Martin Vol. 3 (Continued
from Vol. 2)
Your Favorite Pastime or Hobby as a Child --
The answer depended on what age I happened to
be at the time. I can remember that I always wanted to make something
or create something, but it was usually done in the form of drawing,
making objects or figures with modeling clay and as I grew older, I
built crystal set Radios, Telephones, Telegraph Sets or experimented
with my Microscope and Chemistry Set.
Since by now, I was the only kid at home, I learned
to do most things by myself. Due to my serious illnesses as a young
child I became over protected by my Mother and my time was rationed
when permitted to visit other young ones in the area. After awhile,
I became bored from digging the rich red clay from the ground and pounding
it into flat slabs, from which I carved and shaped little buildings,
often times they were fashioned into little jail houses for horny toads,
I then began looking around for other things to do.
As you realize, young boys will soon find a way
to connive & find something to do, even if it may call for a bit
of imagination and maybe a little white lie now and then. Well,
Hebe (Breezee) Bishop, the son of the Nazarene Preacher, lived over
on Burch Street N.W. and this was only a short distant from 409 12th.
N.W. and not really terribly far from half way between the two houses
on out to Bells Tank.
Bells Tank was a small, shallow pond located
about where the grocery store once was located at the Broadlawn Shopping
Center. Actually at that time the area was completely rural and not
a house any where near what is now known as the Broadlawn Addition and
for that matter the area where the Charles Evans School is located there
was a large cotton patch.
The pond was only about 3 ft. deep -- There were
no people anywhere near, and it was really OK to skinny dip under those
conditions. Neither of us could swim, but the pond was not over our
heads and we could not pass up this wonderful window of opportunity
to go swimming. My folks always told me to not go near the water
until I learned how to swim.
Anyway, Hebe would arrange with his Mother to
go over to my house, and at the same time I would arrange with my mother
to go over to his house. Hebe and I would meet at a vacant lot which
was about half-way between the two houses and then run like crazy out
to Bells Tank. This went on for some time and was never uncovered by
our parents. I learned to swim in that pond, in fact Hebe and I both
learned to swim in that pond, we were probably 12 years old at the time.
In all fairness, I want to say a word about the
most wonderful Man I have ever known , and that was my Dad. Pop worked
very hard to make a living for our family (and relatives) and
as I have mentioned before, if he had any spare time it was used in
the garden or providing for us in some way, and then there was his genuine
devotion to the Church and his dedication to the Lord. Daddy always
did the ironing at home because he had once been a Taylor in his early
days and also my mother could not hold an iron - before my sister was
married and was still home she did much of the ironing and other housework.
Pop cut our hair but he did a terrible job of
that and he never did learn how to use the hand clippers without pulling
our hair out by the roots (OUCH! Even now). Here is the point
I want to make... My Daddy did not own a gun, so he never took me hunting.
My Daddy could not swim, and he never took me swimming. My Daddy did
not own even a fishhook and knew nothing about fishing, and he never
took me fishing. Until I was grown, my Daddy never asked me to go anywhere
just the two of us.
Hey, when there was work going on around the
house I got to learn how to do that by helping him & he taught me
how to fix something with whatever you had on hand, and since he hardly
ever threw anything away there was usually something stuck somewhere.
We had a *metal box filled with all kinds of odds and ends of "junk"
and that is where you went if you needed a part to rig something up.
There was usually something there that could be forced to workout in
*[We dubbed it the Ketchall
Pop would support you in every way he could,
he would encourage you in saying there is no such word as "Can't"
and although his formal education as he grew up was very limited, he
went ahead and educated himself to a level that anyone would be proud
of and he insisted that education was the very key to success. Also
it should be noted that Pop was not a dour, unpleasant or boring individual.
He had a great personality and a wonderful sense of humor, his customers
at the Drug Store respected and loved him because he was a true humanitarian
and a genuine people person. Actually, there just was never a dull moment
when you were in his presence. I think everyone that knew him respected
and loved that man they knew As J.E.Martin and we knew as Daddy ---
I thank God for the fact that he was my Dad.
Mischievous Prank Did I Pull On Someone?
