Monday, July 29, 2013

Chapter 1 Part 3

In winter we got books from the library and Mom would read to us in the evening.  Daddy worked at the alfalfa mill. Mom and the boys raised lots of vegetables and we sold them door to door. Mom picked four hundred quarts of wild blackberries one summer; we canned some and sold some. We lived in a tiny two-room house and a screened in back porch. I had my cot there during the summer. That year we lived in the two rooms. Delbert, Bob, and I slept in one bed and Daddy and Mom in the other. I was in the eighth grade. Next year I went to Enterprise Academy with Vera and Viola.

Grandpa Reeve built another room on the house. Daddy worked at the alfalfa mill. We couldn't get the 1933 Pontiac over those muddy roads so had to trade it for another Model A Ford. We didn't have a radio until Delbert bought them a battery operated one in the late forties.

We got electricity just before I was married; in fact Je'sus Vega put in extra outlets for them. We had a pump and an outhouse and a happy childhood!

After academy I worked at the Boulder San in Boulder, Colorado. I worked in the diet kitchen an enjoyed it very much. Then Delbert and Ivan had a problem at EA and left money there that couldn't be taken out so I went back to EA for a year. Mostly because my boyfriend, Clayton, and best girlfriend, Lillian were there. I took sewing, music appreciation, voice and piano. It was all  a very big waste of time and money as I didn't do well in anything.

Then I went to Joplin where Vera was teaching school and stayed with her and looked for work but couldn't find anything. Friends of hers were going to Madison College to visit and let me ride with them. Lillian and Clayton were there. The people I came with got sick and couldn't go back so friends persuaded me to enroll at Madison. It was a self-supporting college so I could work. I took household arts. After two years I met Je'sus Vega. He was taking Lab and X-ray. I changed to nursing. Two years later we became engaged. Je'sus spent that summer colporteuring in Texas and Mexico. (We met some of the same people when he was stationed in the army at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas.)

That summer I stayed at home in Kansas. We were married that fall September 14, 1952, at our little church in Thayer, Kansas. Irene and Etta helped me plan the very simple wedding. I borrowed the dress and veil. Someone tore the veil during the wild drive Delbert took us on before going back to the house. Daddy bought a pretty three-tiered cake at the bakery for seven dollars. Daddy gave us one hundred dollars for a gift (we bought a refrigerator with it). Lloyd gave us a set of dishes and someone a table cloth. Vera and Tommy gave us two nights in a motel near them in Carl Junction, which we enjoyed and appreciated very much.

We took the bus back to Madison. Our first home was an expandable army trailer at the trailer court, with one toilet, showers, and a washhouse for all in another trailer.  He was called to the Army and we moved to Fort Bliss, Texas.

We borrowed three hundred dollars from my parents to buy our first car. Neither of us could drive so the man at the car lot drove it to our house. Je'sus had a few lessons from a friend at Madison. Then little by little he learned. We lived there one year and met many wonderful people, some in Mexico. Even watched them make tamales.

David was born while we were at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. From there Je'sus was sent to Germany. Teresa was 1 ½ years old and David was 3 months. I spent the time with my parents who had already planned to spend two years following fruit harvest in Washington and Oregon.  We had many good times with Viola and Harry and their children.

In Germany Je'sus met a doctor from Loma Linda who said he could go to Loma Linda if he went to SMC so his credits from Madison could be accredited. So when he came home we met at Southern Missionary College. He spent one year in Germany.  At SMC Je'sus needed more credits and David got sick.  Je'sus became discouraged and we went to Puerto Rico.

We only stayed one year in Puerto Rico. Keith was born in our Bella Vista Hospital. In those days we couldn't drive all way to Chinto's house. We had to walk about two miles. We also walked to church and caried our good shoes when we visited them.



Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chapter 1 Part 2

We lived with Grandpa and Grandma in Buffville for a while. Daddy and Uncle Pete made a living by driving to Joplin, Missouri, to buy fruit and vegetables to sell door to door. The landlord moved another house to replace the burned one and we moved back there. The first thing I can remember, ever, was there. I remember talking to Daddy and I think we were dressed for Church.  We did have a new Model A Ford. Daddy paid $600.00 for it. They made a platform of something and a bar that slid under the back of the car so they could haul more baskets of fruit.

Later we moved north of Altoona to a big old farm house and I remember a big empty silo. One Christmas Aunt Lola, Uncle Derral, Donald (his brother), Aunt Fay and Uncle Les, Aunt Jessie and Uncle John all came and had a wonderful fun time.  Some of the guys, in the night ate a pie and said it was Santa. They also tied some of the men's clothes in knots. 'We didn't have a tree but Mom gave me a small rubber doll. We had lots of hard Christmases. Daddy saved dimes so we would always have a little something at Christmas. To this day I have to have a little hard Christmas candy at Christmas. No one likes it and I have to throw most of it out, but it wouldn't be Christmas without it.

