Mother’s family was made up of some real characters, many hillbillies from southern Indiana where she grew up. They were very clannish and did not take kindly to strangers.
Her dad’s family owned thelumber mill in their little town that Abby’s husband John Adams fondly refers to as Mayberry. Her Dad was considered quite a catch by the single women in town. Mary’s mother and her family were not considered as high in society. Her mother was a home economics teacher and could sew beautifully.
Out of their union came Mary, Robert and Martha. Mary was an only child for many years and I’m sure enjoyed being number one. Mary’s young life was interrupted with the illness of her mother and her mother’s subsequent death when Mary was only eleven.
They were related to just about everybody in Mayberry and Mary had loads of cousins to play with. She loved her cousin Billy and thought more of him than her own siblings.
One of my favorite stories is about Billy and a little girl named Mabel Gail. (Isn’t that a great name?) Billy had quite a crush on her and wanted to be her boyfriend. Well, Mabel Gail was very bright and figured she could outsmart Billy. She had a little goat that needed to be milked every day.
Mabel Gail convinced Billy that if he milked her goat, he might be her boyfriend. This went on for quite a few days before Billy figured out she was spending time with some other boys while he was spending time with the goat. Outsmarted by a girl with a goat!