I don't remember ever pulling a prank on anyone.If
later, I am reminded of some incident that I performed I will back track
and add it to this text.
I have a Television When I Was Growing Up?
What Was My Favorite Program & Why?
Television did not exist unless of course it
was being developed in some research laboratory. In the early part of
my childhood it was quite uncommon to even find a radio in the home.
In answer to the question I can only say that if your family owned a
radio it was a source of amazement and entertainment in much the same
manner that television was later to become. I remember one day that
our elementary teacher asked for a show of hands of those that had a
radio at home. Perhaps 15% of the students indicated that they had a
radio in their home. Some of the very early radios in the home were
actually only crystal sets that usually were limited to receiving one
station and only then if the station was not too far away.
There would not be such a thing as Network Radio
for some time later. Actually, Radio-AM signals travel in waves much
like ocean waves and the range is much greater than the now available
FM signals which travels in a horizontal line. TV signals travel in
FM signals and explains why Television Transmission and Receiving towers
need to be above obstructions.
The early Radios, which had vacuum tubes and
you had to wait for the tubes to warm up before a signal could be received.
It was essential to have a ground wire that ran from the radio to a
rod that was driven into the ground. Also, it was essential to have
a very high aerial (now called antenna) in order to receive incoming
radio signals. Many years later the Transistor was developed and you
no longer had to wait for the tubes to warm up before the sound would
come on. You witness this effect today when you turn your radio on,
it snaps to full signal immediately. Radio in the home soon became common
place in a few years and the Soap Opera came into existence which brought
a form of entertainment to the home-bound that still prevails even today,
by way of television programming.
Radio brought Theatre, Musicals, Opera, Sports,
News, programs tooled to entertain any member of a family. Programs
such as 'Lum & Abner' and their Jot-um-down store; 'Amos & Andy',
and their Fresh Air Taxi cab; 'Little Orphan Annie' and her dog Sandy;
'The Lone Ranger and Tonto' his Indian side kick; 'The Shadow'; 'Mr.
District Attorney'; 'FibberMcGee & Molly'; 'Easy Aces'; 'Ma Perkins';
'One Man's Family' and many many more.
Radio does not provide that type of entertainment
now because television has taken over that form of programming. Now
with television, we don't have to create the picture in our mind, because
it has robbed us of that experience, much like movies made it unnecessary
for us to read a book. J. Hamilton Green, my Junior High School English
Teacher often observed that going to the Picture Show was a lazy mans
way of reading. No, we did not have TV when I grew up, we had better
form of entertainment - Conversation, Reading, and Radio. (amen)
Some of the Fads From My School Days?
Did I Participate in Them?
We may have had fads but if we did, I have no
idea what they may have been called. Maybe getting a haircut every two
weeks or wearing clean clothes every day were fads. Doing your business
during the week because everything was closed on Sunday may have been
a fad, but it was not the result of a law. Moving Picture Theatres did
not open on Sunday and you would not even think of going fishing or
doing anything "worldly" on the Sabbath. Ballroom dancing
was not common in our area even though the Big Band Era came into prominence
at that time. Its very likely that some of the kids would learn Ballroom
dancing when they went to a city where the Popular Dance Bands were
It seemed that everyone liked the Popular Music
of the day and that included the Country & Western Music also. But
you know, even the adults liked the Music of that time and it must have
been because the songs had words and tunes that you could understand.
Anyone could hum a tune, some could whistle the tune and there were
those among us that could even do a fair job of singing the tunes.
Later there was a weekly radio show entitled
'Your Hit Parade' and they played and sang the 10 most popular songs
of the week and would save the number one song for the last one on the
program. That show was very popular and later when Television came along
the Program adapted very well.
I must state this fact -- When Rock &
Roll came along, music as we had know it faded out and the Popular Hit
Parade died out completely. (phooey!)
Well. as fads go I suppose the Bobbie Socks and
Penny Loafers could be regarded as a fad, for girls. Girls were never
seen wearing boys clothes to school. On the farm some of the girls wore
overalls but never blue jeans. The usual dress for a boy in school was
regular pants and shirt, but at home or on the farm it was the overalls
that prevailed, not blue jeans (Levi's they were know as, back then).
