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MARION COUNTY AR
The Old Dillard Settlement
From The Mountain Echo Yellville, AR
By Doretha Dillard Shipman
This column contains snippets of wonderful stories and memories. I have never met Mrs. Shipman but I look forward to her column and it's normally the first thing I read when I receive the Echo. Mrs. Shipman has been kind enough to allow me to share with you some of her stories and memories.
Jan 3 2002:
One very important gift was almost thrown away, but was discovered just in time. Once upon a time, years ago, after my two oldest daughters were married, a younger sister got a very pretty little doll for them. When she told the salesperson she wanted a present for her sisters, she was asked, "Do they share a room?" To her they still shared their room as they did in growing up, so the gift was bought. Each Christmas the little doll is rewrapped and given to the other sister. So the custom was no different this year, only it got among the wrapping paper to be thrown away. It was discovered. All is well that ends well, and it has gone tot he right owner for another year.
Jan 17, 2001: Top of Page
Since I am going to be away for a few days and will be unable to get the latest news, I have decide to turn the rest of The Old Dillard News into some old time stories.
Once upon a time in this settlement as in all of Marion County, each farm had its own chicken house, smokehouse and many even had its own blacksmith shop. I got to thinking about how good those home grown chickens were when mom would fry a big skillet full or have a pot of chicken and dumplings. The dumplings always look so yellow and rich--and they were. It seemed the richer the food the better it was for you. Not so these days and times, but neither did you store up that "fat" from the chickens because the next time you needed a chicken to cook, you had to go run it down grab its leg and mom normally rung the chicken's neck off and then hold it over a burning flame to burn the pin-feathers off. The washing and cutting up took place then. Neville (Davis) Bogle told me one time that every time she cut a chicken up, she always found a new piece. I found several myself, Neville, never the less, you can see how much energy was burned to prepare a chicken for dinner.
Most of the flock was raised on the farmstead. The eggs were marked and slid under the old "setting" hen and how anxious we were to check the eggs and hear the first little pecking inside the egg-then the tiny little hole where the baby chick was readily making its appearance. How beautiful it was to see the mother hen scratching up the ground finding her chicks a nice, fat, juicy worm. The baby chicks would run and fight over that morsel just like a couple of little children over a toy.
What a busy day it was on hog-killing day. There again the hog had been fattened just right, and at that period of time, the more fat the better, because you rendered the fat to keep for cooking. (Mother always like the fruit piecrust made with lard). The scrap fat was saved to make soap later on in the year.
We were always so anxious for the fist fresh tenderloin or ribs. Then as the day wore on, all the smell of lard rendering began to get the best of us. How good it was to have that job done and the cracklings ready for cornbread and the pigskins cooked until they were a good crunchy treat with a little salt sprinkled on them. My! The treats we had growing up in these hills.
By the time spring and summer came, what meat was left was mostly fat back and it was getting old, strong and turning a little yellow from age, but it was still tasty when it was boiled to get the salt off, washed rolled in meal or flour then fried. Sure it was good but I dare say a "kid" now wouldn't touch it.
I agree it wasn't like that fried chicken, but he spring chickens were not even hatched yet so might as well enjoy what you had. We were proud to have that fat back because polk "sallet" was coming up which had to be cooked with grease. That was fit for a king to eat. Especially, if fried potatoes, gravy and cornbread was setting on the table ready to be demolished.
Many of the farmers were getting ready to begin plowing the garden as weather permitted, they for sure wanted to get potatoes and English peas planted in February. Leon and his Grandmother "Dame," always looked forward to sharing their birthday dinner with new potatoes and peas the 21st of May. That was a very important to them and something to work for.
Are you just "Plum tuckered out" reading about all the jobs done in the day of once upon a time? You'll get rested, we always did and were ready to tackle the next day, as the sun rose to greet us.
Jan 24, 2002: Top of Page
I talked to several who were disappointed because we didn't receive more snow. This weather forecasting is still as much problem as it has been for many years, especially in poor old C.C. Williford's forecasting days out of Springfield, Missouri which was back in some of our old days. We, once upon a time, could depend on the hogs building their beds and Groundhog Day to keep us up on the weather. Since radio and TV has come into existence it gets confusing. It is too bad folks have changed Groundhog Day to another day, which is a total disaster to us and the Groundhog too. I recon folks in the old weatherman Williford day got just as stirred up as we do now when we think it is going to come a big snow and it doesn't. I read this account in Williford's book in defense of the poor groundhog, "Dear Mr. Williford: It is Easter.
Winter still holds on. Snow covers the ground to a depth of about three inches, which recalls to my mind what you had to say about the first of February in regard to the ground hog as a weather prophet. You referred to the little animal as an amateur weather prophet. You also poked fun at those people who rely upon the weather prophecy of the ground hog.
You forget, Mr. Williford that the groundhog has been forecasting weather conditions for perhaps millions of years before man put in his appearance on this planet., and has survived several major climatic changes. All of which has given him superior knowledge when it comes to forecasting weather conditions. I trust that here after, you will refer to the groundhog as an able and professional weather forecaster.
The ground hog's weather map consists of his shadow, if and when it occurs on February 2nd and various other things which he has observed in his long and hard struggle to survive the major climatic changes which have rendered extinct may species of large animals. This year the ground hog has again delivered the bacon. In view of that fact I feel, Mr. Williford, that you owe an apology to the ground hog and those people who have implicit confidence in his weather forecasts? These letters to the Ozark Weatherman C.C Williford was probably written about 50 or more years ago. He caught it, the weathermen of today catch it and we just run to the TV to catch it. The weather forecast-that is.
I think there have been songs written for every occasion of our lives. The song, which came to my mind this past week was, "We Are Going Down The Valley One By One." I hope this lets up for a while and I don't think of it any more for a long time. I have lost two cousins this past week and it always makes me so sad. One wonderful thing about it, Cornie ROBINSON and Daniel DAVIS were both Christians and I feel they were ready to pass down this Valley. They are missed so much and our love goes out to their families. Even though Cornie was living in Stratton, Nebraska, he and his family made an effort to come back to visit all the relation here in the Ozarks. It was still like home I am sure. I remember his mother Lillie (WILLIAMS) ROBINSON showing me some of the herbs she had, some of their uses, and spoke of she and her mother Mary (DAVENPORT) WILLIAMS gathering them. I wish I had just some of the knowledge they had. Lillie gave me a treasure I may have told you. On this same visit, she gave to me a little doily. I want to give it to you." How delighted I was to receive this precious gift. I have shown it in several programs given at schools and other organizations. What wonderful skills she had and taught to her children and others. Yes, Cornie and all his brothers and sisters were blessed to have a mother and father as they had.
Daniel was also brought up in a home were love and Christian living was a priority. His family lived in the Freck Community and were such hard workers. I remember my husband, Leon, telling how they farmed, raised all sorts of foods for both the family and their stock. One of the things they grew was wheat. At least I know Leon spoke many times how Daniel would use their old hand cradle while just a "kid." He was always at his daddy Tom DAVIS' side. He was taught many skills of like by his mother Josephine (WEICHER) DAVIS also. I know he had to have been taught the love of beauty because Aunt "Josey" always grew the prettiest houseplants and garden flowers. There again, how did our wonderful old timers have the time for growing something they couldn't eat? They did and I fully believe it helped them to survive all the hardships they endured. I am so thankful to have lived in a time with all the fine friends, neighbors and kin to help guide us through our lifetime. I hope I showed them in some way, while they lived how much I appreciated them.
