Whipped With a Hankie



Grandma Ashley’s Mom and Dad.

My Great Grandma Ashley wasn’t big as a minute.

So when she threatened to whip me, I wasn’t scared, even at age three or four.

Besides, when she threatened to swat me, she was smiling that sweet old lady smile.

And brandishing her embroidered hankie — that’s what she was going to whip me with.

That memory is so vivid I can still see her, “threatening” me in my Moew’s (her daughter’s) kitchen, on Lahoma Street in Norman.

But there was more to my sweet, little (probably 4-ft-10 on a good day) Grandma Ashley.

I figured that out the time she nearly shocked the life out of me.

You need to understand, that I only saw her maybe once a year, I think near Christmas, when she would come to Norman from Altus, or we would go there.

She always smelled exactly the same (I loved her perfume).

And she always looked exactly the same, especially her hair. It was always in a standard-issue Great Grandma Bun on the back of her head.

Or at least it was until I saw her that night right before she went to bed, and you could have knocked me over with a feather.

Grandma Ashley had stunningly beautiful grey hair that reached down to below her waist.

I think she got the biggest kick out of shocking me with her radiant mane, and getting all flirty with me.

I guess if your name is ‘Ophelia Mae’, you have to have some tricks up your sleeve. Or under your bun.

Grandma Ashley explained to me, in her tiny, little whisper of a voice, that she brushed her hair 100 times every, single night.

With her special little brush, that she let me hold.

Grandma Ashley died when I was very young and, sadly, I don’t know very much about her.

I wish I could’ve asked her a million questions, and learned why she always had that mischievous twinkle in her eye.

I bet when she was young, she was a real pistol.

It makes me smile that we have three young “Ashley” girls in our family, honoring our tiny wee great granny with the long grey hair.

I thought we had a photo of her somewhere, but it appears we don’t.

My sister advises that the photo below is of Grandma Ashley’s Mom and Dad, Julie and John Boyd.

I’m pretty sure Grandma Ashley got her “hair thing”, and the mischief in her eye, from her Dad.

I mean, look at that moustache!





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