Meeting Cecil

Cecil Delaney Stockton was Mr. Snark's maternal great grandfather.  He was born in December "19 and 3."  That's how he always said it.  He was something else.  I'd like to share with you about the first time I met him.  I hope you enjoy it.

It was the summer of 1990...maybe 1991.  Great Grandaddy's visit to K'ville and my visit to K'ville just happened to occur at the same time.  He was visiting from Virginia, along with Hester the Great...his daughter...who had been his chauffeur for the trip. I was very excited to meet him and HtG...although, she was just Mamaw, then.  Her christening as HtG wouldn't come for about ten more years.  She and I had written letter back and forth, so I felt like I already knew her.  About as quick as Mr. Snark and I became affianced, I started getting letters from Mamaw.  She was a most excellent pen pal.  It was quite the occasion, to be sure!

I never knew any of my great grandparents.  I have very vague memories of my maternal great grandmother...Great Granny Mosbey.  She was my Granny Wood's mother and she lived with Granny and Papa for a time.  I was very young...the memories I have of her look like faded home movies.  She seemed to always be sitting in this one particular chair that was covered in the most horrible, itchy, dark brown fabric.  Ironically, the dress she always seemed to wear was a perfect match to the fabric that covered the chair...itchy and dark brown.  I don't recall the sound of her voice or ever having much interaction with her.  I just remember seeing her...being in the same room with her...and being careful not to bother her. 

On the appointed day, Mr. Snark and I drove over to Aunt J's house to meet Great Grandaddy and Mamaw.  We walked in and introductions were made...warm hugs replacing stiff handshakes.  And then....that precious old man...with ears nearly as long as his head.... opened his mouth.

"Young lady, you're marrying the very first of my great grandchildren.  I was so excited to become a great grandfather.  You'll probably be the ones to give my my first great-great grandchild.  The first of the fifth generation of Stocktons...isn't that amazing.  Are you pregnant, by any chance?"
WHAT????  I had no response!  Mamaw and Mr. Snark just busted up, laughing.  Great Grandaddy just stood there, grinning like a Cheshire cat. Was he kidding to ask such a question?  Uh, seemed quite clear that he would have been perfectly happy if Mr. Snark and I had the baby carriage before the vows of marriage!  Mr. Snark and Mamaw made attempts to soothe my shock by telling me that he meant no harm...that he was just excited about the idea of being a great-great.  OK!  I get it...he's excited, but gloryosky!!!

When my powers of speech finally returned, I informed him that there would be no babies BEFORE the wedding.  I also mildly scolded him for asking such a question of me...being that we were nearly perfect strangers.  My surprise, shock or delivered scolding didn't phase him a bit.  Uh, when you're that old, it's probably a defense mechanism against sudden cardiac death.

"I'm sorry, honey.  I don't mean to upset you.  I agree that it is better for you and Eric to be married before you have a baby.  It's just that I know some folks don't wait and if y'all decided to jump the gun, well, I wouldn't be at all upset."
We made him wait....a good seven years...but he did indeed get to meet the first of his fifth generation and there was no man any happier on this good earth.  We took it one step further by naming Y1 after Great Grandaddy's father.  Cecil died just a couple of weeks after Y1's first birthday...right around what would have been his own 95th birthday.  He so wanted to make 100 and have Mr. Willard Scott say his name on television.  Not in the cards for him, but I think meeting that first great great grand was just as satisfying.