Momma May to many, but Grandma May to me. (she was my Paternal Great Grandmother) 1879-1981

She was Judy Maybelle Clark Linebarger. She was a product of the Clark Family, of Pleasant Valley, I guess you could say a suburb of Marble Falls.

When I was a kid she lived with her daughters moving from one to the other. It seems like she kind of moved with the seasons. It wasn’t because she wasn’t happy one place, but rather because she enjoyed all of her girls (all four) and choose to spend her later years with each. At least that’s the way it seemed.

The time I remember her the most was when she was staying with my grandmother Ruby in her home in north central Austin. Grandma May was a lady that never complained and was always happy. She was quite. I’m not sure she always was but the years I knew her she was that way. She was fun to sit and visit with. She enjoyed the little jokes and pranks that went with our visits, both giving and receiving.

She was from an age that is hard to imagine now. She dipped snuff. I’m not talking about snuff like Copenhagen or Skoal. What she dipped was really snuff. Of the Garrett variety. Very very finely ground tobacco. So fine that it was dry dust. She had a small spoon and would dip some from the jar (jars that often filled many kitchens with a secondary use as drinking glasses) then slowly move it to her mouth, depositing it in her lower lip.

She would sit for what seemed like hours, slowly spitting small amounts out into her spit cup. She kept a dainty handkerchief handy so that no spittle could ever be seen in the corner of her mouth, like a man or an undignified woman might have.

Back when these snuff dipping women still lived in the country, they would keep a small green peach stick, chewed on to form something like a little brush on one end, for the purpose of dipping it in the snuff jar. They would sit and suck and chew on the stick to get the flavor of both the peach wood and the tobacco. I guess the spoon was more practical than getting out to cut peach limbs. It could have been a factor of what their teeth were capable of in older years.

This habit had been with them throughout their adult life and perhaps even their teen years. I guess it didn’t chase off the men to badly, they all had plenty of children to prove it.

She was 101-1/2 years old when she passed on. She lived a very good life and was loved by many.

The pictures below and the newspaper article are from her 100th birthday party. The first with my dad and the other with her daughters.

Snuff Containers and Nice Drinking Glass

4 thoughts on “Momma May to many, but Grandma May to me. (she was my Paternal Great Grandmother) 1879-1981

  1. I remember that snuff quite well. My grandparent’s house had a fine layer of snuff everywhere. If you disturbed anything it make cloud of dust and it would take your breath away! I don’t know how they dipped that stuff.

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  2. Thank you for this story. Another note, Linebarger (as we called her) loved to go shopping at Winn’s, the once upon a time 5 and 10 store. Not sure she bought or just looked.

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  3. Thanks for the Memories. She loved to go to the egg farm in Georgetown. Ruby would say, when that car starts up she thinks she should be in it.
    She was living with Ruby when she passed.

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