11-04-1996 - Bo:
"I remember back on Madison Street, Bud, you went to the store to get something and came back ten dollars shy. You were broken up about that to say the least. Mama kept trying to make you stop crying by saying something like "we'll get through this somehow, God knows, we've had worse than this happen to us." But, ten dollars was quiet a chunk of change back then, especially for a nine or ten year old kid. Bo"
11-04-1996 - Bud:
"I believe that ten dollars that you mentioned in your letter, was actually a stamp, for ten pounds of sugar. I remember the time I put that stamp in the mail box, along with a letter, and I had to go back to the mail box, and sit there, until the mailman came, to empty the box. I am not sure, but I think that stamp was worth a lot more than ten dollars.
Talking about Madison Street, do you recall the man who lived across the street? He was more than likely the most popular man on that street. He drove a tanker truck, gasoline, and if you remember, gas was rationed at that time. I don't care how much you pump out of those things, there is always some left in the tank, especially if you can drain the sump pump. Also, he used to give gas to the whole neighborhood.
Do you remember the time I was hit by this car, on the corner of Laurel, and Madison Street? I was going to the movie that day. I remember I was only wearing one glove. Funny how small things like that stand out in your mind. Bud"
11-04-1996 - Jackie:
Bud, I do not remember you being hit by a car. I remember when mother went into labor with Pat, they came and got me out of school at Parkview Elementary School and said they were going to have to send me home to take care of the other kids. I was only ten years old at the time.
Also, do you remember the times that we went to see Vera Bross and her two daughters where they lived in that big house up on the hill by Caddo Lake? We went to get into the boat that had been banked on the edge of the lake and one of the girls told me not to move in my seat because there was a water moccasin coiled up under the seat that I was sitting on. I don't remember what happened after that though.
Also, do you guys remember going to the church where they put us in a dark room and everyone was speaking in unknown tongues? I think that was when we spent time with Eunice Josey, wasn't it? Jackie"
11-12-1996 - Bo:
"I remember Logan Street. That was where we lived when daddy joined the Army Air Corps. I saw this yellow jacket nest and I just had to mess with it. I looked around and found a long stick and whacked it a good one. The next thing I knew, my whole left arm was covered with the little varmints, all of them stinging me with all the enthusiasm they could muster up. I went screaming to mama that they were trying to eat me alive, and she put some baking soda on it which took a little bit of the fire out of it, but it hurt like ---. Some time later, I think it was daddy who took a wad of cloth soaked in coal oil, and burnt the little ____ out.
I remember one of the older neighbor kids had this store bought bow and arrow set. That thing really impressed me. I thought that bow was the neatest thing since that next of yellow jackets got burned out. Bo"
11-22-1996 - Bud:
"The most remembered Christmases I can think of are 1946 and 1949. In 1946, we were taken to this building, down town, where there was a big Christmas tree, and they gave each one of us poor kids a present, mine being a coat. Only later did I discover that it was a girl's coat. Boy, was I embarrassed.
The other Christmas was the time, Jackie, that you gave me a Motorola radio. That was the best present I had ever gotten. I got many a mile out of that radio. You were working at Walgreen's Drug Store at that time. Do you remember when Pa came into Walgreen's, and asked you for a bowl of chili and you asked him if he wanted saltines with it? He had no idea what you were talking about.
You know, I never thought at that time, that we would be considered poor. I know we used to get baskets at Christmas, but I never really put it all together, not that it would have mattered. I think we had a pretty damn good childhood and I enjoyed most of it.
I never thought we were underfed either, but I know when I joined the service, I couldn't get over how much food was in the chow hall. There was food from wall to wall, then they made the mistake of telling us we could have all we wanted. I gained 35 pounds, in basic training, while all of the other people were losing weight. I think they gave us 30 minutes to eat, and I spent all of it feeding my face. The other guys were bitching about how bad the food was, but it tasted pretty damn good to me.
I do remember how we used to have a biscuit for supper, but I never felt deprived of anything. I guess I was just having too much fun growing up. Do you remember the time you and I were fixing coffee, Jackie? It tasted so bad, so we took it back to the store and they gave us another pound of coffee. We did that two or three times, before we discovered that we were using salt instead of sugar in the coffee. We never told anyone about that little mistake. Bud"
11-23-1996 - Bud:
"We knew the R. E. Tackett's in Vivian and we used to buy milk from that family. That family was poorer than we were.
Now, do not take that in the wrong way. I am in no way saying that we were actually poor, I do not recall ever having the lights, gas or phone turned off, nor do I remember going really hungry. We had a radio, record player, stove, hot water heater, ice box (the ice used to cost 10 cents, for a 25 pound block, from the ice wagon, that came around every day.) You know that mother worked at the ordnance plant, (remind me to tell you what happened when I worked there,) while pa was in the army. Pa was making good money in the army, there was no limit on the number of kids they would pay for. At that time, we also were renting one side of the house out, for $15 a month, not much, but the whole house rented for $25 a month, so pa had to pay only $10 a month.
We always bought our groceries from Robert's Grocery, on Laurel, that was before Destrehan's' opened across the street. I remember the kind of vehicle they had, at De'Stephanos', it was a Ford Wagoneer, with the wooden side, and doors. You recall that most grocers delivered, at that time? I don't know if there was any such thing as a supermarket, at that time, but I doubt it.
Remember when Heables opened, on the corner of Laurel and Madison? They used to have these tent revivals on that corner. Do you recall that church we had to pass, on the left side of Laurel, when we went to school? That place used to get really loud. We used to cross the street when we went that way, while they were having service. We often wondered what in hell was going on inside there. Bud"
11-23-1996 - Bud:
"You talk about remembrances, wouldn't it be something if that old house at 1513 Madison Street could talk? As far as I am concerned, that is where our basics began. I realize that we all had many experiences, in places, before and after that house, but for me, that was my upbringing.
Things like Jackie running home from the store, with a bottle of milk, when she got right in front of Bobby Belcher's house, she tripped and cut the hell out of her little finger. She probably remembers that. (Side note from Jackie - "oh, do I remember it, as mother had to rush me to the Charity Hospital - the main tendons were cut, and it was an intern who patched the finger up and he botched it so badly, that I can't bend the finger to this day.
When we used to draw a circle on the living room floor to play marbles, it was too cold or wet outside.
Do any of you remember when we got together
and sent a letter to this place, I think it was some radio station, to get
mother the title of "Mother of the Week?" She got an orchid.
Really, mother should have gotten the title of "mother of the century!" If it had not been for her, we would not have eaten, many a time. I remember she used to go to work, at Willis Knighton, as a nurses' aide, and then come home to do washing and ironing for other people, we used to carry the laundry to and from these people's houses.
I also remember when I used to go to Sears, on Texas Avenue, and spend most of the day walking up and down the stairs. I still do not know why, it was just something I enjoyed, but nowadays they would throw you in the loony bin for doing that. A lot of times I would walk to town to do that. I know that we sure did a lot of walking when we were younger. It really helped us, health wise, in later days.
I remember, when I went through that bout with blood poisoning, in 1963, my fever never went under 105, and lord only knows how high it went, the thermometers they had only registered up to 108, and they topped out each day. Anyway, what I wanted to say was when I was on the way to getting better, the doctor looked at me and said "you must have been very healthy to have lived through that." So, we must not have been too deprived of all that much when we were younger. It is like you put it, Bo, we were rich beyond measure, when we were growing up.
I think what separated me, Bo and Jack was the fact that we had each other to draw upon. Bud"
11-23-1996 - Bo:
"I remember the Christmas of 1946. There was this big damn Christmas in the Municipal auditorium. All us kids, not just us kids, but it must have been every kid in town made a mad dash for that Christmas tree. That damned thing looked higher than a house there in the center of the auditorium. I was only able to rescue a pathetic little water pump made of tin, but it was mine. I earned the ____ thing.
I don't remember exactly whatever happened to that dumb thing, but I do remember that I was pumping like mad on this dumb little water pump handle wondering just how the water was becoming so intentional, and of course it was screeching like fingernails coming down a blackboard. Daddy snatched it up and went to work on it with a can of 3 in 1 oil. It did fix it for a spell.
That must have been the year the church put that big basket of food on our front porch. As I recall, it didn't have that much value, just a lot of good intentions, gift stuff mostly.
We were rich, damn we were rich, beyond our wildest dreams. No one, including ourselves knew it then, but we know it now. But as it was, many people nowadays would give their front seat in hell to have had our upbringing.
One thing is for sure, we ain't trash. Our genes may have been trash and a lot of people may have looked down their noses at us, but even with the tribulations, we suffered in becoming adults, we are without doubt the sociological wonder of the twentieth century. We had to have something going for us and if any of us can ever figure out what that strength was, we could well save the civilization from itself. Bo"
11-24-1996 - Buddy:
"I was going to tell you something that happened to me, way back about 1967 or so. I was working at the ordnance plant, and I had been there only a few weeks, working on the f-line. We were putting cluster bombs together - you know how money hungry some of these bastards are, and they kept on increasing the speed of the line; it was really an accident, looking for a place to happen. Sure enough, one week after I quit that job, f-line had it. I guess someone couldn't handle that speed, and dropped one of the cluster bombs, they were designed to explode on impact, and when one went off, all the others went too. They were still scraping people off the walls weeks after that. It killed everyone on that line. So, things could have been worse, I guess. Bud"
12-08-1996 - Bud:
"Did I tell you about the time, when I worked at Big Chain on Greenwood Road, that I put the wrong bag of groceries in the wrong car or maybe the right bag in the wrong car of the wrong bag in the right car, ah, what the hell, the groceries wound up in a car they didn't belong in. I was working as a bag boy, and the customer told me to put them in a gray car. I know it sounds stupid, but I had no idea what the color gray looked like. I picked out a car, that I thought looked like it might be gray and it was the wrong car. I was not about to go to the boss and admit I didn't know what gray was. Somebody got a free bag of groceries, and I got in a world of trouble. Bud"
04-24-2005 - Betty Gale:
"I remember playing with my little Cinderella doll; and playing under the willow tree on the side of the house, but not sure where we lived at the time. I also remember playing house with cardboard boxes and playing with my little girl friends in the neighborhood.
