Sunday, March 29, 2009

Key/Kee Reunion in 2000!

Holloway Lines: L-R...Gary Kee (Thomas Frailey), R.D. Kee (John Holloway), George Patterson (James Howard), Mae Patterson (Charles), Jessie Hicks & wife (Cloe), Vivan Kee and Charles Key (William Riley), Noah Kee ( Young Caberd) and Grady Kee (David Quillen)

Noah Kee's wife, Betty and Charles Key share notes at Crossroads Cemetery.

Waiting out a rain and visiting at the pavilion at Pleasant Hills Church.

Gary Kee sharing a story about James Howard Kee at Crossroads Cemetery.

Charles Key and Mae Patterson look at information in the Crossroads Cemetery book.

Grady Kee explains some History of Pleasant Hill Church. Y.C. Kee was once Pastor in 1908.

In the year 2000 I finally got to go to that wonderful town of Camden, TN. I had heard Dad and his brothers talk about living there and they would get together and go "HOME." Charles would go along with them, they loved to show him places they had known. Charles loved it so much that he retired and he and Norma lived there for years.The cousins all got together to try to revive the old Kee/Key Reunion that had been there in the past, some said it had been 32 years since the last one. Charles and Norma were on the committee that got the reunion together. They said the town was so different now with a new modern courthouse and a new library. We met on Saturday morning at the library, name tags were furnished and the fun began as we each searched out cousins that we had been in contact with on the Internet. There were quite a few there, they told us later that there were members from 10 of the 13 children of William Riley Key. Later that afternoon we all visited the local cemeteries until it came a shower, we stayed under an arbor in one of the cemeteries until the shower passed, visiting and learning more about the cousins we had never met before. It was quite an afternoon.Later that evening we all met again at a local bank community room to enjoy a catered bar-b-que dinner. After the meal we all visited again with others who were not at the library or on the cemetery tour. It was something else to know you had so many descendants of the same couple. Tales were told and histories were shared about the long ago generations. The following day we had a pot-luck lunch at the Nathan Bedfore Forrest State Park near Eva, TN, which is only a few miles from Camden, the town. There were more cousins to meet, they came from everywhere ----- California, Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, and South Dakota-- to just name a few places, I can't remember all the states or members represented.Cousin Grady Kee, had the church records from the early years when our great-grandpa was church clerk, until he was called before the church for infidelity. Our children and grand children really got a laugh about that, but I think they were like me, just a bit ashamed. I think compared to this day and time, morals have always been the same. If I never get to go to another reunion there, I can say I really enjoyed that one. It put a light on a lot of things I had heard the grown ups speak of in the past, about how the name was Key at the beginning and changed to Kee and then back to Key. Some of the descendants in Arkansas go by the spelling Key, some in other states go by Kee. However, we found out we had a lot in common.
Posted by ruby003 at 7:45 PM 0 comments

Friday, March 27, 2009

Life as I saw it!

