i A Time and a Place...: December 2006

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Another Adventure From the Past...

I was poring over my Journal and came across these two episodes, the first in 1958 when I drove for EL Farmer and the next from 1957 when I drove truck for JH Marks Trucking Company out of Pueblo, Colorado. I hope you enjoy them.

*Just about everyone has an idiosyncrasy of some kind. One guy was a kleptomaniac. I found this out after we had stopped at a market for something. I don’t remember what I needed but, after I bought it and we had gone back outside, he asked me if I’d like a piece of gum. (Juicy fruit) I took a piece and it occurred to me he hadn’t had gum earlier. I asked him about it and he told me he’d stolen it from the market. I asked him why he’d steal it instead of paying the nickel it would have cost him to buy it. He said he didn’t know why he’d stolen it; he always stole something whenever he went into a store. He said he couldn’t help it.*

**On one trip south to Houston, Don Ferguson and I went together. We took two loads of pipe to a manufacturing company of some kind. When we got to Houston it was pretty late and we hadn’t eaten for quite a while. We parked our trucks on the large parking lot at the place we would unload the next morning. Across the street and down about half a block was a Denny’s restaurant. I told Don we should go there and get a bite to eat. When we got to the café, Don didn’t want to go in. He hadn’t seen a Denny’s before and he thought it was too fancy for us. I assured him I had eaten in Denny’s before and we were dressed just fine in our work clothes. He finally agreed and we went in and had dinner. He was very impressed with the café.

After we ate, we went back to our trucks and each made a pallet under the load of pipe. It was a warm night and the main reason to lie under the pipe was so the early morning dew couldn’t get on us.

The next morning we pulled into the pipe yard and unloaded our loads.

After we unloaded, we winched our trailers up onto the tractors, chained them down and headed back to Pueblo. On the way back we stopped at Vega where Don’s family lived. I had met his mother and brother before and they were happy to see us. They wanted us to spend the night but we needed to get back so we visited for a while and left.

A ways north of Vega, we passed through the Canadian River bottom area. It drops down for a ways a half mile or so coming onto the river then rises again north of the river. Before it gets back up to the regular level, there is a stretch of highway that is very dark. While we were driving along that stretch, we saw what looked like an explosion in the northern direction. Don was in the front and he pulled over onto the shoulder of the road and stopped. I pulled in behind him and walked toward his truck. I met him walking back toward mine. He asked if I saw the flash and I said I did. We wondered if it could be an atomic explosion. The cold war with Russia was an everyday news occurrence in those days.

As we talked, we again looked to the north and realized the flash of light was still there. We looked at it and watched as it dimmed and brightened slightly. Then I realized what it was. I asked Don if he knew what the Aurora Borealis was and he said he did. Then he, too, realized we were watching the Northern Lights. What a sight it was. We were amazed we could see the lights all the way into Texas! The rest of the trip was uneventful.


Friday, December 29, 2006

Why Go To Church...

I got this in an e-mail from my little friend, Chanae, up in the the wilds of Wyoming and I think it is worth passing on. Thanks, Ann!

Why Go To Church?

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and
complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.

"I've gone
for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like
3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of
them... So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs
by giving sermons at all."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column,
much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote
this clincher:

"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked
some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu
for a single one of those meals. But I do know this; They all nourished me
and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me
these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone
to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"

When you are DOWN to nothing.... God is UP to something!

Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!

Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!

All right... now that you're done reading ..send
it on!!! I think
everyone should read this!!

"When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, "Jesus, could You get that for me?!!
With God all things are possible!

Amen to that, Sister!....


Monday, December 25, 2006

A Time and a Place...

A Time and a Place...

Merry Christmas to all our blogger friends and to all our family! Thank God for His Son and all the bountiful blessings He has given us! Help us to see how fortunate we are as His children and help others who are away from you to come to you with love.

Give us the strength to do what is right and the wisdom to know what that is. Please guide our leaders in your path and help them to make good decisions for us, Your children.

We ask this in Jesus Holy Name, Amen.


Thursday, December 21, 2006


From the time I was thirteen years old I have worked in the West Texas Oil Patch doing one thing or another. First It was roustabouting for Phillips Petroleum Company out of B&B Construction Company. The work was always interesting to me and I must say I somewhat enjoyed doing it although much of it was very hard, even for grown men, much less a 13 year old kid.
The thing, though, I most remember is the comraderie between men who worked together. Sometimes two men working together for a long period of time became closer than if they were brothers.
This story below is about two men like that. I copied and pasted this from my Journal.

This is a story about something that happened while I was working for J H Marks Trucking Company that has stuck in my memory. I was just out of the Army and twenty years old.

