Generation One as we are known, sooner, rather than later, will no longer be around. We will be in, what I like to say, Glory or Heaven. With so many family members gathered for this reunion, I wanted to express my love and appreciation to Mother and Daddy. As time passes and we are caught up in the “Now”, it is easy to forget the past, and the significant ones that were in our life.

Mother and Daddy to generation two were Granny and Grandpa. To generation three they would be Great Granny and Grandpa, and to generation four they are Great, Great Granny and Grandpa. When generation one is no longer around to talk about our parents, it is important to have another insight to who they were. I want all future generations to know how incredibly blessed you are to be a part of the legacy you have received from Mother and Daddy Poteete.

Mother and Daddy are perfect examples of the Salt of the Earth. It is a wonderful compliment. They were born in the hills of Georgia, and were poor in material things. Their education was minimal. They were married in a horse and buggy, not bothering to get out of the buggy. I don’t know how Daddy made a living after they were married, but he was adventurous enough to travel 3000 miles to find a new beginning in California for his young family. Their family began to grow and grow and grow. The family stopped growing at number 10.

There were many years in Taft, Ca. before starting over to Bakersfield. They had saved enough money to pay cash for two acres. Eventually, we had four acres and a five bedroom home. Daddy was also a very competent builder. Carol, Alan and Jessie were born in Bakersfield, California.

Our home in Bakersfield was very impressive from my perspective. It was a large two story home, painted white, surrounded by huge trees, a huge English Walnut, a big fig tree (apricot and peach trees, as well), grape arbors, corn and string beans, and alfalfa for our live stock. In the back of the garage was Daddy’s extensive workshop…. one of my favorite places. There he, also, built an impressive water pump area (for all the water) with elaborate ditches for the water to run to keep all those growing things alive. Beyond Daddy’s workshop was a huge vegetable garden.

Then there was a large barn that he built. I think Daddy liked barns. Remember the one in Grass Valley? He spent his time keeping our home looking well cared for, and took pride in what he had accomplished. He did all this while holding down a full time job with Standard Oil for 33 years. I think we were all proud of Daddy. I remember Ruth’s husband, Art (father of Kris, Bill and Bob Johnson, and an engineer), commenting with wonder, what Daddy had built in Grass Valley … not only the barn, but the intricate watering system as well.

Now, I want to tell about Mother. She was the glue that kept everything together! Every day there were the same chores to do. Not only feeding her husband and ten children – keeping them clean and clothed (think of the laundry!), but keeping track of them. I’m afraid I was a wanderer. In our neighborhood there were lots of interesting people to visit. Mother would come and fetch me, NOT walking sedately home … but with a switch! I think Jeanne might have been another one with my problem of “wandering off”. Mother milked the cow, made the butter, canned the fruit, and made our clothes. Her sewing was superb! She found much joy in her flower garden which was extensive and beautiful. Mother was a reader. (I remember, both, Mother and Daddy reading the Bible frequently). She censored what we read. Someone had given us a box of Big-Little books. They were comics. This was unacceptable reading for Mother, and she promptly destroyed them. That’s one example.

On Sundays we went to church, and as we grew older, the First Baptist Church of Bakersfield became our home away home. That is where we all met our spouses, except Jessie, DOLOP number ten. She met Wayne at Redlands University. Mother knew our friends, and she always knew where we were.

As a mother of three grown children and knowing what is involved in raising them I stand in AWE, APPRECIATION and GRATITUDE for this remarkable, selfless couple who gave all of the DOLOPS the priceless gift of life.

2012 DOLOP Reunion, Springville, Ca.

Home of Bob Johnson, son of Ruth (DOLOP #4) and Arthur Johnson.

Written by Carol Fairley, DOLOP #8