I don’t know what it was about being three but it seems that was the time that I remember first. When I was about three we lived in a tin top house, I think I remember the outside of the walls on the house being tin also. I loved to hear the rain at night, it would put me to sleep. We had a pitcher pump with a table built all around it, I could climb up on the table and pump the water. We got a puppy while we lived there, we called him “Smokie” because he was part bull dog and had a white face and a brindle color body, he was my brother, Charles’ dog but he stayed with the family even after my brother went off to the CC camp. I rode with Dad, Charles and dad’s friend, Bud Hudpath, to get the puppy in Mr. Hudpath’s A Model car. The car was a boxy black car, like the cars you see in the 30's and 40's movies. When we got back home Dad put Smoky’s tail on a brick and cut his tail off with his knife and a hammer, one clean whack but I can still see it in my child's mind. Smokie was with us a lot of years but one day dad had to shoot him because he was foaming at the mouth and running around and dad was scared he had gone mad. Charles and I have talked about Smokie a lot, he was a good memory for us both.We lived only about a quarter of a mile from the Ebenezer school house, this was where my sister Frances started to school. The house where the teachers lived caught on fire and burned one night, the flames reached high in the sky, this was my first experience with a house fire. My brother Charles and I visited the area a few years ago and the old school house was still there all grown up with weeds and stubble. This area was called “Big Creek”, it is in the area between Aubrey and Marvell, I doubt if I could go there again.We skated on the ice in winter.
We ate ice from the rain barrels until--- after the thaw when we found a dead kitten in the bottom of the barrel. Folks back then, kept barrels under the eave of the house to catch rain water to wash their hair or do the laundry, so much of the time the water that came out of the pitcher pump was rusty or foul smelling from the sulphur in the water.
About 1940 we moved south of Marianna to a farm run by the Burke family, Dad share cropped. The family did the work and the boss took his share which was most of everything. You’ve heard the old saying “I walked a mile to school everyday”? Well, in our case it was the truth, it was exactly a mile to the hard road (paved highway)where we caught the bus to Marianna to school. When it was raining or freezing dad came to the bus stop with the wagon and team and covered us with quilts to keep us warm. The Mulberry elementary school was on a hill and at recess the kids slid down the ice covered hill on sleds or paste board boxes. I don't remember many "Snow Days" from school. When we walked to the hard road to go to school we saw the creatures of the earth,---- birds, rabbits, snakes, worms. We thought a horse hair left out in the rain would turn into a worm. My sister, Pearlie, was chased by a Blue Racer snake, when she stopped running he stopped too. We ate mulberries from the trees and we relived our day at school and thought of what homework we had to get done and about how much water we had to pump for the horses and cows. Those cows could drink and drink, Pearlie tried to run them away from the trough. Dad finally got a gasoline engine for the pump and we were so happy, but we still had to get the firewood in for the cook stove. Everything took place in the front room or the kitchen in the winter because it was cold in the bedrooms. In the summer we stayed out side when we could because it was so hot in the house. We played out side as long as we could , we played red rover, hop scotch,and we caught fireflies in a jar. The ground around the house was swept clean and all the grass was worn off, I don’t know if it was because we kept it off playing or if the grown ups kept it that way to keep back the snakes, the dogs killed a snake once in awhile. We had a China-berry tree in the yard and my sister Sue tried to eat the berries that fell so I think Mom kept the yard swept to keep up the berries. We made play houses out of sticks, we would line off our living room and kitchen and bedrooms and we left openings for our doors and windows, our furniture was a block of wood and our dishes were tin cans, we stirred up those mud pies and let them dry in the sun. We tried to get Sue to eat them. She wouldn't of course but she sure bothered us all the time, she wanted to play with us, she thought she was a big as we were, isn't that the way of sisters.
Posted by ruby003 at 8:13 PM 0 comments

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Super Sue!

Seems as if all our stories start at the Righter farm{ not sure if this spelled right or not], but we lived on this farm for several years. My next older sister ,Sue, endured this time with myself, Howard, and baby sister Barbara and of course Mama and Daddy. This was before mechanical cotton pickers and weed control chemicals and all the cotton had to be chopped and maintained with a hoe and a lot of grit and sweat. I remember this hard time very well, but will not forget Sue trying so hard to chop the tough Johnson Grass,{ I don't think related to Delbert], she was covered from head to toe with shirts,pants,socks for gloves and strawhat to protect her delicate skin, which was as delicate as she was, from the sun,all the time attacking the johnson grass, striking the hoe down with all her strength, only to have it bounce back in her face. But she never quit. At about this time Farmall tractor came out with a new small tractor, SUPER C, which Delbert , observing Sue from his pickup on the turnrow said. "We need to replace Sue with A SUPER SUE". I know Sue agreed and she went on to become a SUPER SUE and main MOB with the largest insurance company in the mid south!!!!!!!! Waaa tooo ggggoooooo SUPER SUE !!!!!
Posted by keyman at 6:08 PM 1 comments

