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Joe Dell Parrish

Our brother Joe Dell Parrish was born March 1, 1947 in Spring Creek, Perry County, Tennessee. Joe Dell is the second child of Raymond Douglas and Bertha Mae Howell Parrish.

Mom told a story about when Joe Dell was a baby just big enough to crawl around on the floor. She showed me where they lived beside the Tennessee River up on a little hill. Mom said they lived in old houses you could throw a cat through the cracks in the wall. She had a way with describing things:) The owner of the old house had fenced it in and put an old pig in the yard and it had babies. Mom said that old pig was mean. One day she was sweeping the floor and Joe Dell was crawling around on the floor in one of those long baby gowns. She turned her back for just a minute and when she turned back around the old pig had come to the door and picked Joe Dell up by his gown. Mom said she was frantic because she was scared if she tried to get Joe Dell away from the pig it would hurt him but she was also afraid the pig was planning to have Joe Dell for dinner. She followed closely behind the pig as it traveled down the hillside with Joe Dell swinging from her mouth. The pig laid Joe Dell close to it's own babies and Mom grabbed him and ran.

Bonnie, Brenda & Joe Dell-1953

Joe Dell was Mom's mischievous child. When he was a baby he fell out of a high chair and cut his tongue and had to have stitches. Mom said he managed to pull the stitches out in a few days. When he was big enough to walk Mom was washing clothes in a big kettle outside over an open fire. Joe Dell was walking around with a little wagon picking up small wood for her fire. He climbed under a wood pile because he saw some wood chips through an opening and the stack of wood fell in on him. By the time they removed the wood from his body he was blue and not breathing. Dear Brother you were a tough little fellow.

Joe Dell & Odell holding Barbara - May 1956

Joe Dell and Odell were always very close. Most people thought they were twins because of their names. I tagged after my older siblings and they were quiet nice about it. I remember Joe Dell had a tree house when I was very small, before I started school. If he headed toward that tree I remember running like crazy to catch up with him. He would help me up the tree and I can not remember him ever brushing me off and telling me I couldn't go. If he did, it must have been in a kind manner because I don't remember it.

Daddy & Joe Dell-September 1957

Joe Dell worked with Daddy from the time he was very young. He would bring home the animals that lost their home from the tree's being cut. We often had green snakes, squirrels or raccoons. He had a couple of raccoons once that loved candy. They were so funny. But Mom was not too thrilled with them because they always managed to find a way through the screen door in the kitchen and boy they could cause a mad mama!

Joe Dell was very good to me when I was a child. I can remember him carrying me on his back or building a fire to keep us warm as we waited on the school bus. Joe Dell let me ride his cotton sack and sleep while he pulled along the cotton sack and his sister. I have often thought about this. He was only about twelve or thirteen but he let me sleep right along. He looked after me and kept me safe.

Thanks Joe Dell for loving me!

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 Barbara J. Parrish Rodgers

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