I asked Hazel Hall Hughes if she saw her father much after he and her mother, Martha Tackett, divorced. She said, yes, she saw him often. She said they used to hear news of the family when they would do work together like hoeing the gardens. Then she told me this story:
We used to help each other. We would do the hoeing with our neighbors and family. One day we were at Mayo Hampton’s hoeing. Mayo had a daughter Merky. Her name was America, but we called her Merky. She didn’t have much hair, but there was a wisp at the back of her head. She wore dust caps to hide the baldness. I said to my cousin, why don’t you just cut that wisp of hair off. So I cut her hair. My hair was long, and I wore it parted in the middle and in pigtails. Merky cut one of my pigtails off. The boys started picking up all the branches and sticks in the yard and throwing them over the fence so Mommy couldn’t use them to whip me. Mommy didn’t believe in bobbed hair. When she sat down her hair was to the floor. When they came back from the field she whipped me. I thought she was going to kill me. They say she would have if grandpa hadn’t pulled her off of me. She made me keep the one braid and I had to wait till my hair grew back. It took a long time for my hair to grow back. Every time Mommy would comb my hair after that she would slap my head.
Later, Uncle Alvin's daughter, Opal Hall Holbrook, gave me this picture. I think it must have been taken shortly before this story happened. I took copies up to Hazel and she was thrilled with it.
Hazel, Letty and Martha Tackett Hall