My studies at Duval continued and I loved each day of school. I always felt there were so many areas to learn more and extend my knowledge. It just seemed like there was something new each day. I was in the top of my class with grades and loved the challenge to make more “A”s than someone else.
Even in high school, I had a leadership role in the different clubs. I was class officer, President of FTA, President of FHA, member of Thespian and was usually chosen to organize events. I must have been a trusted student. I was President of Future Teachers of America and actually got to substitute teach in the grade school when a teacher was sick.
I also had a very mischievous side that came out at times. We always had an initiation each year for anyone who wanted to join the clubs. I got to organize the initiation and ask current members to help. We were actually sort of mean to a few of the girls during this time. They were blindfolded and lead to the bathroom. They were told to put their hand in the commode and squeeze. We had put a banana in the commode and they thought it was poop. We then flushed the commode and they screamed. Lots more of the same followed that night.
Hillary and I have a lot in common. I just never had to get off a plane and duck down to keep from getting hit by gunfire. HA HOO AHH SPOOF….SPOOF
Many of the local churches would combine their services for a week of fellowship. One night the everyone might go to the Amy Baptist Church and the minister and choir from another church would lead the services. On this particular night, my church went to the Cobbs Creek Baptist Church and our minister and choir was in charge of the services.
There were lots of young people present and we all sat on several rows near the back. My friend, Darrell was there and he was sitting with this really cute guy that had a really dark tan. I noticed his butch hair cut, muscular arms and turquoise trousers, but I had no idea who he was or where he came from. When I came down out of the choir, I sat in the seat in front of Darrell and this stranger.
Near the end of the service, Darrell tapped me on the shoulder and said this guy wanted to take me home after church. I told Darrell I didn’t even know this person. Darrell continued to tell me that Basil, the stranger was a really good guy and from a wonderful family. We all discussed the situation and I said I would have to ask my dad if I was okay. Daddy said it would be okay if James, my uncle and Darrell went with us. ***Boy, things were different in the fifty’s.
Well, we all piled in Basil’s car and headed to Yawkey and my grandmother’s house. I was staying with her. Basil walked me to the door and I introduced him to granny and grandpa. Granny chatted for a while and she asked Basil if he had ever read the second chapter of Jude. Of course, he was wanting to make a good impression and he quickly answered YES. Granny started laughing and asked him if he was sure. She finally told him there was only one chapter in the Book of Jude. His face turned red and he said he had better go.
This is not the last you will hear of this guy. To be continued………………
My longtime friend Darrell introduced me to Mr. Hayballer and later to Mr. B. Mr. B. was the right pick. We will be married 47 yrs. in April.
Darrell was a longtime friend during the dating years, young married life, working with my husband and worshipping together. He grew up in a family of very talented singers and inherited his father’s bass voice. He bless many hearts in song and praise.
I just received news about 1/2 hour ago that Darrell passed on this afternoon. He had been in the hospital almost a month with a serious lung problem. Mr. B visited him several times and had prayer. Darrell will be missed by the people who knew him.
I can’t say more today. My heart is heavy, but glad that he was prepared to cross over.
The natural chemistry in my body began to change and I seemed to be looking at the opposite sex in a totally different way. I just never knew boys could be so cute and they could make your heart skip a beat. Before that first date you always wonder when a boy will ask you out and will your parents approve.
My longtime friend Darrell seemed to know all the eligible guys in a two county area and was always introducing them to someone. He told me there was a guy by the name of Danny R. that would like to date me. Danny’s sister and her husband owned the local funeral home and were very well liked. Danny’s father owned a huge farm that produced strawberries and other crops through out the summer. You might say Danny was a true farm boy.
Darrell brought Danny over to Lincoln Co. and introduced us to each other. He didn’t seem bad at all, just upon meeting him. Darrell (who my parents trusted totally), Danny and I went for a ride in his convertible. Gee, this is exciting.
I invited Danny to our house for Sunday dinner and he enjoyed everything my my cooked. I could sense my dad having a sly grin as Danny talked to him for thirty minutes about a hay-baler, tractors, plowing, and strawberries. I was just pondering all this in my mind and thinking I am not sure about this guy. From that day forward, Danny referred to him as “The Hay-baler”.
Danny occasionally worked for his brother-in-law at the funeral home to help out. One day I was off school and busy painting the floor of the front porch for my mom. I looked at a very strange car pulling off the road at our bridge. Oh, my here is Danny in a big black hearse. He had went to another town to pick up a body for his brother-in-law and he was stopping to see me. The body was in the hearse!!!
