Rutha Mae Tribble

Jean Spivey, Rutha Mae Tribble, Shirley Robertson, Joyce Dodd, Larry Higgins

Top-most is my grandmother’s church picture. We called our grandmother “Big Mama,” a name given to her by one of her granddaughters. Big Mama’s birth name is Rutha Mae Venable, but she used the last name of her second husband Dewey Tribble. Big Mama was a very loving, gentle woman who once supported her four children on a single income. She assigned chores to her children so that the household could function with some degree of order while she worked.

Big Mama passed away in March of 1994 from complications resulting from asthma, bronchitis, and some sort of blood toxin. She was an active and faithful member of the First Baptist Church of Sugar Hill. There weren’t any gaming cards in Big Mama’s house. We played Fish and Old Maid but never poker. When I was a young boy Big Mama often popped Jiffy Pop popcorn when we watched Saturday-night television. TV shows I remember watching with Big Mama include Hee Haw, The Facts of Life, Diff’rent Strokes, Real People, The Dukes of Hazzard, Dallas, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and Falcon Crest. The times I shared with Big Mama are the most peaceful times of my life.

Big Mama had four children by her first husband. Pictured above (from left to right) are Jean, Big Mama, Shirley, Joyce (my mother) and Larry. Jean is the eldest of Big Mama’s gang, followed by my mother, Larry, and Shirley. Jean was married to my daddy’s brother Ralph for twenty-six years. Jean and Ralph had just one child, Linda, who has a son named Scott. Jean is now married to Jack Spivey, a heck of a nice fella. Jack's a firefighter at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Georgia. Jack worked with my dad on a lot of projects. Jack’s a fine handyman, too, so if you’re in need of one, give Jack a call at 770.945.7636.

Larry never married but was like a father to me for many years. In June of 1980 Larry bought me a brand new Honda CR80 dirt bike. That was the best motorcycle I’ve ever had. Larry built an extra-sturdy, two-hundred-pound bridge that allowed my dogs and me to cross our creek when Becky and I lived in our first home. Gardening, televised sports, and bird watching are Larry’s main interests. Larry is a really nice guy, but we have a tough time getting him to go anywhere. Larry turned sixty-three on August 10, 2002.

Shirley brought into this world (in descending-age order) Lee, Mark, and Shannon. Shirley is married to Bill Robertson. Bill’s a really nice, family-oriented fellow who’s retired from the printing business. Bill operated commercial printing presses from 1954 until a couple of years ago. Shirley met Bill when she worked for a paper company that sold paper to Bill’s printing company. Bill deals in jewelry and helped me get my wife a small but high-quality diamond to go into her engagement ring. Bill also enjoys metal detecting. I understand his Chuck E. Cheese token collection is growing quite large.

Shirley’s eldest son Lee married Kerrie and together they brought Miss Cami into this world. And on October 6, 2000 Lee and Kerrie brought into this world Jerry Lee Lawson III, who’s better known as Trey. Lee sells Allstate insurance, so if you need insurance Lee is the man to see. Mark, Shirley’s middle child, is in the cabinet-making business, has a girlfriend named Susan, and was my best friend when we were growing up. Shannon married a nice fellow who’s also named Mark. Mark owns and operates ProAtlas Pools, Spas, & Billiards. Shannon and husband Mark are parents of a sharp cookie named Hayden.

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This page was updated May 6, 2003; December 17, November 14, August 13, 2001; October 8, 2000; and March 26, 1998