Especially the gravy
Fred’s wife Emma shared many of her memories with us before she died in 2001 at age 94. She was a little embarrassed while sharing the following one.
When one of the Atkinson women gave birth to a child, one of the others always came to stay and help take care of the house and the child until the new mother was back on her feet. Very early on the morning that Fred’s sister, Nora, went into labor, her husband, Gube Godfrey, came to get Emma to help out for a few days.
Dr. Teal Martin from Cowpens, who had come to deliver the baby, was with Nora awaiting the baby’s arrival. Gube asked Emma to go ahead and make a good, big breakfast so it would be ready whenever the Doctor could eat, since the baby might come soon, or the wait could be a long one. Emma said she fixed country ham, eggs, a big pan of homemade biscuits, and a great big bowl of milk gravy.
The doctor was not ready to leave Nora when breakfast was ready, so Emma and Gube ate and then went in to see Nora for a minute. When Emma returned to the kitchen to put the food into the warmer until the doctor was ready to eat, she found two of the Godfrey’s cats up on the table with their heads over the bowl, happily lapping up gravy as fast as they could.
Emma quickly shoved them off the table and shooed them out the door, but had no time to make more gravy before Gube ushered the Doctor into the kitchen, urging him to eat his fill. Emma didn’t know whether or not to say something, not wanting to embarrass Gube, but not wanting to allow the doctor to eat after the cats. As she stood tongue-tied, trying to decide what to do, the Doctor broke open several biscuits on his plate and covered them with gravy. He really bragged on Emma’s breakfast, and said the gravy was especially good.