Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Books and family memories

I love books.
I love to read them, collect them and just look at them. 
I also have a varied interest in different types of books.
I will do a post later  about the different books I love to read and collect but not today. This post is more about old memories and stories as told to me.
I liked books from the time I saw my Daddy reading and would climb into his lap hoping to share that time with him. Many times it was the Bible.  My Mother did not read as much in my early life as Daddy did because she was flying around taking care of things, supper, cleanup and preparing us for bedtime, then she would hurry and read a story to us.

But mostly Daddy would tell us stories he made up at night.  We loved these special stories which were mainly of him as a boy and his life during the 1920's and 30's.

The best stories which I passed on to my sons and they loved as well we called the PaPa stories. He would tell about walking 6 miles to school and exciting things that happened to him on the way.
One, a story of him having to sacrifice his lunch to a pack of wolves who he encountered at dawn at Ghost Hill. His family lived in a rural area. These were the Texas grey wolves. Very scary. Since it was before daylight when he left home for the long walk, he saw their eyes glowing first.

As they got close enough that he feared attack, he dropped his lunch in front of them and ran for all he was worth. It worked. They fought over the lunch and gave him time to flee.

My sisters and I  loved this story and so did my Sons. There were about 5 PaPa stories in all.

Then,  on Sunday afternoon after Church we would go for drives.
Mostly to places my parents  had lived during their childhood or cemeteries where family members were buried. This was EVERY Sunday afternoon.

We would stop at various places like Ghost Hill or where he picked persimmons as a boy on the way to and from school and the tree was still there and producing the fruit.

We crossed the little bridge where some friends had waited for him one night on his way home from another friend's home and scared the daylights out of him with a apparatus they had made called a dumb bull. The best I can figure out is that it is made with a sheep or cow hide stretched over some type of frame and when it is pulled it sounds like a panther, which was an animal quite common around his neighborhood of the woods.
The above is a picture of the thing called a dumb bull. that I got from a newspaper article years ago here locally.  Daddy always said it was a sound you would never forget.
The night his friends waited for him under the bridge with one, his father heard it over a mile away at their home and started out to meet Daddy knowing he would be afraid of this unknown sound.  He said when Daddy came into sight of the house he was really moving.
They teased Daddy all his life saying this is why Daddy ran track in high school and broke a state record on the 220 dash. He got home early that night.

But not to bore you, these were exciting stories, especially to daughters which is all he and my Mom had.
My grandkids also love the stories and no one has nightmares after hearing them. By today's standards they are probably dull. 
This time of year these old memories come back to me as I miss my parents.   I kick the memories around some,  then file them away to remember another time. And life goes on as it is.

For many of you who I follow faithfully on your blogs, I know this is not your cup of tea. This does not show a wonderful chipped piece of white ironstone or worn brown transferware or glass cloches, but bear with me as I travel down memory lane. We all should go there sometimes. 

Happy Christmas to you and yours and make some memories for your children or grandchildren during our special season.
PS:  The picture on my header is a picture of a Hair Wreath from the Gibbs house museum.  Hair wreaths were done in the 1850's-1860's when people did not have access to portraits or paintings of their loved ones so they used hair from the deceased to make a wreath. This one was made from all the persons who lived on their street. This may sound a little gross to us today but it was common enough during that period of time.

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