Jan. 6, 2019 – My friend Marlyn Atkinson, who has kept in touch with me, says he depends on the Ozark County Times and me to keep him informed. I laughed at that, thinking I’m a part of the Times because as a child I ate so many mulberries off that big tree that used to be in back of the old Times office. Mama never wanted me to eat them. She said the mulberries had little tiny white worms in them. Thinking about it now isn’t so exciting, is it?
The first-Sunday fried chicken dinner at The Center drew a really big crowd last weekend. Dave, Karen and I attended, and we enjoyed a delicious meal and getting to visit with friends. We appreciated the students who served our meals. They kept our drinks refilled and waited on us with cheerful smiles.
I’m missing my friend Rebecca Hallmark, who often stops by to visit but has been out of town visiting family.
Sympathy to the Mary Fienhold family in Udall, the mother of eight children, three of whom are still living.
With propane heat, my windows have steamed up with blurriness lately, making it difficult to see outside. Not many folks have as many windows as I do. When we built our home we put in 18 windows. Also, the home I grew up in had lots of windows–cooler in summer, colder in winter! Back then we didn’t even have the plastic to put over them as we do now. We had heavy window curtains, though, and other times we would hang up sheets, trying to keep out the cold. We wore more clothes then and were always fully dressed in those days. Since homes were not as well insulated back then as they are now, we often stood around the wood heater, trying to get warm. We never went barefoot in wintertime. In biblical times, people wore robes woven of many colors and cured animal hides for warmth. Think of the history!
How many folks have tried my cornmeal mush recipe? Once tried, I believe you will try it again. That is, if you like the taste of cornmeal, bacon bits and eggs. No need for bread on the table. Just serve with some good vegetables.
I heard a little joke about a man asking the judge, “Why do I need a receipt for a speeding ticket?” The judge answered, “When you get three of these, you get a bicycle!”
I miss the shopping I did in past years, but I’m thankful for daughters who shop for me now.
I was sorry I couldn’t attend Eastern Star chapter Monday evening as Lynn Hicks was installed as worthy matron. Praise to those who continue holding our chapter together as many of us are no longer physically able to attend. Helping out when needed are West Plains, Theodosia, and Ava chapters.
We were overflowing with holiday guests at my son Marlyn’s house in Forsyth. Relatives and friends gathered, and Kris and I were there too for our Christmas dinner. Marlyn gave me a large persimmon that he had bought for me as I was unable this year to pick the ones from the tree in my backyard. Persimmons have always been one of my favorite fruits. I think Marlyn said this one came from California. I’m going to have Kris plant the seeds, and we’ll see what happens.
Daughter Kris invited our neighbor Tony Johnson over to share our Christmas dinner. He lives in Paralee’s Countryside Mobile Home park. I’d only seen him over across the road, mowing. It was good to get to know him.
I appreciate all who sent us Christmas greetings. Among the greetings were cards from Peggy Jo Boone Walker in Nashville and Sylvia Caron in Pekin, Illinois. That was the birthplace of my mother as her parents were migrating from Pennsylvania. My Grandmother Ebrite’s maiden name was Hannah, and we have discovered that Jack Hannah, who has the wild animals shows, is a distant relation.
Memories from my childhood include thoughts of the old Parker & Wood store on the square in Gainesville, which had a barrel of crackers and a block of cheese where, for a nickel, patrons could come and cut a slice of cheese and eat it with the crackers. My mama didn’t like for me to do that, as nickels were scarce, but I enjoyed it since we didn’t have that kind of cheese in our home. I doubt the health department would approve of such an arrangement these days! At home, we would make cottage cheese from clabbered milk, pouring off the whey to feed the pigs. Then we put the cheese in a little cornmeal bag (made of thin muslin) and hung it on the clothesline to drain. We brought it in and added a little creamy milk and salt, and it was delicious! Cottage cheese is still one of my favorite foods.
The best educated man I ever knew was Harry Kinman, who came from New York and lived in a cave near Gainesville. He never changed clothes, as far as I know. Bank officials were interested in his knowledge that was not taught in their training.
Uncle Johnny Harlin asked me to come work for him in the bank when I graduated from high school. Eldon and I had been engaged since October and were getting married that June after my April 25 graduation. I thought I couldn’t be married and work for him too. Of all things. How dumb! I have wondered how my life might have changed if I’d gone ahead and worked for Uncle Johnny.
I have a photo of Uncle Johnny and his wife Clara that was taken in our backyard on my mother’s 50th birthday in 1935. We had a big spread put out on sawhorses and boards. My sister had made a big coconut cake she’d baked in our wood cookstove.
I appreciate all the special people who thought of me during the holidays: Brent and Alene Herd, from Miller, for gift cards, daughter Karen, for good zucchini relish, Kris and Karen for the cookies, Almeda Hedges in Shawnee, KS for the crocheted cap and reading the Herald, Neoma Moody and daughter-in-law Arreaun for the big fruit basket.
Jan. 13, 2019 – Happy New Year to the Ozark County Times staff for taking care of my news items each week and sending them on to the Quill and the Herald. Coming from a newspaper family – the Times was in my mother’s family in the early 1900s when they came here from Pennsylvania – I can appreciate the effort it takes to put out a paper.
As we grew up, at least once a year, usually in the summertime, we made a trip to West Plains in our Model A car. When I saw Toney Aid’s picture in the Quill recently, it reminded me how much I enjoyed going into Aid Hardware on the square when I was a child. The store’s restroom was upstairs. As far as I can remember, it was the only public restroom on the square back then, and it had chairs where we could rest. (We didn’t use the courthouse restroom back then.) And we would enjoy shopping in the Aid Hardware clothing section. Of course, I loved the candy and bubblegum near the front door. Memories are made of this!
My memory also goes back to a time when I was staying over at my cousins’ Ray and Macie Ebrite’s home, which was located where Guffey Motors is now. They were the parents of Rex, Helen Marie and Wilma. While staying there, I was given the job of mixing the package of coloring into what looked like a big square of lard. It was oleo margarine, and to make it look like butter, you had to mix in the packet of the yellow coloring. Then it was put into a butter bowl on the table; with the yellow coloring, it looked like we were having butter. At my home, we had milk cows and churned our own butter, which I greatly preferred!
Hearing from my friend Marlyn Atkinson of Excelsior Springs, I’m always reminded of his mother, my school friend Veryl Pare (Atkinson). We were classmates in the Gainesville High School class of 1939, which had 39 students! In Marlyn’s recent message to me, he remarked that it had been “quite a year” as he was injured when one of his newly purchased airplanes malfunctioned and crashed. Fortunately, his injuries weren’t serious. Now, when I think of Marlyn (and his mother), I am aware that I’m the only surviving class member of our class of 1939.
Could it be the middle of January already? Just around the corner is Groundhog Day. From childhood, I’ve remembered that the weather prediction depends on whether he comes out or stays in his hole–which currently, in my case, is under my propane tank!
A groundhog runs along close to the ground, eating grub worms. So I‘ve found that putting out mothballs in my garden rows discourages them from digging around my plants.
As I frequently do, I’m sipping that good spring tonic, sassafras tea. For me, it’s good to drink year-round. My family loved it – and my two daughters don’t!