World War II

My Dad was 40 years old, I was 8, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. I remember well the day we heard it on the radio. I remember how pale my dad and mom's faces became and my fear of what would become of our family if dad had to go to war. The radio was run on a big battery and the battery was a precious thing because you couldn't get another one even if you had the money which we didn't. The radio was only turned on to hear the news and what Franklin D. Roosevelt was going to lead the country to do. Dad didn't go to the service, he was listed as 4F, I didn't know what that meant. I didn't know if my beloved dad was sick and couldn't go or if maybe it was like they said, the farmers had to raise food crops to keep the country going. We had to work even harder then. My three older brothers all went to the service, all came home alive but my brother Ed only barely. Dad had been told that Ed died in action, but when the war was over he was found in a prisoner of war camp in Germany. His weight was down to 105 when they found him. He didn't talk much about it but he said that if a stray dog was killed in the street and it was thrown over the fence the prisoners fought over it. They caught garter snakes and anything else they could eat, the grass didn't grow on the yard because they ate it all. That is why to this day I can't watch war movies, the news on the radio was a daily thing and our boys were dying by the hundreds. Sons of our neighbors were being killed and reported missing in action. My uncle, Clarence Key, was killed in action, the fear was always with us. This went on for over five years.....then I remember VJ Day 1945. We had moved to the town of West Helena by then, dad was working at a wood mill there. When the news came over the radio, the fire sirens were going off, the people were in the streets rejoicing and crying and jumping up and down. The was a German prison camp just off the main street in West Helena. The prisoners were hauled to the near by farms to work each day, the were fed better than we were, we couldn't get sugar, coffee, flour and certainly not beef, I would hear remarks made by the grown ups about the prisoners were eating steak and we were about to starve ourselves.But those prisoners were as happy that day as the rest of us. They would be going back home on the prisoner exchange program between the countries. They were laughing and jumping up and down like we were. THE WAR WAS OVER !!!Posted by ruby003 at 1:18 PM 1 comments

The Keys in the Early years!

