James Willis and Sarah Jane (McDonald) Tucker's Photo


James Willis and Sarah Jane (McDonald) Tucker*

W H E R E ' S   S I S T E R   I D E ?

Sitting on the left is Grandpa Tucker and to his left is Grandma Tucker. Standing behind Grandpa on the far left is Aunt "Ide," Rachel Louisa (Tucker) Patterson, their first-born and the namesake of both her maternal and paternal grandmothers. Louisa's name was clipped to "Isie" and later to "Ide" since her youngest sister pronounced d more easily than s. So, Granny McKeehan** and Aunt Sally always called her "Sister Ide." On Aunt Ide's left is my great-grandmother, Margaret Elizabeth "Bessie" (Tucker) McKeehan**. The youngest daughter Sarah Jane "Sally" (Tucker) Patterson, named in honor of her mother, is on Grandma Tucker's left.

Both Bessie and Sally had identical oil-painted portraits in convex glass frames like the black and white photo above. Granny's cherished portrait always sat on the left corner of her long, black dresser in the living room. It was inherited by her son, Uncle George McKeehan, and taken to his home in Lodi, CA. Aunt Sally's beloved portrait was inherited by her only child, Ada (Patterson) Watkins of Athens, TN. As a very young child, I remember standing on my tip toes and holding to the edge of Granny's dresser to see this old photograph better. I was so young that my chin could not reach the dresser top no matter how much I stretched.

"Who are those people in that picture, Granny?" I asked many times.

To which she always replied happily and pointed lovingly to each one, "That's my daddy, James Willis Tucker, seated in the chair, and this is my mother, Sarah Jane, sitting beside him. She was a McDonald. Behind Daddy is Sister Ide."

"But, Granny, why don't I ever see her? Why won't she come to visit you sometimes like Aunt Sally?" I once asked impetuously.

"Well, poor, old Sister Ide has passed away now. She's been gone a long time. This little one is your Aunt Sally."

"How come her hair is so yellow, Granny? I thought it was silver."

"It used to be very blonde. And, that's me standing behind Mother," she concluded.

"But, Granny, are you sure? That doesn't look like you," I questioned. To which, she chuckled softly, and her belly jiggled with laughter. She patiently repeated the identification for me many times during my childhood and until I was old enough to remember the names.

*paternal great-great-grandparents &
**paternal great-grandmother of Sandra (Nipper) Ratledge

Much appreciation is due Cousin Ada for lending me her picture so that I could have this copy made!


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This site is dedicated to the memory of my parents, Tommy and Beulah (Cline) Nipper.

Sandra Ratledge

All you kinfolks, put some mail in that old box!