Thursday, October 15, 2009



Thursday, February 15, 2007
They're all gone, all gone

I guess its not unusual to feel that you have lived a whole generation because that's the way I feel about my mother's family and past generations. Grandpa and grandma married in Nov. of 1905. Grandpa was born in 1885 and Grandma was born in1887. They must have been pretty close because they both died in 1959 Not too many months apart.

They had 9 kids and somehow kept them fed and clothed and it wasn't always easy.
The first one was born in 1906. That was my mother. She wasn't ready to be married but Daddy and grandpa were friends and one day, while Grandpa had his family in the cotton field picking cotton, Daddy walked out in the field and asked Grandpa if he could marry My mother. I don't guess there were any frills or dating with them. He just needed a wife because Hodie, Daddy's daughter by a former wife, was puny and never well. They were married in 1922 and Mother didn't waste any time starting a family.

She had 7 children in all, tho' the first two, Betty and Irma were girls and died at birth. Daddy already had two grown girls, Lit and Hodie, and had lost a wife and one girl named Clayton three years before that. I can't say Mother was ever really happy with Daddy.

Uncle Newton, the second of their kids, was born in 1908, grew up and married my Aunt Hazel and they had three kids; a boy and two girls.

Then next was born my Aunt Dessie, the one who died last week. She grew up and married Uncle Leonard Scott in 1930.

Uncle Truman ,the next one, moved to Longview and went to work on the railroad from which he retired.

Uncle Frank and Uncle bill went to live with him for awhile. Uncle bill was too young but got married to Aunt Bennie anyway. Times were still hard and she got pregnant so he joined the Navy that was a guaranteed job at the time. It really didn't do him much good as the war started and he was one of the first to ship out. I have been told he went down with his ship when it was sunk.

He was an easy going and happy lad. I remember he had red curly hair and freckles. We all missed him.

Uncle Truman Married in 1936 in July right after Aunt LOla Mae got married in June. I guess both couples stayed married until Uncle Travis died, then Aunt Lola Mae died in a nursing home. I was lucky enough to get to go see her before she died. Bless her heart, she was the gentle one. Never had a cross word for anyone, but here I am getting off my message to ---who??-probably me.

Uncle Frank was next in line to marry. He and Aunt Sylvia Schultz got married in 1940. They had two boys and one girl. One boy died of cancer some years ago, I really don't know if he ever had any children . He was gentle like Aunt Sylvia. Uncle Frank and Aunt Sylvia later got a divorce and he Married Joan Day.

...understand about things but Mother let me go.
Grandma and Grandpa had another girl named Lois who died at an early age of typhoid fever.

Maudie was the youngest. She was my age . She married and had two girls who I understand are real nice. I wish I could know them. She died 5 year's ago. I don't know from what.

I really do feel a kinship with all of them We only have a half sister left, Sister Lit, and if she lives till may, she will be 96 years old .

I have left half of this story out because it belongs on My Daddy's side . At least I have vented my feelings. Maybe I am not so unusual after all. My fingers are rambling now so I'm beginning to prattle on. 'Till I get on this blog next time, I remain, your faithful,- Shike.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Going Back a Ways...

posted by Shike @ 5:30 PM

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Just Thinking ...

Last week I lost a very dear Uncle. (Mom amd Uncle Truman on the right) I have so many memories of the things we talked about. He was so easy to talk to and remembered everything as far back as I could remember and then some.

He was a lot like my Grandpa who was my very favorite person when I was a kid. He was so happy you would think he didn't have a worry in the world. That was my uncle, too.

But he did have worries. He had to move into an assisted living home when he was 92 but didn't complain about it. Said he got along very well, Thank you.
Unk was always fun to talk to. If you were visiting him at home he would always bring out the old pictures and had to explain who everyone was and what relation they were to us. I think he knew every body back as far as George Washington!!! Or maybe Abe Lincoln!

If you didn't know what happened in one particular year all you had to do was just ask Unk. He always had an answer for you.