Yakima Valley News by Frankie Seay
I visited with another Marion County lady yesterday; Lavern Brown McEntire, whose husband, Bill McEntire, is the pastor of the Full Gospel Holiness Church in Yakima on south 3rd Avenue. Lavern was born at Summit to Homer and Rosemary Shelton Brown and her maternal grandparents were Harrison and Janie Shelton and her paternal grandparents were Tom and Adeline Nichols Brown. Her father Homer, and grandfather Tom Brown, bought ties for the railroad at Summit for years and her grandfather Tom was well known for "walking out" stands of timber for people to tell them how many board feet they could get out of a stand plus both men ran sawmills in different places around the county. My husband, Rufus remembers both of these men and as a little boy he used to go up to the depot and watch when they had a carload of ties ready and the railroad would send a boxcar down to the siding along with 6 or 6 men to load the ties. Two men would pick up the tie and load it onto another man shoulder and he would walk up a 2" by 12" plank, 16 feet long into the box car until they got the box car full and on to wherever they were needed. What a hard job for those men! The ties had either been cut at a sawmill or hewed out by hand so there was a lot of hard work for all concerned but it was a living for a lot of families at that time.
Homer and Rosemary BROWN also had four other girls Brenda James, Joyce North, and Linda Zimmerman and a baby girl who died in infancy, plus two sons, Dean who died in a hunting accident at Benton and Harrel.
Lavern and Bill McEntire met and married in Yakima and have raised four children one daughter and three sons; Rhonda Crow, Shannon, Cary, and Terry McEntire. There are six grandchildren and some great grandchildren.
Bill McEntire was born in Oklahoma to Christopher Columbus and Walsie Cheek McEntire.
Feb 7, 2002: Top of Page
I spent a short time with Margie (Pangle) Duffy this week. I tried to find, if we were "a-kin," bye the genealogy book I had borrowed from her. We, at least, have a connection to some of the same folks. One of the names we had in common is Adams. I guess if your families were living in Marion County as ours were, once upon a time, we could find a connection some way. Each time I talk to Margie, I always feel better and have more happy things to think about.
I was glad to give a program to the Pre-school and a 2nd grade class in Flippin, Friday. Becky and Kent Coffey were a great help with a little 'picking and singing' along with stories. Thinks for inviting me over to share some of the, "Once upon a time," stories and songs with your classes.
Another event taking place Saturday evening was the 4-H Banquet. I am sure there will be an account of the activities and awards, given to the Echo soon. In the mean while, I want to express many thanks to the Extension Office for the invitation to attend. I enjoyed every minute of I, and I would like to recall some of the times in the past, as usual.
The special quest at the banquet Saturday evening was Mrs. Leona Bailey, who has been a 4-H leader for around 50 years. She had her 95gh birthday Saturday and Extension had a lovely birthday cake for her and other award gifts. She declared, "This is the best birthday I have ever had."
Mrs. Bailey deserves each award, the best wishes for her future (which she is looking forward to) and every positive expression we can say about her.
She was a leader for so many years in the Oakland Community. Having the lake between us didn't effect her attendance to the 4-H activities in Yellville. She saw that all children had transportation for the many miles they had to come. She made no difference in each child. They were all equal in her sight, just as they should be to us all. After Frank, her son, had finished his 4-H training in College, and finished to become a lawyer, (and is still a contributor to this organization,) she did not stop her leadership with the children.
She was responsible for several children going to the Audubon Summer Camps, District and State Orama, and had many workshops at her home in Oakland.
Several times when the Club would meet at her place, she prepared a meal for them. This had a teaching lesson for them also. She taught them how conduct themselves in etiquette, and introduced them to wonderful tasty foods.
Once upon a time, she had a workshop on Indian Artifacts and an exhibit of many different species of rock from several area and countries. This was a thrill to me and I was happy to give a talk and show some of my artifacts, besides I just love rocks-that's a good thing since we live among them.
At lunchtime, we had a picnic in her yard. This was such a special occasion, so beautiful. The setting was in sight of the lake, and on either side of a forest was observed. She had a special interest in birds and flowers. This was evident, because she maintained many flowerbeds and her whole yard was an invitation to the birds. The reminds me of a portion of song I am fond of, "Give us not famine nor yet feast, but bread to share with man and beast." She is a person who has practiced this phrase of song.
Feb 28, 2002: Top of Page
It is always interesting to me when I hear a word or expression we used, once upon a time, which hasn't been used in this area, that I recall, for several years. The word 'bouts' was used in a question, by a young person form another country, he/she asks, "Where 'bouts' is the bathroom?" meaning where is the bathroom? 'Bouts' was a word often used by my mother and the family as I grew up. How could I have forgotten that? Mother would most likely ask, "Where 'outs' are my scissors or glasses?"
I happened across some notes I had written down in 1995 when I went to visit Aunt Ho (Saffron Davenport. She told where her family lived when she was growing up, which was on Cedar Creek. She told of the location of Clabber Creek and how Silver Hollow was just across Buffalo River, and very close to Cedar Creek. She said there was a settlement down in that area, and this is where she went to school. Of course this is all National land now, but the memories were still there. She said, "Once upon a time, when a neighbor was in need of a house to live in, her dad and other neighbors would all 'pitch' in and build them one.
That was what neighbors did for each other. After all the work was done and the family was moved into the new home, they would have a square dance party and dad would play the fiddle." I can imagine there being a bunch to celebrate, since the mining town of Rush was not far up the river.
The old Dillard Ridge, as it is referred to, on Clabber Creek, was close, and I wonder if any of them went to the house breaking party. If they did, maybe my great grandmother or Aunt Jule could have played a little tune or two since they were fiddle players too.
I have heard that the fiddle was known as a devil instrument once upon a time, but I don't think so now, do you?
Yakima Valley News # 377 By Frankie Seay:
A letter from Iris gave me a little sketch of her life for the past 50 years or so. I remember her so well during our school days at Yellville-Summit. Her parent's were the late Virgil and Florence Davenport, who had eight children. The boys are Ivy, Doyle, Victor, Junior and Jerry. The girls are Freda, Iris and Doris Mae. All eight are still living.
Iris also mentioned that she met her husband, Darrell Watson at the CCC Camp, but they did not marry until he was in the Army during WWII. They have lived in the Flippin area for fifty years. They have three daughters, who all live in Arkansas. Patricia and Mickey Griffin, Rita and Larry Hurst and Marilyn and Robert McNair. They also have a son who lives in California and eight grandchildren.
Iris said that she remembers about all of the Arkansawyers living out here and I write about. She also said she has picture from her High School Home Economics class at Yellville-Summit and it is a really good picture of my sister, Jimmie Ruth, but she cannot find it. I hope she locates the picture. I would love to send it to Jimmie Ruth's daughters and grandchildren.
I received a call from Anna Morrow BENTON who lives in the Cowan Barrens or the Ralph area south of Yellville. She is the daughter of the late Howard and Opal CAMP MORROW and a niece to Harry MORROW and Nellie BAKER.
Ana married Ray BENTON of Lead Hill, who passed away in 1992. She went to Yellville-Summit School along with Peggy MEARS, Dwayne RORIE, Mary Lou DILLARD, Sammie Lane SMITH, J.F. and Betty DAVENPORT Bogle and Sylvia FLIPPIN. She graduated from YSHS in 1954.
