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Mary Josephine Matthews Caldwell

Perhaps her greatest accomplishments were as mother and artist; two very creative children bear witness to this, as well as surviving works in several mediums. She was what many may call a ‘self-made’ woman. What might have been lacking, in terms of formal education, was supplemented by an enormous amount of reading–the first thing she wanted to see each morning was a cup of coffee and the newspaper, and God Forbid! that you should interrupt her before she finished the paper. She loved kittens and cats, Texas, hot tamales, the color pink, wildflowers and seashells, being the center of attention, and a good stout glass of Bourbon.

And in her own way, she may have loved each of us, too.

Surviving Joey are two brothers, one sister, a daughter and son, one grandson, one great-grandson, and one soon-to-be born great-grandchild.

In the name of God, Amen

When I was a little girl, Joey gave a “Tea Party” for my birthday. My little girl friends were invited to come dressed up in ‘play lady’ clothes. We had pink punch, tiny sandwiches that my mother always referred to as ‘dolly sandwiches’, and lovely little petit fours from the bakery. Party favors were little naked dolls that we dressed up in crepe paper costumes, embellished with bits of lace and sequins. I was allowed to wear my mother’s high heels for the party.

Sylvia Caldwell Rankin
Marietta, Cobb County, GA

I took Momma fishing early in the spring one year, and the water was still cool. We got to the flats without a boat, and I had to float her across the chanel in an innertube. The fish were everywhere that we put our hooks. By midmorning she was tired and sunburned, so we started home. We had so many fish that, when we started across the channel, they pulled her innertube almost a hundred yards downstream before I could could get her [kicking and screaming] to the other side. Once at home, and the fish cleaned, we had a wonderful dinner of broiled redfish and boiled shrimp (bait left over).

Carol Fornam Caldwell, Jr.
Woodstock, Cherokee County, GA

Before Grandpa died, Granny and I had lots of fun days together. She took me to the Museum of Natural History and to the art museum in Corpus Christi to spend the day on several occasions. And we went to the beach, and I helped her collect shells. She washed and sorted them and kept them in lots of jars in her workshop. My favorite thing that Granny ‘cooked’ was Vienna Sausages.

Carol Ray [Trey] Caldwell
Acworth, Cherokee County, GA

jewel weed bordering Blue Heron – August 2001

Handwoven Webs
Celebrating the Spirit of Place
in Western North Carolina

On the day that I learned of my mother’s disappearance into the spirit world, events had aligned themselves such that I was on my way into the North Carolina mountains on a trip that would lead me to kindred kind, Julie Parker. She was an artist of great talent and a different energy, whose creations ‘spoke to me’. We both had a need, and I left the cottage in the woody hollow with these lovely images of Julie’s for which to honor my mother, who was also an artist.

Sylvia Caldwell Rankin
Marietta, Cobb County, GA
February 2002