May, 2011


 

“Di, please don’t say that again.”

“What?”

“You know – about the —– fairies,” said my older sister Patricia, all of a sudden speaking in a small voice.

“What do ya mean?”

“You know – about seeing them and all.”

“I did see them. You did too.”

“That was when we were kids. And —— I never saw them.”

“What? You never saw them?”

“I said I saw them to make you feel better. You were sick in bed for so long with rheumatic fever. But, I never saw fairies in our backyard,” explained Patricia.

“What! I saw them! I promise you – I saw them!”

“Di! We are grown women now. I know sometimes it’s fun to make believe. But, you see fairies at your home in Forsyth County; you see them in London, and now you see them in Buckhead.”

“I do see them. They’re beautiful little creatures! The queen fairy wears an effervescent gown that shines like jewels. The king fairy can’t be missed with his regal ruby mantle. They wear brilliant reds and greens – sometimes blues. I tell you, Pat, I see them and they are real!”

“Shhhh, somebody will hear you,” Pat whispered as she looked about Swan Coach House Tea Room.

“I can’t believe you,” I said in a low voice. “All that time, and you were pretending. What about the wagon? Remember the wagon? You made sand castles in it for the fairies! And rolled it around the yard; if they didn’t visit the sand castle near Daddy’s vegetable garden and strawberries, you’d roll it to another spot.” I couldn’t help but smile at the mere thought of their teensy tiny little wings fluttering, “They really loved the spot against the house near Mama’s Canna Lilies. They always came to visit Mama’s…”

“Diane, I’m the one who knocked over the acorn chairs and made little feet prints in the sand castle. I wanted to entertain you while you were so sick. I hated it you couldn’t come out and play. I knew you could look out your bedroom window and watch the wagon. I just wanted to make you happy, so I —– fibbed a little. That’s all. I was being a good sister. That was a lonnng time ago. So, let’s not talk about the —– you know.”

“Fairies!” I said aloud.

I don’t know what had gotten into my sister, Patricia. All these years we have exchanged stories about the exquisite little backyard Tucker fairies. And today she was confessing to never have seen them at all! Maybe it was the long walk through the Swan House. Maybe her memory had been affected by trying to keep up with the count of swans that can be seen throughout the mansion. Thousands of swans can be found in the rugs, linen, drapery, china, silver, walls, gardens; the true swan count is a mystery. And now sitting here in the Swan Coach House, perhaps the meringue swan she was eating pushed her over the edge.

Perhaps the heat she endured walking in the sun through the vegetable garden at the Tullie Smith House had gotten to her. Or maybe she is just embarrassed – to speak of the sweet little fairies here in public. I can’t imagine what it could be. It’s not like Sister to fib about anything.

And I did see the fairies in my backyard home on Morgan Road in Tucker. I saw them. And when I moved to Forsyth County, I see the little things in my yard about the flowers, but I’ve never been able to capture their likeness on a camera. And yes, I saw them in London at Kensington Palace.

Kensington Palace

James, my son accompanied me to London. No, he was not a witness.

London, England was the last place I expected to see the little fairies, but there they were. After shopping at Harrods, James took off for the British Museum while I took a cab to visit Princess Diana’s home, Kensington Palace. After the tour, I had time to myself. I had enough of running here and there on that octopus of a subway. I was sitting there thinking; the cab was much nicer. I’ll speak to James about taking cabs and ditching that subway.

James studying London subway.

 

 

 

 

 

And I thought – wouldn’t it be nice to sit on this bench at Kensington Palace and just people watch; pretend to have all the time in the world in London. I rested for a while and then I saw something. Could it be?

Surely not. I watched and listened. Yes, I was right! Backyard Tucker fairies here in London. I grabbed my camera to take a picture. But the fairies were again too quick for me. They darted in and out of the formal rows of hedges. As hard as I tried, I could not keep up with them. The little magical creatures seemed to disappear into thin air as soon as the camera clicked.

