It all began in 1925 when a pretty 16-year-old girl “ran off” with a handsome 19-year-old boy. (“Running off” was a very popular thing in those days.) Their names were Pearl Braswell and Paul Thomas, both from the Burnsville area of Anson County. I am blessed to have called them Grandma and Grandpa.
They slipped off and got married on December 6 and headed to Charlotte to begin their new lives. Of course, there was no quick communication in those days, so it was a full three weeks before they had contact with their families when coming home for Christmas.
Grandma was quite a “daddy’s girl” and was very worried about what her daddy’s reaction would be. When she walked in the room, her daddy smiled, held out his arms and said, “Well, come here, you old runaway.” She said he hugged her tighter than ever. Grandma would always get tears in her eyes upon telling this story.
They eventually moved back to the Hopewell Church community where Pearl and Paul Thomas raised five children, four of whom are living today. I lived right beside them, and they both had a huge influence on my life.