Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 1955

I was 11 years old in 1955, Mom and dad had bought an old hill farm about 4 miles northwest of Bell City. It wasn't much of a farm, mostly run down. The old house had seen better days many years before they bought it. There was an old water well by the house where rain water was caught and guttered into the well for drinking and cooking and other uses. Now the old house didn't have a good wall in it. When it snowed we would wake up with snow on the bed, the floors had big cracks in between the boards and if you looked down through the cracks you could see the chickens walking around under the house. We had a few head of cattle and most days as we would come home from school we would have to get off the school bus and drive the cows home for they would get out of the pasture. They, like us I guess was looking for a better life and more to eat. I had one old Jersey cow to milk as my job everyday. One day in the cold winter the old cow had been in some water and cockle-burs. The burs had stuck to her tail and the water had frozen to the end of her tail. Now you ain't never been assualted until you have been hit up side the head with a frozen cocklebured cow tail. This really hurt as I was already cold and mad at the cow for having to milked.
In the fall of 1955 around Thanksgiving my dad had purchased 2 fields of cotton from another farmer that didn't want to mess with getting it out. The two patches were not much, both would not have made one good patch. I don't know what kind of deal they made but I am sure My dad was probably drinking at the time and got the raw end of the deal. He could make some pretty bad deals sometime.
On Thanksgiving day of 1955, I am sure the year is right. It was so cold and the wind blowing, it was miserable. So, my dad deceided we needed to pull bowles on this day. Now if anyone don't know what pulling bowles is. After most of the cotton has been picked some of the bowles will crack open and there is a lot of cotton still in the field. Being poor and winter comming on strong this was a way to make a little grocery and Christmas money.
As I stated this was the coldest day of the year so far. I remember mom stayed home that day and had to take care of a little sister that when born my brother wanted to get rid of. He wanted to throw her in a pond we had on the farm. Anyway, the wind was so sharp and at the time we did not have the clothes they have now days. We liked to have froze. Fingers and toes were beet red when finally about 3 oclock dad finally said lets go to the house. Mom had fixed the biggest pot of chicken and dumplings, pies, dressing and all the other trimmings. It wasn't turkey but it is the most memorable Thanksgiving of all. To all that read this have a very blessed Thanksgiving and enjoy family.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

CAL HOOVER-An old friend of the 50's-60's

Cal was an old man that hung around town, mostly the old pool hall where we would all gather for hours at a time. As I mentioned in one of my other stories Cal loved to play pool with MIllie Tropf. You could hear him for a block yelling for Millie (creepy) to shoot. Then he would laugh and holler when she missed the shot. Now Cal didn't have any teeth, so we all called him smooth mouth or Colgate. Cal didt't like this or he acted like he didn't. On another occasion a chain saw was stolen I think from the Pike township. Someone, just kidding said that Cal was the one that took the saw. He really got mad about that statement. So naturally all of us regulars that hung around the pool hall started calling him chain-saw. We would make him so mad he would jump in his old car and speed out of town over the old Bell City hill. Now he wouldn't stay mad long and before you knew it he would be back for more. One day I had been agraviting him and he got to chasing me. He could really run for an old man, but I could out run him. On this day he stopped just before I started across the railroad tracks that ran behind the pool hall and picked up a big rock that must have weighed a good 1/2 pound. He whizzed that damn thing at me and barely missed my head. If it had hit me it would probably killed me. But this didn't stop the aggraviting. I just stopped and yelled back at him to go get his chain saw and go cut a spear and see if he could do any better with it than a rock. Now if cal came to town and no one started on him he would start on someone. Cal and Sadie had good hearts because an old man by the name of Archie Stroud would come to Bell City and without a place to stay Cal and Sadie would put him up for days at a time. A story about Archie will be in the future.
These were days when not many dollars were floating around and this is how we amussed ourselves. It was all good fun for us at the time.
A few years later Cal died and I was honored to be asked to be one of his paul bearers along with 5 others that were all a part of the old pool hall crowd.
Cal had a son named Herb. Herb had a whole house full of kids and lived in a house that didn't have running water as a lot of us didn't have at the time. Now Herb was a dandy to say the least. Which calls for another story.