I've started this page several times and always ended up pushing that old delete button. Seems like it was easy to tell all of you about where I live and about my family, but everytime I tried to tell you about me and who I am, I just ran out of words and ended up telling you about someone else. Pretty much, just like I'm doing right now! I guess the truth of the matter is, I'm just me.
I was born in "The Piney Woods" of East Texas. My Daddy was the most handsome man I ever knew and my Mother was as beautiful as any movie star around. They were disc jockeys at the local radio station and had a " live " program each day. They had a band and their kind of music was called "Hillbilly'' back in the late forties and early fifties. My Daddy was also the booking agent for most of the honkytonks in the East Texas oilfields , so it happened that I met a lot of people that would later become famous. Faron Young, Johnny Horton, Jim Brown, Maddox Brothers & Rose, Jim Reeves, Bill Elliot.
My parents "Rex and Little Patner" in the control room at the radio station.
" Uncle Charlie"
As a little girl growing up, my Uncle Charlie lived next door to us. I guess you'd call Uncle Charlie, whatever the male equivalent to an "old maid" is called. He was a confirmed bachelor and he was very proud of being a veteran of World War I . Uncle Charlie always had little presents, that he would hand to me over the fence that separated our yards. Sometimes , a big purple plum, that he called "Elephant Heart " plums or maybe a fresh prune. I've always been amazed at how good they were fresh and how nasty they became after they were dried! The times I most enjoyed my present from Uncle Charlie was when it was fresh cherries. Ummm...so sweet and good! Uncle Charlie would tell me about the time he was in Washington and about all the cherry trees that were there. How beautiful they were when they were covered in blossoms and how when the fruit would get ripe there would be so many cherries that they would cover the ground!
Sometimes my Uncle Charlie would invite me to his house for supper. He had a really small house, just two little rooms, but , to me, it was filled with treasures! He had a glass with Shirly Temple on it , that I would always drink from and his plates were made of metal and they were blue with white freckles! He had a palm tree, made out of fuzzy pipe cleaners, that had two tiny monkeys sitting in it and little tiny bunches of bananas hanging in it! For supper he would cook me "scambled eggs and brains" and I loved them! Funny.....but as I think on it, the only times in my life that I've ate "scrambled eggs and brains" was on those occassions that I had supper with my Uncle Charlie. I still buy cherries when I see them in the store, but they never seem as sweet as the ones my uncle would hand me over that fence.
" The Playhouse"
As a little girl, growing up in a small oil field town, all the kids in the neighborhood played outside. All of us girls, got together and built us a playhouse under the shade of some big old oak trees.. We had metal plates, that were lids from coffee cans, the kind that had the key to take off the lid, we had kitchen cabinets made out of planks sitting on bricks. We checked everyone's garbage regularly looking for things to put in the playhouse. It got so big and full of junk that some people thought someone was really living there! We made "mud pies" from red clay and decorated them with the yellow blossoms off "Bitter Weed." We'd let them "bake" in the sun and they'd get hard as a rock. There was an old man in our neighborhood, Mr. Bryant, that dipped snuff from those neat little pocket cans. As he would empty a can, he would leave it on one of our porches for us to find to add to the playhouse collection.
" Hot Enough To Fry An Egg "
They called the roads in our neighborhood " oil top roads." During those Texas summer days, the oil on the top of the road would get hot and soft. All of us kids were always barefoot and if you weren't fast and careful, your feet would sink into that soft oil...and boy was it hot! One summer, some of heard on the radio about " it being so hot you could cook an egg on the pavement." Well....we were sure that our road was surely THAT hot, maybe even hotter!! I was put in charge of getting the egg, I sneaked it out of our kitchen.
Well....there we were, about six of us, standing in a circle in the middle of our road, hopping from one foot to the other so our barefeet wouldn't burn too bad, all of us watching that egg, laying there on that oil top road. We were sure that egg would just sizzle and fry as soon as we cracked it open and let it drop on that road. That sucker just laid there!! We watched it until we couldn't stand hopping around on that hot road any longer.....then we moved to the grass on the side of the road and we watched it for a good while longer. To our disgust, that egg never even turned white, much less fried up!! I guess all of us kids learned a lesson that hot summer day.....you just can't believe everything you hear on the radio!!
