The House on Cherry Street Continued

The house on Cherry Street was just one house away from Cherry Street Park as I remember. The house had a rather large front porch and a small back porch that had been screened in. It was there that sat an old sewing machine with foot treadle. It was also there that I was told that my brother-in-laws, Robert and CT, taught me to walk. I don’t think I remember this, I just remember being told this.

Cherry Street Park is where I played most of the time. I think my favorite part of the park was the creek that ran through. Seems there were a lot of flat stones in the creek bed and I would turn them over looking for and catching crawdads. One day I was headed home with a crawdad in a jar, someone with a BB gun shot at the glass jar, but missed. Hit me in the wrist instead. That BB was lodged under the skin for years. I don’t even remember when it went away. I assume it is still in me somewhere.

My sisters are older than I. One day I found a silver dollar under the swing set at the park and I headed home to show my mother. When I arrived at the house my father was in the middle of my sisters marriage ceremony to CT. I was about 6 making my sister about 16 or 17 I guess.

The house between our house and the park had a large porch that ran around most of the house. There were a couple of girls living there and we played together a lot. One day I was on the porch and climbed up on the banister. On the ground was a paper bag. I jumped from the banister onto the bag. The sack was full of nails. I’m now more cautious of what appears to be empty bags.

The house on Cherry Street had a very large open window fan that was used in the summer. I mean big like would go in a machine shop or something. It had no protective cover. One day while playing with a neighbor kid with water pistols, I slid on a throw rug and slid into this fan headfirst. A blade caught the corner of my left eye and I had to go get stitches and a big bandage on my left eye. These day I would be seen on a bicycle more than walking. Two or three days after the fan incident, my mother sent me to one of the little neighborhood stores to get some aspirin and I headed out full speed. Head down and pumping hard I hit the back of an old car with the sloped back and license plate standing up on the trunk. Headfirst over the handlebars of the bike I struck the license plate with my forehead at about the hair line. More stitches. It is only in later life that these scares have disappeared and been replaced by many others.

Going downtown in Sherman was a special treat. Even though the church was just a couple of blocks from the downtown district, we didn’t go their very often, or so I remember. Downtown Friday or Saturday evening could find half the town there window shopping. It was here that I saw my first TV. There would be hours and hours of a TV test pattern and each morning about 2 hours of programming and also in the evening. These were big boxes with very small screens and the merchant would turn them to face the street.

It was one of these trips downtown when our Cherry Street house caught fire. It was on our return trip that we found the firefighters at our house putting out the attic fire. Houses of this era had bare wire running in the attic. Bare wire running on insulators and the hot and neutral spaced about two spaced about two feet apart. It would come together at the wall and an insulated wire run to the wall switch. Same with the single light in the middle of the room. There were few, if any wall sockets. Climbing in the attic could be a shocking experience. I guess there was a short between the bare wires that caused the fire. There was enough damage that we moved form the house.

I don’t know where we stayed while the new church parsonage was being built but it wasn’t long until we moved into the new pink house on Charles Street.


The House on Cherry Street

Boy, that was a long time ago. I’m sure I will not remember things in chronological order. Chronological order does mean the order in which it happened, right. The house on Cherry Street, Cherry Street Park and the Pink House on Charles Street harbored my life from the time I was 18 months old until I was about 14.

I’ve been told I was 18 months old when we moved from Cleburne, Tx to Sherman, Tx. My dad was pastor of a church in Cleburne. I think it was the Bible Baptist Church, but I can’t find a website on the church. I did find a newspaper article about it’s 103 anniversary.  Some of this information would fit a church that my dad would have pastored. My parents told me many stories of Cleburne but I don’t remember most of them. Maybe because I was to young to remember that part of my life and had nothing to link it to. I’m sure my sisters could relate to that time in our family history more than I. When I took my parents back to the church, it was prospering very well and had new buildings and good attendance.

I took my parents back to Cleburne several times for anniversary services after he was retired. The last year they called asking me to bring him to an anniversary service, I had to tell them I didn’t think it was best for the church or my Dad. Even the last time I took him was one time to many. His memory had slip to a point that he didn’t remember much. Even with that he presented himself very well in the services that day. He was in church and that was enough. Didn’t matter what church.

I do remember on one of the earlier visits, that we drove around town. After my dad got his bearings, he would tell me which street to turn on and then all the memories he and mother had of the area, including where the old church was located and our old house.

This was the town that my dad related many stories that I do remember. The church in Cleburne was not large enough at that time to support the family and he had a mechanic shop to help support the family. Many, many times he would tell me stories about cars of the era that he worked on. He told me one time that he though he was one of the few old time mechanics that really understood how a Model-T transmission worked.  Other car stories like the  Hupmobile and others were numerous. My son, David and I now work on bicycles and a popular conversion is a to add a mid-drive on some of the touring bikes. I relate that to a story that my dad told me about trucks of his era. Many cars and trucks did not have enough horse power to do the duties that was demanded of them. He would install a second transmission that would add lower gears to achieve the power needed to pull the load. Nothing is new. Have I told you how much I miss him.

