Nov 2017 Story
Written By Angela Stout November 2017
For the past few weeks, I have enjoyed going around with my dad and visiting descendants of Joseph Roberts to remind them of the 2 June reunion. The best parts of those visits are when the story telling begins. I have learned a lot and it helps me understand my heritage even better!
One man who always seems to have numerous stories and brings a smile to everyone’s face is Robert “Rob” Lee. Let me share a couple of the stories I have heard…
Rob Lee was the son of Sarah Roberts and Ausborn Lee (who were first cousins). Rob Lee stayed with his family members and many families in the community because of mental defects. In the 1960s, Rob mostly stayed with his sister Martha “Mattie” and her husband –George “Mizell” Duke. Rob would sometimes stay with other families like my grandpa,Clavis Roberts. Instead of Rob Lee being “put away” into an institution, his family and the community took care of him until he died.
Everyone played jokes on each other back then…and Rob Lee was no exception. You may have heard the story of Rob Lee being put up to run for constable; or maybe the story of how Norman Thomas (the mailman) “deputized” Rob Lee to go catch the men who were using dynamite to fish in the lake; or maybe you heard how when Rob Lee lived in Crab Orchard he stomped a green snake in the middle of the road and exclaimed, “That’ll teach you…don’t you know I am from Boma!”; maybe you have heard other stories but I will share with you the June bug story as I have heard it.
One day some men in the community convinced Rob Lee that Joe Sid Shanks, who owned a general store in Boma, was giving a nickel for every June bug brought in. The story goes that Rob worked all day and brought in a tote sack completely full of June bugs to Joe Sid at the store. Joe Sid said, “Rob go out back to Betty Lou and she will pay you for them.” Rob went out back and told Mary Lou that he had the June bugs Joe Sid was buying. Mary Lou said, “Awww Rob, don’t you know they are just fooling with you.” Rob Lee got mad and threw open the tote sack and the story goes that the sun was blackened out by all the June bugs he had caught.
Hope you will add to your calendar the 1 June Story Telling and Picture Sharing.