                                   LLOYD, DELBERT, HAZEL, OPAL, BOB, BEN

We later moved back to Buffville. Grandpa and Grandma still lived there and a few other families and Fred's Store. We had a cow and sometimes Daddy would let me ride her when he took her to the shale pit for water. Bob was born there. We called him Bobby Bill as they couldn't decide what to call him-Bobby or Billy.We lived several places after that.

We never knew we were poor. Daddy worked anywhere he could, Hoeing corn or other farm work. Even on WPA awhile. After high school Lloyd was at the CCC camp (Civilian Conservation Corps).

We had a happy childhood, enjoyed our cousins and aunts and uncles coaxing us to visit. We also enjoyed wonderful family get togethers. I had many cousins I loved but I was closest to Uncle Pete and Aunt Osa's family. We went to church at the home of friends in Neodesha. We never had a preacher, just Elder Jones from Fredonia. Daddy was not an Adventist but usually went to church with us. Our other aunts and families that lived close were not Adventists at that time but did join later.

                                                    BEN AND HAZEL LAWRY

Our happiest times were when we got to spend the night with each other. Vera and I were the same age and Viola a little older. Delbert and Ivan were about the same age and Leo a little younger. To me it was more fun at their house. We got to ride home in the back of the pick-up truck, go after the cows (which we enjoyed more than they as they had to do it all the time). We played in the water barrels, at the spring, and in the creek. Slid down the calf shed roof ate watermelon in the patch, climbed trees, and sometimes Aunt Osa would make us molasses taffy.

Once we started to get some molasses (they made their own) from a container outside the kitchen but someone or something had the lid off and a poor chicken had gotten into it. She was a sad sight but we rescued her and washed her off so she was as good as new. Once we begged to stay up till midnight and Aunt Osa let us, but it really wasn't that exciting.

They made their own molasses. They squeezed the juice in a big mill run by a mule walking round and round. Then they boiled the juice in a large pan about 3 x 10 with three divisions over an open fire until it was of the right consistency. Aunt Osa would pick wild mushrooms and fry a whole skillet in butter. Yum, Yum!

Daddy always smoked a pipe. But gave it up and joined the SDA church when I was in seventh grade. We attended meetings in Chanute and he became a believer.

When they were first married he went to the Methodist church. Mom would go with him and he would go with her. Lloyd didn't much like that. He never did accept Adventism, but after Jane Ellen was born when he looked at her said, “There has to be a God", so he and Aunt Kathy became Baptists.

                                                      BOB, OPAL, DELBERT

When I was in seventh grade we packed all we could in a trailer hooked to our old model A Ford and started for Popular Bluff, Missouri. Uncle John and Aunt Jessie lived there and daddy could work in a greenhouse where he worked. Lloyd drove us. I remember him saying as we drove out of a service station, "If a fly sits on this load we'll never make it." But we did!

Lloyd didn't stay but went to Dallas, Texas, to some cousins and did well. He worked at several jobs then got on with Braniff Airways and stayed until he retired.

We stayed there that winter. We shared a house with Jessie and John, Leland and LeRoy. Tom was born that year. Delbert, LeRoy, and I went to school there (interesting to me, here in Collegedale I met and became close friends with the lady, Thelma, who ran the greenhouse back in Poplar Bluff and her sister was married to Uncle John's cousin).

That Spring Mom and Daddy decided to follow the fruit harvest (John and Jessie had done it.). We started out picking strawberries and went on up to Michigan to peaches, pears, apples, and grapes. Mom was really fast at it and the rest of us did what we could. I had to start school in Hollywood, Michigan.

While there I got my first perm. The curlers were on long electric cords. We got a different car and headed back to Kansas. Guess they did pretty well. They bought an eighty acre farm.



Chapter 1 Part 1

Grandma Reeve, Edith May Lewis, was born in De Moines, Iowa, on July 19, 1877.  At a young age, her mother, Nancy Jane Swan Lewis went to take care of her parents for ten or twelve years.  Edith and her father, John Henry Vreland Lewis, were not allowed to go.

Her father came to visit his sister in Tennessee.  While there he took sick and died. He is buried in St. Elmo's Cemetery at the foot of Lookout Mountain. Aunt Lola and Aunt Fay (Reeve) Prowant looked it up when visiting Donna and Bill near Chattanooga, Tennessee several years ago. Many of us cousins have visited his grave.

Grandma went to school in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1891. She visited the Chicago World's Fair in 1892. She had three sisters (Jenny, Ella, and Ida), and two brothers (Frank and Charles). Charles was a state senator from the thirty-eighth district in California. He also owned several drugstores and became wealthy. He lost it all during the depression. He visited the family in Kansas when my mother, Hazel Reeve Lawry, was young.