I want everybody to know this is my childhood memories and fantasies as I remember them. My life story begins a long time before I was a gleam in my dad's eye. My dad is James Fred Key and my mother Gerturde Mandy Little Key. Dad was born in Tennessee, somewhere around Camden. I have never been to this wonderful place but as a child I heard stories of how my great grandfather was in both the Confederate and the Union armies. The war between the north and the south must have been like the movie of "Gone with the Wind." I'm sure there were a few horse thieves and murders in my past, it seems that from the stories that most of the Key(spelled Kee in the earlier years) men in those days were rugged, hot tempered, hell raisers, and womanizers.My grandfather, Calvin Venable Key (known only as CV) was married three times, with a total of 21 (so I was told, I can only count 17) children, my dad was from the second marriage. My grandmother's name was Molly Brackin and they had four sons and a daughter. Fred, Chester, Irvin and Lester. I never knew anything about the daughter but apparently she died young. These guys had numerous cousins, CV's brother Andrews had 24 (so they say)children, when I was about five I remember sitting on the steps when CV and Andrew were sitting in rocking chairs on the porch trying to out boast each other about how many children they each had. Andrew had more fortune because he had all those children to help him work his farm and help make a living in his "old age." He said this was the best insurance a man could have. I remember one other great uncle and his name was Daniel . His wife was "Miss Lily" as my dad called her. Since Molly died young, CV married Nancy Beggs, dad called her "Miss Nancy" because she was only five years old than he was. This made more aunts and uncles for me, some even younger than me. When I was almost eleven years old Grandma Nancy had a tumor and we were all so worried but it turned out to be Leon, another uncle. We played in the grudge ditches around grandpa's farm, we caught "crawdads" from the ditch and roasted them on a piece of tin over a campfire. Our little blond haired cousin, Jeannette, came to visit from Memphis and this was the first time most of us had seen a store bought bathing suit. Of course the mosquitoes had a field day.Grandpa died at 91 and I think Leon turned 21 that same year. Grandpa's mind was good up until he died, he loved crossword puzzles and reading. He was a teacher in his younger days. He told us he sold a wagon load of corn to get money to go to college to become a teacher. He had the bluest eyes I have ever seen on a man, I see those same eyes in some of his grand and great-grand children. Grandpa was a slight of build and not tall but he was a giant in my eyes. My uncle Andrew was one of those kind kid loving men, I thought of him as old but it was because I was so young. His overall pockets harbored treasures, he never saw me that he didn't reach in this pocket and bring out something for me, a pecan, a nickel, a peanut ---- it was always something interesting.I never saw my uncle Daniel very often but when I did see him in town on Saturday afternoon he bought me "BIG NICK" ice-cream. I 've never found anybody else except my husband who remembers what "Big Nicks' were, I guess that is why it is nice to be married to someone your own age. A "Big Nick" was a solid bar of vanilla ice-cream dipped in chocolate, it was packaged in a cardboard carton and could be torn down as you ate it, but it looked kinda like the boxes a dozen pencils comes in today.Grandma Nancy made us sorghum molasses candy and we pulled it while it was still warm. Country folks said "it looked like sorghum and butter mixed together. Hum, hum, I can remember the taste now.They planted sorghum and it grew into a cane that looked kinda like a fishing cane. Then when it was ripe they cut and carried it to the Sorghum Mill over on "Last Chance" road. The men fed the sorghum stalks though the Mill to press the juice from the them, the juice would drain into a vat that had a fire under it and they cooked the juice and while it was cooking the raw foam was skimmed from the trough. The mill press was kept turning by a mule that walked round and round as the men put in the stalks. It took around six men to operate the mill and when the syrup was all cooked off the syrup was divided for each family to take home to be eaten with hot biscuits and butter. Us kids chewed the sorghum stalk, you could strip it down and bite off the sorghum and after the juice was out of it you spit out the husk, it had a heavenly taste. Sorghum making only came around once a year just like a crop of cotton. But that is another story, post more soon.
Posted by ruby003 at 1:20 PM 1 comments

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Daddy's Montgomery Ward shotgun!

Sometime in '53 ,or so , When I was 9 or 10 yrs old, Dad bought a Monkey Ward 12 gauge shotgun to hunt rabbits and other varmits with along with the other guys at the righter farm. A favorite ritual in the winter or spring was to burn the ditches or turnrows and shoot rabbits as they ran for their live. As you can imagine there was a lot of shooting and the little 12 gauge was pretty light,resulting in a big kick. Dad came home one day, all bruised up on his shoulder, and in a bad mood. He told me I could Have the D___ gun because he hated it. The next day I shot the gun ,[any gun ], for the first time. As I braced for the impact, while aiming at a tin can, I wasn't ready for what happened next. I was knocked back and the gun went up in the air and it hurt like heck and I had to grab it before it hit the ground,[to save face] and did. I used that gun for years hunting rabbits,doves,squirrels and ducks, before I got my first Remmington Automatic. I still have that old gun in my gun case. I reblued the metal several years ago and it still looks good ,but I know it would still kick good. But it seems so much smaller now than back then,but I guess that's relative. Maybe Zachary will be the next owner.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Brother the All-Star!

