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By  Mary Priscilla Duck Stripling


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Letter from Mary Priscilla

November 6, 2000

Hi Jimmy,

Thank you for your picture, You and Mary Kay look as if you were having a good time together.

I enjoyed seeing Lucy's new store. I like the way she has arranged it this time. Her old store was not anything like this when we were there in 1991. We stayed two nights with Allen Jr.. We slept in the second floor bedroom on the right side of the balcony, facing the front.

I enjoyed seeing a lot of antiques from Aunt Allen's house. Lucy slept in Aunt Allen's bed . There was a cabinet that had been used in Uncle Lipscomb's store for many, many years in the sitting room.

I was surprised when we went on their huge back porch and found my six foot doll house with real green shingles on it that "Tee Tee", (Mary Dancy's) boy friend, built for Betty and me."Tee Tee" is what Betty and I called Mary Dancy.

The only memory I have of her was when she was at Aunt Allen's house. She was very ill with cancer, my mother took me in her room so "Tee Tee" could see me. I think this was around 1940, so I was only seven years old. She had a very pretty face and a soft loving voice. She died soon after being taken to the hospital. I often think how different my own mother's life would have been if her sister had not died so young.

Mama Lena Dancy was so upset over Mary's death that she buried her next to her own mother, Mary Priscilla, instead of by her and Papa. I noticed this when we visited the cemetery in 1991. This is the answer that my mother gave me in answer to my question concerning the burial plot location.

Do you have a camcorder? I have all of this plus the whole town of Dancyville on tape. It was made the last time we took mother to Dancyville in 1991. Mother had a wonderful time seeing Dancyville & LaGrange again. I took her to see one of her oldest friends, Shelby Dixon. He married mother's best girlfriend, Lucy. She died several years earlier.

One of mother's favorite stories is about Lucy when they were about eighteen years old. They loved to ride horses after school. One day while riding they spied some bird eggs in a nest. They each took one egg, Lucy put her egg in her blouse pocket.

As they rode through the little spot where all the stores were, one of the town's dapper young men came riding up on his beautiful horse. He grabbed the reins of Lucy's horse and started to flirt with her. Lucy yelled to him to let go of the reins but he chose not to do so. For revenge, Lucy reached in her pocket, grabbed the egg, and aimed it at his expensive tie. All three of them gasped in horror as the egg burst on his tie, and there was a unborn baby buzzard in the egg, sliding down his tie and shirt. Mother and Lucy burst out laughing as he dropped the reins with a very red face!!! Mother and Lucy trotted on down the dirt road to Lucy's house.

One night mother and her sister Mary decided to play a joke on your Daddy, who was afraid of the dark. They dressed in sheets, and went to the hen house, stirring up all the roosters and hens. Chickens were flying everywhere, squawking and cackling so loud that your daddy ran to the upstairs front bedroom, which overlooked the hen house, and peered through the window. Thinking a fox or something was trying to kill the chickens, he ran down the stairs and told Papa what was happening. Papa grabbed his gun and headed for the hen house. Mother and Mary were horrified to see Papa coming with a loaded gun. They grabbed the sheets off their heads and kept yelling. "Papa don't shoot! It is just Mildred and Mary playing a joke on James!"

Mama Dancy lectured them on what a dangerous thing they had done, and how lucky they weren't killed! They were teenagers at the time.

I have lots of fond memories about following Papa around while he did chores. I well remember the first time he squirted warm milk in my mouth while he was sitting on an overturned bucket milking a cow, next to the barn. I was about nine years old, and he made me feel very important during the process by telling me to hold the cow's tail so she wouldn't swish it in his face. :)

Mother swears to this day that this is why she hates milk, because Papa squirted warm milk into her mouth!! :)

Papa built Betty and me a wooden sled large enough to hold both of us. He hitched it to a billy goat, a large mean billy goat!! Betty and I got on this sled and held on for dear life. As the goat took off, and the sled was gliding over the tall grasses, Betty started screaming. Papa was running alongside the sled as tons of huge grasshoppers started jumping all over Betty and me. We were city girls who were scared of grasshoppers!

Papa used to give the runt of the pig litter to my mother to feed and take care of as it was so sick and puny. One time she took a liking to one little pig and loved it as she would have loved a little doll. It became the most healthy pig in the barnyard. Not knowing this Mama asked Papa to kill a pig to eat, Mama selected mother's big fat pig. When my mother found out what happened, she burst into tears.

Mother also had a cat she dearly loved. When she discovered it was pregnant, she knew Mama would kill it as Mama didn't want a yard full of kittens. So after they were born, mother disposed of the kittens, to save her own cat!

This tale is on my tape because we discovered one of mother's girlfriends was still alive in 1991 and she asked mother if this story she had heard many years ago was true. Mother looked at me with a big smile, and said yes.

I thought you would be interested to hear about the Dancy's teenage antics.


P.S. Do your eyes feel weary now? :)
These tales kept snowballing as I
stepped back into time.

We greatly appreciate Mary Priscilla sharing her Dancy family and Dancyville memories with us.

Index to Mary Priscilla's Dancyville Memories:

Mary Priscilla, Priscilla - Mary Priscilla Duck Stripling
Betty - Betty Duck Byrd - Priscilla's sister
Mother - Mildred Ethlene Dancy Duck - Priscilla & Betty's Mother - Aunt Mil
Mary Kay - Mary Kay Dancy Smith
Lucy - Lucy Cogbill Register
Lucy's New Store - Cogbill Store & Museum - LaGrange, Tennessee
Allen  - Allen Hughes Cogbill, Sr.
Aunt Allen - Louise Allen Dancy Cogbill - Wife of Charles Lipscomb Cogbill
Mary - Mary Elizabeth Dancy
Mama Lena Dancy - Maggie Ethelene 'Lena' Hughes Dancy, Wife of Isaac Bradley Dancy
Papa, Papa Dancy - Isaac Bradley Dancy, Husband of Lena Dancy
(Your) Daddy, James - James Hughes Dancy
(Mama Lena's) Mother Priscilla - Mary Priscilla Gilliam Hughes - Wife of Thomas Newton Hughes
(Mother's) Friend Lucy - Lucy Hunter - Married Shelby Dixon
Uncle Lipscomb - Charles Lipscomb Cogbill - Husband of Louise Allen Dancy Cogbill