At one time, she used to drive the bus for Senior citizens from Lead Hill to the Center in Yellville. She remembers her passengers. Daisy ROARK, Pearl WHITLEY and Agnes TURNER and others.
Anna read in this column about he death of Velda JACKSON, who lives in Yakima. She learned that Velda's daughter Iva married Gene DOSHIER, who is a cousin to Anna. She wanted his phone number and address. I believe she said that Gene's father, Eldon DOSHIER, was a brother to her father Howard. Anyway, the two will have an opportunity to get reacquainted again.
Mar 7, 2002:Top of Page
C.C. always had an answer. Once upon a time, in the end of a letter he received was the: "In closing, there are two things I can't understand. First, whey don't you give up forecasting, and second, why don't I stop listening to your broadcasts. Well, so long C.C, luck to you from now on," from, Aurora, Mo.
His answer was this, "I know the answer to the first question but the second is puzzling. Some people read tea leaves, others go to the fortune teller, and some listen to the radio."
He probably didn't hear any more from that person.
I don't know if Grandpa DAVENPORT had heard C.C.'s forecast or if it was cold or hot weather, but he had not the problem of caring for a car in this kind of cold weather we have.
He always depended on other transportation; mainly his socks, gum-boots, buckle-up overshoes, or perhaps the old mule was surefooted enough for a trip to Baker's store.
He made a deal with his grandson, once upon a time, telling him (I believe this was Amos), "Amos, if you will promise to drive me around, I will buy a car." What more would a grandson wish for. He consented to this deal with relish. I don't know where he got that car 'deal' but I am sure it was not a new one because he had a problem, a big problem.
He as in need of a sack of feed. He and Amos drove up to the store, loaded up the feed, and I wonder if he didn't get a plug of Day's Work tobacco so he could take his little pocket knife out of his pocket and cut off a little "nip" to chew as they drive home. They made sure there was enough gas in the tank, and here it is when the problem began. The gas was dripping out somewhere, and Grandpa couldn't stand that. It was going to be too expensive to loose all that 5-cent-a-gallon gasoline, so to fix that problem eh hung a bucket or some kid of a container to catch the drip. The car backfired which caught the gas on fire and burned the car up. They walked on home carrying the sack of feed, and if he had a plug of that Day's Work, I bet he chewed it mighty hard on the trip home.
This ended the car problem. This was his first and only car deal and how he dealt with that deal: "He adjusted to the adjustments."
Mar 21, 2002: Top of Page
What a pretty place. Ray and Lois Shipman lived there once upon a time and I saw the rock Ray called his bear track rock, and the good baring walnut trees.
I know the Bogles have lots of memories of Bogle Hollow, don't you L. D.? Frankie Sue, you might ask some of the relation out there about their stories of their family, and what an enjoyment the place is to my son.
Thanks, Frankie Sue, for letting us here know we have a new cousin, who has just arrived. We here in this old settlement, wish to congratulate the great-grandparents, Avil and Riley Brooksher, the little girl's parents, grandparents and all her cousins, not exclude the aunts and uncles. Will she get to come to the Dillard Reunion so we can get acquainted?
I have been thinking when once upon a time Hwy. 14 2as under construction, how many stores and even a hotel was here at Mull, which, I believe was still called the Dillard Settlement. Mom and dad, Zual McClain and Meta and Ira Dillard at sometime all had stores. That is when the "drummers" (called salesman now) would come around.
The candy was a good thing for the drummers to show, and better when it was set in the showcases.
Daddy and mom never made any profit from the sales of candy. The children, like Willodean Smith Barns told me, and sister Myra, that they knew how to tuck their toes on the base trim of the showcase and peep in sort of wishful like, and they always received the reward of candy. The little cousins of Willodean, Marcella, Quentin and, I think, Wanda Smith, were among the children.
Myra didn't have to peep in at the candy, but she knew where the most beautiful little bird cards were so she went to the store and "un-be-knowins" to mom and dad, she opened the entire case of baking soda to add to her collection of bird cards, which each box of soda contained. Some of the evidence is still around to help prove it.
It is too bad mother couldn't use enough soda to satisfy Myra, so she wouldn't have had the burden to think of all these years.
It is alright, Myra, but I wonder if the soda got lumps or if the boxes had written on them, "Do not use if the seal has been tampered with or broken."
April 4, 2002: Top of Page
A little history of Marion County, I found to be interesting, was once upon a time, as in other places, our grandmothers had to cook on the fireplace. The food was tasty, I am sure of that, but up on the Bogle homestead, a special thin happened. A salesman came along with a thing called a cook stove, right down that steep hill to Bogle Hollow. He had everything that went with the stove, except how to use it, although I was old by L.D. Bogle, "They probably couldn't have read it anyway."
It was exciting. The men of the family gathered the wood and carefully laid it-in the oven-started the fire up and it was burning and was giving out the smoke all over the house. Taylor was yelling to put it out, "it is going to burn the house down!" John was doing his best getting the burning wood out and that wasn't fast enough for his dad, Taylor. Taylor went for a bucket of water, there was no stopping him, he dashed it into the oven and put the fire out. John said, "Now, I will start one in this other place," which happened to be the firebox, with his dad telling him not to take that thing out it'll burn the house and everything in it.
L. D. said his dad, John was 18 years old, and you can't tell that age anything because they know it all.
He discovered the right place for the fire anyway. The stove began to get hot, the stove caps were getting red, and no smoke coming out into the house and he said, "Mother, fix a pan of cornbread and let's see what happens." It happened the bread was so pretty and brown on top and bottom. The ladies of the neighborhood were called in to see the great miracle. This first stove of Marion County was, the talk of the whole community.
April 11, 2002:Top of Page
Once upon a time, the IVES Family, as did the JONES family lived out on Greasy Creek, it is a beautiful place and so many of our fine folks and kin occupied farms there.
They, like so many large families have scattered, but somehow they do a good job keeping in touch. One of the IVES girls, Mable, married into the JONES family, and she sent a very neat poem which her brother, Dan, wrote and in turn Mable, (than you) sent it to me and I wan to pass it on.
I have mentioned several time how we use to depend on our chickens and all the other food-producing animals. I can just imagine up on Greasy Creek when Dan, who is very hard to keep up with now, how he must have gone out on the farm in the spring, looking and searching for the hidden nest of old hens, and how thrilling it was she would bring up a fine bunch of baby chicks. This meant more food for the family. I think the poem will bring back a few memories to our readers.
It might have meant more manners for Neville and Odale DAVIS. When we were all growing up, we were taught to not take the last of anything on the platter. Nevile's mother always had lots of food, but one morning there was one egg left on the platter. The temptation became too great for one of the DAVIS children. The statement was said, in a pitiful sigh, "Oh! He go the manners and oh!! How I wanted it."
With this poem, I bet there were plenty manner for the future.
The Little Speckled Hen
One day God made the fowl of the earth
Each has its place, each has its worth.
I remember a way back when--
The peril of our little speckled hen.
April 18, 2002: Top of Page
What a fine group of second grade children at Yellville Summit School. I was invited to talk and tell them stories last wee, and enjoyed every minute I was there.
When I arrived, Mrs. Conniers was preparing their breakfast of pancakes. Even as a neighbor, I didn't know she had so much talent. She may need to come and prepare our Saturday morning breakfast sometime.
The children and some of their parents, whom were able to attend, were not loosing any time eating these delicious pancakes. I think their teacher, Ms. Waite, enjoyed the occasion too. Thank you for your invitation to speak to the class on, "as I grew up in this area."
