Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Horse Incident

I cannot tell you when this happened, but there was a horse incident.  I was in elementary school, at least 3rd or 4th grade, probably.  A good friend from church, Diana, asked me to spend the night at her house on Vine St. in south Euless.  We did not go to school together, just Sunday School.  Anyway, at the time, at the end of Vine was some street, Pipeline? maybe.  Don't know but there was pasture there with horses owned by an older couple from church.  Apparently, Diana, her sister Donna, and their friends were allowed to play on the property as long as the couple knew they were there.

Much to my dismay, Mother had me pack shorts and sandals for the overnight instead of jeans and tennis shoes.  I was definitely prissy looking and uncomfortable in the sandals.  We got up Saturday morning with the intention of playing in this pasture at the end of her street.  I was in shorts and sandals!  We walked there and the fence was what you think of on a ranch, wooden with three rails between the posts.  So we just slithered between the rails as we were skinny little things.  On the property was a wagon, I guess like the bottom of a buckboard wagon with real wagon wheels.  We had been playing around it or near it or something when the horses on the property wandered near.

I had, at this point in my life, zero experience with horses which means I was terrified of them.  I don't remember verbatim what was said but we ran to the wagon from where we were playing and climbed aboard for safety so the horse wouldn't get me.  At this point there is only one horse hanging around.  Well, I am ready to get out of there.  I would guess it was around fifty yards or so back to the fence from the wagon with one tree between the wagon and the fence.  While the horse is not paying attention to us, we run for the fence.  But we scramble up the tree for some reason.  Safety is what my head is thinking.  Now I can climb the tree, no problem but I am wearing sandals!!  And because I am in sandals I cannot seem to get higher in the tree than the lowest branch.  My feet are sweaty and sliding around in the sandals and I am scared out of my wits.

Then the horse parks his hind end right beneath the branch I am trying to stay on with sweaty slippery sandals on my feet. I am squatting on the branch in the sandals looking down at the horse when one of us notices a hornet land on the horse's hind end just beneath my feet!!

Pretty sure I am crying by now and scared to death that if the hornet bites him, he will buck and kick me out of that tree.  Had I dangled my feet, I could have stood on the horse's rump as he was that close!  We decide to jump and hightail it to the fence before that can happen.  And so we did and made it through the fence and walked back to Diana's house.  My feet were all nasty with a bit of pasture dirt and sweat.  I remember great relief to be on solid ground and out of that pasture.  Probably still crying, too.  However, I was not invited back to Diana's for a sleepover.  I was too much of a scaredy-cat, I guess.  We remained friends and I keep up with her on Facebook.  Wonder if she remembers the horse incident?

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Neighborhood

My memories of the neighborhood are all jumbled up.  I have no idea of the time frames of these events or everyday occurrences.  Before we got a fence put in, I recall telling all the kids, even older kids than me, to stay out of my yard.  I was pretty bossy about it, as I recall. 

I was a tomboy through and through.  I climbed trees, wore blue jeans, and dug in the dirt a lot.  Mother says she would have to sneak my jeans to the laundry as I would wear them every day.  I hated wearing shorts and sandals and being prissy.  To this day, I love a pair of blue jeans and a tee shirt.  I am all about comfort.

There was a kid that lived behind us named Brent.  He and my brother Timmy and I would play "Big Valley" like the TV show.  He was always Victoria.  Go figure.  Timmy and I had the run of the backyard and we had a swingset and Brent had a swingset so we ran between the yards playing "Big Valley" on the swingsets.  Not sure why we did that but I remember the two swingsets being a part of our play.  One day, Brent got a brand new puppy.  We ran to his patio door to see the puppy.  I picked it up to carry down to our patio to show Moma.  The puppy had diarrhea down my shin on the journey.  Pretty sure I cried all the way home after dropping the puppy.  That is a yucky memory.

Across the street from us lived an elderly couple named Freeman.  They had no children so they adopted all the neighborhood kids.  They passed out popcorn and would have a backyard party at their house complete with watermelon, two of my favorites.  There is at least one picture they took of all us kids in their backyard.  In the 1960's that was a lot of kids!  Must have been 20 or more!

Down the street from us lived the Jacksons.  Cathy was my age, Georgann was right between Timmy and me, and George was Timmy's age.  I became fast buddies with Georgann, not Cathy.  Fine with me.  She was good friends with their next door neighbor, Jodi.  Jodi was older and cool.  She knew all the latest stuff, fashionwise, I am sure.  Georgann and I loved going to each other's houses for lunch.  I preferred her house because there would be fruit with sandwiches and chips.  I can't remember why that was better than home, but to me, it was.  We spent the night at each other's houses too.  I remember building a tent in her bedroom and playing records on her record player.  We mostly listened to Glen Campbell.  We both had crushes on him.

One year I got a bicycle for Christmas.  Daddy put the handlebars on backwards.  There is a picture of that somewhere.  Anyway, I remember riding my bike all over the neighborhood, literally.  I did two things after school, read and ride my bike.  I think riding my bike was how I stayed so slim.  It was great exercise.  Now I read all the time, which does not help you stay slim.

