August 17, 2021


This small faded black and white photo is the only one we have of the George Cate family all together.  My maternal grandparents George and Eva are seated.  Behind them from left to right are their four children—George Lee (Jack), Harriett, Della and Clifford.The four young Cates were born over a 14-year period.  Uncle Clifford, the eldest, was 14 when Uncle Jack, the youngest, was born. 

In looking through old family photographs, so many of them seemed to have portraits done by professional photographers—either posing in a studio or outside their home.  There is one studio portrait of the four younger Cate siblings—made when Uncle Jack was just about two years old.  Other than that, this simple outdoor photo seems to be the only family picture.

George and Evalee were a very devoted couple, Harriett always said.  He was the rock of the family—and his wife adored him. In this photo, her right arm is extended toward him.  In later years when he developed congestive heart failure, she hovered and worried constantly.  Harriett always said that led to her dying two years before he did.  She seemed to feel she could not live without her beloved husband—and so she preceded him in death.

George Cate was well known and respected in the McMinn County farming community.  He was poor but honest, hard-working and devoted to his family. He always seemed to be willing to take an unpopular stand for what was right—even with his own relatives.  I believe he was a man true to his convictions.My grandparents died long before I was born. I only have Harriett’s stories about her parents to read into this lone family picture.  I’m grateful that someone decided this would make a good picture—perhaps some Sunday afternoon at a larger family gathering after church. All together for once.

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