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Honoring Bernice Dansby



BERNICE ESTHER PRICE DANSBY

 

Fifth child of Frank and Louise Price was born April 17th, 1920 – right between Aunt Helen and Uncle Joe.  Aunt Bernice has been an active member of many of her communities’ organizations, not just as a member but also as a leader and office holder of these organizations, including her church, her university (Langston), her neighborhood block club, and her bridge club.

When I asked Aunt Bernice to tell about growing up with her siblings and parents she told me:  “Twice per year Papa took us to Checotah  in a cover wagon to buy shoes and clothed.  Papa would faithfully transport the family to church. Though He himself didn’t go in – he made sure we got there.  Mom left cookies for him at home. 

At Christmas time if there was snow in the yard, Papa would walk around leaving footprints and would tell us they were from Santa’s steps.  Apples, oranges and nuts were the gifts we received.  Papa wouldn’t let anyone mess with his girls.  He would say ‘I’ll knock their heads clean off.’

Moma would have our older sister Jackie to “whip” us.  We tried to get Moma to say which child she liked best but she would  say ‘ All of them dodrodit!’  We knew she meant it.  After Papa died our Aunt Ruth would find places for us to live but Moma would just come and get us back after about a week.

Aunt Bernice also told me that it was her job to carry the mail to the train tracks and put it on the hook so train #5 could pick it up.  If train #5 was late and train #6 was coming she had to take the bag back off the hook.  This could be a very dangerous chore and she did have a close call with it.

Some of the porters on the train thought that Aunt Bernice was cute even though she was barefoot and in overalls.  Once, one of the porters sent her a dress as a gift but Moma Louise said “No, that would be inappropriate to accept.” “ Moma was very loving.” Auntie Bernice continued to say. “ When Jackie and Homer were going off to college, Moma paid someone to teach them to dance so they wouldn’t be country.  Louise Price was very proud of her family and she was a wise lady.”  Aunt Bernice recalls saying to her mom: “If I sin God will forgive me the bible says.”  Her mom said: “Yes, and it also says Go and sin no more.”  Wise words that Aunt Bernice remembers to this day. 

I want to thank Aunt Bernice for sharing those precious memories with us. Auntie you are a lady who still can rock overalls and barefoot if you want to and be absolutely beautiful.  One of the queens of the Price family – we salute you with love.


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