I understand they do not like to have their “beauty struck.” Of course, Sister told me that. What could I believe about that now? Again, no photo of the fairies. Oh, how I longed for proof that the beautiful little creatures really do visit with me!

 

But my luck was about to change – a few years later. Again, when I least expected it.

The Hummingbird House Bed and Breakfast

The Hummingbird House Bed and Breakfast

I drove down to Athens Georgia, home of the Georgia Bulldogs. I enjoyed the shops and a sidewalk cafe lunch with my cousins, Carol and Linda. After saying goodbye to them, I drove ten miles or so out to the countryside. There I saw a beautiful antebellum Greek Revival Bed and Breakfast nestled in acreage in the middle of the old historic town of Lexington. The charm of the columns and beauty of the yard pulled me in. I parked my car and took a stroll about the grounds. I felt right at home, especially when I met the innkeeper, a homegrown Tucker gal, Linda Parish. After tea and some yummy strawberry scones, I went for a walk alone.

As I walked about the grounds, I saw a flutter out of the corner of my eye. Could it be?

 

Yes, it could, backyard Tucker fairies down here in Lexington. I got my camera ready and was as still as could be. This time I tried to draw them to me. And then it happened. One of the fairies flew about my head and almost posed for the camera. Indeed! And then another appeared. The little fairies seemed to be at home here. Perhaps this is the real home of the backyard Tucker fairy. Right here at the Hummingbird House Bed and Breakfast in the sleepy little quaint town of Lexington, Georgia!

Can you guess what the Backyard Tucker Fairy is? If you guessed the hummingbird, you would be correct!

 

Correction: After Sister read this story she called me and said, “Di, now the world thinks I don’t believe in fairies. I do believe in fairies, I just didn’t see the backyard Tucker fairies.”

Horace Lawton Story sat on his front porch watching his grandchildren play with a puppy. Though he was a giant of a man, six foot – five inches tall, he had a gentle soul, and always interested in the well being of his grandchildren. He was lovingly known as PaPa Story.

Today, in this story, he had nine grandchildren with seventeen more to come. PaPa had a problem with asthma and had given up farming on Old Norcross and the Britt Road area. He now lived in a smaller home on Adrian Street.

“Frances, come over here for a minute. I want to talk to you,” said PaPa Story. “Here, sit here on my lap,” he said as he picked her up. “You can go back and play with the puppy in just a minute.”

“Okay, PaPa,” answered little Frances Sexton.

“You know, Princess, school is very important. At school you can learn how to read and write, learn arithmetic. And do enjoyable things like reading maps. I can sit right here on my front porch in this rocking chair on Adrian in Tucker Georgia, and study places all over the world – see how to get from here to there. That’s what I can do, because I can read. Look here, see this map? I’ve been studying it all day.”

“Yes, PaPa, I see it.”

“Look there, that’s Great Britain – London. The King and Queen of England live there,” PaPa Story said as he pointed to the map.

Horace Lawton Story’s other grandchildren took note of the conversation. They stopped petting the puppy, and focused on PaPa’s rocking chair. They surrounded him as they jockeyed for a position to eye the map.

“Real kings and queens live there, don’t they PaPa?” asked Ann.

“Yes they do,” answered PaPa Story.

“And real princesses?” asked Elizabeth.

“Yes, real princesses, Pheobe,” said PaPa Story.

“One day I’m gonna fly over there on a plane,” added Wayne.

“How far away is London PaPa?” asked Elizabeth.

“Well let’s see, here with this scale, we can figure it out,” said PaPa, happy to have stirred the intellectual interests of his grandchildren. “Pheobe, if I figured it right, about forty-two hundred miles.”

“Yes, you’d have to go by plane for sure!” added Junior.

“You could go by boat,” suggested Ted as he pointed to the Atlantic Ocean.

“But it’d take a long time!” said Gene, “Forty two hundred miles!”

