarship.  Janice and her husband owned their own business and Janice was the bookkeeper.  She is now retired. 

Glenda (Daughter)

Blanche remembers that one time Glenda had a gentleman caller who wanted to see her, but Blanche would not allow Glenda to go out because it was ironing day.  So the gentleman talked to Glenda while she ironed. 

Glenda graduated from UNC-G and currently works part-time for her brother Bruce.

Buzz (Son)

Blanche remembers that Buzz used to say, "Don't go through the kitchen, mama will give you a job to do."

Buzz graduated from Davidson College.  He is currently retired but he does charter his private plane.

Bruce (Son)

Bruce gave blood plasma to help pay for his college education.  Once when asked if he was going to go to college he said, "I guess I will go to college, if I didn't she'd [Blanche] beat my head in."

Bruce graduated fromSouthwestern, later known as Rhodes College.  He owns his own business.

Stella (Daughter)

After Stella was born, the doctor told Blanche that she should not nurse Stella and instead should give her formula.  This upset Blanche and Charles told her "It's your baby, nurse her if you want to." 

Stella graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill.  She now is a teacher's aide at an elementary school.  She also currently lives in the house Blanche and Charles built.

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The text, video, audio, and website are the result of interviews conducted by Jennifer Frymiare,
Davidson College Class of 2002, in the Fall of 2001.

© 2009 Kristi S. Multhaup, Ph.D. | Davidson College | Davidson, NC 28035 | Phone: 704.894.2008
Please direct site comments to: krmulthaup@davidson.edu