Now ,let me clear the air on some of the impressions
the above comments may have made. The time frame I have reiterated only
addresses my Junior and Senior High School years, and would hardly go
beyond 1940 because it was not long before 'The Nation' was about to
make a dramatic change in its social & economical way of life.
Boys were soon to be in military service and
were sent to places on this earth they had never heard of or known to
be mentioned in Social Studies Classes. Girls went to work in defense
plants and other areas of employment that customarily would be filled
The mode of dress changed dramatically, and the
World, as we had known it, was gone forever. Zoot suits with long gold
key chains hanging from the enormous lapels of the ungainly, baggy,
balloon legged pants were common sights to be seen on the streets of
large cities on the west coast. Large floppy rimmed hats and huge sun
glasses were just part of the style that seemed to generate among the
mod crowd out where many large defense plants had provided them with
wealth they had never known before. That style of dress, was usually
adopted by the physically unfit (4F) young man that would not be suited
for military duty.
Fortunately that fad did not take in our part
of the Country and soon died out even where it had originated. For the
girls, silk hose were not available at any price and since it was before
Nylon was invented the women either painted their legs with some kind
of cosmetic concoction, to create the illusion that hose were indeed
being worn, or they simply wore socks and loafers. Girls still dressed
in traditional dresses, skirts & blouses, and the usual lingerie
which included a petty coat or slip. As time went on it became common
to see women dressed in work clothes in the same manner as the men they
worked with, especially in areas where war time industry was running,
day and night, seven days a week.
Was My Favorite Teacher?
How Did That Teacher Influence My Life?
It needs to be noted that I was not a good scholastic
student and I think most of what I learned was through the process of
osmosis. I did have teachers that I greatly admired and I know that
if it had not been for their perseverance and dedication to their charge,
I would not have made it to graduation from High School.
I remember always having great respect for them
all but that was about as far as it went, until I found out that they
really expected me to learn something & what a lick that was. I
remember the year that I was in the 7th grade, the schools
in the State ran out of money. Most of the teachers continued to teach
without being paid until it became evident that our school year would
only go for 7 months.
Although the Teachers had taught without being
paid, they were issued Warrants which were honored and held by some
merchants but the value was discounted a certain percent. I really don't
know the details and what I have stated here is a reflection of the
way I understood it as a child. I always seemed to have a difficult
time understanding Math and it was in the 10th grade, while
taking a course commonly referred to as High School Math that I would
most certainly have failed had it not been for a most dedicated young
teacher by the name of Ruth Frazier.
Miss Frazier was a tough teacher to have as a
math instructor but she seemed to be dedicated to the proposition that
she just absolutely would not give a student an "F" if they
would give her a reason not to. With an understanding that you would
apply yourself, if you were failing, toward ultimately passing the course
she would issue an "Inc". (Incomplete) on your report
card. In order to get the Inc. raised to a passing grade, she
would spend many hours past the usual scheduled school day to provide
special attention to the troubled student. Not only did she stay after
school every week day she would also be there all day Saturday.
Miss Frazier usually had one of her exceptionally
bright students to assist her in tutoring some of the students. I doubt
if Miss Frazier or her Tutors were ever given any extra compensation
for those efforts. I am ashamed to say that I don't remember ever telling
her how much I appreciated what she did for me. I must say however,
I was not the only student that stayed after school and came back on
Saturdays to study. It seemed to me that over half the class would be
there in the after hours to make up their deficit.
Sometime later she became Mrs. Evans but she
continued to teach the same math subject. Perhaps she taught for too
long a time because in later years her seemingly dedicated stance took
on an air of domination and the parents of her students resented the
after hours sessions, which had become somewhat of a requirement in
order to pass the course.
Mrs. Madden was my High School English teacher.
She was already in her later years as a teacher when I came under her
tutorage but she was probably the most gracious person I had ever had
the privilege to know. I was not a very wonderful student in grammar
either but for some reason I liked the Literature part of the subject
and I excelled in poetry and appreciation of the classics.