There were two fellows in their early twenties who came to work for the company at the same time. They were from Alabama and came to Texas together with their families. One man’s name was Bobby Brown, I think, and I can’t remember what the other fellow’s name was. They worked on a rig up truck together every day. They would take turns, one man driving one day and the other swamping and do the opposite the next day. They were as close as anyone can be, just like brothers.

There were always two men to each truck, one to drive and one to pull line, for efficiency and, also, for safety.

One day the fellow, not Brown, had to take a day off to take care of some kind of business and Bobby Brown went out that day alone to do a small job. Late that evening he still hadn’t returned and everyone became worried and went looking for him. He was found at the site where he was sent to move a coil of wire line from a shed to the drilling site a couple of hundred feet away, The roll of line weighed over a thousand pounds.

He was found under the coil of line, crushed to death, He had evidently picked up the coil of line with his gin poles and winch and then started to reach under it to hook a chain so it wouldn’t sway as he hauled it and the winch slipped and dropped the coil on him. It was terrible and his friend was almost crazy with grief. He quit his job with Marks. I don’t know if he stayed in Texas or not.

That's all I entered in my Journal but I vividly remember the deep grief and sadness, the raging emotion that his friend exhibited when he learned of Bobby Browns' death. He blamed himself for not being there. I didn't see him again after he stopped working for Marks. Deep friendship has dark as well as light linings. I guess it all goes with the game.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Oh, No!!!-- A Trip To The Dentist...

No, no, Doctor..Honestly..-I brush and floss every day, regularly,! It's just a little abscess. Probably from something I ate!


Monday, December 04, 2006

Share Cropping...

Sometimes unexpected things bring memories rushing back. I was over at BWHs place reading a few when I came across a link that took me to a mini-bio of Doroteo Arango, better known as Pancho Villa.

In the, "Birth and Parentage," section, I read where his parents were sharecroppers and that is what jogged the memory.
I may have told this already at some past time so I'll abbreviate it this time.

"An 'Almost' Arkansas Cotton Sharecropper!"

It all started in Snyder, Texas, where I was living with my sister, Eva, and her husband, Joe Bob. (that's right,- Joe Bob) I had hitch-hiked, or rode the freight, I don't remember which now, from my home in Modesto, California, because of some reason that escapes me at this moment,(when I was a kid, it didn't take much for me to decide to travel)to Odessa, Texas, only to find out Shike (that's what we called Eva) and Joe Bob and family had moved to Snyder to open up a new oil field roustabout office for Phillips Petroleum there so I stuck out my thumb and went on to Snyder.

I found them living in a tent camp while Joe built a house on an acre just outside of town and I promptly moved into one of their tents. Joe didn't need anyone right then so I looked around and found a job delivering ice to colored town. (That's another story)

Right away I became acquainted with a boy my age (14, I think) by the name of Marshall Johnson. His nickname was 'Hotshot' shortened to 'Hot'. He and I hit it off right away.

He had a couple of brothers and a couple of sisters, the oldest sister, age 11, was named Shirley. Here is a picture of her with one of her bro's and a couple of sisters:

The biggest girl is Shirley. The one with the arrow pointing toward is my neice, Phyllis.
Now to make the long story short.

I left Snyder with the family of Hot and Shirley and went to Cash, Arkansas to sharecrop. The old man found a nice sized field with a cabin for us and we started picking cotton.(Shirley had turned 12 by now)

I wasn't too swift at picking but could hold my own with just about anyone else my age or younger.

After the second or so day of picking, we were sitting at the supper table and the old man asked me how I liked the meal. I told him I really liked it and he told me Shirley had cooked it. I smiled at Shirley and said it was good.

Then the old man and Mrs Johnson began to brag up Shirley and extoll her virtues at cooking and housekeeping. I, of course, agreed. Then they started complimenting me on my cotton picking prowess and I blushed a thank you to them.

Then 'mom and dad' began telling me about what a good wife Shirley would make and, once again, I agreed. 'oops'...

Later, when Hot and I were outside a ways relieving ourselves into a canal or behind a tree or something, Hot patted me on the back and said, "Welcome to the family!"

I didn't say anythig but the light finally came on in my brain and I realized I had been 'promised' Shirley as a wife. (Remember, this way Arkansas a long time ago.

I quietly gulped and we went to bed, resting up for another day of picking cotton ot whatever we were destined to do. I didn't wait around to find out.

Early the next morning, just before daylight, I grabbed my hat, my sack of clothes and my guitar and tip-toed out of there. I walked for a ways then got a ride from some people to the highway, stuck out my thumb and was out of the county before the Johnsons even woke up!

Well, there you have it; my days (all two of them) as a sharecropper. I didn't get paid for any of it but I think I still came out ahead!

PS...You never know, though,-Shirley was kinda cute,-for a little girl with no reason to wear a bra! She probably turned out to be a knockout, but, believe me, I ain't too curious about it!