Down on the Farm Part two
Some of my nice friends have asked me to write more about the farm. And some have asked me to tell about my beauís.
Well, I had a few but I wasnít allowed to go on dates until I was sixteen years old and then, only if it was in a group. Some special activity with the 4H or church. But the boys were allowed to come and visit.
One who came to visit was the brother of one of my friends. His name was Benny and he had a little crush on me. I didnít have a crush on him though. I liked him, he was a nice boy but a little on the nerdy side. Just a little on the hick side too. He wore those real thick glasses and he didnít talk much. Neither did I. He would come by and we would sit in the living room. Mostly looking at each other or pictures on the wall. He on one side of the room and me on the other. He would stay for about an hour and then say, "Welp, guess I better be goiní." I wouldnít say a word and I guess he took that to mean I didnít want him to go. So, heíd stay a while longer. Finally heíd say again, "Welp, guess I better be goiní." and this time he would leave, much to my pleasure.
My uncle would tease me by imitating Benny and tell me I was going to have to teach my future husband to talk.
Now, Eugene, on the other hand, I liked a lot. Remember the singer, Slim Whitman? If you do, you can picture Eugene. He would come to visit but he stayed outside and flexed his muscles playing ball with my cousin Tommy. Of course I sat out on the back porch and watched. We went to school together and always went to lunch together at the drug store and bought a burger and a fountain Cherry Coke. Remember those? My friend Ruth always went with us though. But by the time I was sixteen, Eugeneís parents had moved away so we never got to date officially.
Now came Earl. He was the son of our bus driver. He had a hole in his ear like it had been pierced but it was natural. I was going to tell my grandmother that Earl had a little hole in his ear but it came out, "Earl has a hole in his little ear." Oh me, my uncle heard me and what teasing I got.
Then along came Cleve. He was one of seventeen children. Cute little blonde with freckles. He didnít go to school with me but did go to the same church and rode the church bus the same as me. He knew I was not allowed to date until I was sixteen but the night before my sixteenth birthday, they were having some event at church and he came walking up to the house and knocked on the door. My aunt answered the door and Cleve asked if he could take me to the church event. She said, " She wonít be sixteen till tomorrow, come back then." and closed the door in his face. Now, if you think about this, itís too funny. Cleve didnít have a car. He would have had to take me on the church bus, which we ended up doing anyway.
O. K. Now, Iím sixteen. I met Dallas who was the uncle of one of my friends. She invited me to spend the night and go to her church the next day. It was a Pentecostal church. Dallas and his twin brother were there and they played music. His brother played the guitar and Dallas played the fiddle. He was home for a few days from being on the road with a band he played with. Ray Kemo and His Radio Ranch Boys. I thought I had met a celebrity. We kind of took a shine to each other but didnít really have a date for about a year because he was on the road most of the time and I still wasnít allowed to go on a date unless it was in a group. My aunt asked me one day, why I liked Dallas so much, he was never around. I told her, thatís why I liked him, because he wasnít around too much. She said, " Thank Heaven, you are not in love!"
Have you ever gone snipe hunting? Did you know there really is a snipe? There is, but not the kind you hunt in the dark of night.
My uncle was a great kidder, loved pulling practical jokes. He had a brother who lived in the city of Ft. Worth, Tx. that used to come visit us on the farm. On his first visit, after it got dark out, we were sitting in the living room talking and my uncle said, "Letís all go snipe hunting."
His brother, Jim, asked, "Whatís a snipe?"
"Itís a little critter that crawls around on the ground." my uncle replied. " And you have to take a flashlight and crawl around on the ground too in order to see them. Itís a lot of fun, youíll like it."
"Well, what do you do with it when you find one?" asked Jim
My uncle said," We take a sack and throw them in it. They make good fishing bait."
We all pretended we were eager to go out and hunt snipes but my uncle said since we only had one flashlight and Jim had never been, we should let him go first.
We all went out to the back porch and my uncle took Jim out to the pasture.
Now, it gets very dark on a farm unless the moon happens to be shinning bright. On this particular night it wasnít.
My uncle left Jim and came back to the porch with the rest of us. We could see the flashlight bobbing around out in the pasture. It went on for a good ten minutes and then we heard a yell from Jim and he came running as fast as he could.
Now this was a city boy and had not been around cows. He had come face to face with our old cow, Mazie and it scared him to death. Mazie wouldnít hurt a fly but Jim didnít know that. He said he looked up and there were two big brown eyes staring into his. Of course, my uncle just roared with laughter. Poor Jim, every time he came to visit after that, my uncle always asked if he wanted to go snipe hunting.
One thing we didnít have on the farm that I missed was my grandmothers feather beds. It didnít get cold in Louisiana like it did in Arkansas. Every winter grandma took her feather beds out of storage and she would heat flat irons, wrap them in towels and put them at my feet. I loved the featherbed. It only snowed once in the eight years I lived in Louisiana. It was just a dusting and looked like what we called frost in Arkansas but there was no school.
Cake walks. Remember those? We had cake walks to raise money for the 4H. Do you think craft shows are a modern thing? Nope. We had those too, to raise money. Not quite as fancy as they are these days though. Remember the flour sacks I told you about? In 4H we made dish towels and matching pot holders with them. There were a lot of crocheted, knitted and embroidery items for sale as well as homemade candies and baked goodies. There were always folks who came out from town and bought things and we made pretty good money.
Of course there was always the 4H fair every year too. Some of the kids entered the competition, entering their live stock and homemade jellies and etc. But I never did. I went to eat all the good food and ride the rides.
Every Halloween we had a hayride. First we had a dress up party with prizes at the community center then a hayride out through the woods and ended up on one of the neighbors farms. They would build a bond fire and we roasted wieners and marshmallows and had hot apple cider. Not the aged kind. Then we sat around the fire and sang songs.
I told you in my other story that we left the farm after my grandmother died. My uncle took another construction job, so we moved close to his work. When I was eighteen, he took a job with the Civil service to work on an army base in Rabat, S. Africa. My aunt wanted me to go with them, but I had heard stories of Africa and wanted no part of it. So my grandfather and I came to Indiana to stay with one of my grandfathers sons and my brother was here. I met my hubby here when I was twenty two. My aunt and uncle stayed in Africa for two years, then came back to the states. I was so happy to see them. Then he took another job in Guam. They had a contest on Guam for the woman with the longest hair. My aunt won. Her hair was so long it came to the back of her knees. Want to know what the prize was? A ten gallon Stetson Hat.
I hope you have enjoyed hearing about my life down on the farm as much as I enjoyed living it. The picture on top is my of my aunt and uncle. On the bottom is my brother and our horse Daisy.
God bless. Lora