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.
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.
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.
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.
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