A fitting tribute to his beloved mother
Carol Goodman Heizer is an author who recently moved to Hood County from Louisville, Kentucky. She has had short stories and articles published in six editions of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books. Her column for the Hood County News will appear every two weeks.
Her ancestors came from a foreign country to settle in America — the land of freedom and opportunity. Her family and friends called her Tillie or Tillie Anne, and she made her grand appearance into our world on July 22, 1919. She joined her two-years-older sister Olga, and that made the family unit of four complete.
Tillie was a tall, stately young lady standing at 5 feet, 10 inches tall with her dark braided hair placed neatly on her head. She was later married at age 18 to a young man often referred to as C.J. (from his first and middle names) on July 10, 1937.
Between 1938 and 1947, Tillie bore three sons, the first being called Little C.J., arriving on September 6, of 1938. He obviously was named after his father and passed away mas in 2017.
The third son, Kenneth Ray, arrived on Aug. 30, 1947. One wonders how mother Tillie handled two sons’ birthdays, just one week apart each year. Perhaps we may have an answer to that last question because many individuals referred to Tillie as a self-taught master baker.
KNOWN FOR BAKING SKILLS
She began with a boxed cake mix and then added her specially-combined ingredients that made her cakes the talk of the town. She often baked and donated them to various worthy causes.
As her cakes grew in popularity, Tillie began selling her wedding cakes.
In addition to the time Tillie spent in the kitchen, she was also room mother for her boys at school, often sending her cakes to their functions. Although very busy with her baking and school-related activities, Tillie was known for her kind words, never being critical of others.
The middle son recalls a time when he arrived home at 9 p.m. after having worked a long shift at the local grocery store. Tillie knew her son’s natural desire to spend time with friends, even at that hour. To show her love and support, she would always have her son’s jeans and starched shirt laid out, along with his bath water being run.
That same son recalls the times when he left the house at 4:30 a.m. to go deer hunting. His mother would have his breakfast prepared so he could begin the long day with a nutritious meal.
He thoroughly enjoyed the bacon, eggs, toast and coffee ready for him before he left (which meant that Mother had risen even earlier than her son).
Obviously, his hunting buddies were quite envious of his early-morning feast.
Oh, yes — that middle son, born on March 19, 1944. He attended the University of Dallas where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.B.A. in Law. He later received his Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University in 1969.
During his career, he oversaw cases involving family law, child support, domestic violence, child custody, divorce, premarital agreements, and spousal support.
He was named to the Texas Super Lawyers List from 2003-2020 and has also been listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2006-2019.
He served in the Army Reserve from 1970-1975, 24th JAG, and he is currently often seen about town in Granbury.
Even in his senior years, he often refers to his mother who passed away in 2005 with great admiration and affection. His countenance and facial expression when speaking of Tilly is yet another reminder that a parent’s affection and influence can be remembered and felt long after their departure from this life.
THAT CAKE RECIPE
His only regret in speaking of Tillie is that no one seems to have the recipe for her famous moist cakes. Even other family members say, “She had it all in her head.”
However, it is being rumored around town that someone who has inside information is attempting to re-create that recipe. Keep watching — perhaps they will be successful!
Oh, by the way... who is that middle son? Granbury’s very own County Judge Ronald Edward Massingill whose surname was first found in Lincolnshire, England, where the family claims decent from Lambert Massyngberd of Soterton, now Sutterton, who lived in the reign of Edward I.
While Judge Massingill often exudes an air of official judiciary, young Ron was a typical boy participating in typical boyhood activities. When he was 8 or 9 years old, he shot his younger brother Ken with a BB gun, leaving his forehead with a lasting scar between his eyes.
However, brothers will seek revenge. During the night, Ken filled Ron’s ear with BBs, requiring a trip to the doctor to remove them.
On another occasion, the Judge’s father brought home a wild horse and then promptly threw Ron up on it to ride. When the animal would not move, Dad Massingill quickly smacked the equine with a crutch he was needing at the time. The horse got the message and swiftly took off down the road.
After watching the horse and rider swiftly disappear, the family found both of them a mile away.
I wonder who was more stunned and frightened — the horse or the young rider?