January 25, 2009
Here it is in the middle of winter and I’m writing another story for Jenk. He has been retired now for one and a half years and has been working hard on his genealogy and wants as much information about the family as he can get, but trying to recall a memory really takes a lot of concentration.
So I will just kind of ramble here for awhile until I think of something. I saw in the Lubbock paper today the top five days of one - day snow falls in Lubbock, Texas. Here they are – December 9, 1942 - - 9.5 inches, February 20, 1961- -12.1 inches, November 16, 1980 - - 10.3 inches, November 25, 1980 - - 10.6 inches, January 21, 1983- - 11.4 inches. I remember another time when we were living on Sumac in Lubbock, and we got another big snow. Don’t know exactly know much, but me and the boys were outside making the biggest snowman (I bet it was 7 feet tall) when Jenk called us. We got the yard stick and measured it to be 24 inches there in the back yard. It might have been a snowdrift but even then, that was a lot of snow. This one was in 1969 when Jenk called us from Fort Wachucca, Arizona. I think that was the day we found out he was going to Korea. We all ran in the house and we all took a turn talking to him. Since there were a lot of us, we couldn’t talk very long and it was long distance. It was costing us money, but that was okay. I wonder what Mom and Daddy would think about today. We can now talk long distance for free. I wish they could be here. In fact, that was the reason we got a phone, because Jenk was in the service and Mom wanted to make sure that Jenk could call home. I still have the old black rotary phone. It’s being used here at the house in the back bedroom. Jenk says that phone belongs to him, and well, I guess it does since that is the reason that Mom and Daddy got it. I really don’t care who gets it. It is an old phone now, because you can’t buy them anymore. Mom wrote him everyday when he was in the service, so he would know what was going on at home. He said sometimes he would get 4 or 5 letters in one day, that was because the letters were not always delivered to him. He said he would sit and read them all in sequential order.
One time we drove all night going to El Paso ( Fort Bliss) to see Jenk, because he got a one day leave. We drove all night so we could be there the next morning. We forgot about the time change. We thought it was 8:00 a.m. and it was only 7:00 a.m. We got to Fort Bliss and talked to a guard at the gate. The guard had to get someone to get the message to Jenk. (I can’t remember how) Jenk was still asleep, but after a short time he came out. That was the first time we had seen him since he left home. He was dark from sunburn and he didn’t have any hair - a buzz cut. He was in his uniform and I remember Mom had tears in her eyes, she was so glad to see him. Jenk was always telling Mom not to cry. We all were glad to see him. We drove out of town a ways or some where nearby. We had everything needed for a picnic. I remember parked on the side of the road near a railroad track. We got out of the car and just kind of stood around and talked. Mom had everything needed from sandwiches to cookies she had baked. We also had coke; one of the few things we ever got to buy. Daddy burst out in a song “Here that train a coming, a coming down the track’’….and he was making a train sound as the train passed by. It was loud, because we were just right there on the side of the road. We spent the whole day with Jenk until we had to take him back. It sure was hard to leave without him. Mom cried for awhile after we left. It was pretty quiet on the way back home, but we were glad we got to see him. We didn’t have a camera to take any pictures, we just didn’t have the money.
At Christmas time, Mom made peanut patties and cookies and we went to TG&Y and bought some things she thought Jenk would like; lots of baked foods, shaving cream, toothpaste, a small tape recorder, socks, stationary, stamps, envelopes, lots and lots of stuff - - (about $50.00 worth) I can’t remember what all - - I just know it was heavy. Mom took it to the post office and mailed it to Korea, but she didn’t insure it. She nor any one else thought about it needing to be insured. She was just trying to save money and thought for sure it would get there since it was going to a serviceman. Jenk never got the package. Post Office just lost it or some one got it. Mom felt bad about it, but we couldn’t do anything about it.
Well, I didn’t get my ax story written yet. I kind of got off track. There is not much to the story other than that every time there was a bad storm cloud and a possible tornado, “Ma” – Daddy’s mom – would take an ax and stick it in the ground with the ax part face up to the sky. The belief was that the ax would split the cloud and the cloud would separate into two parts and go around. I believed it worked, because the storms would always dissipate and we would only get rain. People may laugh today about things that people did years ago, but they truly believed it would work and if they believed it, then it was good enough.