Our Wonderful Little Pony
The years crept slowly by. Gradually 1941 rolled in to 1942. Daddy and Percy Ryan had met in the Altus office of men seeking work on the new Altus Airforce Base. After a few weeks they were assigned to work together as a team of two. As they worked and talked, they become friends. They had many similar interest. They each had 3 or 4 children. During a time of the year that we could be away from the farm, Daddy and Percy found and rented two rooms of a three room house. The land lord was reflooring one of the rooms. So Ryans rented one room and Easleys the other. We all moved to Altus for three months. That must have been the first time Mother and Sylva met.
Ryans belonged to the Church of the Nazarene. We were Methodist. Granny had grown up in Texas during the development of the Holiness Movement. The Church of the Nazarene grew out of that Movement. Granny's brother-in-law, Ab Tucker was a Nazarene Evangelist, who had preached a Revival Meeting at the Mid=Way School. That may have been the meeting where Mother and Daddy were both saved.
I think we may have gone home on Saturdays and attended Sunday morning service. We did go to the Nazarene Church in Altus with Ryans some Sunday evenings. So over time our bonds grew closer and closer with the Ryans. After the men were finished with their work at the Air Base, we made a trip one week-end to visit the Ryan Family at Ryan, Ok. We attended Church with them that Sunday. Their Pastor was Rev. J. E. Ray. His wife, Daris, taught the Children's class. She read the most exciting story. I really enjoyed that class. Ryans, Rays and Easleys all had about the same number of children and all about the same age.
After several months, Daddy bought us a shetland pony from Percy. His name was Silver. We called him "Ole Silver." He was black and white, a wonderful friend and pet for children. I don't know, if someone had trained him to be careful with children, or if that was just in his nature. Often I tried to make him run, all to no avail. Daddy rode on him a time or two, and each time got him galloping. We had a kids size saddle which came with him. I enjoyed currying his coat and braiding his mane. I put on his bridle and saddle to ride him for the milk cows at chore time.
One summer day, I had a new idea. I brought our little red wagon up along side Ole Silver. With a rope tied to the wagon tongue, I then tied it to the saddle horn. As we started on our first safari, the sound of the rattling wagon scared poor Ole Silver, until he shot out the driveway and down the road a quarter mile before he finally stopped. We ran down to lead the pony back and pulled the wagon home by hand. One day when Pallie Sue was 18 months old, Silver was tied to the shade tree in the yard. Someone looked out to discover Pallie sitting behind Ole Silver with her arms and legs wrapped around his back feet.
Cousin Kelly Johnson was Papa's very favorite of all his cousins. One summer he and his wife, Cousin Pallie, came for a visit. They were highly loved by all our clan. Everybody had gathered at our place with dish after dish of food. As the festivities moved along, someone brought Ole Silver to be tied at the shade tree. After a while I noticed that my cousin, Yvonne Shumaker, had climbed into the saddle and was sitting on Ole Silver. I had just walked onto the porch and there noticed a stick laying close at hand. It was a great opportunity to give Yvonne a wonderful scare. I picked up the stick and gave Ole Silver a poke on his rear end. Quicker than an eye can see a flying horse hoof, my upper lip swelled out almost a half inch, and silvers foot was back on the ground. O the pain and the awful embarrassment! You better believe, I've never done it again!
At the auction a few years later, our young friend, Edwin Latham, begged his folks to buy the pony. But Mr. McMines, our shop teacher, bought Ole Silver for his two little daughters.