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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Alcaraz

Willa (Billie) Gregory - Sundial Assisted Living

Updated: Dec 2, 2019

Willa (Billie) Gregory - Sundial Assisted Living in Redding, California.

Willa (Billie) Gregory - The Torn Bedspread

"When you are raising your family; and I couldn’t work at that time because I couldn’t drive. I had just bought new bedspreads for their bed, and I was so proud of them. My niece, I kept her for a little while that day, and all three of them were in the bedroom playing, and they had a little toy tool set with a little hammer. She came down on the bedspread with that hammer, and put a 3-corner tear in that bedspread. She felt bad about it. Ron was the middle one. My older son and my niece, they decided to blame the little brother. I was so upset because you know, you didn’t have money every day to buy new bedspreads for two beds. I made Ron come in and sit on a chair for punishment because he tore my bedspread. He kept crying, “I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it.”

That went on for a long time. And you know, we know our kids, and I thought, “That isn’t like Ron to keep saying he didn’t do something when he had done it.” He was stubborn and he would not give up that he had done that. Finally I said, “Ok Jim and Susan come in here. Ron is saying that he did not do that.” They told me the truth then. I had already spanked him for doing it. Oh, I felt like I was so bad. They have never let me forget that. Susan said “Aunt Billie, you shouldn’t have punished us because it was an accident.” I said, “Yes but we didn’t have money to buy new ones.” Kids are so funny."

Willa (Billie) Gregory - Beautiful Childhood

"Both my parents were farmers in Arkansas. When the depression hit, we came to California. One of my favorite memories, (I am the baby of 7). My sisters were all married and away from home before I was born. There were three boys between us.

The one time I remember – you know boys are always up and gone - and I grew up so much by myself. Every evening Mother would get us all around, and we had a fireplace. She would pop a great big pan of popcorn and we would sit around the fireplace and she would read to all of us. We all sat and listened to her read. Sometimes she would read from the bible other times it would be just good books. She was very much on reading. I always had books to read! Even though we lived 7 miles out of town, I know they would always take me into the library and made sure I always had good books.

Mother was very – well my son found where she had been registered as Cherokee Indian. She was either a quarter or a half. She was very quiet – very gentle. My Dad was a raging ranting Irishman! (laughs). She never got upset. Dad would get upset. Because he couldn’t find something. Mom would say, very quiet, “Now Jim, if you will just get out of the way, I will find it for you.” And he would get out of the way and she would find it. I had a very, very happy childhood. She would jump rope with me. We would play jacks together. She was a neat mother."

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