If Mama Sang: Frieda

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If Mama Sang: Frieda's bio

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Frieda Obituary

Excerpt from "If Mama Sang" Page 68-70

April 17, 1938, was Easter Sunday and Mama must have been up all night or had awakened with labor pains. Before noon, my sisters, Ruth and Hazel, my brother, Louis and I were hustled down the road to visit a spell with Mrs. (Verbie) Hixson and her girls, Lois and Miriam.

When we returned home, Mama was in bed with a baby not much bigger than my long gone baby doll. The little girl was so pretty, so sweet and she smelled better than dew-drenched, wild roses.

She was healthy, bright and beautiful. The old wives should be tarred and feathered for scaring Mama. (see p. 65)

My sister, Edith, sees from one pair of glasses; I see from another. Her memories of past times, places and happenings are for the most part in reverse of mine.

Edith says, “Why, Mrs. Roemig did not deliver Frieda. A doctor did.” I said, “What doctor?” She doesn’t remember. I say, “Well, our sister was named for Mrs. Roemig.” Edith says, ”No, she wasn’t! I named her!”

She was simply named Frieda. Later, the “Ann” was added.

My sister, Edith, has a better memory than I. My memory is much better than hers. What does it matter. Not one little diddly-poop. Frieda Ann, the prettiest, daintiest little Hackworth was born healthy in the back bedroom of the lowly little house where Mama had lived as a girl.

1939 - The Staple

The “Little Girl,” Frieda, was cuter than a just-hatched June Bug. She clapped her little hands and squealed when she saw her birthday cake with the hundreds of fiery "red hots” pressed into the white frosting. Well, maybe she didn’t have a cake. Maybe the old hens weren’t laying. Maybe we were out of sugar or flour. She was one-year old and that is a fact. And it is a fact that a few weeks later pandemonium broke out in the "holler."

Mama heard me screaming like a stuck hog, saw me rolling and wallowing on the floor as I yelled, "She’s gonna die! It’s all my fault! I let her eat it!" I stopped bellowing long enough to tell Mama that "it" was a staple Frieda had taken from the brown sack on the floor. "She just put it in her mouth and swallowed it." Mama said, "Why, that baby couldn’t have swallowed one of those no more than a gnat could swallow a grasshopper. "Well, she did and you better believe me!" And I wailed some more!
I was left at home. With whom, I don’t remember. Frieda Ann was taken to Lucy Lee (or) Brandon Hospital in Poplar Bluff. By whom and by what mode of transportation I don’t remember.

The X-Rays told Mama what I’d told her all along. A staple was worming it’s way through her guts and if the sharp ends penetrated the intestinal walls......

The doctors wondered how so small a child could swallow the monstrous object that was zig-zagging this way, that way. They’d operate. They wouldn’t operate.
One morning it passed. Well, maybe it passed one afternoon. It did pass and that’s a fact. Mama brought it home with her, stored it in the tin box inside the old green trunk among her souvenirs.

NOTE from Kathie: I actually saw the contents of the trunk. I was about 7 or 8 years old. I saw the staple and questioned my grandmother about it. She told the story and we both marveled at the miracle that (my aunt) Frieda didn’t die. (KPH)

There is more to this story. It can be found beginning on page 65 of If Mama Sang, beginning "Around the middle of March my Uncle Ross died. April 17, 2938, my fifth sister, Frieda Ann, was born."

Frieda on Caddo Lake

From my Archives:

Frieda McCarthy, Mr. Orendorff Exchange Vows

In the parsonage of the Church of the Nazarene, at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Rev. Paul Hayman officiated at the marriage of Frieda Ann McCarthy and Milton Robert Orendorff.

The couple was attended by Mr. and Mrs. Harley Iiams of Crestline, who were among the relatives and friends entertained at the reception which followed in the home of the bride's parents.

The bride, who attended Galion schools, is the daughter of Mr. and Mr. Lewis [sic] Hackworth of 504 South Union Street. The groom is the son of Mrs. Etta Orendorff and the late Percy Lee Orendorff of Montgomery, Alabama. He is an accountant with he Texas Eastern Oil Company in Shreveport, La., where they will reside.