“Yeah, that’d be a lonnng boatride!” said Ted.

“I’d go by plane,” said Junior, “even then, it would take a long time to get there.”

“A plane is the only good way to go – now a days,” said Wayne.

“You’re exactly right, boys,” laughed Papa, “that’s a long way from Tucker Georgia!”

Wayne, Gene, Horace, Junior, “Uncle Tom” Story, Rachel, Ann, Frances, Elizabeth and Ted

“And see there,” PaPa pointed north of England, “there’s Scotland. That’s where the Story’s are from. If you’re a Story – you’re Scottish!”

“But my last name is Graves,” said Junior.

“Mine too,” said Ted.

“And my last name is Sexton,” added Frances.

“No matter, your mothers are Storys – that make you Scottish! Any grandchild of mine is Scottish! Don’t ever forget that. Know who you are. The Storys are from Umberland, Scotland. Your grandmother’s family was from Bentleyville, England.”

“Did you meet her there?” asked little Rachel.

“No, Rachel, I met your grandmother while we were in school in Lincolnton Georgia. Nancy Elizabeth Bentley and I were childhood sweethearts. Our families had long left Scotland and England when we met. Your grandmother was a blue blood…”

Nancy Elizabeth Bentley 1886 – 1938

“Is that why you call us your blue bird specials?” asked Ann.

PaPa laughed and said, “Something like that, Blondie.”

“Frances, do you see how important it is to go to school? You can learn about other countries and figure out how many miles away they are. You may want to travel one day…”

“I can read, but I don’t know how to read maps yet,” answered Frances.

“Well, a good education is important.”
“I know PaPa…”

PaPa Story looked about at his other grandchildren and said, “Why don’t you all go play with that puppy. He’s lonesome.” As they scattered about, he focused on Frances.

“Well, what’s this I hear about you crying every morning when you go to school?”

I can’t help it PaPa…”

“Are you afraid of someone at school?”

“No sir, I’m not afraid.”

“Is your teacher too hard on you?”

“No PaPa.”

“Is your school work too hard?”

“No PaPa.”

Horace Lawton Story 1886 – 1963

“Well, Princess, you need to get up every morning, and be happy to go to school.”

“I know PaPa, but I can’t help it…”

Horace left the puppy with the other children and walked back over to Frances and PaPa Story. PaPa acknowledged his grandson.

“Horace, what’s this I hear about Frances crying all the way to school? I understand you walk with her to her classroom.”

“Yes sir, PaPa, I don’t mind. I just hate to leave her crying.”

“Horace Story, you’re a good man!” Papa Story encouraged his grandchildren to look out for each other, and was proud of Horace. Then PaPa focused on his little princess again, “Frances, you must tell me why you cry every day. Is it because y’ Uncle Tom gives you  notes to give to Helen Voyles? And maybe you don’t want to do that?”

“No sir, PaPa, I like to take notes to Helen from Uncle Tom. Helen is very nice and I like her. I look forward to seeing her. She’s very pretty and she always gives me a hug. Her friends are nice to me too.”

“Well, Frances, do some of the older kids tease you? Tucker School can be a big place for such a little girl.”

My parents courting days, Tom Story and Helen Voyles

“No, PaPa. I like all the people at school.”

“What do the notes say? You know, the notes y’ Uncle Tom sends to Helen…”

“I don’t know, PaPa. The notes are addressed to Helen and not me. I would never read someone else’s mail.”

“I see. You have integrity. That’s honorable.” PaPa thought hard for a moment, “Well, do you do your homework?”

“Yes, PaPa, I do all of my homework. I’m a good student. I make good grades.”

“Well, my goodness! Why in the world do you cry every morning? From what I understand, you cry from your house to the bus stop, you cry all the way to school on the bus, and you cry all the way from the bus to your classroom. Princess, tell PaPa why you cry.”

