Tecumseh news: June 6, 2018
I thank the Douglas County Herald for my weekly paper. It is a blessing to me hearing from old acquaintances I used to know in that area. I have always felt close to the news business since I was only 13 years old when I began writing the community news items after I lost my mother, who had written them before her death. I was a freshman in high school. Mother’s brothers owned the Ozark County Times, and I could be found there quite often, especially on Saturday evenings in the summer because a large mulberry tree grew in back of the office. When we were in town, I could be found in that tree eating the mulberries, much to Mother’s dismay, as she said there were tiny white worms in the berries. She was right. But I sure enjoyed my share of them anyway.
We drank our cows’ milk that wasn’t pasteurized and there were many other practices in our everyday living that would be unsatisfactory nowadays and probably not acceptable at all to health officials. Our water was from a cistern, and although it was filtered somewhat, it wasn’t up to the standards required today.
I remember one day when my sister was cranking water up from the old cistern, and up came a little snake. Although my daddy had plastered the cistern inside, there were cracks that occasionally allowed a small snake to get through and come up when we cranked the pump.
A good percentage of readers of our area newspapers grew up on farms, and there were cheese plants, including one in Gainesville by the Lick Creek bridge. Folks sold their milk in 10-gallon cans and brought back cans of whey to feed to their hogs. We also bought sacks of wheat shorts to stir into the whey at feeding time. What a treat for the pigs! Nowadays I suppose hogs are deprived of such a meal. As my family didn’t butcher beef back then, the pork was important for our survival, along with an occasional squirrel or rabbit. No going to the store for special cuts of meat back then! Folks nowadays wouldn’t know how to act if they couldn’t go to the store for things like that, I suppose.
We would fatten the hogs until they were so fat they could hardly walk! Then we’d butcher in the fall. I remember the big slabs of fatback. We would slice it, roll it in flour and fry it in a small amount of grease for a meal or for sandwiches that I enjoyed taking to school. Nowadays we’re supposed to eat the leaner cuts of meat. No wonder so many of our family members died of heart attacks!
Daddy taught me to make a rabbit gum (trap), and we also made slingshots. I could shoot a pesky bird from a distance when it pecked a tomato in our garden.
Jerry Miller and I enjoyed a phone visit Sunday aftenroon. She said Tim Williams, from Baton Rouge, Louisi-ana, has moved here and is busy working on his property, the former Merle and Beulah Satterfield home at Sandridge. He is retired from Exxon Oil Company in Baton Rouge. Welcome to our area, Tim!
I have a picture I will try to publish in the paper soon that shows an actual dinner on the ground that we had at Lilly Ridge in years past. Bertha Watson carefully starched and ironed tablecloths to be spread on the ground in the Lilly Ridge church yard for our dinners on certain occasions, and the food really tasted good, especially a large pot of Bertha’s chicken and dumplings. People couldn’t resist them! As I was growing up, I really enjoyed those special dinners. We also enjoyed going to Bertha’s house when she would frequently invite the Sunday school classes and the church to her house for dinner. She loved to cook for everybody.
I also remember when Farris Evans was the preacher, and Bertha would send food home with the pastor and his family.
I appreciate my granddaughter McKayla bringing me a delicious sandwich recently since I’m not able to get out as much as I used to.
Hello to Dean Davis, my son-in-law’s brother, and his daughter who live in Lawrence, Kansas, as he reads our local news.
We are still careful about burning trash as we are warned that the wind could pick up a spark and spread a wildfire easily.