Sunday, May 11, 2008


A Tinney Chapel Mothers Day Reflection 2008

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A Tinney Chapel Reflection on Mothers Day, 2008

DOLLY TINNEY WAS BAPTIZED AT TINNEY CHAPEL in 1928 when she was 15 years old, with no idea that she would only live another eight years, during which she would become the wife of Dan Boyd with whom she would have three children: Nelda June, Joe Dan & Tommy Eugene.

JOE DAN WAS HER SECOND CHILD: He was born in 1934 after the death of her firstborn, Nelda June, who had died in infancy without ever having been photographed. Dolly, herself, had first been photographed in a family group at age four in 1917. She must have been heartbroken that Depression-era economic pressures had played at least a partial role in the absence of a single picture of her daughter.

IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN TO ANY MORE OF DOLLY’S CHILDREN, she must have resolved, because Joe Dan was first photographed as an infant in his cradle. Then, somehow, Dolly found the moxie and the money for two studio sessions, during which she posed with Joe Dan for professional photos, before her death in 1936 as the Depression still raged.

A BABY BOOK RECORDS FAITHFUL ENTRIES by Dolly on the details of Joe Dan’s birth, his first words, and other highlights of the first two years in the life of her eldest son. Such entries cease after Dolly’s death, when Joe Dan was two years old, although three surrogate mothers immediately assumed the responsibility of raising him.

ALL THREE WERE CLOSE KIN: Grandma Tinney (Mamaw), Great-Aunt Laura (Yar) and Aunt Maude (Bush), who had also professed her faith and was baptized at Tinney Chapel in 1928 along with her sister, Dolly. The late Lee Crow mentioned some local talk, after Dolly’s death, about the possible necessity of sending Joe Dan & Tommy to an orphanage, but that Grandma Tinney would not hear of it.

NO ONE COULD EVER BE AN ORPHAN with three loving mothers, all living under the same roof of the Old Tinney Home Place, all three motivated by the example set by Dolly’s short but successful stint as a mother. The Lord must have had a hand in all of that, especially Joe Dan’s 1953 decision to walk down the aisle, and be baptized in the original 1900-era Tinney Chapel sanctuary building where both Maude & Dolly had received the baptismal sacrament.

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