Here it is summertime. The year is almost half over, and we have a big year ahead of us. It’s going to be 2020 before we know it. As age creeps up on me, my memories come flooding back.
The work we did back in those days was not considered hard work, just necessary in order to have food to eat. Gardening was important to us. I still love gardening. Becoming a homemaker at age 13, when I lost my mother, I learned by experience.
I was blessed to have good high school teachers. Leonard Ebrite, my first cousin, was superintendent, and Mrs. Willa Norman was our principal at Gainesville High School. Onard Upton taught geography, Robert Kaufman taught social science and Faye Ebrite was my art teacher. My best friends were Ruby Bernice Walker, Leah Harris, Kenneth Mullins, Billy Downard, Elmer Beasley, and Kenneth and Lester Eslick.
On Friday evenings, I went with my daddy to pick up my schoolteacher sisters at the homes where they boarded. My sister taught at Pine View, and Edith taught at Wilhoit and later at Udall.
Boyd Downard contracted to build the added-on part to the former Gainesville High School where Stockmens Bank (formerly First Savings Bank) is now. It was a concrete block building built by hand using tall ladders and other basic equipment.
Mrs. Dot Downard gave piano lessons, and the Ervin Thompson shaped-notes system was taught. My daddy was one who led the church choir as I grew up. And no one could forget Bertha Watson, who sang soprano. Lilly Ridge can never replace Bertha. She and Elmer often invited the whole Sunday school class for Sunday dinner. God surely provided a special place in heaven for her. Her biscuits and home-churned butter were favorites.
My great-granddaughter Alexus Owens attended Vacation Bible School at Siloam Springs First Baptist Church recently. She also enjoyed getting to go on a boat ride this past weekend. She’s had a busy summer so far. She had her 12th birthday on May 30.
I hope to have more news next week. Please call me if you have any to share: 679-4148.