Monday, April 1, 2013

memory and ....

There has been a running joke or premise for years and years about how hard a life our parents had.   You have heard these things over and over.  My own parents walked 5 miles to school every day - through the snow and rain and heat and cold - uphill both ways.  Never mind they lived in two parts of Oklahoma - my father in the south central (Temple, Okla.) and my mom in the west  (Kaw City -  now under a man made lake).  By the time I was old enough to comprehend, the stories were more and more exaggerated with uncles and aunts joining in.  So it goes today.

I would imagine that the youngsters of today greet stones of this type with a chuckle and an off-the-cuff "who cares" just as we did.   No longer is anyone impressed with my trials and tribulations growing up in Levelland, Texas.  I had such a hard life - as you can imagine.

Look back a couple of posts and discover that we lived on an oil lease next to the Levelland Gasoline Plant for a while.  As months went by, Amoco figured out a better use of its money.  They sold the houses, and we moved into town.   The plant foreman bought his house and we bought the 2nd house - the other houses sold easily.   I'll save this adventure for another day, but as an FYI, my father had the house picked up and moved to 501 15th Street.   The plant foreman - boss - executive - slick dude - moved his to a lot directly behind ours facing one of the lettered avenues.

It took a while to get all that done natch.  So my father bought another house more or less in the sticks where we lived for several months before moving.   Dad fixed that place up as a rental.  I am sure he sold it eventually.  That fact escapes me as it was unimportant at the time.  I can't say I remember much about that time - here are a  couple though:

Brother Jim and I use to fire an air rifle (pellets) over the back fence at a couple of oil storage tanks near by and listen for the ping of the hit.  That was fun.  Stupid, but fun.  

This may take a moment of explanation.   My oldest brother Marshall attended Okie State (then known as Okla A&M).  When he ventured home, he would bring magazines - not Playboy type - but college mags that OSU produced.  They were slick mags loaded with jokes, cartoons, stories, and photos of campus events like cheerleader practice and so forth.  Jim and I eagerly waited the next issues during his vacations.

There was one joke - a cartoon really - which had these two macho guys talking, as cartoons often do.  I was riding home with my mom and as we stopped in front of the house, I showed it to her and said I didn't understand.  She told me it wasn't funny and that some people are a little different.  That ended the conversation and into the house I trod.   The caption?   "Fairy, Fairy, I don't see any Fairies."     Isn't it amazing the things that are stored in our memory banks?
(  aside note:  if you don't understand the joke, welcome to the club - I can explain it to you, if you wish.  It is politically incorrect in today's market having something to do with sweet boys frolicking gaily across the grass )

All of this brings me to the point of this episode - memories of an old man - how things are different today - how hard we had it as children - so forth.   Okay, this missive has become too long, so I will save that for Wednesday's exotic reciting.  Think of this like waiting to find how who shot J.R. as if I really care.  

Here is one example.  We moved the house to town.  My father didn't hire the preparation work, nope. Jim and I  (Pat to an inch as he was still pretty young ) Jim & I helped.  We built the forms, helped pour the concrete, graded the yard by hand (in a town called Levelland, not much grading was necessary), helped build the fence, put in the yard, y'know, that stuff.   My father was known as cheap - frugal.  Instead of putting forms down and pouring the sidewalk in the back yard, we went to the now vacant camp grounds and moved the old sidewalk to town, one piece at a time.

Sidewalks are scored.  You put a crowbar under the scored area and push down over a fulcrum. snapping the sidewalk  at that point.  The 4x4 hunk of concrete is loaded into a pickup and carried to town to be unloaded and dollied to the back yard.  There it is replaced next to the previous piece.  All in all it was mind-numbing work and heavy for a fragile trumpet player.  I still to this day own all of the pry bars we used.  They are in my garage waiting for the next sidewalk.

I betcha Jim could add some thought to this - is invited to add it at the bottom in the comment section.

p.s. look to the right of this page and sign up to have these delivered to your email window.

now y'all take care, y'hear?

1 comment: