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.