Cherry Street Park was just one house away as I remember it.

To be continued.

Sherman, Texas

Yesterday I was blogging my memories as a child in Sherman, Texas. Of course your childhood memories always include people. My life at that time was centered around church. My father was pastor for 12 years of the Central Baptist Church in Sherman. The church has a new name and location now. It’s Grayson Bible Baptist now. All of the families and kids of the families were church members that I now remember.

Central Baptist Church in those days was a very strong church for a farming community. Some of the families I remember are:

Hough family – Billy and Tony were their kids. Tony was a close friend.
Job family – Patsy and Jerry were their kids. Jerry was a close friend.
Bennet family – Roy was one of the kids, but I think there were others.
Hinnes family – Etta May (sp) was one of the children but I think there were others. I liked her very much.
Inman family – Cindy was one child and I think there were others.

In those day, it was not uncommon for a kid to leave the house on a bicycle and not be seen again that day. As long as you are home in time for supper. I remember Tony Hough and I going hunting together. We would walk out the railroad tracks to the second trestle.  It was there that we would spend many hours in the dry creek bed playing and hunting.

One day while Tony and I were walking along the dry creek bed I heard a noise from above. I climbed up the bank and saw some kittens in a hollowed out area. I reached in and picked up one of the kittens. I though I would never get away from that kitten as it climbed up my arm and across my shoulders and down the other side. It was some years later that I realized it was a bobcat kitten. I was just lucky that mamma bobcat was not at home at the time. I had contact with Tony one time as an adult. He was living in Garland, Tx and working at TI. I also know that his brother Billy was in the ministry for most of his life and that he passed a couple of years ago.

Jerry Job or it could be Jobb or Jobe. Jerry was a tall good looking kid and his sister was beautiful. Jerry was a close friend. I remember going to his house for lunch and drinking to much milk. Lost it all outside on a hot summer day. This was a very good family. My sister Lois told me that Jerry had a clothing store at one time and a worm farm at another time.

Roy Bennet was a good friend at church. We had a quartet with Roy, Jerry and a kid named Easy Alman and myself as I remember it. Easy could have been EZ. Hope I have the spelling right. Roys father was a carpenter. He played a large part in building the new auditorium at Cherry Street and Montgomery. I remember Bro Bennet pulling out a pocket knife and carving away at a 2 x 6 to make it fit something. I was amazed at how sharp that knife was. My dad told me there was a fair about of muscle behind that carving. As I remember, the church building was a self contracted building with many members pitching in to help build it.

I know there were many other families, these are the one that I was closest  to the children. My sister and I have talked many times about these families and others. She is a few years older than I and as a teenager had other memories. After moving back to north Texas, I’m sorry that I did not return to that church for more visits.

My daughter may have pictures of the Church on Montgomery and Cherry Street.

I’ll blog about the Cherry Street house, Cherry St Park and the Pink house at another time. Don’t let me forget. Time for bike riding now.


Dehydrated apples and other family memories.

I started this blog yesterday and really had some neat stuff in it. I stopped to do some research and lost what I had done. Well, today I don’t remember what I wrote yesterday. I do remember that it was really good though.

Yesterday my daughter, Darcy, got a new dehydrator. I can tell from her google+ post that she is very excited. Her first load in the dehydrator was apple slices and apple bits for oatmeal. I commented that I remembered my mother soaking dehydrated apples in lemon water in preparation for making an apple pie. We seldom had fresh fruit when I was a kid unless it came from a neighbors peach or pear tree when it was in season. It was only at Christmas time that we saw some citrus, apple, nuts and hard Christmas candy.

Darcy asked “Really Dad? In San Antonio or Sherman? Was fresh fruit just not available or was it too expensive?” The short answer is that it was rarely available.

I remember the Christmas stocking, that very often came from church, stuffed with an orange, apple, ribbon and other hard candies and assorted nuts from around the world.

Somewhere in the back of my memory, as a kid I remember helping stuff these stockings. It must have been at church because I remember other people helping, not just family members. For some reason I especially remember gathering the nuts from different bags to put in the stockings. There were Brazil nuts, not called Brazil nuts back in those days. I think I was near teenage years before I knew they were really called Brazil nuts. There were also almonds. Raw almonds. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to eat this nut. It was much later that I discovered roasted nuts. Walnut, peanut and pecans made up the balance of the mix. The walnuts were always my favorite.

The candies were made up of wide 2 or 3 loops of ribbon candy and assorted hard candies. I remember one of these candies had a non-color purple-ish color that when held in your mouth for awhile would reveal a soft non-flavor chewable center. There was always a large peppermint candy cane. As large as the stocking or more, sometimes sticking out the top. For some reason I remember peppermint tasting more pepperminttyer back in those days. It was always put in first. None of these had wrappings like today’s candies would have.

