The Maynard Gang

The subject of unusual names was briefly addressed in last week’s column. It is a fertile field for Randolph County nostalgia and lore. It should be explained that the designations “uncle” and “aunt” did not always denote kinship. In previous generations, men and women past the age of 50 were so called as terms of respect. When an especially venerable person was referenced, they were often called “old uncle” or “old aunt”. I remember many examples.

Randolph County Judge and Sheriff Hosford “Hos” Brooks told me that “old Uncle Eli Morris” was his grandfather. Hos imparted Uncle Eli’s counsel as appropriate for our succeeding generations. “Save your own seed potatoes and vote a straight Democrat ticket”. One suspects that Hos would consider the current populace derelict on both their potato farming and their politics.


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