My brother Jerry was always a All-Star in many ways and sports. He was always a Go-Getter regardless of his size, he was always determined to be the best. In football he excelled as a long snapper, something that I tried, but could never master. My coaches tried me one year in spring practice at center and I didn't find the position to my liking, but I took the instructions on snapping home and showed them to my little brother, Jerry. He started snapping the ball and by the time football season came around, He was the starting center on the junior high team and making all the long snaps for punts, extra points, and field goals. He got plenty of practice, because he played with three of the most famous athletes to come out of Helena Central. Billy Gray, Ken Hatfield, and Kay Kaiser King, all made All-State in high school and signed with the University of Arkansas. Jerry played with them in junior high and one year in High school before moving to Marianna for his Junior and Senior years. When Jerry played with them in junior high, they were undefeated 3 years and scored a lot of points, which meant that Jerry got a lot of experience snapping the ball. Some more good experience he got was catching the ball. When we were at home, I threw the football to him almost everyday....when he went out for a pass, he had to run across plowed ground and jump tilled cotton rows to catch the ball. He took a many tumble and fall trying to catch the passes and missed a lot until he was catching most anything that was thrown to him.
After moving back to Marianna, he became wide receiver and scored many a touchdown. After all of these, he had to deep snap for the extra points.
After Jerry grew up, he and Mary Ann had three sons and every one of them learn to deep snap the football.

"Turkey day shoot out!"

When I started playing football in Junior High at Marianna, I was in the eighth grade and was one of the largest boys on the team. My cousin, Paul, was a nineth grader and played Right Tackle, so I decided to play Left Tackle. The Left Tackle is considered to be the most important position on theOffensive line, because he had to protect the Quarterback's blind side when he went back to pass, because if he was right handed, as most Quarterbacks are, he couldn't see the defensive man coming up on his rear. It was the Left tackle's duty to either knock the man down or devert him away from the Quarterback to give him time to pass the ball. So when the lineups were announced over the loud speakers, it was always: "Key and Key at tackles." Paul, who was Uncle Chester's son, and I grew up together .....Paul was a few months older than I was and we started to school the same year, but I was held back in the first grade, so that put me a year behind him in school. I only played that one year with Paul at Marianna before moving to Helena.
Helena and Marianna were bitter rivals and always played on Thankgiving Day, so Paul & I faced off for two straight years. With me playing on the left and him on the right side of the lines.......We faced each other Head On! These were fun games for both Paul and I because of the closeness we had for each other and our Dads in the stands, each betting on their sons and who would win the fifth of whiskey each year. My team won both years.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Growing up with Delbert

My sister Ruby, married Delbert Johnson , I can't remember when,he has just always been around in my life. I guess,it all really started when we all moved to the righter farm in 1953. From the time he held me by my feet and lowered me into a 55gallon drum with a little axle grease in the bottom and a lot on the sides, the war was on! I had to hold very still to keep from getting the crap on me;all the time listening to him laugh. Or was it the many times he and the others would come by the house in the afternoon to see if I wanted to go to the country store for a coke ! He would stop and call for me, then just as I got close to the truck he would drive off ,just out of reach. This was repeated over and over until I cried and cussed him at which time he would continue, then let me go. After all, a trip to the store was a big deal out in those dusty country fields. He wasn't all prankster though, he was the best horse shoe player around,unless my brother Charles came from Memphis to play. He could consistently put 2 shoes ,one on top of the other, and throw double ringers. That,I never saw anyone else do. There is much more to this story,but My 2 fingers are gettin tired,so this is to be continued......

Panther story!

In the early 50's we were loading cotton from a cotton crib near our house on the Rightor Farm south of Helena. There was a large 2 story barn about half a mile from us , behind Delbert and Ruby's house. Someone looked up and pointed at a big black cat slipping from the barn and going to a slew. It was so big it had to be a panther, although it was never confirmed. The panther would crouch close to the ground and claw a little ways , then stop and look around, then start again until it got into the woods. A couple weeks later my buddies and I found a nice percimon tree sure to hold a coon or 2. This was also just across the slew from where we saw the panther. But we decided we needed to coon hunt that night. Three of us, me and the two Galloway boys, who lived near, got out the carbide lights and our guns and took off over to the tree to get those coons. As we were shining the lights up in the tree, there was a loud scream!!! It was believed panthers screamed like a woman and man the hair stood up on our heads and we ran all the way home with one light in front and one on the backside. That was my last coon hunt for a long time. Later we figured it was probably an owl, but was never sure!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

When Dad out ran a Panther!