I called him and talked to him every Saturday or Sunday and we had some pretty good visits. I will miss all that but I guess we have to take it as it comes. Or so he has been known to say.

Have a good rest, my dear Uncle; I will miss you. Your niece, Eva Mae.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


On Our Way...

We were on our way at last! We didn't know to where but we really didn't care because we were back with Daddy and he knew the people we were with.
All the time we knew them, too, but were just too excited to react the way we should have.

They lived in a government project which meant we couldn't stay long because Daddy didn't work for the government. (or anyone else at that time)
I think we stayed two nights, sleeping on a mattress on the cement floor with three of us girls in the same bed and it was wonderful! We didn't dare complain. We were just too happy to be free!

L.B. Johnson was Uncle Bert's oldest boy and at the time, the only one married with kids, so he and Leona seemed old to us. After some years passed, he didn't seem so old.
He is gone now, along with more of the Johnson boys, but his memory is still with me at times like this.

The third Day he piled us all into his car and took us to Grandma's house where Mother was. Boy were we glad to see her!
We all danced around and cried and laughed we were so happy!

"Well, Jim," mother said, "I wish you would have given me a little more time but, since you are here and all the kids, too, we will have to do something."

It just happened that Grandpa knew of a little one room shack (really, it was a house to us) with a bedstead and table and cook stove, and a kerosene stove in it so we all gathered up some quilts and towels from Grandmas and someone took us to that little house. We all fit in just fine.

It was on the edge of a huge cotton patch that had already been picked, but the boles weren't pulled yet.
It was beginning to turn cold so we weren't outside much.

The second day we were there, mother took us down the road around the cotton patch to a big one room building and told us to wait right there by the door,- so we did .
She went inside and soon was back to tell us we were going to come here every day because this was the school. She told us the teacher's name but I can't remember it. The one teacher taught all the grades.

Well, the next morning we all got up and put on our same clothes and off we went, around the road to school. I never did remember all the kids there but the room was full.
When we got out that day, we went home, and there, across the road, was Mom and Daddy with a bunch of other people with long cotton sacks, pulling cotton boles. James was riding on the back of mom's sack and having a ball. She brought him to the house and told us to watch him till she came home, so we did.
Mickey and I washed the few dirty dishes there were.

The dew was heavy in the mornings at this time so we felt cold going to school early. The bole pulling didn't start 'till the sun came out and dried the cotton boles a little.
This morning we got started to school late and Buddy said, " Come on let's cut through the field !!" So here we went with our skirt tails flying and the boles sticking us every time we took a step, but we finally made it through the patch, though we were soaked.

When we went in the teacher sat us down around the big pot bellied stove and we took our shoes off and stretched our legs out to let the heat dry our stockings. She had a big pot of cocoa on the stove and gave us each a cup of it.
Well, we had to stay after school to make up for the time we sat around the stove but we didn't mind; that is, 'till we got home and mother got done bawling us all out for not being there to watch the baby. We didn't cut through the cotton patch any more.

We stayed there uintil all those boles were pulled, then moved on,- but that's for the next time.
As for now, I'll stop prattling on and get on with it.
Till next time,- I'm Shike.

Prattling on...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Help At Last...

It seemed like the longest week we ever spent, waiting for Daddy to come back after us, but we were sure he would. Daddy was quite a kids man. At least when we were young and we had to depend on him, we knew we could.

Mickey and I whispered far into the night every night wondering what he would do but we didn't much care as long as he got us out of there and to where Mother was. We sometimes wondered if we would ever see her again but Mickey said she was sure we would because Daddy would find her for us.
For kids, there was always that, "What if," and, "Maybe if," or something always going on in our heads.

The matron came down the aisle and that put a stop to our wondering. We were soon fast asleep.

Sure enough, in about a week the woman came after us and said we were going with our Father,- and did we want to!? Well, of course we wanted to! They put our own clothes back on us and told us to be good kids then took us to the front office and sure enough, there was Daddy!
Boy, were we glad to see him waiting for us!

" Well, girls," he said,"Are you ready to go?" "Yes sir!!!!" we all said at once. "Okay," he said, "Come on then."

