by Rebecca Susan (Lockard) Choco

     My mother, Mary Jarvis Lockard, was the daughter of William and Susan Nancy (Brown) Jarvis of Jarvisville. Susan was the daughter of Waldo and Elizabeth (Bailey) Brown of Jane Lew. During December, as near Christmas as possible, my Grandfather Jarvis would take his family to visit the Brown grandparents in the horse-driven sleigh, the only transportation they had in the early 1900s. Before the journey between Jarvisville and Jane Lew, the sleigh was cleaned and packed with blankets, heated stones and hay for their feet. Mother described how her mother, Susan, made several apple pies and stacked them two-deep for the trip along with home baked bread. Her dad would cut two hams from the smokehouse and also pack sausage for the trip. There were many other goodies for the family feast, but the one Mother most loved was her Grandmother Elizabeth's seven-layer cake. It was the highlight of the dinner. When I prodded Mother for details, she said that her grandmother used various things to color each layer - such as berry juice, chocolate, and other natural coloring agents like egg yolks, but each layer had a distinctive tint and flavor. The white sea foam icing was generously applied, making it a festive centerpiece. There were eleven children in the William Jarvis family and about that many in the Brown home since they were raising their deceased daughter's children and had other guests. Mother recalled that there was one piece of cake per person, never two.

     I heard many stories about her grandfather, Waldo Bailey Brown, one being that he took his Bible upstairs and read to get away from the noise when the children came. He also had a long prayer or grace before dinner, which they dreaded because they were starving after the long trip. He was a master craftsman when it came to making furniture and the house was filled with his handiwork. (We have one of the gate-leg tables in our family.)

     I want to preserve this memory for my children and grandchildren. Perhaps some of our readers will find a familiar name above. Merry Christmas,
Rebecca Susan (Lockard) Choco

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