For me, the bedrock of our family was my maternal grandmother, Cozelle Sloss Taylor. She raised me as an infant. Her burial was on the day of my eighteenth birthday. She only had one job away from the house, and that was during the ’40s to support the war effort. She worked at the Ravenna Arsenal, building boxes for bombs. She worked there for less than one year. She never talked about it to me. I don’t know how she got to work every day because she didn’t drive. It is possible that she took the bus from the train station at the end of our street or picked up a ride with others who were on the same shift at the Arsenal. Probably the last option because she was very thrifty. People try to get as many bodies into their cars as possible. Some have people sitting on boxes on the floor of their cars. She also probably took her lunch, even tho she could buy hot lunches at the cafeteria.

“Mom,” as I called her, was born in Alabama to William and Ella Sloss. She was the oldest of six children. Her education included Trinity School, a private school in Athens, and Miles College in Birmingham. I have no idea how she married in Youngstown, Ohio, to my grandfather, Robert Lanier Taylor, on November 15, 1920. My breakfast and dinner were always on the table, and I always had a lunch to take to school. I only remember her not being home when I came from school but one time. She even made some of my clothes. My grandmother set the tone for the family, and I believe my moral principles and drive for education come from her. I never visited Alabama until I had a family of my own. Of course, I wanted to know about her family.

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