" Popcicle Pete"
What ever happened to the ice cream man? The high lite of the day for the kids on my street was " the ice cream man". He drove a three wheel scooter and it was red. It had handlebars in the front and then his seat and a box on the back with two small doors on the top. Best of all he had a horn that he'd blow so us kids could hear that he was coming! My mother never could understand why I could hear Popcicle Pete's horn, two or three blocks away, but could never hear her calling me when it was time for me to come home.
Popcicle Pete always had the best ice cream in the world! For a nickle you could get a red or purple popcicle, a fudgecicle, that was my Mom's favorite, something we called a Cherrio, that had white icecream on the inside with chocolate all over the outside or a banana flavored icecream. For a dime you could get an icecream sandwich or a drumstick. If you were lucky enough that your mother gave you a dime, that drumstick was wonderful! It had a pointed sugar cone, that you could bite the bottom out of and suck the icecream out the bottom, two big scoops of white icecream ontop of the cone, with chocolate all over the icecream and lots of nuts sprinked over everything!
Popcicle Pete never seemed to have alot to say to us kids, just what kind of icecream did we want. He was patient though, he'd always wait , if one of us had to run go get our nickle. We could always count on Popcicle Pete to come down our street everyday during the week, in the summertime. Now that I'm older, I realize that he must have drove all over our town selling icecream to kids. He kept "dry ice" a great wonderment to us kids....it smoked and your finger and tongue would stick to it.... to keep the icecream from melting. I guess he didn't have alot of time to visit with all us kids. Popcicle Pete, a quiet, gentle hard working man....a fond memory of some forty-five years ago for "this little girl".
" The Christmas Dolls"
My mother's parent were Cajun, and from a little town in Louisiana called Bunkie. For a time, while I was about six or seven years old, they lived in a big white house, with a big front porch on it , just across the street from us. This is a fun loving family that had lots of "family get-togethers" with music,games and sometimes a little adult beverages for the grownups. During this particular time of my life, four of my aunts and uncles were still living at home with my Grandparents.
It was getting close to Christmas and everyone was making plans for the festivities and parties the family would enjoy that season. My Aunt Linda, who was alittle younger than me had just told me a wonderful secret! She had found our "Christmas Dolls" hidden under one of Grandma's beds! I was dying to see them, so we made our plans to sneak into that room and crawl under the bed and get a really good look at the dolls. While everyone was busy that afternoon, cooking up cakes and pies and other good things for the Christmas Dinner and family party, Linda and I slipped into the bedroom and under the bed we hid! Sure enough, the dolls were there and they were so beautiful....we could hardly believe how lucky we were goning to be on Christmas morning. We felt of the dolls' hair and clothes and their eyes that would open and shut and had real eyelashes! We entertained ourselves for a couple of hours under that bed!
I don't remember exactly when we discovered the "other box," but by then we were getting sort of hungry and thirsty. It was really warm in the house ,what with all the cooking that was going on in the kitchen. In this other box was bottles of reddish purple liquid. There was a great many bottles and Linda and I was sure no one would miss just one of the bottles of "grape juice", that's what we decided it was. Well... as we passed "the bottle" back and forth, and whispered about the dolls and about what a great Christmas we were going to have, still hidding under the bed.....two little girls fell sound asleep.
At supper time, our folks realized that we were not around ,playing in our usual places. They started checking with the other kids in the neighborhood, no one had seen us. By now, it's beginning to get dark and the grownups and the bigger kids had combed the area , calling our names. Panic was setting in and Mom and Grandma were wanting to call the police.
It was about this time that Linda and I woke up from our " wine induced nap" and crawled out from under the bed. We were so surprised that it was dark outside and that we had slept, under the bed , so long. Mother and Grandma were so happy that we were okay and hadn't been kidnapped, that we didn't get into much trouble with them. Daddy, however, was a different story! His story had a switch in it for me, and lots of talking about scaring everyone to death and how it would serve me right if all that wine I drank made me sick!!
Many years later, Daddy would laugh and tell the story about Linda and me and our "Christmas Dolls".
This page was written August 20, 1998