Monday, June 21, 2010

A big bowl of vanilla ice cream, or a big bowl of fluffy butter?

Grandpa Mose (Mozell) Fowler was a simple man, who could not  eat a bowl of vanilla ice cream without a couple slices of bread. He said the slightly yellowish ice cream looked more like a bowl of butter than ice cream. Big Mama (Leola) could not convince his otherwise. That was the joke as told by Big Mama and his children. 

Leola (Leora) churned her own butter, and when she finished it was light and fluffy with a sweetish flavor. Maybe that's why grandpa thought the ice cream was a bowl of butter. It was not cold like ice cream because Leora had an ice box, which was no where close to a refrigerator. Basically grandpa was a country raised meat and potatoes man.

Mose Fowler and Leora Powell got married when they were both very young, October 10, 1914. She was 14 and he was around 18. A genealogy search reveals that he was born around December 25, 1894 in Bastrop, Texas, where he and Leora met. He registered with the draft board in 1917. I do not know his parents names or where they were born. We never met them. I have no idea if they lived in Austin, and did not talk about them. When Big Mama (Leora) was living I did not ask her, not realizing the information would come in handy when I began researching our family genealogy.

Mose, a laborer, held a variety of jobs to support his family. In 1947 he was employed by the City of Austin, probably as a janitor. A couple of years later he and Leora  separated. Their children were all grown. They divorced in 1948.  On September 23, 1949 Mose married Ida Mae Thompson, mother of two sons. She was a short dark skinned woman, who stuttered when she talked. No matter her speech impediment, she was proud to stutter that she was "Mrs. Fowler." My sister Marie and I liked her because she, along with grandpa, gave us money on weekends.

In late 1965 Mose fell ill, at which time he moved in with his daughter Gertrude and her family for a short time. He was bedridden Gertrude had him moved to a nursing home, where died July 15, 1966.

Mose (Mozell) Fowler left behind to mourn his death one daughter Gertrude Fowler Smith and son Johnny Mose Fowler, both of Austin, sons Mike Fowler of Los Angeles, Raymond Fowler, Sr. of Ohio, several grandchildren, friends and other relatives. He is preceded in death by a daughter Imogene Fowler Gray and one son Isiah (Israel) Fowler of Washington, D.C.

Funeral service was held at King Tears Mortuary Chapel at 2pm. Internment was at Fairview Cemetery in Bastrop, Texas.

Mose's first wife, Leora Clark. She was 14 when 
they married; he was 18. They had six children.

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