He took Joan by the hand and Mickey and I held hands and followed them out the front door and, there sitting at the sidewalk, was the biggest old black car we nearly ever seen!
Daddy said he would tell us who it was in a minute so we all piled in the car and it took off.

I could tell it was a Johnson but didn't know who at the time. Come to find out it was L.b. Johnson who had been here with his family living in Bakersfield all this time.
I never knew how Daddy found him but was sure glad he did.

He took us to their house which was a long tin or metal building with not much furniture in it. There were mattresses spread out all over the floor. "Well," L.B. said, "This is it but we won't be here long. We will share our space with you while we can."
Boy, were we glad to share space with anyone just as long as we were out of that orphanage.

His kids were little, too, so we were friends--at the time. I can't remember how long we were there but it was a government housing place so I'm sure it wasn't long.

"Okay kids," Daddy said, "We will go to your Mother's soon so every one just quiet down for now." 'Okay, Daddy, we're quiet.'

At that time mother was staying with Grandma Johnson in Chowchilla but we didn't know that.

But that is for the next blog so, until then, I am your faithful,-


Prattling On...

Saturday, June 7, 2008


More secrets!!

We were all excited about Daddy being there and it was really hard to be quiet. Joan kept jumping around and clapping her hands. She thought we were going to get to go with Daddy but he told her to settle down and listen because he had news for us. We all sat around in a clump and he squatted down and we listened.

"Now, Mickey," he said, "Have all of you been getting enough to eat?"

"Yes sir," she said, "but the biscuits are not like mamas." That just about got us all to crying again.

"Now all of you stop that crying and listen to me," he said. We had so many questions to ask we could hardly stay still.

"Daddy,"I asked, "Are you well now or do you still have to take that medicine?"

"No," he said,"I'm not taking the medicine but I am about well enough to come get all of you."
" Where are we going Daddy?" Mickey asked.
" Now I can't really tell you yet," Daddy said, "But I will come to see you next week in the office and we will talk about it then. Are all of you okay?"
"Yes sir," we all said; except Joan . She wanted to go with him right now.
Mickey said," Now Joan, you can't go or you won't get any ice cream!" Oh boy,- that quieted her down!
We all had to tell Daddy how we were picking flowers and were going to get some ice cream if we picked enough. We were setting right on my pile of flowers so they were strewn about all over the ground again.
"I have to go now," Daddy said, "but don't tell anyone you saw me today so we don't get into trouble."
"Okay, Daddy, we will keep it a secret just for us," we said.

Mickeys' lips kept quivering and I just bawled a little till she said to shut up before I got Joan started. So we all started trying to scrape up my pitiful little pile of flowers before Bobbie came back.
Well, here she came around the corner about that time and said, What is going on here?"
" I got my flowers scattered," I said," and they are helping me get them gathered up again. I don't know how many I have but I will count them."
" No," Bobbie said, "That won't be necessary; I have enough ice cream for all of you!"
" Guess what," Joan yelled.
"Joan" Mickey said, "That is our secret!! You be quiet!"-"Oh, okay."
Well, Bobbie gave each of us a small paper cup of ice cream and each had a small wooden spoon with it. My word,- such a treat!!!
I ate mine as slowly as I could.
"I think I will save some of mine for later," I said.
"No," Mickey said, "You can't because it will melt and get on your clothes and we will be in trouble with the women."
" Okay," I said,"I will eat all of it."
" Here," Bobbie said, "Put your flowers in this box." She gave us the little box the ice cream had come in. So we all sat and ate our ice cream then put all our flowers in the box along with the ice cream boxes.I wanted to keep my empty box but Mickey said I couldn't so in it went.
About then we all had to go in and get cleaned up for dinner. Before Bobbie left I asked her where the little girl went that I had been playing with and Bobbie said someone came and took her home with them for their little girl.
"Is someone going to come take us too?" I asked. "We couldn't go. My Daddy is coming after us." No," she said. "No one will come get you because you have a Daddy."
I asked her, "Why hasn't someone come and gotten you?"
" Well," she said," People don't want big girls; just the little ones." Oh!! We all stuck together like glue after that so no one would come and get us.
Back to the dinner table again downstairs, on the benches. Seems like more soup and sandwiches!!
Will have more news next time; Beans are cooking for dinner and I don't want them to burn.

