Cousin Don speaks some more......
Ms. Mona obliged me the opportunity to expand on the”Dog Trot” picture, belonging to Mr. & Mrs. George Whestley West. After a few hours' journey, we arrive at the West home on a Sunday evening, and as would be common-place of the times, we spend the night. Adjacent to the “Dog Trot” is a wonderful old porch facing one of Itawamba County’s earliest dirt roads that leads to the Dulaney Settlement. The front yard, or grounds around the home-place, is clean of grass and recently swept with a “Brush Broom” made of sagebrush or corn husk tied to a Hickory stick. Unlike today, grass in a yard was not welcome because it supplied a hiding spot for snakes and other critters. We find Ole George cooling in the evening shade on the front porch swing, one foot on the ground and one propped up on the swing’s arm, head resting on the other arm and tilted forward. His chin is tucked tight to his breast and his hands united under his chin
There are rags twisted tight and soaked in coal oil, lit, smothered out and dropped on the ground at each end of the porch. Such tactics were a common defense in a constant fight with the Mississippi mosquitoes and pesky house flies. Approaching the porch I see a big red combed rooster chasing a Dominecker hen, and they hurdle a pine log that has been stripped of its bark and thrown under the porch to capture ticks and flees. The fowl not only supplied eggs and meat for the supper table but was another form of pest control, keeping ticks and other insects picked clean from around the homestead.
George tilts his head and greets us with, “What yuns doin?”. I have a seat on an upside down lard can instead of choosing a sea-grass bottom chair or Coke crate. I notice two of the West knot-heads, Mittie Dell and Rhome, pulling a grey tick off the old sooner hound at the other end of the porch. I hear the screen door squeak just before a loud thud sounds as it slams shut. Mary inquires “have yaw et yet?”, and it provides us a chance to go in and see the West family's living room. So as Mary would probably say,”Com’ on in en Shut da door, Yer letin skitters in."
Mr. George’s wife” Mary” is Alfred’s daughter, of the original “Dulaney Brothers”: John, Alfred & Gilbert. Alfred’s wife is Rachel McNeese, believed to be the daughter of Henry & Mary McNeese, who were also early Itawamba Settlers. George is the son of John W. West & Elizabeth Robbins.