We continued to date for several months. Danny would come over and attend church with me and we would go to the local drive-in for a Coke and hotdog. I could begin to see that Danny had a different idea about how far he could go with me and that was not going to happen. I politely told him that I respected myself and he could not explore my body. That was pretty much the end of that relationship, but something better would happen later.
Written by myself: April, 1993
I have arrived at a crossroads…..a new destination in life and I have no remembrance of how I arrived. I know I have been traveling for a long time and really thought I had went many miles to new places, but I seemed to arrived almost where I started. I didn’t have a map because my life hadn’t been charted by any earthly navigator, as of yet. I really didn’t know the way so I just tried to use common sense and the good insight of others.
This crossroads doesn’t mean the journey is over. It just means I have to decide which course to take from here to the end. I could just sit here with my motor running, wasting precious time, trying to decide, wishing I wasn’t at a crossroads and not remembering all the good times on the journey to this point. I want to keep traveling so I must choose. The left road looks good and so does the right. I can look and see others at this crossroads too. Some go left and some go right.
A large billboard at this crossroads looks like a want ad in the newspaper. “Opportunities await those willing to try. Past failures, experiences and desire for growth and renewal will be valuable assets. Travelers assistance along the way. God will bless.”
Just getting past the intersection of the crossroads and heading on the next route took a lot of courage. But all the experiences and failures are now invaluable as I start what can be a more fulfilling and exciting than the maiden voyage.
“It is good to have an end, to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end…”
Note: It is now 15 years later….2008. I made the right choice and my map (Bible) for traveling never failed me. I have totally been blessed by God. I now have four beautiful grandchildren and they are the joy of my life. I have been blessed with being a partner in my own business. I have two wonderful children and I wouldn’t trade them for another. My husband is still faithful in the ministry and I love him more than I ever loved him in my life. I cherish each moment of the wonderful life that God has blessed. I am B and I approved this message.
Looking back I didn’t really have you very long. Our time spent together was like a vapor that drifted through a few years and ended in a far off land. Your arms of love held me when I needed comfort and your presence seemed to scare off all the monsters that roamed in my thoughts.
Mom, I loved to have you lie down with me for the last thoughts of night and have your hands rub my chubby arms. Your soft bedtime stories sent my imagination to far off lands and into flower covered forest. You always helped me say my bedtime prayers and suggested prayer thought to help me out. You beside me and I was safe.
My white blond natural curls were a source of pride for you. You gently gathered my curls to the top of my head and told me I was your Little Miss Sunbeam. You entered me in the Little Miss Sunbeam contest, but some other little girl won. I wanted pigtails and you tried your best, but the curls just kept popping out of the pigtails.
The smell of your sweet neck and the feel of your soft hands are still remembered. You would let me play beauty shop by brushing and combing your fine brown hair. You would always tell me the hair do was pretty even though it was a drastic change to your usual style.
Today, you have been gone for a long time and I would love to touch your hands. I have almost forgotten the sweet smell of your neck and the gentle touch of your hand. For some reason, I am especially missing you today.
Love : Little Miss Sunbeam
The temperature was always an important issue. There was an old Roy Crown Cola thermoter that hang above the snake plants. Everyone would compare the temp reading with the radio, to see if the radio was correct.
There were things that took place on granny’s porch swing that changed my life. We were having a family gathering on the porch and everyone was talking over the latest gossip. Granny and I were in the swing and I was lying down with my naturally curly head in her lap. I was restless, but I could feel granny’s hand running her hand through my hair and twirling each lock every so softly until I was relaxed. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I was getting sleepy. The peace that her hand brought to me is still remembered deep within my soul. Years later when I swung my own children and grandchildren in my porch swing……I tried to give them the same soft touch and peace that granny gave me.
That old porch was so rough and rugged with those ugly old snake plants. The beauty of Granny’s Front Porch went beyond the paint and plants. The beauty was in the people who gathered there and talked about their dreams and disappointments. I wish I could gather all of those people together on my front porch and talk about what we have done today. I would still like for granny to put her hand on my head and twirl my hair, even though it is now grey. Just visiting granny’s front porch in my memories has brought me a portion of the peach which was there so long ago.
The Fourth of July was the time for homemade ice cream which was made, where else…….on the front porch. Grandpa Woodrum would get the ice and granny would stir up the mixture. Grandpa would bring the old wooden hand cranked freezer out along with an old aluminum dishpan to catch the salt brine from the freezer. We would sit the freezer on the edge of the porch just above the top step. This way, you could get your arm in gear for fast cranking. We all took a turn cranking until the ice cream was frozen.