My grandpa, William Urbin Reeve (always called Urbin) was born in Nicoma) Illinois, in May, 1875. He had two sisters and two brothers (Ida, Edith, Ira, Leslie, and Ivan).

Grandma and Grandpa met during his days of delivering milk where Grandma worked. They were married on May 24, 1895, in Canton, Illinois. Three of their children were born there (Alma, Zenella, and Robert). Robert only lived a few days.

In 1902 they moved to a farm east of Altoona, Kansas. Four children were born there (Orval (Pete), Hazel, Jessie, and Fay.

After moving to Wickes, Arkansas, more children were born (Lola, Dolly Fern, and Leslie). Dolly Fern lived less than two years. While there Grandpa Reeve was Justice of the Peace for that area. He performed marriages, etc.

When my mother, Hazel was about 18 years of age they moved back to Kansas in three covered wagons. This was in about 1924. They invested in the Petite homestead a few miles out of Thayer, Kansas. The house there was a Sears Roebuck pre-cut house.  Mr. Petite's daughter, Mrs. Frank Perkins, and family lived next door on a farm. They only lived there a short time as farming was not Grandpa Reeve's thing. They sold it to Orval and Osa who moved up from Arkansas when Viola (she was born on September 12, 1925) was about six months old.

                                                              HAZEL REEVE

In a letter from Uncle Les Reeve---He said that when they moved back to Kansas they had comfortable beds in each wagon which Grandpa Reeve made in his black smith shop. They were three weeks along the way. They picked cotton on the way while in Oklahoma. They had a pet squirrel and a pet dog with them.

I remember my mother saying that one problem was there were no restrooms along the way. (From Derral Reeve's book, they stopped in Oklahoma and picked cotton for two weeks. So it must have taken three weeks to travel the three hundred miles from Wickes, Arkansas to Thayer, Kansas).

Grandma became a Seventh-day Adventist in her youth. Seems she never lived near a church but Aunt Fay said she gathered her children together every Sabbath morning and studied with them. In Arkansas they went to a community church. Grandpa was a Dunkard but as far as I know he never went to church. In his very last years he gave up his snuff and gave his heart to Christ.

Les said grandma insisted they move back to Kansas so the children could get a better education. Alma and Zenella had already moved back to Kansas and married. Jessie was a secretary. She worked at Enterprise Academy. Fay, Lola, and Leslie all attended the academy there. Jessie met Uncle John Borton while there and married him. Aunt Fay went to western Kansas to teach church school. While there two brothers, her students, lost their mother. She later married their father, Uncle Les Prowant. The two boys were Donald and Derral. Derral went to Enterprise while Lola was attending. They married. (Uncle Leslie Reeve went on to Madison College and became a nurse where he met and married Aunt Helen Lamberton Reeve from the state of Washington. He served in the Air Force then returned to attend Loma Linda and became a doctor. He was the only one of the family to attend college.

After selling the farm to Orval and Osa, Grandma and Grandpa moved to Buffville. Grandpa Reeve went to work at the brickyard. All the people who lived there worked at the brick yard. There was a small store and a rooming house. My father stayed at the rooming house.

                                                              BEN LAWRY

Uncle Les told me this in a letter---He said that Mom and Aunt Lola delivered milk to the boarding house and Daddy began talking to them and then walked home with them and then would sit on the porch and talk. Les and Lola would crawl under the porch and listen, 'till Daddy caught them once.'

Mom and Daddy were married on September 30, 1927 . Daddy had been married before and had a son, Lloyd, about 9 years of age. His mother was raised by strict grandparents who wouldn't let her go out much. She really liked a faster kind of life than Daddy liked. Lloyd told me he tried to bring her back, but she did not want him. Later she was very sick and came back to his family. My mother said she sat and talked and cried with her and she told Mom she was thankful Mom could care for Lloyd. She died. Mom and Lloyd were always close. Daddy was eleven years older than Mom.

We lived in Buffville until the brickyard closed down. I was born there. We then rented different places and Daddy did whatever he could find to do, mostly on farms. Of course it was the depression years and no one had much.

We lived in a farm house near Buffville when Delbert was born. Daddy and Grandpa were in Colorado harvesting broomcorn at that time. Lloyd had to go to the neighbors in the middle of the night to call the doctor when Delbert was born. Lloyd said they got ice from the ice man and made ice cream a lot. Grandma Reeve was staying with them while Grandpa was gone. I guess that was why my mother was never crazy about ice cream and Delbert weighed twelve pounds. Mom said when Daddy came home he had a red beard and when he kissed me I said "stick you me" and he shaved it off.

                                          LLOYD, DELBERT, AND OPAL

That house burned down while we were all away. I was bare foot and my shoes burned up. All the neighbors could save was a cedar chest Lloyd had made at school; in it were Delbert's baby clothes which were too small for him. I believe Jane Ellen has that chest now.