Mrs. Madden had someone to paint the following
quotation on the black board just behind and above her desk, to wit
"Language is the dress of thought, every time you speak your
mind is on parade". I don't know who the author of that verse
was, maybe she wrote it, but I will be willing to say that no one ever
finished that class without at least absorbing that quotation into their
mind, or left the class without a good feeling toward Mrs Madden. She
was a real Lady.
What Was the Nicest Thing I Ever
Did For My Mother & Father.
I Loved them and respected them and honored
them at all times.
Did I Admire
A Famous Person?
What Made That Person Admirable?
In school we were taught to admire certain famous
persons and they taught us why we should admire them. I found that I
could respect them for what they stood for and had accomplished but
somehow I simply was not impressed enough to admire them. I have told
about people that I loved and respected throughout my young life but
even to this day I do not know of any person that I actually admired.
I have known people in high places and in all
walks of life but I find it difficult to ever be especially impressed
by them. To say that I admired them would not be a proper statement
for me to make.
I Have My First Date?
I was in the 5th.Grade and probably
around 11 years of age. I had delivered circulars for my dad's Drug
Store and had earned 25 cents, which was enough to buy two theatre tickets
and a 5 cent bag of Popcorn. There was a very pretty little blond by
the name of Ruby Underwood in my class at Franklin School and I had
"liked" her for a long time but I had no idea whether she
liked me or not. I went over to her house, which was on 3rd.
Ave. NW, and when she came to the door I asked her to go to the
show with me. Ruby accepted my invitation and after I went home and
cleaned up I stopped by her house and we walked to the Palace Theatre
[years later it was renamed the Tivoli Theatre] together and
we watched a Western movie while we shared the popcorn.
I never initiated another date with her since
I didn't have the money but one day she called and said that her mother
agreed to come pick me up to go riding around in their car with her
and her sister if I wanted to. Although that affair never went any further,
I suppose I had accomplished more than I expected and as the growing
up years flew by we were always friends. Her Daddy owned the Ardmore
Milling Company and years later when I would pick up stock feed for
the Heartsill Grade A Dairy Farm, Ruby would make out the purchase order
for me and she still had that pretty smile. Ruby was a very nice girl.
I Remember About My First Kiss?
I suppose I had gone through the routine of the
good night kiss many times before I experienced what I would call my
first Kiss. I will only say that I will never forget that particular
incident and it got my attention. [However, that was not the ultimate
I Enjoy Reading As A Boy?
What Were Some of the Most Memorable Books I Read?
Yes! I enjoyed reading as a boy. I don't remember
having any trouble learning to read - probably a little ahead of schedule
for my age, and I read everything I came in contact with, including
the labels on everything I encountered.
The books I read ranged from the pulp paper Western
theme stories, like the Smith & Wesson western stories, all the
way to the Classics and subjects of scientific nature. I read a Zane
Gray book now and then, but my teacher would not give credit for a book
report on his writings.
In our elementary classes the Weekly Reader was
provided by our school and was a must on our reading list. I
went far beyond the required reading format and always had my book reports
ready to make verbally, when it came my time to be called upon. My Mother
subscribed to many magazines and I read them all and when she subscribed
to the'Boys Life' magazine for me I was very pleased.
Also, during those days I went from door to door
selling various popular magazines to people that did not subscribe regularly
to any particular magazine. I made a commission on those sales and I
also got to read them, which was a bonus for me. I would go to the Carnegie
Library (located on Stanley Ave. where the Ardmore Garden Center
is now housed) regularly to check out books to read and sometimes
study. I suppose it never occurred to me that I was indeed educating
myself, I just wasn't wise enough to realize it I suppose.
Through the years I continue to read many books
and articles regularly and I pick them carefully because I try to avoid
fiction when I can, without locking myself out on certain popular books
of the day. When I spent the summer(s) at Uncle Purlee's I was delighted
to find that my 'school teacher' cousin, Carl Wilson, had brought home
some very interesting books and had put them on shelves he had assembled
in the out-building that was used for storage and a place to take a
shower. When I discovered the books I must have read most of them in
what little spare time I had, which was usually on rainy days.
