By Libby Cluett
Grandma Honey – as long-time Mineral Wells resident Mary Helen Bass is known by most – has seen many changes in her 70-plus years.
Her frame house on S.E. Martin Luther King Jr. St. has witnessed generations of Basses grow up and celebrate holidays.
With 11 grandchildren (from her four children) and 18 great-grandchildren from eight of those grandchildren, Bass’ house was packed when family arrived for an occasion.
Bass seems to beam as she illustrates what her house was like when filled with family during the holidays.
“This house is full of memories,” she said then sighs after reflecting on Thanksgivings and Christmases past. “Now those were memories.”
She points to a folding metal game table, etched with evidence of many dominoes and checkers games once played by her deceased sister Francis and husband Milton.
“The dining room table would be filled with food and with punch in the center,” she described holiday feasts.
“I had greenery going everywhere,” Bass pointed to the ceiling and walls.
A billiard table that no longer graces the home was the centerpiece during the holidays. An enormous stocking, once purchased by her grandson Thomas at the “five-and-dime” store, delighted the children as its contents were poured out across the billiard table on Christmas Eve.
Adult family members would pick up items well in advance of the holiday celebration to fill the large stocking – putting items in order of age groups and their respective attention spans. Bass said that goodies at the top were for the youngest children, goodies in the middle for the next age and items at the large foot of the stocking were for the older kids.
Bass told how friends would come by and everyone had fun. The biggest celebration was Thanksgiving.
“All my family wants to come here. I had a son-in-law who didn’t go anywhere on Thanksgiving but here,” she said.
By Libby Cluett
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