I then went to another second grade. After telling them of my experience, t5hey had some interesting questions to ask. One was, "Did you ever get punished, and how?" I told them "yes"." Once upon a time, on of my little cousins, Jessie Bean, and I had a fight. (I didn't tell them she broke my bead in the fight), The teacher caught us, I believe the teacher was Garline James, and he put us behind the old one room school house doors to decide if we wanted him to give us five 'licks' with a switch, or we could give each other five licks. Our decision was made while the rest of the children had their "Opening exercises." I feel sure the teacher knew our decision before we told him, sure, we gave our five swats to each other. We didn't leave any stripes with the switch. Little children 'make up' in a short time especially if the parents stay out of it. My, when I would go home and tell mother of our little "squabbles" she would say, " I guess they didn't make anything off you." I am not sure about that, but that was the end and, again, friends we were.
Thinking back of ounce upon a time when my name was still Dillard, I found a letter from Alma (Davenport) Raines, addressed to Doretha Dillard. She sent me a pattern of a Dutch Girl Quilt. I didn't get around to making any blocks until about a month ago. It has been enjoyable, Alma and since you told me, you remember the pattern of the Dutch Girl pattern you do not have it any more, I will cut you a pattern - what goes around comes back around, I reckon.
It was good to talk to Alma, she tells me new of our relation. My little fighting friend, Jessie (Bean,) is moving from her present home but was not sure where. Perhaps Verda (Williams) Doshier will keep up with her. What good schoolmates and cousins I have.
The teachers and children are ready for summer vacation. I thought about how long the school terms are now compared to the School laws of the late 1800 and early 1900s.
One such law given was interesting. The power of the electors could, "Determine the length of time the school shall be taught more than three months in the year. It is expected that a school be maintained in each school district for at least three months in a year - - If there are funds in the treasury available for that purpose. This term could be extended beyond three months if the funds in the treasury to the credit of the district justify such extension.
It seems it must have been justified several times now days.
April 25, 2002:Top of Page
It is hard to write this week's new because I have the sad news that my Aunt Flora "Flo" Laffoon Davenport passed away Saturday night, April 20, 2002.
I have written several stories she told me. I treasure each of them and I shall read them over several times and remember her laugh. We will all miss you, Aunt Flo, and feel you have been an inspiration to us.
I was out at Myra and Jack Reece, sister and bother-in-law, last week. Naturally, I like for Jack to tell me more about when he was in WWII. Many of you have told me how much you enjoyed his articles in the past Echos, and I asked him to write this story for you 'old-timer' who remember once upon a time.
By Woodrow Jackson Reece
Recently I wrote a short story of my meeting with Colonel Paul Tebbets, the office who dropped the first Atomic Bob on Japan, which sent us home again after more than three (3) years of fighting in the Pacific.
As is usual for me, a slight interruption caused me to forget what came next, and as I was writing for my sister-in-law she would like for me to add this to it.
As was covered in the first part of the story, some observation planes from his squadron had witnessed the fight from above and the Colonel, not satisfied with Army's version of the battle, he wanted a version from the boys who did the dirty work and he came to Luzon to talk to us. As noted ere this, questions came from both him and us in abundance: We asked him what he did once he heard "Bombs Away". He explained to us the weight of the bomb made it necessary to keep the throttle on climb in order to carry the load and not lose altitude (keep level flight in other words). This is his words to the best of my memory.
"At the call of Bombs Away, the plane jumped higher about, I'd judge fifteen feet. I gave the control maximum climb and full throttle and in a few seconds we were at about 50,000 feet. We swung around and sort of returned our path parallel to the way we came. Now remember not all aboard were battle-hardened veterans of the Air War. There was a nuclear physicist, a nuclear arms expert (he set the time for the explosion) and at least one engineer who assembled the bomb while in the air. Once of the scientists from the Manhattan Project and a few others I can't remember how and about three airmen whose job it was to keep other things away (waist, tail and belly gunners)."
He said as they came alongside the Drop Point, he rolled the plane slightly to starboard (right) s the others could see, for there were arms, legs, heads, bridge parts, whole roofs, and all that had been on the ground was now in the air. One of the civilians said, "My God, what have we done?" The huge mushroom cloud was just beginning to rise. To those who say it should not have been dropped, I says, "You were not ever there digging them out of the dugouts, caves, and bunkers with a rifle bayonet and grenades either, were you? Suffice it to say not many gave me much of an argument. I'd best stop this as of now. Some more from Old Jack for his western art which is still to be seen in this day and time, western towns, gun fights, cowboys and Indians, and gosh only knows what else.
Then there was Major Sen. Harry Collins who was Commander of the Rainbow Division (42nd Div.) in WWII. It was the storied division that Gen. Douglas McArthur commanded in WWI. Also Navy Lieut. Edward "Bulch" O'hare, the first American Air Ace in WWII (5 enemy kills). Also there was Adm. S. Paley, chairman of the board of Columbia Broadcasting System. He was and is the father of Jane Paley, famous T.V. personality. Gen. Dave Tebbets, Pilot of the Plane, which dropped the first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and allowed me to come home. Finally there was Sander Vanocur, a well-known media commentator who just everyone knows of. It has been a lot time and my memory is not what it once was, but if you are still alive Gen. and by some twist of fate should see this, "God bless you".
May 16, 2002:Top of Page
This is getting to be "Strawberry Shortcake" time and I can't prevent my thoughts form returning back to the years of once upon a time when mother would make the best shortcakes in the world. There were no little yellow cakes with a "dip" in the center to be filled with strawberries, she made a crust; not quite as short as the regular pie crust. She rolled the dough out flat and baked it on cookie sheets. It was seasoned with butter on top of the crust and sprinkled with sugar, as best as I remember, because this is the way I have continued the shortcake making. The berries were mashed in a large crock bowl with plenty of sugar put in and given a good stirring. This made the berries juicy and ready to be placed between the crust stakes. She would put a piece of crust, a cup or two of berries, another crust, more berries and so on until all the contents were stacked on the large platter. My! How pretty and good tasting with the thick fresh cow's cream mixed in!
Grandpa Dillard had a strawberry patch "once upon a time" and I don't think he had too much trouble getting pickers, since he had several of the family around. Grandchildren were a big asset at this time of picking. I was told Willodean Smith Barnes, a granddaughter, was one of the fastest pickers of the bunch. Myra said, "Willodean was always a better picker than me or Willodean's twin sister, Evelyne. She had longer arms to reach and grab them, and besides, Evelyne and I were probably thinking about fixing our hair, nails, or making a red clay mud pack for our face." I think boys could be added to the list of thoughts too.
Grandpa "Doc" Dillard's birthday was the 10th of May and it was a big treat to have strawberries for the occasion and Decoration at Desoto's dinner on the ground.
Many of you readers may remember getting on the back of a truck and heading over across the Old Dillard Ferry to Searcy County to pick betties. The few cents we worked out was a blessing because not many cents were floating around.
What memories we all must have of those days and the taste of the shortcakes made in the old-time way.
May 23, 2002: Top of Page
A friend to us "old timers", Bill Palmer, is visiting in this area for two or three weeks with his wife. Once upon a time in the early forties, when Bill was a young boy, his father and an uncle came in this part of the country to start a Mining Company. This provided work for several folks around here. Bill, his dad and mother, who was a beautiful, talented lady, and had seen several parts of the world, made their home here. Bill attended school at Yellville, and has asked about several of his old friends. He remembers Billy Frank, Mary Elizabeth Smith Nelson, and Leroy Smith. He also was askeding about the Peeks, Dillard and Davenport families. He inquired about two of his teaches and spoke highly of them, Mrs. Tom Angle and Mrs. John Q. Adams.