One book that I especially enjoyed was entitled
"The Harvester" and it dealt with a man that gathered
plants and herbs in the woods, to be sold to the Drug Companies that
used them to make Extracts & Tinctures. Of course the story actually
involved characters that interacted with the harvester in his personal
life. I Liked the book very much and it must have been recently published
because not long afterwards a movie was released by that name and it
appeared at the theatre in Ardmore. It was truly a shock to me when
I saw the movie and discovered the producers had rewritten the story
entirely and although the theme dealt with a person that was a Harvester
of herbs and some of the names of the principle characters remained
the same that was about all that remotely followed the story line as
it was written by the author.
It was then that I discovered that most movies
do not follow the book as it is written and I also learned that you
canot copyright a book title. An example -- I once read a book
entitled "The Flaming Sword" and since the subject
matter of the book dealt with matters of a timely nature I thought I
would like to read it again. It had probably been 45 or 50 years since
I originally read the book. I could not find the book listed at the
Ardmore Library and when I requested assistance from the Librarian she
wanted to know who the author of the book was. I had no idea who the
author was because it had been so long ago when I read the book. Then
the nice lady wanted to know the subject matter of the book because
in her research to find the book I wanted, she found several books by
that same title and none of them were even remotely similar.
She did find the book was available at the Fort
Worth Library and she managed to borrow it from them just for me, which
I appreciated very much. The whole experience caused me to remember
a lesson I learned back when I carried a paper route in a poor paying
neighborhood, you can't put someone in jail for not paying their paper
bill and that's a fact of life in some other matters also, even out
in the real world. Maybe some day there will be a few more books named
'Gone With the Wind'.
Remember above when I mentioned this out building
that was used for storage and a place to take a shower? The shower part
was actually an appendage to the main structure and it had large frosted
plate glass walls that had come from a building that Granddaddy Estes
had once owned over in the town of Soaper, Oklahoma. The building had
been dismantled and much of the material was sold to the public. In
order to make the shower a working fixture we had placed a barrel on
top of the shower part & each morning we carried water up the ladder
to fill it with water, taken from the well that had the softest water.
It wasn't really a new idea because it was a fairly common practice
around the country but it was new to me. Anyway, by attaching a rubber
hose with shower head thereon and a metal cut-off clamp on the hose,
It worked very well.
Just remember to put the soap in a metal box
with lid, so the rats wouldn't eat the soap. In the evening after the
sun had warmed the water to the perfect temperature it was a real delight
to take a shower that way - It beat bathing in the creek or the stock
Were My Family Finances Like When I Was Growing Up?
How Did That Affect Me?
This subject has been covered in some of the
ramblings I have previously spoken of in previous answers to other questions.
My Daddy was the sole bread winner in our family and I never knew of
him to be unemployed. However, even if any member of the family had
any income, on occasion, my Daddy never suggested that their funds be
commingled with the family income to help defray expenses. If we, as
individuals, happened to accumulate any money, we bought our own clothes
or used it for items that were regarded as necessary.
Incidental expenses, like entertainment or gifts
for others was bought from our own earnings. In my very young years,
before I could earn any money, I may get a nickel or a dime by asking
for it. Each Sunday we were given our Sunday School Offering, which
had been placed in an envelope for us but I never really knew the amount
therein until one day my envelope came unsealed and 15 cents fell out
into my pocket. It may be possible that sometimes there would only be
a penny or two but you could be sure the envelope was never empty.
This financial status never offended me in the
least. Years later when I got a job while going to Art School in Chicago,
I realized that I was making enough extra money that I sent it home
to Mama & Daddy to maybe help cover the added expense of sending
me to Art School. They kept it alright but they simply opened a savings
account in my name at the Exchange National Bank. This account remained
active for several years, because even when I was in the Army during
WWII I continued to send money home and they promptly added it to my
account. God truly blessed me with my parents.
There A Special Person That Helped Me In My Christian Walk?
My Mother was the special person that explained
many things about being a Christian but I think my Dad was also a special
person by being the roll model to follow and to try & emulate. Actually,
I think I have answered this question in previous replies.