By this time, granny had brought out little dishes and spoons to the front porch. She always brought a long handled spoon to dip out the ice cream. With our dishes full, we would be sitting in the swings, green metal chairs, glider and Aunt Noka would be sitting at the top of the steps. Everyone was really content and licking their mouth at the taste of the vanilla ice cream.
If you stayed on the porch during the day you could know a lot about what was going on without every leaving the house. Aunt Noka would always watch the cars which went up and down the road in order to see who was going to the store or perhaps a stranger was going down the road. Her day centered around sitting at the top steps on the porch and waiting for the paperman to deliver the newspaper. She wanted to be the one to go get the paper and grandpa had the same desire. Many little arguments arose because everyone wanted to be the first to read the paper. Social event of the day.
Now granny like to smoke cigarettes, but usually tried to hide it a little. She had an aluminum lounge chair on the porch which she would angle so she could see down the walkway. She would sit down in the chair with her feet crossed and slip out the Camel smokes. She would relax, puff and put her ashes in the pocket of her apron. Don’t ask me why she used her apron pocket. Sometimes I would kid her and call her Little Puffer and she would just laugh and take another puff
To this very day I love to sit on a porch and enjoy the pleasant feeling that seems to be there. Maybe I just remember Granny’s Front Porch.
There were always two porch swings, one for each end of the porch because everyone liked to “swing.” The old swings would get a fresh coat of green paint each spring, but granny never sanded the rough spots. She just painted over them year after year. The surface was lumpy to say the least.
I can still remember those ugly little tables which were made out of cris-crossed twigs and painted green. Some door to door salesman sold them to granny and she thought she had a real bargain. These little tables sat on either side of the front door and always had a pot of “snake plants” in the large round green pots.
Now, I have never known what anyone could see in a “snake plant” with those long blades that never bloomed or, as a matter of fact, they never seemed to grow. Each spring they were the same size. Granny’s pride was that she had been able to keep these plants for the last 10 years.
There were always long green flower boxes on the porch banisters that were loaded with petunias, geraniums and begonias. Each morning granny would make her rounds to all of the boxes to pinch off the dead blooms and look for the new blooms that were about to burst open. She would always have her little bucket and cup to water each box.
The floor of that old porch was painted with battleship grey paint that was as rough as the old green swings. Granny always complained each summer because winter had once again taken it’s toll on the paint. She would just sweep the porch as best she could, get out the paint, and put on another coat of paint.
The front porch was the gathering place when bean stringing time rolled around. We lived near granny and we would gather and help her string beans. In turn, everyone helped us string beans too. We always talked about the happenings or the day and would guess how many quarts of beans we would get out of this bushel. For some reason, I believe we thought that by some miracle some bushels contained more than others. I remember this as a time of laughter and fun, not work. Grandpa would always be there and would usually try to tell on of his little off color jokes which granny disliked.
To be continued in Part II……….stay tuned.
Daddy raised pigs and we named them Delores and Elsie. Their pen was up the hollow behind Grandpa McClure’s barn. Most of the time daddy would feed the pigs, but other times “you know who” had to help out. Daddy bought this food called “meddling” and you mixed it with water and leftover table food in a bucket and carry it to the pig pen.
I thought pigs were so rude and had very poor eating manners. You couldn’t get the food in fast enough and they would splash it in your leg if you didn’t move quickly.
Well, these pigs weren’t too smart. The more they ate and the fatter they got the quicker they would be killed and be meat on someones table. I always thought it was sad to just raise an animal to kill it and eat it, but that was the life was at that time.
Several men in the community would come to help you on “Hog Killing Day”. For one thing, they knew we would share some of the meat with them and their family. The “Hog Killing” was truly a “man’s job” and the women didn’t go to the barn to watch the beginning of the tradition. The sharp shooter of the bunch would load the gun, aim and fire right between the hog’s eyes. You could hear a loud squeal and it was all over for Delores or Elsie.
Being the inquisitive child that I was, I found a way to sneek up to the barn and spy out what was happening. It didn’t take me long to know that I had seen enought. The site was sickening and I wanted to go back home.
The men would butcher the hog and divide it into pork chops, ham, bacon and the meat for sausage. The meat for sausage would go into a grinder and fall out in a pan. Mother would can some of the sausage and freeze the remainder. Daddy had a smoke house and he would put salt on the ham and hang them to be used in the winter time.