SEGMENT: FAMILY BACKGROUND, RELIGION, & HOLIDAYS

John Thurman>LPL Interviews N-Z>LPL Interviews K-Z, Segment 12

SEGMENT: FAMILY BACKGROUND, RELIGION, & HOLIDAYS,

duration 11:48

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FAMILY BACKGROUND
John's mother was born in Cook County. She grew up in Kankakee county. His father was born in Jackson County, MI. Grew up in Madison, Canton, and Jackson counties in Mississippi. Ida's parents were born in Rankin county, MI. The grew up in Simpson county, MI., where Ida was born. She ended up in Illinois after marrying John. When John and his brothers reached a certain age, his father decided they were ready for wives and moved the whole family to McGee, MI where John and Ida met at McGee High School. They married in 1977. John's brothers are Eldridge, William, and Robert. John is the seventh child. Ida has two older sisters, and two older brothers, (one brother now deceased) and one younger brother. Both Ida's and John's grandparents and parents have passed away. When Ida's mother would go to work in a restaurant, Ida and her siblings would go through the woods to their grandmother's (Big Momma) house. She was a sharecropper who raised cotton, peas, and cucumbers. She also had a personal garden and some type of livestock. John was born in Chicago but spent very little time there. His father didn't like the close proximity or the stress of city life. His main chore on the country home was feeding the hogs. His father worked for Kankakee Water Company as well as farming. He gave each of his kids a garden to take care of, so they could see the fruits of their labor. His father's philosophy was that anything the girls can do, the boys should do, and vice versa.
RELIGION
Ida was a member of My Keepers First Baptist Church. She appreciated the close community and credits the church with making her the person she is today. John's father had tried a few churches, but settled on Bible studies at home. "Didn't want us following a man on earth, but rather the Word of God."
HOLIDAYS
For John's family, holidays were an excuse to get together. His father had an older son by another woman who lived in Chicago, and whenever he came to visit it would be a holiday. They were the "country cousins" who loved visitors. Ida's family would have gatherings on the weekends and sit on the porch and enjoy each others company.