Friday, January 3, 2014


Looking Back and Remembering

I suppose, other than Mother and Daddy, the first family I remember were grandparents.  Mother Shumaker and Granny were there when I came.  At least that's what I was told.  Papa (we pronounced it:  Pawpaw) and Grand Daddy (we didn't add the:  Shumaker) couldn't have been very far away, probably at home or at Church.  It was a Sunday.  It was Christmas Day.  O yes, Dr. Crow was there, of course, at the house where we lived!  [Probably, Dr. Crow was doctor for almost all families in the southwest quarter of Jackson County, Oklahoma.  He had moved into Oklahoma Territory before statehood.]

All the Easley's (Great Grandma and Great Grandpa with their nine or ten children, most grown) moved to Oklahoma Territory in 1900.  Papa was thirteen years old and had Uncle Ross and Aunt Pearl younger than he was.  They had come there from Texas.  Uncle Will, the eldest, was married to Aunt Annie, Granny's sister.  I don't know if any others were married when they came.  By the time I came, all but those last three had moved out of the state.  Uncle Ross and Aunt Ethel lived across the road from us.  I remember Aunt Pearl and Uncle Everett Davis.  They moved to Washington State in 1941.

There were some of Daddy's cousins still living in the area.  Moody Easley was Uncle Zeb and Aunt Massey's son.  He and his wife, Helen with her son, Lyle lived a couple miles up the road.  Helen was with us in the pasture the day the rattlesnake bit Donnie.  Uncle Ross moved about three miles away and Elmer Easley, their son, moved there with his wife Blanche and their children, Billy Albert and Ramona.  Elmer moved his family to Arkansas where they had more children.  I never knew them.  Uncle Virgil Easley, Papa's brother, lived across the road from Papa when his six children were growing up.  He later became a preacher.  Uncle Virgil's eldest was Orpha, married to Clell Mitchell.  They lived in Eldorado.   Clell was the car mechanic at Charlie Clonte's Chevy Garage.  They had two children older than me, Eula Mae and Rayford.  Papa's oldest sister was Aunt Almeda.  She was married to a man named Brock.  Of all their children, I only knew Ina Brock and her husband, Tommy Braker.  The others lived in the area, some around Eldorado and others up around Mangum, Oklahoma.

Mother had aunts and cousins living in the area when we were growing up.  There were none in Oklahoma from Grand Daddy Shumaker's very large family.  But Mother Shumaker was the eldest of five sisters and a younger brother.  Aunt Alta and Uncle Jess Walker lived at Altus.  They had five girls and a son.  We visited there pretty often, until they all moved to Texas or somewhere else.  Aunt Lou and Uncle Lloyd Walker lived up the road from us about three miles.  They had Melrose, Mayburn and Senior.  Melrose lived in northern Oklahoma.  We didn't see her very often. Mayburn and Vennie lived in Altus.  Senior and Phylis are still farming and live in Eldorado.  He's growing close to ninety.  His mother, Aunt Lou was Mother Shumaker youngest sister.  She lived to be a few months past 100 years old.  Uncles Jess and Lloyd were brothers of several siblings in the Walker family.  Uncle Eudell Walker, son of Roy and Amy Walker, grew up a half mile up the road from my Shumaker Grand Parents and married our Aunt Bonnie Shumaker.  Charlie Walker's older son, Garvin was married to Uncle Will and Aunt Annie's youngest daughter, Lois.

Granny's eldest brother, Uncle Frank Luker and Aunt Luetta had several children.  Cousin Alfred was the only one of them who ever moved out of Texas.  He farmed cotton a few miles south of Eldorado.  After they retired, he and Myra moved into town.  Once in a while, I'd drop over to their place for a short visit.  They lived a block or two west of the school.

It's a great thing to have kin folks.  When you get to having so many and them scattered all over, it's a tough job to keep up with 'em.  Now we're descendants of all those already gone.  Be safe, keep well, love one another and do good.  Have a great new year.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


We Attended Four Christmas Eve Services

 It was Christmas Eve, December 24, 2013, Main Street, Hopkinsville, Kentucky.  At 2:30 pm. we walked from the Church down the street about a block and a half to the Coffee House.  Several people, old and young, had gathered as they might on any day of the week.  Assistant Pastor Keith was there to bring a message and serve Communion.  Michael, worship leader  from the New Spirits, contemporary service of the UMC, up the street on Main played guitar acompenyed by a man on the keyboard.  There were probably thirty-five people present.  Pastor's wife and two sons came.  Jeremy, Sebastian and I were there.  Keith gave a very good message and with a helper served communion.  Beautiful art work hung on the walls and foods were availabe in the back room.  The three of us took the brisk, cold walk up the block and a half to the United Methodist Church.

Back in the Church we followed Jeremy to help where needed in preparation for the 5:00 pm. service.  After some small changes of chairs and music stands in the choir, we went down to the choir's practice room.  Choir members began to come in for their brief rehearsal.  About half the number of a Sunday morning, 11:00 am. service were needed.  Even without the organ, the music was beautiful, as always.  Pastor Paige invited children to come forward to sit near her on the steps of the platform for a story from her "Christmas Stocking" the Love, Joy, Peace and Hope of the Christmas candles, then she gave a pertenant message.  The alms boxes had been put out for financial donations to the Church's food pantry.  As the folks came forward for Communion, they could place their offerings. Pastor Keith had asked me to be his helper.  I held the bread and he the grape juice.  There were six stations for that meeting.  Five-hundred were in attendance.

A simple buffet supper had been prepared for Church workers and helpers waiting for the 8:00 pm. service to began.  The New Spirits Church service is set up always in the gym.  On Sunday mornings they have an attendance of about 150 people.  Michael led the singing with his guitar and a lady played the piano.  For the Christmas Eve Communion Service there were eighty-seven folks.  Again Pastor Paige opened her Christmas Stocking for the children, then she preached.

The three Christmas Communion Services in the Church that evening were each about an hour in length.  At the 11:00 pm. meeting one-hundred-fifty gathered.  Music was provided by three men on guitars and Carlene's violin.  Pastor Paige told her Stocking story and Pastor Keith gave his sermon.  In each service after Communion, the congregation circled the pews with unlit candles.  The Pastors lit their candles from the Christmas Candle, then lit one on each side and the back of the sanctuary.  Those lit to left and right, so the light rapidly filled all the room.  During the lighting we all sang "Silent Night" to the gorgeous sounds of the violin. 

It was a wonderful day and night.  Sebastian (age nine) had asked to go with Jeremy and me to all four of the services.  Not once did he complain about anything, for any reason.  Joanna and Carlene came with Elizza and Leo to the last service.  We were all back to Jeremy's soon after the last meeting was over.  He and I sat at the dining table talking until near 2:00 am.  When I could hardly keep my eyes open, we knew it was time hit the hay.

The meaning of it all was well worth the time and energy expended.  To celebrate the coming of God in human form, as Jesus Christ, for the sole purpose of pouring out His blood, forgiving mankind of our sin and leading us as wandering sheep by the Holy Spirit to a holy life with God is joy unthinkable and full of glory.  God bless you one and all.