Bill became an Engineer of some specialty, but interesting enough, he and his wife were owners of racehorses that won several top awards. Another interesting part of his life, Bill became a real muscle builder and his picture was shown in Body Building Magazines. Even though Bill has experienced three Strokes, he continues to excerise and not let the strokes "get the best of him" and it is paying off.
In thinking of our old friends and relation, don't forget the Davenport Reunion at Bullalo Point, Saturday, May 25th. We will share potluck together, and have a wonderful time at the #3 pavilion. Thanks to Doris May Davenport Woods for keeping us informed about these things. I would like to quote from her letter, "We have lost many dear loved ones, but have many left to see and visit with." So true, Doris.
Once upon a time, the way I understand it, and I sure can be corrected at any time and be glad to know the truth, our Ancestors came from England. They settled in Virginia, then as most of our ancestors did, spread out. The Davenports seemed to take a liking to Alabama and became residents there for some time. How Arkansas began to interest them is beyond me, but it did. William and his wife Mary Catharine Cauthorn Davenport packed up their wagon in 1861, with about five of their children and to Arkansas they came. Our grandfather George, was one of those children. They first settled at George's Cree.
Grandpa George and Grandma Martha Moore Davenport moved to another creek, Water Creek, near the Old Dillard Settle, known then as Maumee. They raised several children Mary, Ida, Tom, Oliver, Charlie, Jim, Virgil, Genie, Elizabeth, Lona and Whit. I believe all but Ida and Elizabeth lived and died within this area.
So many stories have been told of this family that books could be written. For instance, Uncle Whit fell desperately in love with Rosa, one of the "Doc" and Lizzie's daughters. He was somewhat older than their baby daughter, and I am sure he knew Grandpa Doc would never give permission for his 13 or 14 year old child to marry at that early age, so they slipped off and "tied the know", meaning they got married anyway. After Doc found out, he was furious and got his gun to try a remedy to the situation but when Grandma told him, "Doc, you will scare that little girl to death," he calmed down. They lived together "till death do us part." I have heard many time when they their first child, Floy, she was played with like a doll. I believe that, and I also have been told she played with dolls after marriage, so what better practice could she have had?
I recon the Davenports and Dillards must have liked each other away back when, because more of them were married to each other, although their ages were in a different bracket than Rosa. You know, all their marriages lasted until the end of life, so they must have had an everlasting love and that is what we all need now. See you, Kinsman, Saturday.
May 30, 2002: Top of Page
My memory was jogged the other day, when Gladas (Still) McCumber and Elward and Marie Still invited me to go to the Still's Cemetery with them. Memories of once upon a time stayed in my mind and it seemed I would love to go back and live some of those precious moments again. No such luck now, but how about making more memorable times with folks now. Thank you, our Still relation, for letting me go with you and make some more precious memories of today.
It was nice to be at Freck Cemetery. Perhaps some of you know it as Water Creek or Bums. It is a beautiful, peaceful place, and so great to see some of the folks who come to decorate the graves. It is like all the other Community Decoration Days of today's culture or should I say practice. Some go on Saturday, some Sunday and other days it's any hour of the day. It is all right, but wouldn't it be nice to see each other at this special time?
We have relatives in the Stone Cemetery, which many of us cannot be at the appointed Decoration Day; we then go at the first opportune time, so this makes me understand just how I miss seeing every one, as was the costume "once upon a time."
Since our attention has been turned to Wars, Death, and Heroes, I would like to quote a story written many years ago in The White River Chronicles by S. C. Turnbo. (This was a real hero action, calling for help in time of need, "Hebrew: 4:1 6," during the Civil War times.)
"Saving Her House Through Tears And Prayer"
A man by the name of Joe Allen lived on Shoal Creek in Taney County, Missouri. His cabin stood on the east bank of the creek near one-fourth mile below Protem.
When the war broke out Allen claimed to be a southern man but refused to enlist in the confederate army. As the war progressed Joe proved to be a bad man and kept the worst of company. Peter Keesee, who lived on Big Creek on what is now the Sam Holett place, was a union man and when the war warmed up to red heat Keesee took his family and sought safety among his friends who lived on Little North Fork.
"A few hours after I was compelled to desert my home on Big Creek," said Mr. Keesee "Joe Allen and his clan come along and finding that we were gone set fire to my dwelling and reduced it to ashes".
I went on and as soon as I had got my family in safe quarters. I lost no time in making preparations to retaliate on the destroyer of my residence. Joe Allen had burned my home and I was determined to burn his, but I asked a few of my intimate friends to assist me at the burning and they promised to aid me. It was war times and who cared for burning a house when the enemy burns yours? My heart was hardened and with those that had promised to help me. We mounted our horses and rode off toward Shoal Creek.
We went at a rapid gait and it did not take us many hours to reach Joe's cabin. Of course, Joe was not there but his wife, whose name was Alwilda, and two or three little children were in the house.
The wife and children were destitute. Their clothes were in tatters and they were nearly without food. It was shameful for a man to turn a mother and her little ragged children out of doors. But I cared nothing for that I was wanting revenge for the loss of my house.
"I informed Mrs. Allen at once what we had come for and as I not desire to deprive her of what few household property she had in the house I ordered her in a peremptory way that she must carry her household effects out of doors. She protested in piteous words not to destroy their only place of shelter. It seemed that I possessed the heart of a savage and refused to listen to tearful entreaties. In reply, I told her to hurry or I would set he house on fire before she carried her things out. With loud sobs and her eyes bathed in tears she began to move out the few bedclothes and scant furniture. She saw that it was useless to plead with a barbarian and went on with the work. We waited in silence until the despairing woman had carried all her effects to a safe distance so that they would escape the flying sparks from the burning hut. We now began to make preparations to set the building on fire for I was anxious to see it go up in flames. "At this moment, the now nearly crazed woman renewed her pleading to me not to wipe out their only shelter. She prayed that I might repent of my wicked design of burning their cabin and that she could not help what Joe had done and begged me and my friends to return back home and leave her house to shelter herself and helpless children.
She looked up toward heaven and I saw her tear stained cheeks, and as the tears were streaming down her face, she implored the good Ruler of heaven and earth to soften our hearts that we might abandon our heartless work and go away without destroying her only place of abode.
She stood and prayed as if her heart was broken. Her little children were standing there with her holding her and crying. It was a heart-rending scene.
A few minutes before this Satan had control of my heart. But as I listened at the poor helpless woman's piteous sobs of grief and heard her devoted prayers and saw her children huddled about her, my wicked thoughts of burning the house began to soften.
The spirit of revenge was leaving me and an impression of pity was taking the place of my stony heart. Her prayers were too much for me and I yielded to the influence of her supplications.
"Turning to my companions I said, "men, we cannot afford to burn this house," and I told the weeping woman that she was at liberty to carry her stuff back into the hut for it was safe as far as we were concerned for we had got out of the notion of putting fire to the building. The nearly distracted woman could hardly believe it until I assured her that is was true.
Then she gladly put away her tears and sorrows and rejoiced that I changed my mind. Though Joe Allen had wronged me and it was my desire and intention to treat him likewise but the tearful prayers of his helpless wife had turned my reckless heart into one of mercy and I thank God to this day that I did not burn that cabin."
Our hearts can be softened.
