by: Reavis E. Dixon

Vietta, and Margaret Thomas were as close as Sisters could be. Being born just over two years apart, to Samuel, and Josephine Thomas, of Pierce County, Georgia, they were not only Sisters, but best friends throughout life, until Margaretís death, in 1999.

All of the family members knew the two as Viette, and Maggie, or most often, simply "Mag". There were eight more sibling, six girls, and two boys in the family of Sam and Josie Thomas.

The children walked the three path roads of Pierce County, in those days, to the Old Baxley School, in the Cason Settlement, some two miles from their home. Improved dirt roads were not yet common in the mid 1920's, so they followed the winding paths, through the tall pines, saw palmetto, and gallberry bushes that lined the old wagon roads. Often these old time roads followed the edge of a farmers field as well.

It was late Spring, and for no particular reason, Maggie had stuck a box of matches into her dress pocket that morning before the two set out for school. After an uneventful day, the two set out for home. As the were passing the forest of the Henry Tuten farm, Mag took out her matches, struck one, dropped it, and watched as the grass and pine straw began to ignite. Viette watched in amazement, then the two of them pounced upon the small flame until it was "Stomped out" Viette told in later years.

Now it was Vietteís turn ! She struck her match, and the whole process was repeated, right down to the gleeful "Stomping it out" . The two girls repeated this dangerous, but "Such fun" maneuver several times, each time giggling heartily as the flame was extinguished.

Maggie dropped her match again and, just as the flame had about grown to the "Stomp out" stage, along came a gust of wind. Suddenly, the fire was out of control, and the forest around the two Sisters was burning fiercely. Uncle Henry Tuten, along with a neighbor, came running through the woods to put out the fire. "Uncle Henry was yelling and fussing at us, as hard as breath would allow" Viette said. The neighbor said "Donít worry Uncle Henry, weíll get it out. The girls were just playing" , but that was not an acceptable excuse to Henry Tuten.

Vietta said that her first impulse was to run away from the goof, but "Mag just stood there while Uncle Henry fussed and growled about ití. When Vietta saw that Maggie was facing the music, she turned and came back to stand with her sister, and share the blame.

When the excitement was over, the Sisters started for home again, but that was the end of the "Fire starting".

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Click To Enlarge

Vietta Thomas Dixon passed into Eternity on February 20th 2012, two months, and two days before her ninety eighth birthday, and Iíll just bet that Vietta and Mag are busily sharing their days in Heaven, as they most certainly did, in their Earthly Lifetime.