Friday, August 9, 2019

A cookbook for his sister

Sam Lankford and his sister Alice
Everyone knows how exciting it is to find an early photo of your parents so imagine my excitement when my cousin Kathy shared a photo with me of her mother (Alice Lankford) and my daddy (Sam Lankford) taken in the early 1950s.

In March 2019, Kathy was looking through her mother’s old cookbooks when one caught her attention—The Wise Encyclopedia of Cookery published by William H. Wise & Company in 1949. When Kathy opened the green, hardbound cookbook, she found the following handwritten on the inside cover:

Samuel T. Lankford
Born March 26, 1926
Presented to my sister Miss Alice      Lankford
March 13, 1951

Based on the date Daddy wrote in the cookbook, he was 24 and Aunt Alice 22 years old. Unfortunately, we don’t know what inspired Daddy to give Aunt Alice the cookbook. He did enjoy cooking. In fact, he served on the USS Laffey as a cook during his service in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1947. I also remember him cooking on weekends when I was growing up but I don’t ever recall him using a cookbook. Aunt Alice didn’t get married until June 1952 so it wouldn’t have been a wedding gift. Daddy always had a bookcase full of books though so perhaps he ran across this one and thought Aunt Alice could use some help in the kitchen before she got married. Whatever the reason was, she kept the cookbook for 68 years. Ironically, Kathy discovered the book and photo on March 13!

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