As I got older, I wanted a 10-speed.  If I remember it right, Daddy offered to get me one if I would earn half the money.  I think that was how I got my 10-speed.  I earned half of the cost myself.  Then I flew on my 10-speed all over the neighborhood every day.

Timmy and I rode our bikes to school and we sometimes walked to school.  I always felt responsible for him.  Good times!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

1963-the Year I Turned 5

After the move in June of '63, I don't remember much until the weekend of my 5th birthday.  My birthday is November 24th.  So, now you know how old I am!  Anyway, the TV was on 24/7 because John F. Kennedy was shot on Friday the 22nd.  I just remember it being very somber around the house, but I was going to be 5!

Daddy worked in downtown Dallas and had seen the presidential motorcade from  a downtown street corner, probably near Pearl or Elm street.  He says, "We were given permission to leave the office in order to see better.  I remember seeing the backs of their heads as they went by ( Connally & Kennedy)."  He did not see the assassination.  Momma had the television on that day and I just remember her continuing to do the laundry but not saying much at all.  There are pictures of my birthday party but I really don't remember much about it. 

The day of the funeral for the slain president was another solemn day and one of television being on all day.  I don't know what day it was.

Mother tells me that I thought when I turned five, I would have arrived!  I would say that I can do this or that when I'm five.  When she told me no to a request, my response was that I could when I'm five.

Friday, February 4, 2011


In 1963, we moved from Haltom City to Euless in North Texas.  Do you remember when you first had memories?  Between ages 2 and 4, my memories are still a bit sketchy but once we moved to Euless in June of 1963, I could recall more and more.

The memory of the move I have is of driving in my Granddaddy Taylor's pickup truck. He was my mother's father.  He was driving, I was in the middle, and my Dad was in the passenger seat.  Back then, a 4 year old could climb all over the car without restraint since there were no seat belt laws.  So, I would turn around onto my knees and look at our stuff in the bed of the pickup.  We were driving down what is known now as Highway 10, a little one lane road that took us to our new neighborhood in Euless.  My interest was mainly in my kitchen riding back there.  I had a cardboard kitchen with a sink, stove, oven, and refrigerator.  It was pink and yellow.  While I was watching, the little pink plastic sink flew out of the truck onto the side of the road.  I may have yelled or cried but I know I told my daddy what happened.  Not sure who convinced my Granddaddy, but he stopped and my daddy walked back to where the sink lay and got it for me.

The new house was on a block with no other homes around it at first.  Our front and back yards were dirt, no grass.  There were no fences either.  At some point, a small bulldozer fixed our backyard so there were two levels to the yard.  We watched out the patio door as it moved the dirt around.  Not sure of the time frame at all, but eventually houses were built around us, grass came in, and sometime after I started to elementary school, we got a cyclone fence put in.

Timmy and I got our own bedrooms at the new house.  My room was gigantic!  I had my twin bed on one wall and my kitchen on the opposite wall.  I had a built-in vanity that I was too small to appreciate then but later it was really cool.  My bedroom was in the front of the house, Timmy's in the middle of the hall, and our parents' bedroom was at the back of the house.  We had a formal living room with nothing in it because we didn't have that kind of furniture.

My parents added on to the house later, so it is hard for me to recall exactly how it looked when I was little.  But it was a big move for us to be in the middle of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Daddy worked in downtown Dallas so it made a lot of sense to move to Euless.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

More Early Memories

The other memories I have from before age 5 are mostly about a house on Katrine in Haltom City.  I remember a lot of random things about that house. The part of the street it was on was near an intersection that was a triangle.  It had a cyclone fence that I played Barbies through with a girl next door.  There was a sidewalk in front of the house and I think my mother and I would walk next door on occasion.  We walked to the triangle area too.  The front porch was small with about five steps.  The posts were iron railing with scrolling leaves or something on them.

Inside the house, I remember the hardwood flooring throughout the house.  I remember the hall closet because there was a clothing barrel in there with my toys in it.  I would jump up with my stomach on the edge and lean down into the barrel to retrieve my stuffed tiger.  If you know me at all, you know I love the big cats and the little cats.  The tiger was my favorite stuffed animal.  It was smallish and yellow with black stripes like a real tiger!  After my little brother, Timmy, came along we shared a bedroom with twin beds.  My picture in my head of that room is the doorway from the hall.  You could see in there and see the twin beds.  They had wooden headboards in a light color varnish.  That is my memory, not sure how accurate the description is.

There is a memory from that time frame that is a story told by my parents. Saying that to say I am not certain I remember the incident or if I remember the story my folks tell.  It was summertime, I think, and we had relatives or close friends over but I don't recall who.  Mom, Dad, and the guests were inside playing 42 or something.  Timmy and I were either in bed or just playing in our room.  Apparently there was a scream outside coming from across the street.  All the adults went out on the front porch to see what the commotion was all about.  Not sure if someone at our house or a neighbor called, but the police were called.  911 was not dialed, as that did not exist.  You actually had to call the police station.  Anyway, the story went that a teenage girl and a friend had staged a pretend kidnapping at a car across the street.  The girl was admonished by the police that this was not funny at all.  She was trying to get some attention from her parents I guess.  Anyway, I remember this as a highlight of our time at the house on Katrine.  We lived there until June of 1963.