“I can’t help it PaPa,” said Frances, “I don’t want to cry…”

Tears ran down Frances’ cheeks just thinking about it.

“It’s okay Frances,” said Horace as he quickly jumped to his cousin’s rescue, “Please don’t cry, Frances. I’ll walk you to your class every day. It’ll be okay, PaPa, I don’t mind. I can take care of Frances.”

PaPa hugged Frances and said, “I don’t want Frances to cry either. But for the life of me, Princess, I cannot figure out why you cry going to school every day…”

“B-Because,” snubbed little Frances, “I – I – I don’t want to leave —– Rachel. I don’t want my sister to be left alone.”

“She’s not alone. Miriam — your mother — is with her. Princess, is that why you cry every day? You don’t want to leave your little sister?”

“Yes, Papa, it breaks my heart to leave Rachel. She has no one to play with…”

PaPa hugged Frances and gave her a kiss on the head, “Frances, you just may very well be – a real princess!”

 

Surname STORY Notes:

The surname STORY is an Old Norse “Stori” word which means “big” or “strong,” and “water.” The earliest known Norse settlement in which the first Storys can be found, took place in the 9th Century north of Carlisle near the Solway Firth in Scotland.

Later the Storys can be traced to Northern England, particularly Yorkshire.  The Storys were a sect of the Scottish Clan Ogilvy. The Storys own coat of arms was given to them by Richard II of England.

A bloody feud in the 16th Century, forced the Storys to migrate from Carlisle to Northumberland, “Umberland,” as Papa Story always stated. That region is in north west England on the Scottish border and is now known as the Lake District.

Well known “Peter Rabbit” author, Helen Beatrix Potter, purchased the Lake District little by little, with the sale of her books. Christmas day 1943, Beatrix Potter’s husband, Willie Heelis handed a container filled with his wife’s ashes to her lead shepherd, Tom Story. Tom Story later spoke of that day. “I’d promise her I’d scatter them. Nobody else knows of the place, not even her husband. We’d discussed it several times. I spoke to her the night before she died. So I got up from my dinner and went off to scatter them in a place she’d chosen.”

 

The Clan

The Storys were a sept of the Ogilvy Clan. The Ogilvy motto is “A Fin” which means “To the End.”

Early 15th Century, Sir Patrick Ogilvy commanded a Scottish regiment fighting with Joan of Arc.

Lord Ogilvy joined the 1715 Jacobite Uprising and raised a regiment in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart) in 1745.

Clementine Ogilvy Hozier, wife of Winston Churhill, was a descendant through the female line of David, 6th Earl of Ogilvy.

The present Chief served as Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth II. Angus Ogilvy, the Chief’s brother, married Princess Alexandra.

 

STORYS:

Edward Story died 1503, English Bishop

John Story 1504 – 1571, English martyr

Elias Story came to America on the Mayflower in the care of Edward Winslow

Joseph Story 1779 – 1845, American lawyer and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (1811 – 1845) nominated by James Madison

Liz Story born 1956, American pianist

Ralph Story 1920 – 2006, American radio and television personality

Riz Story born 1973, American composer

Samuel Story 1752 – 1811, Dutch naval commander

Thomas Waldo Story 1855 – 1915, English/American sculptor

Thomas Story 1670 – 1742 English Quaker convert and close friend of William Penn, 1706 elected mayor of Philadelphia, but paid 20 pound fine for declining to serve, preached 16 years in America, returned to Great Britain 1714

George Warter Story 1664 – 1721 Older brother of Thomas Story the Quaker, served as chaplain to William of Orange and the Countess-dowager of Carlisle at Castle Howard, England, grew up in Justice Town near Carlisle, Cumberland

Tim Story, film director

Walter Scott Story 1879 – 1955, American author

William Wetmore Story 1819 – 1895, American sculptor

Horace Lawton Story, Sr. 1886 – 1963, Awesome grandfather

 

Historical information came from Wikipedia and Family