Daddy worked part time at a grocery store

Monday, July 20, 2015

George Mayo’s Ring

 The last time I saw it was on my finger reaching into a giant bag of Lays potato chips.

Daddy was George Washington Mayo, as opposed to Sandy who was Jr.  Daddy wasn’t much for jewelry.  Mama wore a thin gold wedding band, but not Daddy.  All he wore was a wristwatch – and his ring with a deer engraved on it.  I think he wore it on his little finger.

I remember sitting in his lap and he would point out the deer head engraved in the gold signet ring, a deer I pretended to see.  The engraving was so worn that most of it had disappeared.  Just a few lines were left.  Lines that could have been a deer.

Daddy told me the ring had belonged to his father, also a George Washington Mayo.  I never met that grandfather as he died while Daddy was in the Army during WWII.

I loved that ring.  I don’t know why other than it seemed like a secret.  A deer hidden in a ring only Daddy and I knew about.

That’s why, when he died, I asked Mama if I could have it.  It should have gone to Sandy.  If it had, it would probably still be in the family. Sandy would never have worn that ring while eating potato chips.

But I loved it and I wore if on my own finger.  For about a week.  Until I stuck my stupid hand into that greasy bag of potato chips.

By the time I realized it was gone, it was too late.  I’d only been in charge of it for a short time.

And, even worse news:  I not only don't have the ring, neither do I have a picture of the ring.  Just my memory.

But I do have some information about my grandfather, George Washington Mayo, who owned the ring before Daddy.  And some pictures.

 This is a photo of Sarah Martha (Mattie) McGregor Mayo, who was my great grandmother and the mother of my grandfather.  He husband was also GW but he died at age thirty after fathering 4 or 5  children.  I could only find 4 names ( McGregor, Jean, Carolyn, and George) in the lists I've seen and from what I've heard from family. My grandfather was the youngest and it looks like he was born after his father died.  Mattie, on the left (I think) had a twin sister, Mary Eliza.

Yep.  There they are.  Somewhat famous back in the day.

 This is a photo of my grandfather, GW Mayo, on the right.  He was born in 1880, the year after his father died.  His father was the first George Washington Mayo.   His father's name was James J. Mayo (my grandfather's grandfather).  I think the first GW Mayo (my great grandfather) lived and died in Baker County, Georgia. I don't know what he died of. It was too late to be a civil war injury, I think.  My grandfather's brother (on the left in the picture), McGregor Mayo, died in 1946.  I remember Daddy talking about Uncle Mac.  Boy, those Mayo genes are strong.  I can actually see myself in my grandfather's face.

This was the original Aunt Madge and perhaps the missing sibling of my grandfather.  
On the back of her picture, it says she died young (in childbirth). 
My Aunt Madge must have been named after her.

This is my grandfather in front of his livery stable.  
I believe that's what he did until cars came along.  
After that, he worked for the city of Waycross as the Sanitation Director, I think.

 I guess he got used to the idea of cars.

 Not sure what he's doing but he's on the left.
Quite dapper.

 My grandfather with his first born, my father.

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