Things I Wish I Had Done During
My Junior High & High School Years, But Didn't.
Concentrate on being a better
Express my appreciation to
many of my teachers for the effort they had put forth, to teach me.
To try and prepare myself for
Childhood, Who Was My Best Friend.
I had many friends and each one had a different
type of friendship to offer. Usually I would get together with the friend
that specialized in whatever I wanted to do at a given time. For example,
if I wanted to climb the Ardmore City Water Tower at the north edge
of town, I would solicit Joe Curtis because he would do anything just
for the heck of it.
The wind was blowing hard out of the south the
summer day we climbed the tower and when we got to the top and threw
our hats off they sailed north almost out of sight, I told about Hebe
(pronounced HeBeB) earlier and how we learned to swim in Bells
Lint Matthews was another friend whose daddy
owned the Live & Let Live Shoe repair shop down on Caddo Street.
Lint lived just a few blocks from me and he specialized in girls &
telling lies. He also was notorious for trading things much like a horse
trader. It was from Lent that I got a hand cranked 35mm movie projector,
a one tube radio set, and it was from him that my friend Dan Heartsill
got the little Stevens single shot 22 rifle that I later got from Dan.
I had first dibs on the rifle and I had the money
to swap for it, but my Daddy would not permit the acquisition of a gun
under any circumstances. It was an old gun even then and I truly wanted
it 'big time' but I lost out on the deal - Years later Dan came
to me and said "Teague, if you want that little rifle, I have
been saving it for you until some day when you could own a gun of your
own. Now if you still want it, you can have it for a dime".
I appreciated that even more so because it exhibited a true friendship.
This incident happened many years later because
by that time I had bought a Little Scout single shot 22 Rifle at the
Newstate Hardware Store. That gun was new and costs $4.24 and I paid
it out at the rate of 25 cents a week from my earning on the paper route.
A box of 22shorts (shells) cost 15 cents across the street at
Montgomery Wards Store.
Dan's Dad had bought the 'Pay & Takeit'
grocery store up on the NW corner of 12th. Ave. and E St.
NW & the family lived in the house that was located next door west
of the store. The store building had been moved to that location from
Wilson, Oklahoma and previously a little one pump filling station had
occupied that lot.
Dan and I were in the 4th. Grade and
even before we realized that we were neighbors we became friends. Dan
was a very husky kid which contrasted to my skinny frame and therefore
he somehow assumed the roll of my protector. I remember very well a
time when Walter Valley (a kid that was always starting fights)
decided it was time to 'whup' me out on the school grounds, and when
Dan saw what was happening he told Walter that he would have to fight
By the time I reached Junior High School, I again
encountered The Walter Valley of old and he decided that he was
still going to whup me. However, by this time I had matured and
felt that I needed no protector to save me from this kid but before
long, Walter challenged me to meet him out behind the sign boards across
the street from the school. At that time the Katy railroad still existed
and the track ran parallel to 3rd. Ave.NW- Both West &
East. You probably know that the street we call Grand Ave., is in fact,
the old right of way for the track as it went West. The Depot and shipping
docks are now used by the American Legion but part of that complex now
has buildings that have been used by the school system. The sign boards
occupied the area just West of the fore mentioned Depot.
I met Walter at the designated place and at the
agreed time, and the usual crowd of boys also showed up to see the big
fight. There was no fight because when Walter discovered that I was
not going to back down from him, he turned and walked slowly away. Even
to this day, Dan & I still wonder if Walter managed to stay out
of jail during his life. I don't remember seeing Walter again after
that year and I presume the family moved away from Ardmore because few
people of our generation even remember him. Dan Heartsill and I are
still close friends and today (Feb.14, 1998) is his 77th.
Did I Ever
Keep A Scrapbook or Photos, Autographs, or Memories of Special Occasions?
One Special Memory About Each of My Brothers and Sister.
My brother, Edgar was nine years older than me,
he graduated from High school when he was 17 years old and immediately
enrolled at Drury College at Springfield, Mo. He graduated from that
college with a BS degree at the age of 21.
