Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Rusty Faulkner — Set in Oxford Stone

Photo 1
Marble table from Faulkner home – Courtesy Rusty Faulkner

Commentary by Rusty Faulkner, great-nephew of William Faulkner
I recently saw a story on the Thompson House in Oxford and remembered that I have a piece of its history here. 
The Thompson House was once home to the Colonial Hotel. The old hotel had heavy marble walls on the first floor, attached in sections. At one time there was some re-modeling going on, so Grand Dolly went down there and got two slabs of those marble sections and used them as tables. She used one as her kitchen table and had the other one on her back screened in porch. Looking at this photo, I can tell that the darker side was against the wall because the other three sides are worn from years of family and friends rubbing up against it. This would be the view of the table as you’d enter thru the back door in Grand Dolly’s kitchen … and Grand John used to like to sit on this (near) side of the table. The red velvet antique rocker in the upper right corner was a gift from Grand John to Grand Dolly. I have the cancelled check where he bought it for her.
Photo 2
Mrs. Lucille Ramey “Grand Dolly” Faulkner, surrounded by her grandchildren, at the unveiling of a bust of her late husband, at the University of Mississippi. From left: Ley Faulkner, Meg Faulkner, Rusty Faulkner, Ramey Falkner, Mrs. Faulkner, Buddy Faulkner and Bert Falkner.

I can remember, as a kid, we’d eat lunch at Grand Dolly’s, where she’d serve tomato sandwiches with homemade mayonnaise on homemade bread. She had the sliced tomatoes on a plate with a flat serving spoon. Seems like every time I’d try to get one of those slices with that spoon, it’d slip off and I’d have to chase it around that table. I’ve got that table here. It’s 5ft x 3.5ft and has four holes in the corners where it would have been attached to the walls in the Colonial Hotel.
Photo 3
The only photo of brothers John and William Faulkner together as adults – Phil Mullen (c) The Cofield Collection

Rusty Faulkner is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. John Faulkner of Oxford, known to family as Grand John and Grand Dolly. John and William Faulkner were brothers. Grand Dolly’s home, where her grandchildren grew up playing, is the beautiful Memory House, located on University Avenue, just off campus. The National Historic Place is now owned and maintained by the University of Mississippi.

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