FAMILY QUILT: FROM TWO TO TWELVE PART 4
I REMEMBER MAMA--#9
Hazel Elizabeth Poyner Boykin
Mama, Hazel, was the youngest girl of the ten Poyner children and one, from what I can gather from the stories I was told, that gave Grandma Lena a bit of a run for her money.
I only, of course, know of her childhood from the stories she told me as I was growing up.
I laughed at her determination to play basketball after Grandma had forbidden it.
Grandma’s reasoning was simple. No lady should be seen cavorting around in basketball bloomers. Therefore, Mom would not play basketball, or so Grandma thought or if she did she must wear proper lady like clothing to do so. Mom refused to play in a dress. So Grandma said no basketball.
Mom would put her uniform on under her long skirts and go to practice and the games telling Grandma different reasons for being away from home at various times. Of course once at the school the dress came off. She got away with it for a long time too, until Grandma got suspicious. Mom thought Uncle Chuck had ratted her out because he was mad at her.
Anyway, right in the middle of a game Mom felt Grandma’s eyes on her and KNEW she was in deep trouble. Mom never did say what punishment for lying and wearing unlady like clothing was, she just said it was swift and painful.
She didn’t finish high school, instead at age 16 she married my dad, Earl Boykin who was 6 years her senior. Even their wedding was a funny story. Aunt Faye denied it years later, but Mom and Dad both swore it was true.
When Mom and Dad decided they would get married she was barely 16 and he was 22. There was no money for a big wedding then. He was just home from serving in WWII and what money Grandpa Jesse made had to stretch a long way, so there was no big wedding.
They decided to elope, sort of. They went to Kansas to get married, but not alone. They had a whole lot of family with them. Including Grandma and Grandpa, Faye and 4 year old Jimmy Lee.
On June 2, 1947 they arrived in Independence, Montgomery County, Kansas too late to get married that day. Because money was so tight they all slept in one hotel room. The entire wedding party. With Grandma making certain she was fully between Mom and Dad, because she had her rules and they were not to be broken, even if they were getting married the next morning.
Mom said no one got a wink of sleep that night because Grandma would make her presence known every time there was the slightest noise or movement by anyone in the room. It was a loooooong night.
The next day they went to the justice of the peace to get married. They all swore Mom was 18, even though she was only 16, so they could get married. Kansas law at that time was 18 even with parental consent.
Once all the paperwork was signed the JP started in with his sermon, he didn’t get more than a few words out until little Jimmy started “playing” the piano as only a toddler can.
The JP started over, more music. He started over again, the little maestro did too. This was repeated several times with the JP getting more and more flustered.
Dad said that before Jimmy was finally removed from the entire area the preacher nearly married Daddy to every woman in the room except Mom, including Grandma. Then he would shudder every time he said the “even Grandma” part.
They both said it was probably the funniest wedding in history, but I guess it took, because they stayed married until Mom’s death on April 4, 1988.
Dad was the one who found her. She had died just as she had always said she would. She had put on her favorite nighty, kissed Dad goodnight, told him she loved him and then went to sleep to never awaken on this earth again.
Dad took her death hard and followed her to the grave December 10, 1988 just eight months later.
I had been at the hospital with him the night he died and had “seen” Mom at the foot of his bed. He told me to go home, that he saw her too and it was time. The call came a few hours later. They were together again.
I believe Mom was finally healthy then and they finally got to do all their “some day” plans together.
In her life Mom had suffered from depression a lot, she had several physical health issues a well. Yet despite it all she and Dad got their GED’s the same month my brother graduated from high school.
Dad was constantly studying for he believed that everyone should learn one new thing each day, because if we all did the world would be a better place.
Mom believed the same.
She studied to be an LPN in the burn unit at Hillcrest Hospital in Tulsa, OK. But gave it up when a baby the age of my oldest died in her arms from the burns its mother had purposefully created. She came directly to my house that day and cried and cried as she held my child. She said she could not face such evil again.
She later studied and achieved her certificate to be a licensed chiropractic assistant. A job she enjoyed immensely.
She was also good at cards, and bingo. Her mind was quick and she played a mean game of canasta that is for certain.
Of over eight pregnancies Mom only brought two of us into this world. My brother, Jerry Earl and myself.
I remember Mama, and I miss her.
Please tell me about your Poyner parent so I might know them better. Siblings should all write about the parent, because each of us will remember different details or why that parent was special to them. If no child of one of the parents remains, perhaps their spouses, siblings or grand children could tell us about them. Please help each of us to know them as people, not just statistics on a genealogy page.
HAZEL ELIZABETH POYNER BOYKIN
Born April 23, 1931 in Collinsville, Oklahoma
Died April 4, 1988 in Eucha, Oklahoma
Married Earl (no middle initial) Boykin on June 3, 1947 in Independence, Montgomery County, Kansas. He was the son of Edward Theodore Boykin and Felicia (no middle initial) Brewer.