I am not sure what subject he earned his degree
in but I was told that he was working on his pre-med and planned to
pursue a degree in medicine. Edgar had a reputation as an exceptional
student and exhibited a very proficient capability in utilizing the
BS he was full of. He told me that he picked subjects that were not
especially difficult in order to increase his grade point average. He
was a handsome young man and had a natural ability to succeed at about
anything he pursued.
I was only 12 years of age when we traveled to
Springfield to attend his graduation and as the years went by, I remained
impressed and was always proud to know that he was my big brother. Edgar
never got his degree in medicine but soon entered the oil business,
by way of becoming a 'rough neck' and as years went by he held top executive
positions with major Oil Companies around the World. He became somewhat
of an international traveler in all parts of the World.
As a child I was not in the company of my brother,
Edgar to an appreciable degree and therefore did not know him very well.
The years difference in our ages very likely played a part in that fact
but I believe it was more because we had so very little contact with
each other. Years later, as adults we discovered we had much in common
concerning our values and we had many one-on-one talks together.
Although our routes to success were varied
and dramatically different, we were enough alike in our common heritage
to establish the bond of brotherhood that we each were graced with.
I always looked up to him as a role model but I didn't try to follow
in his foot steps. I loved my brother, Edgar, and I shall always appreciate
how he expressed love and affection for me, my dear Nita and our children.
By Brother, Calvin, whom I have spoken of affectionately
in this writing, was a very important part of my young life.Calvin was
three years my senior but he was years ahead of me in just about any
activity. He was a good looking fellow and about everyone liked him,
especially the Girls and he was the worlds champion Con-artist
when dealing with others (except Pop). Since we were close in age and
he was such a charmer I soon fell under his spell and could be convinced
to do just about anything he wanted me to do. Although this is a little
off track from the question I am attempting to answer, I can think of
no better place in insert this material.
It was summer time and Calvin & I had gone
down to our beloved Aunt Lucy & Uncle Purlee's farm with Edgar &
his friend, John Lawrence. Calvin & I were all set to run &
play in the woods and just have a great time playing Cars with Aunt
Lucy's snuff bottles in the deep soft sand out in the yard. (when
you see one of those old brown snuff jars you will note that their shape
can be imagined to look exactly like a car of that day).
That was when the Devil popped up by bringing
on a problem we had not expected. It seems that Edgar & John Lawrence
had decided they would go fishing over on Muddy Boggy River and as they
were making their plans to go the next day, Calvin suggested that he
would 'admire' to go along with them. At that time Calvin was about
14 years of age but Edgar would not agree to let him go without first
consulting with Mama & Daddy by phone. Well Calvin knew that would
amount to an automatic NO! from the powers that be and sure enough,
he was right - the answer was NO.
Bright and early the next day Edgar & John
left on their fishing trip and in order to keep our minds off of the
situation Aunt Lucy decided that we should be kept busy working in the
field picking dried black-eyed peas off the vines in about a 2 acre
patch. Now, we are not running in the woods or playing in the sand,
with her snuff bottles but here we are actually being put to work...
Calvin was already mad and this was too much to accept so he decided
that we would just run off the next morning and head back home. He advised
me that the next morning after breakfast while it was still dark and
Aunt Lucy & Uncle Purlee were at the barn doing the milking, that
we would grab pockets full of biscuits & pear tomatoes and take
off down the road east of the house, because the barn was west of the
house and located right next to the road where they were likely to see
us when we went by.
It was two miles to Boswell going the route we
went and another 12 miles from Boswell to the next town, Bennington.
We figured we would very likely catch a ride before we walked as far
as Bennington but we walked every bit of the way on that old HW 70 rough
gravel road and no ride came. We realized right off that we probably
had been found missing by now because by the time we walked to Boswell
we remembered that Uncle Ol Gill owned a produce house in the main part
of town, so we skirted around that area in order to get to the highway
without him seeing us.
