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Emmett David Pickett

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Herbert Pickett, Jr. writing:

      Toward the end of the 20's, Dad renewed a relationship with a cousin, the son of his Uncle Levi Pickett, Emmett David Pickett. He was 13 years older than Dad, but since Grandpa was the youngest of the family, all of his first cousins were older. Emmett had a hard scrabble farm of about 60 acres near Otego, which is a little way below Oneonta. The farm was quite a way up a narrow valley. His wife was named Edith, a very sweet person. We went up to see them one day and found them marvelous people to know. He had a great sense of humor and a lot of tales of various Picketts. I don't think he milked more than a dozen cows. When I visited, he let me milk one scrawny ayreshire. I didn't produce much and she didn't particularly like it. When we visited, Larry and I always found things we could do, as Emmett was a little lazy. One winter visit, we found a wagon of coal parked by the cellar window. When the furnace needed coal, he went out and threw in just as much as he needed that day. Larry and I took about ten minutes to put it all in the bin. He had a small ice pond out in the field near the creek. He had already filled his icehouse. The pond had several inches of ice. I asked him if he needed more. Could we harvest more ice.? He was happy to have us do that. He harnessed up the team to a small sled, gave us the necessary tools, and the three of us boys spent the day cutting and harvesting ice. We have pictures of that. We stacked the ice in a pile by the milk room and he covered it with straw. We visited them regularly, and they came to Baltimore once. When Dad met them at the station, he asked how the trip went. Emmett replied, "I just did what my old Mother told me, keep your mouth shut and your bowels open and you'll get along all right." He died in January 1938, when Larry and I were freshman and Junior at Yale. I borrowed Hugh Aiken's car and we drove to the funeral, and back in one day. Dad commented that it was very thoughtful and a totally foolish thing for us to do.

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