My tiny great-grandmother, Ada Shoemake, was a hoss. Her husband Johnny died young, and she remarried a man from the community. But she decided right away that she’d made a mistake and she didn’t live with him. I really don’t know if she ever got a divorce. She raised her kids by herself. She never had a haircut, wore a gingham-checked bonnet and a hand-sewn, button-front long-sleeved dress, and laced-up leather shoes. “Hand-sewn” means the whole dress was made with a needle and thread. She had one pattern. She kept her own garden and animals, and she slept with a shotgun beside her bed. She was born on August 18, 1891.  August 18 has always been something of a seminal date for me. I can…