Friday, January 5, 2024

Christmas card & a guest blogger

My gues blogger will appear in the bluggie above this missive.  Go see.

To get right to it - I send out Christmas cards.  My list is shrinking each year due to - well, circumstances which are not always controllable to discuss.  This year, online, Amazon of course, I found Christmas Postal Cards which looked old.  They weren't; but, they looked old.  You can find them on amazon if you'd like to see.  I'm going to buy a different set for next year; then, if I am still able to function, I'll go back to finding cute ones for 2025.  Want on my list?  Prolly not.  Cards keep bouncing back to me undelivered.  It seems I am unable to address a card correctly at times. So, the list shrinks.   

The year 2025, does that even seem possible?  Woe is me.  I'll be 85 then.  Cheeeeee  

Let's review.  I'm old in most people's eyes.  I don't feel old in my brain.  But, numbers don't lie.  Born in November of 1940, pre-war, I've been around the block a few times.  I'm not alone.  There are lots of people older than me.  Pre-war!!  I'm not even a baby boomer...instead, maybe a depression era leftover.  That sounds good.  No prosperity in my background - comfy but not prosperous.  I can tell stories.  Oh, yeah, that's what this is all about.

Through most of my elementary years, we moved from one oil field to another.  Rarely did we stay in one town for over 6 months.  Lived in Dodge City, Kansas twice.  My father ran a logging truck - he was a logger.  No, not with trees - he logged (wrote down, kept records) things.  I believe that his truck measured underground noises - like dynamite noises.  I'm guessing this.  Oil company drills some holes.  He puts device in a hole.  They make some noises in a different hole.  His machine shows where logical oil pools are.  Makes sense to me. What do I know.  I was 9 years old at the time.

My father got "kicked" upstairs when I was to start the 5th grade.  We left Crete, Nebraska (brrrrrrrr) & moved to Odessa, Texas, where he started working in the North Cowden oil field.  I don't know what he did in the field.  I do know he was on top of a railroad Tank car once when a hose broke loose and knocked him to the ground.  Everyone seemed quite concerned at the time.  I suppose he could have died then.  I don't know.  I was about 11 at the time; and, as is true even now, NOBODY tells me nuthin'.

Living accommodations:  I've talked about this before.  My father bought a semi-trailer  - not the tractor that pulls things, but that big box on the back.  He turned it into our house.  Actually, it had only 3 rooms.  He turned the part over the pulling part into the dining room.  It held the table.  It was a running joke about hanging the table from the ceiling with a little gold chain in order to eliminate the table legs. Next to that was the living room.  I cannot remember where the kitchen was.  Strange.  That is an important part.  It must have been part of the living room.  A wall was built & the bedroom was the back portion.  Bath room?  Hmmm.  don't remember.

He had found a vacant lot at the top of a hill.  He planted that trailer thing on top of the hill.  Now, he bought a small trailer.  I'd guess it was 20 ft or so long.  He placed this perpendicular to the big trailer. We 3 older boys slept out there.  The middle section had a bathroom.  My father was fixing radios in those days and built in a shop there too.  I can see it in my mind even if I cannot describe it correctly. Little brother Pat slept in the big house. 

Times were different then.  We boys slept in a completely different building than our parents.  My oldest brother Marshall would have been a sophomore in H.S.  Now-a-days, my parents would have been arrested for this type of arrangement.  It worked.

So, we moved to Odessa.  The trailers were set-up in a trailer park.  A small picket fence was placed around them.  And, we survived.  There were 2 trailer parks next to each other.  We lived in the west one.  A busy street passed just south of the park.  Across the street was a tortilla factory.

Tortilla Factory.  Down from Nebraska in the early 50's.  Culture shock.  5th grade.  My mother sent me across the highway to the Factory one day.  I was to buy - guess - tortillas.  She gave me "X" $$.  I arrived.  Wanting to appear cool, I asked the Anglo question,  "How Mucho?"  I was so cool.

Odessa stories abound.  Let's move on.  A year later he was transferred to the Levelland Gasoline Plant as "Head Roustabout."  As the years went on, he had several new titles and duties.  Levelland was good for us.

Moving on.  Above you will read a short story about Odessa written by Brenda Ballew....if I ever get it transcribed correctly.


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