A wonderful memory was when I went to Granny Josey's and climbing up on the step stool that she had, and then onto her marvelous feather bed that was so great to sleep in. Granny had a lot of chickens and I remember every time I went out to get the eggs, the rooster would chase me all over the chicken yard.
Another memory that I have is how we went out and collected any kind of soda bottles we could find, took them to the store for a refund of three pennies per bottle, then used that money to go to the Venus Theater to see double features. Also, we would stop on the viaduct as the trains came under, and stand there as smoke from the trains came up all around us. We also wonder how we lived this long after all of us kids ran behind the trucks as they drove down the street spraying for mosquitoes with all of that DDT insecticide being sprayed out as we were running in it.
I loved the period when I was in ballet class. I was able to do that, because I helped the ballet teacher, Ms. Cornett, clean her house, and I received free ballet lessons. That was special to me.
I, too, remember picking cotton in the hot sun and pulling those big heavy cotton bags for so little money. The cotton bolls had stickers that really cut our fingers, but gloves were not a luxury that we were afforded.
And, I STILL listen to those old time radio shows, and just love them! Betty"
"I remember when we lived on Madison Street in the 1940's. It was so hot that I went to the ice box, opened the door and stuck my feet inside to put them on the block of ice to cool off.
Bud and Jack were supposed to walk me to school in the first grade, but they both left me and were not worried about Sister getting to school at all. I think that was a good thing, because it instilled an independent attitude in me, and made me a better person.
I remember trying to comb Pat and Betty's hair and they screamed as if they were being killed every time. They would say "you are hurting me and I would really jerk them some more then.
Jackie also has a picture
of me when I was quite young, with a cigarette in my hand and a mug of water with soap
suds in it to make it look like a beer. It was a fun rigged picture.
05-14-05 - Bo
08-05-05 - Pat
"I only vaguely remember the Christmas parties that we all went to at Margie Sneed's home where she had a lot of us kids over every Christmas. If I remember correctly, Margie kept Betty and me so we did not have to go to daddy's funeral when he died, because we were so young.
I remember when we lived on Stoner, I went to the municipal swimming pool all the time during the summers. I also remember during that time, that Bo saw a scorpion on my back, and he hit me on the back to knock it off. In the 1960's, for three summers, I went to Jackie and Chuck's in Warrensburg, MO. I rode the bus up there from Shreveport, LA and I still have a wooden jewelry box that I bought at Muskogee, OK, when the bus stopped there. Jackie and Chuck nicknamed me "Putt-Putt." I recall that we played badminton and croquet in their back yard. Chuck set a pan of grease on the stove on fire (grease fire) and he threw it in the sink quickly. We went to the base to see Mona and Jim Graddy and we went to the base pool often. I remember a boy that I went out with (I was about 16), he was a college student, and he wanted me to marry him. My first proposal.
I do remember when we lived on Hoadley Street, spending a lot of time going to the Linwood Viaduct and climbing the hill just so we could slide down the hill on a cardboard box. A bunch of us would spend the whole day doing that. It was always so much fun. I remember Halloweens when we lived on Hoadley. You could go to houses and there would be candy apples and other goodies on the porch and you could just help yourself. There was trust back then. Also, I spent a lot of the summertime on Hoadley going to the city park every week and sitting on the grass to watch a movie that was furnished by the city.
When we lived on Stoner I also remember spending a lot of time at the fire station across the street from our house. And, that the municipal swimming pool was directly behind Hamilton Terrace School.
I also spent a lot of time visiting with the Ramsey's on Hoadley to watch television because we did not have one. I would stay until the television went off the air for the evening and we would always stand when they played the national anthem. Yes, television went off early in the evenings in the "good ole days."
When I was in high school, I was assigned to Jennie Jones' class. When I got to her classroom that first day, she called out the names. When she got to my name, she asked if Jackie and Byron were my sister and bother? I told her yes and her comment was "well, I hope that you are as smart as them". I had a long hard struggle in that class after that; but passed with "d's" which you well know were equal to "c's" in other teachers' class. It was always understood at Fair Park that if you got this certain teacher the year before Jennie Jones, you would be assigned to Jennie Jones' class the following year. I don't know if you would find this interesting enough to include, but Jennie has always stayed in my mind. She was a tough, but good, teacher.
Also, I remember that I had to give an oral book report in her class. I mentioned a "red head" person. When I was finished with the report, she asked if any of the students had any comments. One of them quickly called it to her and my attention that it is not correct to say "red head" because the person's hair is red, it should be spoken as a "red haired" person, not a "red head."
Pat (Putt Putt)
Background Music "Gentle On My Mind"
Just some photos to share:
Vivian School Picture