Shike... Prattling on...

Thursday, June 5, 2008



This winter seemed so long though, in fact, it was the shortest one I can ever remember. Guess I have just been too busy to notice. I am moving more slowly than ever so it seems like everything around me is slowing down.
I talk to my siblings less all the time and miss them more all the time. But then, I always have.

I think I left this skit with Mickey, Joan and me in the room together going to sleep. Well, that made us all happy; as happy as you could expect with the way things were. We missed Daddy and were afraid to say anything to the women about him for fear we would get in trouble. Seems like trouble was my middle name anyway.

One day we were all sent out to play in the back yard with a big girl to watch over us. I remember her name as being Bobbie but, of course, I could be wrong.

She split all of us up and told us that whoever picked the most little yellow flowers from the lawn could have some ice cream. Man, that would be a real treat!

Joan was around the corner from me and Mickey around the other corner. So here I went, picking flowers and making a neat little pile. I forgot to count them but my pile was growing.

I turned around to find some more and looked up and saw Daddy climbing over the fence. Oh,my goodness !!!
He motioned for me to be quiet. I stood real still and he came over to me and sat down on the ground with me. I sure gave him a big hug!!

"Shike," he said," Can you run find Mickey and be quiet about it?"

I took off around the corner and found Mickey with her pile of flowers. She didn't want to leave them but I told her Daddy was here so she came with me. Then I had to go find Joan.

Well, there we all were hugging and crying at the same time! Daddy said he couldn't stay but a minute so we stopped and listened to him.
He said he would soon be back but would come in through the front door the next time so we could visit right!

I am stopping here because I have things to do but look for exciting things to happen next time!

Shike...Prattling on...

Saturday, March 29, 2008


If only we had known.

Soon we were in more traffic than we had ever seen before. The farther we went, the more confused we girls got. Daddy, too, I'm sure began to wonder where we were what what we had gotten into.
We soon found a big brick building with lots of steps up to the door and we girls were too tired to
play on them, even if Daddy hadn't said for us all to behave and be real good.

A woman came out to the big room and Daddy told her we were on our way to California to Mother and she said," Mister, you are already in California!" Daddy told her we all needed some food then we would go on our way and find Mother.
"Wait out here," the woman said," I will be back."
We sat real still like Daddy said to while we waited. It seemed like she never would come back. Well, in fact, she didn't. Instead, a big policeman came up the steps and said," Mister, do you have a job?"

"No sir, I don't," Daddy said," Thats why we are here. My wife is here with a job and we are going to join her."

Well, that wasn't what he wanted to hear. He asked Daddy to go over in the corner to talk with him so Daddy said for us to wait in the chairs for him.

After a bit they came back and Daddy sat down with us and told us we had to go to one place and he had to go to another place. The officer said it was just until Daddy got well then we could go where we wanted to go.

That started us all crying. I don't think Joan would have cried if I hadn't started but I let out a howl like some one was hurting me. Daddy said they would be good to us and give us something to eat.

That didn't help much but we all got into the big black and white car and Daddy said to let us kids go to the home
first and he would take us in so we wouldn't be so scared. The oficer drove us to what I thought all these years was an orphanage but Mickey said it was a reform school. I never did meet any bad people in there but she probably was right.

Daddy took us into the building which was really big and made out of bricks. The then a woman came in and Daddy said," Now girls, I want all of you to be good and mind the ladies in this place and, Mickey, they said they would get you girls something to eat."

Daddy left with the officer and that was the worse thing ever. We really howled and the woman said she would not have any of that and to shut up at once.
They took us to a big room and told us to get off our clothes and I was scared to death and so were Mickey and Joan. We said we weren't supposed to take off our clothes and she said,"You will all get clean clothes but you have to get yourselves clean first." So we all got in a shower and washed.

