Mary Stallard Ison was the second victim in this story told by her daughters and sons, and by me to my sons. She loved all her 13 children equally. She would stay up nights making little shirts out of flour sacks and holding one baby’s feet to make them straight. She was smart enough to help the high school boys with their math, even though she only went through the eighth grade.
She was very quiet. To me, there was a sadness about her. It turned out that Earl, her firstborn son, had been killed in a hunting accident when he was 35. He lived at home at the time.
Emotions were not expressed freely, so she took them to the barn. When she would milk the cows, she would talk to Earl. She would always start with, “Oh Lord, Earl.” This cycle lasted until she was old and had to go to the hospital, and her daughters encouraged her not to talk with Earl while she was there.
When my firstborn son wanted a BB gun, I would say, “Remember Uncle Earl,” so he would live.