While growing up in Eastern Arkansas, we always heard stories about there being Panthers in the area around the St Francis National Forest. It was told that they screamed like a woman and when people went to check on it, the panther would jump out of the trees and rip you open with their claws and suck your blood out. They were so fast that no one could out run them. They were solid black and the only thing you could see in the dark was their RED eyes. So this is where my story beings:

Dad had been working over on the Grey Place and finished up late. It had been raining all day and on the way home he had to travel through the National Forest. He always took a short cut to get home, which was a dirt and gravel road and it was about 3 or 4 miles through the forest until you got to a main road. He had just turned down this road when he slid off in the ditch and stuck the pick-up truck he was driving. There was no traffic down this road, so he decided to walk home and get a tractor to pull it out. He said that after walking about a mile, he heard a loud scream that sounded like a woman and the hair stood up on the back of his neck.....It's a Panther he thought!! He took off running hoping he could get a head start if it was panther.....He said that he was running so hard that when he went over a rise in the road that he lost his breath and fell down. About this time, he heard the scream again and then he really turned in on....breaking a 4 minute mile going down the "Burnt Gin Hill", which was a long hill where at one time a cotton gin had been. About half way down this hill along the hillside of the road, there was a cave....we always thought that it was a Bear cave, but some people said that Panthers were known to hang out in the cave. He said that he passed the cave so fast, he didn't think of looking inside, which he wouldn't have done it anyway. After arriving home and telling these stories, he asked me to go back with him to get the truck much as I liked to drive there was no way I was going to go back that night. I don't remember who he got to go back with him or if he waited until the next day to go and get the truck out.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fishing with my pal.....Al!

Growing up you always read stories about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn...well, this story reminds me of that. Dad was a farm manager in east Arkansas and there was about 5 farms under his supervision. One of them was a farm down below Bear Creek Lake along the St Francis River, known as the Grey Place. On this place there was a Black gentleman named "Al". Al was my buddy mainly because he always bragged on me for being able to drive a tractor at my age (9), and I of course, ate it up. One time while dad had something going on down there on the farm, Al and I planned a fishing trip.

I got up real early and went down to the Grey Place with dad and we got there around 6:oo a.m. and I took off for Al's house. He was cooking breakfast in the kitchen and of course, he wanted me to eat with him. He had made a large pan of homemade biscuits and had fried up some eggs. He also had some syrup to put on the biscuits along with homemade butter. After breakfast, he got a large syrup bucket and filled it with the leftovers to take fishing. We went and dug up some worms, put them in a can and got out the cane fishing poles. Off we went walking down the dirt road and across several fields for about a mile or so and came up on the banks of the "Mighty St Francis River." We got out our cane fishing poles, baited up with worms and boy we were in business. I guess it was around 9 a.m. when we started fishing and boy was we pulling them in. Al had brought a big jug of butter milk and had put it in the water to keep it cold and at lunch time we had a feast on breakfast left overs and butter milk. You know me, when I get through eating, I want to take a short nap, but Al said that we couldn't stop while the fish were we fished on and the sun got hotter and hotter. After a while, I had enough of this, so I stopped fishing and found me a shade. Al kept on fishing and after catching several more, announced that we needed go so we would get backin time to clean the fish. I remember going back was the longest walk of my life and my butt was dragging. When we got back dad and another guy was waiting on us. We all jumped in and cleaned the fish and took a mess home with us. Our family all had a good fish fry....thanks to Al because I only caught about 2 or 3 fish.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The night the crazy lady came calling!

