Tuesday, August 6, 2013


You Might not Know What's in a Man 'Till You See It Working Out

He was the young farmer who moved onto the farm down the road from us and up the hill to the west.  The farm was on the left.  I actually didn't know either Teddy Joe or Verna Mae very well.  He grew up with his mother in Olustee, OK.  He and Verna Mae were married when he was eighteen.  Mr. Jones was her dad. He helped them to get the farm.  The Jones' lived in Eldorado.  Verna Mae was Phyllis Walker's younger sister.  Phyllis was, and still is, married to Senior Walker, Mother's cousin.

Teddy Joe might have worked on a farm some time in his young life while living in Olustee.  I really don't know about that.  The part I do know about, has to do with the farm and the farmer.  It must have been 320 acres or less.  That means it was a mile long and more or less a half mile wide.  The east end of his fence line started at the red house on our place where our road crossed the two bridges over Squaw Creek.  The road and his fence went along together to the bluff, up the twisty road and on across past Tatar Mountain to the west.  After a few rods it crossed the north - south road from the river bluffs up past Granny and Papa's.

I only remember that he grew cotton.  There were a couple of small fields to the east below the bluff.  There was pasture on the side and top of the bluff, along the top of the river bluff beside Red River and on the west end of the property where the natural bridge crosses the gully going into the river.  The farm land was along the road, from Tatar Mountain on the west to the milk barn and house on the east.

Teddy Joe's father-in-law bought him ten good Holstein milk cows.  They give lots of milk and he had never milked or at the least, very little.  He was out there milking by hand at sunrise every morning.  He finished milking about noon.  He had a few hours off and then   Then it was time to start over again.  In the mean time he was tilling land and putting in a crop.

The amazing thing:  we never saw a weed in his fence rows.  I've picked cotton in his fields and never came to a weed.  We didn't have weed killers in those years.  We all wondered and said, "How did he do it."  Early and late must have been his secret.

A few times when I got home from school and Mother with the girls wasn't there, maybe Daddy was somewhere in the field or working around the neighborhood, I'd walk to Teddy Joe and Verna Mae's house.  When the folks got home they'd call to see, if I was there.  Daddy always scolded me for "running away" when he came to pick me up.  I knew to start the chores.  Then once when I went over there after school, Daddy was plowing in the field, I knew he was there, but went on anyway.  When he came to the house and was ready to start chores, he called Teddy Joe and told him to have me walk home.  Teddy offered to bring me.  Daddy said NO.  The sun was down and dusk was setting in pretty heavy.  I never "ran away" again.

Those years must have been in the mid 1940's.  By 1950 we had torn down Grandpa's old house and were building the new one.  By the time the new house was about half finished Teddy Joe's house was setting empty.  We had moved into the west side of the dairy barn when the old house was coming down.  But now Teddy Joe and Verna Mae had moved away, so we rented their house and lived there a few months until ours was ready to occupy.

I'm not sure when or where they moved.  I did hear that he wanted to become a Meteorologist, and did.  He came to Granny's funeral about 1988 and I met him at the cemetery.  It was so good to see him again.  He died later.  I don't know any more of the story.

I just know a young farmer made an impact on a young school boys life and I am so very grateful!

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