Just as a sideline, I looked up Brazil nut because I didn’t know if it was called Brazil nut or Brazilian Nut and found this tidbit of information from Wikipedia. The Brazil nut is a large tree, reaching 50 metres (165 ft) tall and 1–2 metres (3–6.5 ft) trunk diameter, among the largest of trees in the Amazon Rainforests. It may live for 500 years or more, and according to some authorities often reaches an age of 1,000 years. The stem is straight and commonly unbranched for well over half the tree’s height, with a large emergent crown of long branches above the surrounding canopy of other trees. So there you have it.

Other than the dehydrated apples, here are a few other things I remember. There were small stores around where you could buy meat. Because we didn’t have good refrigeration, people would shop for meat daily. Speaking of refrigeration, we had an ice box. I don’t know how often the ice man would come, but often he would stop in front of the house, load a big block of ice on his back, bring it around to the back door, let himself in and put the ice in the small ice box. We would steal a small sliver of ice from his truck while he wasn’t watching. I don’t know what all we kept in the ice box other than milk that the milk man brought the same way as the ice man. Oh yeah, Ralph Brutton, a church member, was a garbage man. He came to the back of the house, picked up both cans at one time on his back, carried them to the street and emptied them in the truck and brought the cans back to the back of the house. My ambition as a small child was to do what Bro. Brutton did, I wanted to be a garbage man.

All this was in the years that I had to walk 5 miles to school, uphill both ways and often in 3 feet of snow.

I hope Darcy enjoys her very old modern appliance, the dehydrator. Wish I was there to watch.

I enjoyed reading this as well.


My eye, I can’t see. (very much)

Right Eye

About 5 months ago I had a cataract removed from my left eye. Dr. Schuricht did the left eye first because my right eye was my best eye. Last week, after several months of dealing with some heart rhythm issues, he removed the cataract from my right eye. My left eye surgery had been very successful, healed quickly and improved eyesight was quite noticeable. My right eye has been a different story.

The day after surgery on my left eye, I could see quite well. A week later and everything was good. My right eye day after surgery, looked like looking through a very heavily frosted glass. Each day there has been some improvement but yesterdays eye test confirmed that my right eye had not progressed as hoped. Dr Schuricht said it should be better at this point but there should be more improvement and scheduled a return visit for a month later. He said at that point we check and see if I would need glasses. I was very disappointed because I had been getting along quite well without glasses since the left eye surgery.

Guess what, this morning my right eye sight is noticeably better. I can cover my left eye and read the computer monitor. Distant vision is still not what I would hope, but maybe it is still coming around albeit slower. A strange observation is, I can see better through both eyes better than I can either eye individually. My hope is now, let me pass the driving test without glasses, I’ll manage the rest OK.

New View

My new view on East Texas

The view out my window on East Texas is a little crowded this morning. Because of the predicted cold temperatures for the next few days, the tropical plants that we keep outdoors have now been moved inside. They now occupy the sunny area in front of my view on East Texas window. I wonder what we did with all that other stuff that was in front of the window.

I don’t really mind this new view, other than the few pines we have on our place, this will be the only green I see after a few more days. East Texas is lit up with fall colors and the leaves are falling quickly. I don’t know if it because of the dought, extream heat that we had this summer or other conditions, but the fall colors seem more vivid to me than in the past.

It was about five months ago that I started writing this blog to myself. It was the day after my left eye cataract surgery. I was bored, and needing something to do I started using WordPress, a program that my daughter used and said was so much better than Blogger or whatever it was that I used at the time. She was right. I see in the picture that, although empty, the racing fuel feeder is still hanging outside. The one that I wrote about in that first post. The post where I challenged the world to bring their fast hummers over to compete against my really fast hummers. The ones I  feed special racing fuel. “Mine leave a streak of red Fbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr behind them when they fly. That’s fast”, as I wrote in my first post. No one ever took me up on the challenge, so I guess, by default, mine really are the fastest humming birds around. East Texas is known for their fast humming birds.  They will be back next spring. I sent them off to a warmer climate to train for next years racing season. I’m looking forward to that. As far as that goes, I’m looking forward to spring. I know, don’t wish your life away but winter is cold. Did I mention it’s going to be in the mid 20’s this week?

Maybe I’m seeing more vivid colors because of the cataract surgery on my left eye. It’s the right eye that I’ll have done this Wednesday. A couple of days from now I’ll be bored with nothing to do and write another post while wearing a funky pair of sunglasses that pinch my head like a pimple. Anyway, I should be seeing better by this time next week. I seldom need my reading glasses now, maybe after this is over I will not need them at all.

BTW, I’m using Dr. Schuricht again for this surgery. I wrote about him a few days ago, I can’t pronounce his name. He explained again that just because we were successful on the first eye, it does not change the odds of something going wrong on this eye. This is the same doctor that said I was his most difficult surgery. You know, 2 of my last 3 ablations were not successful, hope that’s not a trend.