This is another story that happened in our family that is really true. I was about 12 years old and we lived about 3 miles south of Marianna, Arkansas. I remember being awaken around 3:oo a.m. with loud noise and voices coming from the front room of our house. Dad had answered the front door and our next door neighbor was telling my dad to call the Sheriff's Department. She said that a black lady had come into their house and had picked up her baby out of it's bed and was rocking it when they woke up. They had left a night light on and hadn't locked their doors. (No one in the country locked their doors at night) She and her husband had jumped out of bed, grabbed the baby from the lady and ran out of the house and came over to our house, which was about 100 yards away. There was a pasture and 3 fences between our houses. They had come down the road to get to our house and had left the lady still in the house. When dad had turned the light on to call the Sheriff, the lady saw the light and started hollering..." I see you Mr. Brittan and I'm a coming". This really excited our neighbor lady and she started crying "She's a coming!"
Dad went outside and I followed him with our old shotgun (without any hammers) to stop the lady before she got to the house. She had crawled over 2 fences and was starting over the 3rd fence into our yard when he stopped her. He reached down and picked up a piece of cardboard paper and held it up and she stopped. He got her to go over and sat in a old lawn chair until the Sheriff got there. She kept calling dad "Mr. Brittan" and asked what I was doing with that shotgum and dad told me to take it back into the house. He told her that she had scared everyone and that I had got the gun to scare her. She started laughing and said...." Oh, Mr. Brittan, you know I wouldn't scare you!"

The Sheriff arrived a little later and took her into town. It seems that she had started talking out of her head and her family had tied her up....not knowing what to do with her and she gotten loose and was looking for a Mr. Brittan that she use to work for years before.

Memories of old Rowdy the pack mule!

As a member of our family, I like everyone, have special memories that made an impression on me that might not be remembered by others. Do any of you remember the old pack mule, named "Rowdy"? She was used to carry cotton sacks from down in the field to the cotton trailer, where they were weighed and unloaded. Most of these sacks weighed between 50- 75 pounds....depending on who was doing the picking. I don't remember how many sacks she carried at a time, but it was several. On top of that, she had to carry one or two of us kids as we rode on top....playing like we were on a Camel in a far off land. She didn't seem to mind and was always so gentle and so sure footed that she never loss her load of cotton sacks and kids.

I don't remember how long Rowdy was on the farm, but it seems she was always there....and was there when we left. I have often wondered what happened to Rowdy after that.....I'm sure that she was sold and traded many times to different farms and served her owners to the best of her ability. I don't know how long a mule lives, but I heard somewhere that she had died several years ago, but had lived a long and faithful live. I hope she is somewhere in animal Heaven and living a more comfortable live and not carrying large cotton sacks.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Brother, the outdoorsman!

If there was anyone in our family that could be Daniel Boone, it would my brother, Jerry. He has found very little things that he wouldn't track or try to catch.....Be it Bass Fishing, Deer Hunting, Rabbit hunting or Duck Hunting. I think that would be his favorite. I don't know where he got it, Dad didn't hunt or fish, but if there was anything that made him love it was when he was about 9 years old, we moved to Helena, Arkansas.....Well, about 15 miles south of there to a farm of about 400 acres that bordered a lake that was called "Rab Lake".

It was the spring of 1953 and the rivers and lakes were all overflowing and water was backing up everwhere....the fields were flooded and all the ditches were all backed up and were all full of fish. I talking about Big fish....some weighing as much as 10-20 pounds. In order to catch these fish, you either put on gloves and got in the water to catch with your hands or used a gigg....which was on a long handle and you stabbed them and threw them out of the water. We all use to have so much catching these fish. Rab Lake was about a 20 acre lake and had cypress trees all around the shore and not only was a good fishing lake, but that spring the ducks just covered it up. This was right up Jerry's Alley and this is where he learn to love duck hunting. Also, that spring there was a lot of clean up in the fields and they were covered in wild grass. All this grass had to be burnt or cut off and you never saw so many "Cotton Tail and Swamp Rabbits" in your life. Anytime you rabbit hunted, everyone had a good Rabbit Dog, and Jerry had a dog name Bullet.....after Roy Rogers dog, and this dog would catch as many rabbits as you could shoot. Jerry saved many a shell to use for target practice because of OLD BULLET! Dad had bought a single shot 12 gauge shotgun and Jerry almost worn it out that spring and the six years we lived there. I supposed he still has that old gun.