June 6, 2002: Top of Page
Many folks must think now is the beautiful time to picnic, float the good old Buffalo, and just have a time to enjoy family in the wonderful world of nature. It seems the cabins of the settlement, are all filled and running over, the highways are pretty full themselves besides all the boats flowing down the river. It is a grand sight.
Once upon a time a boat floating down Buffalo River was an unusual sight (if it wasn't one of the neighbors in an old johnboat, fishing for food and a natural recreation time). Now, it is unusual if you don't see one or more boats. Time has a way of changing things, but I suppose we will continue to flow as the river does. Sometimes it is calm, sometimes rough and dangerous. This is the time of caution, but it continues to go on down the stream in time. "Take head lest we fall" into the danger of that flow. What an interesting life we have.
Thinking of the Buffalo River and the camping facilities, it has a way of drawing folks to its location, and it provides the Church at Mull with visitors and acquaintance. We were happy to have a full house Sunday, and know each and every one of them enjoyed the lessons brought to us by Leon Jr. and Dwight Shipman. We welcome all of you at any time.
In 1991, Harold Miller, grandson of Margaret Selina Dillard, wrote some of his memories of growing up and things about his grandmother and parents.
Once upon a time, he stated, "With respect to my memories of the Grandmother, Mag Dillard: She lived with my Father (her son), Charlie Miller and my mother, Willie Knight Miller, during all the years I was growing up. Off and on Grandma lived in my mother's home all the time my folks were married. My father died in 1949 and Grandma moved next door to my Uncle Lee Ford's home. She died there in 1953 and is buried in the Salinas Garden of Memories, Salinas, California."
Harold continued to give some history of his dad. "My father was never in good health even as a young man. He did however work hard and raised a family of five boys. As a young man in Arkansas, he worked as a miner in the load and zinc mines around Rush. After he married Mother in 1916, he had various labor-type jobs.
One job he had was carrying mail by horseback for the U.S. Postal Service. He worked in the oil fields in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico during the 'Boom Years' of 1920. At least two times my parents, with the help of Grandma 'Mag' Dillard), ran a Laundry and did ironing and washing for the oil workers.
The family moved a lot, Mother had to work out of home, but Grandmother was always there to take care of home. Everyone liked her. She was very frugal and was always good for a loan to her grandchildren, (provided it was paid back on the promised day).
"She had the reputation of being a good cook with her friends and Dillards in Castroville, Ca. They especially like her 'home made biscuits'.
"She chewed 'Cotton Ball' tobacco, amused everyone with her outspoken 'salty language', and for recreation in her younger years, she enjoyed fishing with aunt Jule on the White and Buffalo River in Arkansas."
Harold wrote other interesting things about the folks, which we are thankful to know.
So, can't you see, the Buffalo had a way of calling to our ancestors, once upon a time, and it still is calling them back now.
June 13, 2002: Top of Page
As I watched the young children swinging on an old-time swing, with a rope tied to a tree limb several feet high, and a tire for the seat, it was quite a reminder to me of days gone by. On second thought, perhaps it was not the real old-time swing because, the seat of the swing was made from an old tire. It was always made happy when my daddy found time to fix a swing. H hung the rope, found a board, cut it about 16 to 24 inches long and probably about 14 inches wide (more or less), with a notch in each end to fit into the rope holding the board seat in place. How sweet it was to go so far up into the air, back and forth, back and forth! As we got braver, we stood up and learned how to "pump" the swing to send us so high we felt like we were sailing up to the sky. We had turns on the swing and took pride in pushing each other high enough that we could run under the swing. I believe we called that "going under the bridge". When it was time for the next child's turn, we gave one more big push and then declared, "I'm going to let the old cat die", meaning, the swing would continue going until it stopped of it's own accord, slowly but surely. What a thrill it was and what a learning experience of sharing my turn and your turn.
I surely have told you of another swing in the woods, where grapevines grew to be strong and securely tied, by nature, up in the tree. Daddy would cut the big vine that we held on to, with our bear hands, and swing as high as ever we could. Our hands would get worn and sore, but we didn't worry about that. We continued to climb that grapevine just as long as it was swinging back and forth. Many times these swings were near the field where the family was working, and the older children had to help the parents, but at rest time, you knew it was their turn for the grapevine. Funny they were not too tired to swing.
Then, about this time of year, we begin to think of the old-time picnic gatherings especially around the 4th of July. I have been told about that big event in the Lead Hill area and I think it is still a place of gathering with several events of the day. I've heard of the 4th of July picnic at the old Dillard Ferryboat sight with a fire hose drawn swing which my Grandpa Charlie Davenport dearly loved. As soon as the ride was over, he made for the bushes - to vomit, that is, because it always made him so sick. He enjoyed swinging as much as any child and some of his childish likes was probably why we enjoyed being around him.
Uncle Whit Davenport, Grandpa Charlie's baby brother, made his children swings to enjoy, I am sure, because he would wing the "kids" very high. Dad and Mom were afraid for us to go so high (when they were aware of it), but how thrilling it was for Uncle Whit to do the pushing, don't you agree, Obedia, Odale and Demoia Davenport? Well, just maybe we can get together at the Dillard Reunion the 20th, 21st and 22nd of this month, June, and recall more happy times.
As my wondering went back to how the swing has played such a happy time in our lives, A person asked me, "Do you remember the swing at the river where we swang over the river and dropped down into the water, that is, until some officials thought it unsafe?" This was quite a swing located across from Buffalo Point beach, which used to be our farm before the Government needed it as a National River. Down on this river farm is where I spent a lot of time on the grapevine swing, but my children and tourists enjoyed the over the river swing, not me. Age has a way with our activities, and do you ever wonder how that comes about? I do.
I always thought it would be the nicest thing to have a porch swing like my Aunt Alice Smith, and I think surely, I have talked about that to you. Seeing her sitting in the swing, with her toes touching the floor, giving a slight push to keep the swing gently going, was an important port of my life. As I would walk through the little gate into her picketed fence, her smile was a great thing to see. She had flowers in her flowerbox, most always petunias, and they seemed to welcome you to have a visit just the same as Aunt Alice.
I need not forget to bring your memory back to the swings used in keeping our babies quiet while we did the housework. These swings had a spring close tot he top of the hanging straps. The straps or cords were hung to the ceiling; the seat was made from sturdy cotton material. The child could bounce in it and Mom would come around and often and give it a little push as she talked gently to the baby. This was the baby-sitter, once upon a time. There were no swings, that I heard of, operated by batteries or winding spring, manual work was the order of the days, as we knew it.
As a lady and I were discussing swings, she said, "I would like a swing fixed in my yard if I knew the limb wouldn't break, because I have always loved to swing." So, you see, we don't need to get too old to enjoy the little simple things in life.
June 20, 2002: Top of Page
Do you ever wonder what would the USA be like to return, for just one month, a hundred and twenty years ago? Once upon a time, not many women worked outside of the home, most men worked within walking, horseback or wagon distance of home and the children helped do the chores. There were no lawn mowers for children to use, but moms and 'kids' kept the yard clean by sweeping it. There were no dishwashers to break down, but since a lot of extra dishes such as candy, pickle, chip dip, and other containers unexisted in most of the Ozark homes, no dishwasher was necessary. The children continued to carry the water from the spring for all the home use. There were no yard sales with dishes to get 'rid' of just because Mom was tired to them. Lots of tin plates were used so they would last a long time without breaking. I guess this is where the song comes in about, "Eating Gravy on a bucket Lid". That happened too. Daddy didn't have a tractor to break down in the middle of 'breaking' new ground. He just went to the blacksmith shop to sharpen the plow or replace the handle. That didn't cost so much as are pair work now, did it? The old broom was used to sweep and scrub with. I guess my point is: now days, doesn't provide the family 'togetherness' because work is further away, children go to the baby-sitter (which also provides work), and a farmer with the tractor gets a lot more land cultivated, so I guess all is well in life as it goes on from day to day. We do have one thing missing which provided work and convenience here in Marion County. On South 14 Highway, about 1-1/2 miles from Yellville, there was a broom factory. How good, the women could buy brooms after sweeping the yards. So handy!
