The Things I Remember Don't Always Have a Date
I'm not really sure why, but several things and events during this period of time don't have dates attached to them.
Sometimes we heard FDR giving one of his weekly Fire Side Chats on the radio. December 7, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Soon rationing of many products began. I remember: rubber, including tires, gas, sugar and tin products. These days it is almost impossible to find anything made of tin. Then, many items were made of tin.
The road from the Little Red House to the river was a two lane path through sand, sage, grass and wild flowers. A hundred feet or so from the river bank was a sand hill that reached out to the road. People had started hauling away sand...I'm not sure why. Maybe they were building something that needed sand and cement. Maybe their kids needed a sand box. We had a sand box table in our school room. After a while folks started using that place as a dump. Once the war got in full swing, the government bought junk iron. I remember when we went to the river for a play day, we'd look to see if there was any iron we could pick up to sell. I remember an old roadster just south of the windmill and cattle tank in our cow lot. I think Daddy said it had belonged to Uncle Zeb. I played in it a few times, and then it was gone...sold "to fight the Japs."
Up in the Sand Hills, east of the Little Red House, just south of the Shelter Belt, in the pasture, there was a thicket of wild Sand Hill Plumb bushes. For many years, Mother would take us there to pick plumbs, She used them to make jam and jelly. O, they were so good! After a few years, the fruit trees of the orchard produced so that we didn't pick the wild ones so often.
Daddy always loved watermelon. When he was planting cotton, he had me ride on the planter with a bunch of watermelon seeds in my cap. I sat there with the cap in my lap. And I'd drop 2 or 3 seeds through one side of the planter in the row of cotton. The seeds dropped about 6 feet apart for the whole half mile. When we turned around to come back. That gave us two rows of cotton between the rows of watermelons. I think we planted 6 rows of melons. When they were ripe, Daddy put out the word in the community. Anybody was welcome to pick as many as they wanted. His only rule was, don't break or eat melons in the field. That would have attracted crows or coyotes. Those would have destroyed the crop for everybody.
Some time during 1942, the Army began to build an Air Base just east of our County Site, Altus, Ok. Daddy got work there and met one of his very best and life long friends, Percy Ryan from Ryan, Ok. They were hired the same day and were sent to work together. They lived about 125 miles down river from us. Over the years our two families had many wonderful times of fun and fellowship together.