We suspected, correctly so, that Aunt Lucy had
already called him and alerted him to be on the look out for us. I think
the old bugger may have seen us anyway and let us go and maybe head
us off by the time we got as far west at Doc. Taliaferro's Store. As
we approached Taliaferro's Store Calvin said "We will cross
the road and keep our heads turned away from that direction so Mrs Taliaferro
may not see us or recognize us".
We heard Mrs Taliaferro, who was of Siamese blood,
in her high-pitched voice exclaim "Ain't that Maud's boys!"
But we just kept on walking, like we didn't
hear anything, and knowing all the time that Aunt Lucy must have called
her too, which she had, we found out later. We saw a Model-T Ford coupe
pull out of the drive way and sure enough it was Doctor Taliaferro offering
us a ride. He said he was making a house call just off the road a ways
and told us to get in and we could ride up to the corner where he had
to turn off. We knew he was just getting close to us to be sure we were
the culprits at large.
We continued on walking, and by now it was probably
9 o'clock in the morning and we were already getting hungry, so we ate
all the biscuits and tomatoes. Hours later we were getting tired and
it was getting hot so we went down under a bridge at a creek called
'Rabbit Creek' to wash our feet and cool off. While we were down there
I just knew I saw Uncle Ol go by in his Model-T truck with the chicken
coups in the back but Calvin said it wasn't. While I had my brand new
tennis shoes off to wash my feet, I notice the gravel on the road had
completely worn the design off the soles.
We were only a mile ot wo from Bennington by
now and just as we reached town, guess what, Uncle Ol pulled up by us
and said "Where you boys goin - don't you know your stomach
will be stuck to your back bone before you get to Ardmore?".
Ironically, we were right in front of the house
that my Daddy had built, and my Sister Ruthelle was born in back in
1914. When we got back to Aunt Lucy's She was standing on the front
porch with a switch in her hand and tears in her eyes - We cried too.
Uncle Purlee came in and we had a most welcome
meal. Later, Uncle Purlee took us down in the woods to a place he called
his park, and he talked to us in a most gentle way. He had chosen a
large Oak tree to lean against and as we sat there, literally at his
feet, he told us how much we were loved by everyone and he hoped we
had learned a lesson of life from the experience. Uncle Purlee was a
great and wonderful man whom we loved dearly, and I always felt indebted
to him. I thank God that we had an Aunt Lucy and UnclePurlee and I am
sorry that every one could not have them as their Aunt & Uncle.
My Siste,r Susan Ruthelle (Martin) Heartsill
is 7 years my senior and has always been most dear to me. All my life,
even before our Mother had a devastating, debilitating stroke my sister
had looked after me. She will tell you that she changed my diapers and
baby sat me throughout most of my young life. Although it would be simple
to say that she was like a second Mother to me I never thought of her
in that way - To me she was just my big sister. I never disputed her
word of authority nor do I remember ever giving her any sass. Ruthelle
married Dewitt Heartsill, Dan Heartsill's big brother, at Davis, Okla.,
On Aug. 22, 1932 when she was around 18 years of age. Their daughter
and only child, Mary Janelle, was born Feb. 21, 1934. They never lived
very far away and when Janelle was born she was delivered at our house
by Dr. J.M.Gordon. Times were rough during those dustbowl and depression
days and jobs were hard to come by and steady jobs were especially hard
to come by.
Dewitt worked at anything he could find in order
to try and eke out a living. He managed to get an old dump truck and
worked on WPA jobs so he worked at the site where Lake Murray was being
constructed. He worked on various highway construction jobs and through
the years he worked at everything from setting up punch boards to working
as a butcher. Frankly, I can't think of any job Dewitt did not do, or
could not do, and he did them all and he did them well. Although the
Heartsill family had moved to Ardmore they still owned the Heartsill
farm, out near Lone Grove (Section 6, Township 5 south, 1 east).
Sometime around 1938, Ruthelle & Dewitt moved
out to the farm and began to build a herd of milchcows (Milk Cows)
in order to start a small Grade A dairy. It was an opportunity for me
to offer a helping hand and since I already knew how to milk a cow I
soon found that I had virtually moved in with them. End
[End of Martin Vol. 3 (Cont.
to Martin Vol. 4]