July 4, 2002: Top of Page
Happy birthday, Wesley Shipman. Being your mother, I remember a few details. You were born in what is now the Madden Building, the hospital was not useable at the time. The doctor's office was in that building with a room or two for patients. Once upon a time, that building was a hotel. I remember it as the Morris Hotel, and the corner steps certainly caught the eyes of a little country girl. It seems the little girls who spent a lot of time there were the Hand sisters, granddaughters of the Morris. What a beautiful hair you had. Those long curls were something to be desired.
I heard one Sunday I never remember hearing, and I don't know why. Mary Davenport told us what Lee used to say when he didn't want to be a bother about something. He would say, "I don't' want to be a flea in you sock." John said I don't now how you and Mary Lou Dillard could have kept from hearing it," because Bazze, her dad, and Uncle Frank were always using that phrase, "don't be a flea in a sock", or however they used the term.
I have told you the story of the wonderful white teacher's desk that both of my grandfathers, "Doc" Dillard and Great grandfather George Davenport had a hand in constructing. Grandpa "Doc" needed it for the school in the area, and was looking pretty good with the center part of the desk higher than the lowered sides. There was a drawer for the teacher's use and a space for her chair to scoot under when not in use. There was plenty of legroom for the teacher, but here was the problem. Grandpa Davenport told Grandpa Dillard to put a front to it so the legs were out of view of the children. The front was fixed. The white teacher's desk had more purpose as time went on. It was used for church to put the Communion on when we had church at the Mull schoolhouse. Later, when the school house was torn down, this dear little table found it's home in the Mill Church of Christ where it was used for the same purpose, until a podium and Communion table could be purchased. As I heard expressed Sunday, " remember Grandma Cora sitting on the edge while teaching our Bible Class," and another spoke up as remembering Lee using it the same way. It was a thing always expected to 'just be there', until Sunday, June 30, 2002, it was gone. It was a shock to walk into the classroom and the first thing noticed was its disappearance. Evidently, it had been stolen.
The visible table is gone, but haven't I been telling you to make memories along the way? We have done just that, and I hope and pray I can keep the lovely memories I have of my life.
July 11, 2002: Top of Page
Once upon a time, there were two hotels he recalled. One of them is standing and very pretty. It is still livable, but I doubt it is used as a hotel.
He told of Rufus Holt and L. B. Kellbrew running two stores, but couldn't remember the owner of the third store.
There is still a post-office in the town, which is more than most of the communities are blessed with, such as Freck, Rush, and Mull.
What a wonderful place to live as a young boy, Noel, with Clear Creek on one side of town and Hog Creek on the other. The Creeks are still there for the enjoyment of the neighborhood.
They are not far from the Everton Park. I enjoyed a picnic there once, and plan to do that again.
When asked what other entertainment was provided there, Noel said, "Well, parties." Yes, I remember those kind of parties, we call them "Play Parties". Did you have 'Candy Biting', play 'Please or Displeased', and 'Old Johnny Miller'? You and Alma try to recall some of the parties of once upon a time, and let me know.
I would like to know about the history of Everton, and the next time I pass through, I want to stop at the City Hall to obtain some of it's past records.
Congratulations to you, 100-Year-Old Everton!
I hope you survive to be more than 200.
July 18, 2002: Top of Page
I have been made very sad by the death of our classmate Sherman B. Ott. What a fine person he was, and was blessed with so many friends, and we were blessed to have him as a dear friend. One of his sisters, Ms. Joyce Ott Keeter, was one of the finest teachers YSHS was privileged to have. She and Sherman, I do feel like, will have a happy meeting.
Back in our parents' time, known as once upon a time to me, cars were a rarity. I have told you different times of the reactions my grandfathers had to 'such a thing as that four wheeled auto'.
Evidently, they were not the only ones who had a hard time with their vehicles. It seems if anything can make a 'feller' lose his temper, and old car will. I've felt that anger a few times myself, but I never did beat one up with a hammer, like my grandpa Dillard. It seemed one of the Ott men had a car of such.
I understand Sherman's mother was riding in the car with him. They were having several problems as they drove along. For one thing, the road was rough, rocky and full of mud-holes from the heavy rains. The old car spluttered along then got stuck.
Mr. Ott, patiently got it out of that problem. Notice the word patient. With a few more things happening to bear on the nerves, he still held his peace. This was really appealing to Sherman's mother, to see a man holding hi peace with all the trouble.
When they had a flat, that was the last straw, but you know, that man never uttered a bad word or acted mad at all. This was one of the most admired things in this relative she had seen, and she just had to tell his wife, "you have the best, most patient husband, with all the trouble we had with the car, he never once lost his tempter." The wife was 'baffled' because she knew her husband really had a pretty high tempter.
My daddy use to compare people to iron, and the iron is of no use until it is tempered, and a 'feller' is not much without a temper. Anyway you look at it, I reckon Mr. Ott 'filled the bill'.
July 25, 2002: Top of Page
Some years ago Don DeLukie gave me a 'Personal memento's' of his first visit in this area and now these mementos have become a part of history. He wrote, "I made my first trip to Rush in 1965. My wife, Jean, and I were newly married. We stayed in a tent at the point where Rush Creek runs into the Buffalo River." He continued further on down of his trips, "We became friends with Mr. Fred Dirst and most of our camping trips were on his property. Usually on Rush Creek itself. In subsequent years we got to know the Ballards and the Bowmans. In those early days Rush was remote and some wilderness. I remember standing in Mr. Fred's trailer one day and watching a beautiful buck deer wading down Rush Creek. All the mines were open but my personal favorite was always the Monte Cristo. Back in those days there were many buildings standing at Rush including a giant mill. The old mill had huge beams and shafts from which pulleys ran different operations. Admittedly it was precarious and we never ventured inside for fear it would collapse. There was a cable stretched across the river just beyond the Red Cloud Mine. In many of the mines, there were ancient artifacts. We saw old gloves, shovels, buckets, lanterns and assorted items left during the mining days." (Which they never bothered, and I wonder if they are still in tact.)
He did express how we wished these things could, and perhaps would go into a future museum, which someone, someday, will put together.
One of his experiences as he wrote, "I'll never forget the time in the Monte Cristo I dropped my flashlight and broke it and had to crawl out to the light on my hands and knees! I've never entered another mine without at least 2 sources of light. Who could forget their look at the old truck in the Philadelphia?" (He didn't say what kind, year make and, of course the color.)
DeLukie also wrote, "As we made new friends I always manage to excite people about Rush and eventually took them for a visit. They in turn have taken many of their friends and families to the area. As people have reported to me over the years, I have felt like an unknown travel agen for Rush."
