The Life and Times, Page 4

As Told to Dan Reddell

 drink of water. I hated that old woman. Fortunately for everyone, she didn't teach much longer. I ran into Jack Todd in another school a few years later when I was much bigger. I cleaned his clock, and I didn't have to tell him why, he knew why.

Pop farmed three different places around Paduca for three years, and he finally made a good cotton crop the last year we lived there.

He heard about some new land being subdivided out on the Panhandle of Texas, so he took a trip out there by himself to investigate the possibility of moving out and buying land of his own. He had never owned anything up to that time, other than his horses, but he liked the looks of Amherst, and bought a lot on the west side of this brand new town.

When Pop arrived, there was a depot, and a half a mile away there were a few houses and a service station. A store was just being built. He built a little four room house, 24' x 24', on the lot, and then came back to get us.

He loaded everything we had in our covered wagon, put it on a freight train and traveled with it inside the freight car to Amherst.

My mother, sister, and I followed in another train. That first year, we lived in town, if it could be called that, and besides helping build the elementary school, Pop farmed the land, dug a well, and put up a windmill. He also built a small barn and put up fencing to keep in the farm animals. After living there a year or two, we built a little three room house out on the "labore", which was 177 1/10 acres that he had bought for $25 an acre.

We lived there for about three years, and then he traded it for another farm on 177 1\10 acres about ten miles northwest of town, ending up with it nearly free and clear. Pop built the small three room

 

 

 

 house that Lea Etta and I grew up in. We always had plenty to eat, and we didn't owe anybody anything. We were pretty happy, on the whole.

One time my mother got "plagury", which kept her in bed for some time. After she recovered, she bobbed her hair off. It had been long all her life, but she kept it short from then until the end of her life at the age of 84, when she died of stomach cancer.

Our first farm was about six miles from Amherst, towards Amarillo, and the second was eleven miles. I helped my father do the farming, we all helped.

I went to school when there wasn't anything that just had to be done on the farm, so I missed a lot of school. I dropped out in the tenth grade, but I could read, write, and do arithmetic.

We would go into Amherst every Saturday to shop and they would have entertainment to draw in people. One time a "strong man" let a Model T truck drive over his chest. Another time a man slid down the street riding atop a hundred pound block of ice being pulled by a Ford car, and the block turned over, hurting the man.

Once I was driving down the same street and the axle broke and the brakes went out on my Model T Ford just after the Sheriff had come in with a captured still for making whiskey.

A crowd had quickly gathered to see it, and I didn't have any brakes. It was only because I was going so slow that somebody didn't get hurt.

 I remember winning contests once in a while at those Saturday events. The prizes were usually a pair of bib overalls that went to the tallest man, and sometimes to the man who could kick higher than anyone else. I used to win both categories, since I was 6'4 1/2", but once an old stooped over farmer unwound...

CONTINUED...

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Email Dan Reddell: bayshoredan@aol.com