When we dried off, they gave each of us a dress that was just straight over our head, but at least they were warm. Then she took us down some stairs to a basement and told us to sit there and wait for her. There were long tables and benches all across the room.

The woman soon came back with a tray with three bowls of soup and three sandwiches on it. She said that would do us until dinner time.

After we had eaten, she took us upstairs where there were long rows of single bunks. I think they were just cots but she said this was where we would sleep. Mickey and I would sleep here but Joan would sleep in another room. We didn't like that idea. Mickey said Joan was supposed to sleep with us.

"Well," the woman said, "Look who is telling me how to run my business!!"
We didn't say anything else . She said we could all go out in the back yard to play till dinner. We went and stuck together like glue. We were finally called in to eat dinner and we went down the stairs again and sat at the long tables. We had soup again and sandwiches. We didn't know any better so we thought it was really good; at least better than we had in the past two weeks.

Then up the stairs we went again. I slept on the cot next to Mickey.We were so tired I hardly knew what was going on till a woman came in with a cot and set it up between us and said,"Here is your little sister. She won't stop crying." So Joan got to sleep with us after all! I think she got into bed with Mickey.

I think the woman had slapped mickey on the seat for asking about Joan. But then, Mickey fixed her; she wet the bed! But that never happened again!
Well, my fingers are getting all prattled up so I will call it good for now. Correct me if I'm wrong, Sister.

Shike, prattling on...


Memories Fade So Fast...

Memories fade so fast any more and I'm sure the way I'm going this blog will outlive my memories. But on to the road again.

The last time I was here we had gotten a ride in a big black car with all of us sitting in the back seat and Daddy telling mickey to hold her head up and look out the window so she wouldn't get sick. I guess she didn't because the big car finally got to their turning off spot and we got out--- on the road again. We walked this time till it began to get pretty dark and we were hungry as usual. Daddy said tomorrow we would find some food for all of us.
The road was hot and we were tired so when we saw an old boxcar over on an old piece of railroad track, Daddy said we would go look in there and see what it looked like so we went off the road to the boxcar. Daddy looked in it and said it looked pretty good . It would be our castle for the night. I asked what we would do if someone found us in there and Daddy said no one would so he boosted us all up in there one by one then he climbed in. We were so glad to be out of the sun we just wanted to run up and down the car and shout but Daddy said we had to be still because someone might not like it if they saw us in there.

It got dark fast and soon we were getting cold. Daddy cuddled Joan up in front of him to keep her warm and Mickey and I were getting colder all the time. Daddy said to turnover and get up against his back and it would keep us warm. I scrunched up against his back and Mickey turned her back to me and I put my arms around her so she was soon warm, too. I guess we were all warm because, when we woke up, it was daylight.

We waited till it got pretty light and Daddy said it was time to go. "Daddy," I said," We all got to go p-- bad so he said for all of us to go with Mickey back behind the boxcar and go p-- so we all went with Mickey
and went p--.

When we came back we all wanted to know when we were going to get something to eat.
Daddy said to just wait awhile and we would eat. The houses were getting thicker all the time and we were nearing Bakersfield,Ca. We stopped at a service station and got to wash up and get a drink.

Daddy asked the service station man where we could get some food and the man told him and we started walking again. By then we really were hungry. Daddy kept asking along the way where the food place was.

Prattling on to the next post...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Time to Move On...

Time to put my fingers to work and decide what I want to say. I have had an awful time getting to this blog so there's no telling where it will go from here.
The carnival is over and we, as most kids would, think every thing will be normal for us
again. However, Mom has different ideas. Daddy was able to work with the people putting the carnival back in the trucks and getting ready to go, so we had a little money. Mother decided that we should all go have our picture made as a family while we could pay for it. Hence, we have a family picture of when the baby was about 18 months old and what a card he was!

The Bues had moved to California about the time the carnival first came so we really didn't have any relatives close by; not that there weren't plenty of neighbor kids to play with, but Mother began to get restless.

