Y’all, my Pepaw Herndon was one of the very cutest men to ever live on planet earth. He was short and stout! He knew just how to keep my Granny grounded and was the best teammate a wife had ever had. When he got tickled with laughter, his whole body would shake and he would have a huge grin; but most of the time he was chewing tobacco, so he had to hold his lips tight till he could get over to his spittoon. He expected lunch at noon sharp and worked so hard for all his family as long as he could. He played a mean game of rook. He could catch anyone’s basket mistakes from across the room; however, he only wove one in his lifetime.
Pepaw carried a huge set of keys so we could always hear him coming. He wore a lot of plaid shirts with a pocket on them, and in that pocket was the notebook that held all the answers :). It was normally a Southern States notebook, so it had a white cover with red lettering. Anytime my Dad and Uncle were discussing how much farm crop was on a piece of land, or when it went into the ground, or how old a calf was, or any details like that, Pepaw would quickly reach in his shirt pocket, grab his notebook and start thumbing for the answers! If my memory serves me right, it was rare that he could find what he was looking for, but he knew it was there somewhere.
Pepaw’s pocket held the answers, even if we couldn’t find them. I can see this scene playing out as plain as day. He was such a wonderful man. He was patient with me, and kind, and took great delight in his family. It would boost my confidence every time he would say “You’re as handy as a pocket on a shirt” because I knew how special his shirt pockets were.
Pepaw died January 12, 2004. That’s the first close family member I had lost as an adult. It was hard and so painful; one of those situations where you don’t know how you could ever live on without that constant. That was my first experience at learning to find a new normal and keep living. The Christmas of 2004, my aunt made all the grandkids teddy bears and they each had a vest and collar made from Pepaw’s shirts. My girls love that bear to this day. Pepaw and his handy pocket lives on.
I hope you enjoy Pepaw’s Pocket Basket. I know he would sure get a kick out of this basket. I can see his grin now.
Finished Basket Dimensions:
Woven portion of the pocket is about 8” deep from top to bottom. Left to right at the top of the pocket is 12” across
Left to right at the bottom of the pocket is 3” across