Today is March 20, 2021. It is my maternal grandmother’s birthday. Her name was Hyla Hinton Hammack and she married Frank Harrett Foster Roby, my grandfather, who you may remember reading about in my blog “One Hundred and Twelve Years Ago Today.”

Hyla was born outside of Greenville, Texas, but when she was a teenager she and her parents and her siblings moved to Hammon, Oklahoma, close to the year Oklahoma became a state.

Hyla (or ‘Mimi’ as I called her) was a southern belle. She was beautiful, sweet, kind and in many ways she was a ‘Steel Magnolia.’ She could play the piano and bake wonderful chocolate cakes but she, like all the ladies at the end of the nineteenth century, was not an intellectual. But she listened to the Lord and followed through with what he instructed her to do.

An example of her being a Steel Magnolia occurred when her favorite sister had a baby with a heart condition. The baby was what was called ‘a blue baby’ because he turned blue at times from his heart condition. One day Aunt Bess, Mimi’s sister, called my grandmother to hurry over to her house because the baby was sick. When Mimi arrived the doctor in Hammon was treating the baby. During the treatment, the baby died. The doctor pronounced the infant dead. Aunt Bess turned to Mimi and frantically pleaded with my grandmother, “Hyla, do something!”

My grandmother didn’t know what to do but she felt the Lord tell her to strike the baby on the chest so she did it. The baby gave out a cry and started acting normal! You could say Mimi did CPR on a newborn in Hammon, Oklahoma, decades before anyone had heard of CPR. The baby lived 73 more years and was healthy the rest of his life!

When Aunt Bess thanked Mimi for saving her little boy’s life, Mimi realized what had happened and she fainted. When she was revived, she fainted again.

That was my grandmother. She always was up for whatever the day demanded even though she was the epitome of the Southern Belle who had the vapors!

My next blog will tell you how Mimi became a Suffragette!

See you next time!

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