One day she had a talk with Daddy and decided she would go to California where she could get a job. Daddy wasn't too crazy about that but then, usually, when she got her mind made up, that's what she did. She took what money she could and she told Daddy she would take Buddy because he would be of some help to her.

So she put some clothes for her and Buddy and the baby in a cloth bag and decided it would be best to go in the evening so she told all of us goodbye and took Buddy and James and left. Mickey cried for the longest time but when Daddy was gone he would say, "Now you girls be sure and mind Mickey," and we did.

We learned long after that ,that Mom, Buddy and James had gotten on a freight train and rode all the way to Chowchilla, California in what seemed like just one night!! We were amazed!

I guess Daddy got a letter from her because he finally got tired of waiting and said, " Come on Girls, we are going to find your Mamma!" We didn't have anything that was not worth leaving so Daddy got a flour sack and put a change of cloths in it for each one of us girls and the next morning we started walking to California.

It was really hot on that highway! Once in awhile a car would stop and ask where we were going and Daddy would say, " California!!" They would give us a ride as far as they were going then we would start walking again.

One time we passed a small grocery store and Daddy bought a loaf of white bread. That was a novelty for us since we only had biscuits at home. He also got each of us girls a sucker; that was three more cents. He stuck three in his pocket and gave us one each and back on the road we went.

We walked 'till we got to a bridge. We went down under it and Daddy said we would have a picnic now. He had a little folding metal cup in his pocket which he took out and got some river water where it was running and looked clear. We really wouldn't have cared just so it was cool and wet. He showed us how to take a bite of the bread and then suck on the sucker a little to make the bread taste sweet and I guess we learned pretty well because we ate nearly half of that loaf of bread before we were done . It sure was good!

We rested till the sun started to go down then we started to walk again. Daddy had a little bottle in his pocket that he took out and touched to his tongue every so often.

I'll have to stop for now and finish this later.

Right now , I'm Prattling On...


A ride is a ride--However...

Daddy hefted us girls into the back of that old pickup and told us to stay right against the cab and not to move or we would fall out. We were only too glad to stay still. At first the bed of the pickup burned out legs and we had to bend our legs but we soon got used to it.

I have no idea how far we rode or where we were; just on the road. The man finally had to turn off the road so we got out and started walking again, holding the news papers over our heads.

It seemed like we walked miles before we came to a little grocery store. We went in and the shade sure felt good. Daddy bought a loaf of bread. It really looked big but I guess it was normal size. The man said, "Is that all?"

"No," Daddy said, "Give me three of those penny suckers, too." We took our bread and suckers and started walking again.
I kept singing and the other girls did sometime but they weren't as noisy as I was. It just seemed to pass the time faster.

We soon came to a bridge just off the road so we went down under the bridge and the dirt was so nice and cool. Daddy gave us each a sucker and a slice of bread. "Now," he said, "If you want to really make that taste good, just take a bite if bread and lick on that sucker real slow." Well, we so seldom had a sucker we wanted to just eat it up except I was always saving my sweets.
But Daddy was right, it did taste good so we ate two slices of bread with our suckers then Daddy said we better save some till next time. I wanted to know when was next time? I don't remember getting an answer.

Daddy said it would be good to drink some water out of the river so he showed us how to cup our hands and get some water to drink. That was good, too. Now back on the road to walk again.

By now it wasn't fun any more but it wasn't really that dull either. I kept seeing things that were new and Joan kept finding rocks that looked like birds or whatever she wanted them to look like. I guess you could say we kept things interesting. Mickey started crying because her feet hurt. We weren't used to wearing shoes all the time and the road was hot.
"Well,Mickey," Daddy said, "Come over here and walk on the dirt." That wasn't much better.

A big black car came along and gave us a ride. Daddy told the woman that Mickey would get sick if she set in the back seat so she sat in front with the driver.
Boy, did that car smell good! I didn't know what the smell was hen but later learned it was the smell of leather. Funny how much kids learn when they are small and don't even know it!

Got to go help Herman now and it's just as well because I am just prattling on now.

Shike, Prattling on...

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]