best reasons I can think of for remembering Uncle Jay Ransom is
that he attained an advanced age few of us will ever live to see.
As far back as I can remember, he was always a friendly, fun guy
to be around, jovial and kindhearted. He never uttered a discouraging
word; was always upbeat and positive with great wit and a very pleasing
sense of humor. From what I have read recently, experts agree that
people with his type of personality stand a great chance of living
longer and enjoying life all the while. Uncle Jay was very fond
of frequently getting in the kitchen and baking a cake. He often
spoke of joining the Centurion Club and we were all cheering him
on. Sadly, he never made it. Everyone wishes he had.
Jay Arthur Ransom was born October 25, 1890, and died at the age
of 96 on November 10, 1986. He spent most of his adult years living
in Cass County with his latter long years in Atlanta. I have visited
Uncle Jay many times after he retired on Tipton Street just off
Louise St. (the Bivins highway). He always seemed to project an
abiding interest in me and my family.
recollection of "Uncle Jay" was when I was about 6 or 7 years old.
He and "Auntie", also known as Aunt Leona, (Dora Leona Maxie Ransom)
herself attaining 88 years of age, lived on the "old" Maxie place.
It was about 2 to 2 1/2 miles north of McLeod
just off of the deep rutted sand road known as the Old McLeod -
Atlanta Road. Their house was only about two hundred yards up the
hill from Moss's Millpond. The
front of their little gray and green trimmed frame house faced east
and had some very large sweetgum trees standing out front near the
dirt road. "Auntie" was my father's oldest sister. She and Uncle
Jay had met and married in Little Rock, AR., during the time "Auntie"
lived there and later they moved to the Maxie place near McLeod.
They eventually left the rural life and moved to Atlanta.
As I recall, while on the Maxie place they lived with their one
and only son, my first cousin, Jay David Ransom. Jay David was born
March 18, 1943 and died in Atlanta a few days short of his 60th
birthday, on March 10, 2003, ironically the same day on which my
father died in 1981. Probably many Atlanta Rabbit Alumni can remember
going to school with Jay David. And after graduating from The University
of Texas, he practiced law in Atlanta and was also known locally
simply as Jay Ransom. He was the Atlanta City Judge for a time.
His parents named him after his father, "Jay", as well as his grandfather,
"David" Alfred Maxie. I was a little more than four years older
than Jay David. I can remember he and I playing, up until his family
moved to Atlanta, along with our several other cousins living there
on the Maxie place. We ran about the place playing kid games like
"hide and seek", "cowboys and Indians", "king of the mountain",
etc., etc., in some old cars and along the dirt road embankment.
The old sandbag swing hanging from one of the giant sweetgum trees
was a most enjoyable place to spend hours and hours, just a swinging.
Often, our families would visit and work together on various family
projects our grandfather might have going on. Like, for a while
he had a mattress-refurbishing machine, where he would rebuild old
mattresses for people.
My Uncle Jay
worked for many years as a traveling salesman. He worked out of
an old panel truck and would peddle his merchandise to various country
stores and house to house, as well as to individuals. He worked
mostly in northeast Texas and northwest Louisiana. He sold a variety
of small merchandise items and if he didn't have what you wanted,
he could get it for you, and gladly so. He was a people person and
thus a good salesman. Uncle Jay once told me, "A person may not
remember your name. They may not remember your face. But they will
forever remember how you treated them." Throughout life, I have
found that "word of wisdom" to be ever so true. He kept a small
storage garage for his merchandise. It was located about a mile
east of McLeod near a sharp curve in the road. It seems like we
called it Petty's Curve. I can remember going there with him on
occasion to pickup merchandise to stock his truck.
Now some Atlanta Rabbit Alumni from the late 1950's and the 1960's
might best remember "Auntie" Leona Ransom. Her job back then was
Food Service Manager at the high school cafeteria. Some of the students
worked for her. She fed a multitude of students and faculty, while
really enjoying her work there. She made many friends around Atlanta
and the AHS.
Uncle Jay Ransom, in my humble opinion, was a man of courage, a
patriarch and a goodwill ambassador. We all wished he had lived
to be a hundred. I will forever miss him and "Auntie". They are
both buried at the Watson Cemetery, near Huffines,
along with several other of my family ancestors dating back to the