Audrey Mae SpencerSpencer Historical CemeteryHenry Straight / William Spencer Family Cemetery
Vaughn Historical CemeterySpencers of East Greenwich, RI

Posts Tagged Harry Kirby

7 March 2004

Heather: Hello, Mother, what are your thoughts today?


Audrey: I couldn’t be better. It is sunny outside. The snow is gone. I’m all dressed with pink pants, white top and pink beads. We always have a hot cereal for breakfast.

(When I was a child) we had cornflakes every morning and Grandma (Mary Jane [née Vaughn] Spencer) made johnny cakes.

Being here (at Alpine Nursing Home) I look out my window and see all the action with trash collection, cars parking in the yard. Oh, an orange cat goes through the yard every so often. He has a collar on so someone is taking care of him.

(When I was a child on the farm) we had several cats in the barn, but only one cat in the house. Her name was Edna Meaow. Edith named her Edna because that was the name of a movie star. Aunt Edith was crazy about the movie stars. That’s all we had was the movies. There was no TV.

My cousins in Providence took me to the movies in Providence. There was no talking. There was just music, a woman was playing the piano down in the orchestra pit. My cousin read the printing on the screen to me until others complained so. The Kirby’s were my cousins. Aunt Martha, my mother’s sister, married Harry Kirby. Aunt Martha cooked a turkey dinner every Sunday.

Martha’s brother (brother-in-law) would come on Sunday and eat three meals. He was very heavy and stretched out the end of the couch. When he was younger, he dressed fine and met a woman who was well dressed. They got married and then found out neither one had money. They divorced because they couldn’t afford to live together. Martha knew he was a glutton. He was always dressed up.

I went to the Knotty Oak Church. Martha and Harry went to the city. Grandpa would drive Mother and me with the horse and wagon and then pick us up.  Aunt Rachel, Grandma’s younger sister, would make a meal for them. Aunt Rachel, she was a good cook.

1 May 2004

Heather: What did you call grandma?

Mary Jane Vaughn Spencer sketched by Audrey Mae Spencer

Audrey: I think I called her mom. Or, I think I would have called her mama. If I said mother, she would have looked at me as if I were crazy. I do not know if anyone was calling her mother. I know my own mother when she spoke of her mother and father always said mother said this or father said that.

Grandma’s father always wore high boots. They (the Vaughns) had land. They were rich in land, but not in money. They had nothing but land. Grandpa Vaughn chopped wood and planted corn. Grandma and Grandpa Vaughn had five daughters and two sons. The daughters were MaryJane, Martha, Susan, Rachel and Margaret.

Martha married Harry Kirby and they had two sons, Harry Jr. and Ray. Harry, Jr., the first son worked on the trolley as did his father, Harry Sr. I gave Vaughn the middle name of Ray after Martha’s second son who was a big strong man who was always making everyone laugh (with his jokes and quick wit) just like his father, Harry, Sr.

One of the other sisters had to go be a housekeeper for a poor man who lived alone. None of them starved to death, but they were only rich in land.