The Cliffside Way
During one of our Remember Cliffside Days, I wandered about, looking at the various crafts for sale, listening to the music, and talking with people I met. One of those with whom I talked that day was Louise Wall Price. During our conversation, Louise told me that while she was growing up, Ruby Mintz had been their neighbor and a good friend of her mother’s. After telling me what a wonderful neighbor Ruby had been to everyone, she shared a memory about her that was rather sad.
When her parents separated, Louise’s mother, Era Rollins Wall, took Louise and her sister Geraldine to live with Era’s parents, Lawson Delphaw and Carrie Davis Rollins in Cliffside. Louise recalled that her grandfather, who was called L.D., was an outgoing, generous man. He and his wife took full advantage of their access to the cannery that operated in Cliffside each summer. When he learned of any family that needed help during an illness, or who had fallen on hard times, he would fill a bag with canned food and go knocking on the door of whoever was in need. Carrie was a good woman, although not as outgoing as was her husband.
They lived on the Shelby Highway, where Ruby Mintz was both a neighbor and a good friend of Era. In Addition, she was a very good cook who was especially renowned for her delicious apple pies. Whenever she baked one, she generously shared slices of it with her neighbors.
L.D.’s and Carrie’s children and grandchildren grew up, married, and left home as they are prone to do. L.D. and Carrie were living on Cliffside Street, and he, at age 68, was working in the mill as a run picker when Carrie died as the result of a cerebral hemorrhage on September 21, 1951.
After losing his wife, it is unlikely that L.D. had many home cooked meals or home baked pies. However, he had been treated to a slice of Ruby’s pie on several occasions and remembered how much he had enjoyed it.
Around the first of November of 1952. L.D. asked Mrs. Mintz if she would consider making a whole pie for him and one for herself if he brought her enough apples for the two pies. She agreed, so he brought the apples, and she baked the pies.
When he walked past her house on his daily trek to Mills Drug store on the morning of November 7, 1952, Ruby told him that his pie was ready and he could pick it up on his way back home. Alas, he never got to eat the pie he was looking forward to. He suffered a heart attack while at the drug store, and died there.
Era was visiting with Louise and her husband, John Price, who were then living in Maryland, when they learned of his death, and they all returned to Cliffside for the funeral. Neighbors took food in for the mourners, as was usually done when there was a death in the family.
Along with other food Mrs. Mintz took for his family to share were two apple pies, both hers and L.D.’s.
Both Ruby and L.D. embodied the traits so often acknowledged by anyone talking about the people of Cliffside. Their spirit of generosity, and their sharing and caring for each other in times of trouble are almost always mentioned when one is remembering Cliffside.
I’m sure others may have happier memories of Ruby and of L.D. to share with their families, but it is nice to know that people considered her a good friend, a kind and wonderful neighbor and a really good cook, and him a generous man in time of trouble.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of the Cliffside Chimes, official newsletter of the Cliffside Historical Society.