Homemade Corn Bread on the Family Farm

Alabama man remembers eating homemade corn bread and smoked pork on his grandparents' family farm

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My brother and I were both born at home in the mid-1930s. Times were hard in the country, so Dad and Mom decided we should move to town. Dad got a job in town making $15 a week. His dad told him, "Son you are going to get rich." In 1928, after farming for one year, my granddad cleared $5 after making the $14 per year payment on the family farm.

Our grandparents raised their own pork and corn. My grandma smoked pork meat in the smokehouse and just smelling it cook would "make your tongue slap your brains out." The homemade corn bread was delicious too. It was cooked in a long metal pan, and when you put that fresh country butter on it, you just didn't know when to quit eating.

My brother and I always enjoyed visiting our grandparents. We liked the country because we could enjoy the wide open spaces. In town, you just didn't have room to move around like kids have to do. My parents didn't own an automobile. In town, you just rode a bus, for which the fare was only one nickel. They would rent a car for the day's visit to the country and my brother and I would stay a week or two whenever we could.

From the beginning, I always called my dad's parents my granddad and my grandmother. My mother's parents were my brother's granddad and grandma. Everyone who knew us got a kick out of hearing me say I was going to my brother's grand-parents or hearing him say he was going to mine.

After we were old enough to travel the 30 miles on the bus by ourselves, we would go to visit our grandparents. The bus traveled the main highway, leaving us a mile and a half to travel by foot on the dusty or muddy road. We would get to my brother's grand-parents' house first, so I would spend the night with them. The next day, I would make another mile-and-a-half trip to get to my grandparents. Sometimes I made the walk alone and sometimes my brother would go with me. My granddad had a car, so when my brother wanted to go back to his grandparents, my granddad and I would get the old Model A Ford and take him to their house.

My grandpa lived to be 76 years of age; my grandma lived to age 75. My brother's granddad lived to age 75 and his grandma to age 80. The good Lord gave two boys lots of really good times with their grandparents.

Hollis G. Jones
Eclectic, Alabama


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.