Last week I told the story of barber Lamar Mock, who groomed many of Effingham’s people in his barber shop. Inspired by his brother-in-law, Audley Bazemore (not Mock as stated last week), he served the people well.
Fortunately for him, he had Wednesday afternoon off (this was a community custom for Springfield’s businesses) and then later all day on Wednesday. His son Cornell came into town with his dad early each morning with his bicycle in the vehicle, then drove over to school. In the afternoons, Mr. Lamar allowed Cornell when he was about 10 or 11 years old to go home on his bicycle and set some trot lines on the creek by himself. Between the catch on the lines and the weekly Wednesday fishing trips, there was often fish for supper on Wednesday night.
Wednesday night became a family dinner night, even after the three children grew up. Cornell’s family, Linda Gail’s Family and Kathryn’s family when she was in town (she lives out of state) all gathered on Wednesday evening at the Mocks’ farmhouse for supper. All the generations shared a bountiful meal together enjoying conversation and laughter. They often had fish but in season they ate deer steak or a roast if they had recently butchered a cow. Trimmings always included rice and vegetables from the garden like peas, squash, beans and creamed corn.
Mrs. Carrie was one of the last to milk a cow and had fresh cream and butter. Her biscuits and multi thin layered chocolate frosted cakes were a few famous items from the kitchen. Plenty of iced tea accompanied the meals. Farm fresh eggs rounded out her breakfast table in the mornings. These weekly family meals continued until Mr. Lamar got sick and she was no longer able to have the large family over on Wednesdays.
Mr. Mock looked forward to the meals brought to town while he worked. The horse Maude was at the helm, with Mrs. Carrie and or the children driving the buggy. Friends of the Mock children, such as Linda Snooks Stansfield, recall riding Maude when they visited the Mock home.
This was a Christian family. Mr. Lamar was a member of Springfield Baptist and Mrs. Carrie went to Springfield Methodist Church. The children mostly went with their mother to church. They took part in community activities and were reared to be successful, good citizens.
The story last week brought out comments from former customers at the barber shop. Shirley Wheeler (now Hogan) lived with her grandmother Sadie Little in Springfield. Young Shirley had decided to grow her hair out. She had long bangs that were supposed to be pinned back with barrettes. One morning in a hurry to go to Snooks Grocery Store for something for Sadie, Shirley went by the barber shop, hair down in her eyes, and Lamar called her inside and proceeded to cut those bangs. He told her she would be cross-eyed if her hair hung down in her eyes like that. She left disappointed. He did not charge to cut bangs.
The Mocks’ granddaughter Susie lovingly restored the farmhouse of her grandparents and it is used for guests, gatherings and events. She affectionately named the refurbished home “Mema’s Place.” No doubt Mr. Lamar had domain of Mock’s Barber Shop bearing his name and Mrs. Carrie’s duties kept the home fires burning at the farm tending to her family while he worked.
Photos provided by Cornell Mock. This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact her at 754-6681 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.