His youngest child, "Bubba", developed a great love of the area and enjoys its many recreation facilities. Bubba, there are things you once enjoyed you are not permitted to do now such as rock-hunting (for keeps), exploring the mines, etc., but the scenery is still beautiful and a canoe trip can be an enjoyable experience as of yet. I hope you continue to come up and take advantage of this part of the Ozarks. I think you will too because as your father wrote. "I've also had the pleasure of getting to know many people that live in the area of Rush. Also during these ensuing years, I have purchased property in the area and would like to spend at least some part of my life as a resident."
I think I can speak for all the folks, especially, in the Mull and Caney communities, we hope you will come live among us, but in the meanwhile, we will continue to enjoy your visit and all the wonderful sermons you present to us.
The Rush Mines and surrounding mines are certainly a large part of our history of "Once Upon a Time" and we lost a wonderful source of information when Mr. Dirst and Lee Medley left us.
Any of you having stories to tell of the old days in the Mining time period, why don't you drip me a notation of it so we can all enjoy it together?
August 1, 2002: Top of Page
Remember once upon a time when we taught our little children games and action songs? My memory was kindled the other day as I watched a young mother, with her little daughter, Zoey, do "Itsy Bitsy Spider", and other rhyming games with actions. I noticed when the little child falt she had accomplished the actions as her mother did, she was ready for adult approval with clapping hands and "let's do it again". As this little one grows up, she will still want approval and I hope she receives the encouragement she needs - starting with little games.
Later on in the day, I ran across and old school book written in 1935, "Health Stories, Book Three". I couldn't keep from looking at the pictures since the old books have pictures I can relate to from my school years. Lots of things for health were touched on, one being a game titled, " The New Game". The New Game turned out to be on fo the games I played with my friends many time "Follow the Leader". This was surely a favorite of ours. Could we have gotten the game from this health book?
A week or two ago, Katie Mable Ives Jones, of Rogers, AR, had read my article in the "Echo" where I had named some games played by youngsters at the old time 'play parties'. She was interested in this and sent name of more games she and her family and friends played, once upon a time.
Katie, I am sure you won't mind if I print these so our readers can reclaim some fond memories. She informed me, which is true, when they lived on Greasy Creek and had a big get together, it wasn't necessarily a party. She stated, "It was a bunch of friends and family that showed up at our parents house on the weekend or any other day of the week for that matter. The games we played were 'Blind Mann's Bluff', 'Pin the Tail on the Donkey', 'Going out West', Hide the Thimble', 'Button, Button, Who's Got the Button', and Gossip'." These were indoor games. Mable continued, "Then there were the games the children played outside. They were 'Mother May I', "Red Light', Drop the Handkerchief', 'Red Rover', 'Flying Ducth-man', 'Hide and Seek', 'The Farmer in the Dell', 'London Bridges Falling Down', 'Tag' and many others." This was a good start, Mable, but the next information you awere recalling was interesting to me. She mentioned the fact that no fancy equipment was required for these games, but never knew they were missing out on anything. To prove this she continued, "We also played baseball with a ball that our Dad made from a piece of goat hide. The bat was a board or stuck of wood." Another game she remembered ' on second thought', was "The Guessing Game'. The one starting the game would say, "I am thinking of something that starts with the Letter A (B or C, etc.)", and the others would have to guess what it was. This object must be in sight of everyone. The first person giving the right answer gets to be "It' and find another object starting with a certain letter. Sometimes two letters would be used should it be something like a fence post, which would be, "F.P." Mable said, "My family still plays that game while we are riding in the car, especially if it's a very long trip that we are on."
Thank you Mable, for reminding us of games of the 'good old days' and what fun the children could have now with the same games, if they were taught them - maybe. I said a "maybe" because if these games would be as difficult for them as the computer games are for me, might as well forget it.
August 8, 2002: Top of Page
Once upon a time, Lucreta Davenport Adams gave me a book to read and, Lucreta, I amy get it back to you someday, but for now I would like to share a portion of it to our readers, "Roas' Near, Rabbit tobaack'r n' Rosebud Salve", by Faye Browne, I know quite a lot about the title and it all is good, but what I really wanted to relate to you and out of this book is about shoes.
It is getting shoe-buying time for school and winter days ahead. Jobs are scarce and things sound 'kinda' tough on the news. So just ponder a few of Brown's thoughts: "During those lean years Daddy would, of necessity, get a pair of cheap brogans in the spring to plow in. These would either be ordered from the catalog or put on our 'ticket' at the mercantile where they were 'advancing us' until cotten selling time.
More often than not the new rough leather shoes would rub such huge blisters on Daddy's feet until he'd threaten to make slits in them or to cut out small holes for his toes like he had done in his old pair.
"Mama never was one for going barefoot. Yet being the unselfish one she was, she'd never mention getting new footwear for herself. Instead she'd insist that Daddy's decade - past church shoes in their worn-out-and-tied-together-with-strings state - that the cast off shoes 'suit me just fine for the field and barn and house.'
"Most of us kids made do with hand-me-downs from each other, or neighbors, or cousins for the short hours on summer Sundays. At those times our feet required shoes two sizes larger than in the winter; it took the extra to compensate for the spreading-out our feet did from going barefoot.
"Mama also helped stretch the shoe budget by refastening floppy shoe soles with glue or screen tacks. And she often pushed her rug-hooking needle in and out to re-sew ripped shoe uppers.
"Shoe dyes were also used extensively by Mama to lengthen the life of terrible looking shoes during those Depression days. And if someone did chance to get white shoes in the spring then the shoes certainly had to be dyed black or brown come September, making them presentable for wearing in the fall and winter. Back then it was more socially accepted to be seen barefoot then to be caught wearing white shoes past September first.
"When she awoke on Sunday mornings and there was no black polish to ready Daddy's dark shoes for church attendance another make-do came into play. They were rubbed with cold leftover biscuit; the lard in the bread did the 'shining' trick, I believe.
"The one frivolity in spring shoe buying was for my sister Frances. When she began courtin' it was absoulutely necessary that she get a pair of white heels from the Sears, Roebuck Catalog. The cheapest pair available was, ironically, the one she usually liked best.
"After Mama sold off roosters to the rolling store for the money, Frances' foot had to be measured before mailing the shoe order.
This was done by my oldest sibling standing on a piece of tablet paper while Mama drew little lines in front of her big toes, on either side of her toes and behind her heel.
Then before many days the beautiful shoes would arrive with the letter carrier. To take better of her treasure Frances often toted them most of the way to and from church. She put the shoes on and off within the sight of the edifice; that prevented the gravel's tearing at the new white leather of the shoes."
Reebok commercials today tell us to do our own thing in relation to shoes. But society keeps talking differently - signs on doors where folks gather to sop biscuits and gravy often indicate "no bare feet".
Brown stated in the last paragraph of her section on feet, "I favor getting back to basics like God intended and letting folks bare their feel whenever they get a "hankerin'."
These likely hints, and may I add facts of Faye Brown's writing, might be of help in these next 'poor income' years. We made it before and we can do it again - can't we?
August 22, 2002: Top of Page
One of our dear cousins and home folk has passed away and it has made us very sad. Ray Robinson is gone, but as a lot of eulogies on the head stones say, "Gone buy not forgotten." This has been a tender saying to me and Ray fits in this category. He has been such a part of our lives, all of my life, and I have admired he and his late wife, Retha. Retha was a good singer, which I remember once upon a time when she and some of her family would sing at gatherings, a treasured memory. Another treasured memory of Ray is when he sang in those wonderful gospel quartets, along with Guy Rose, Ancil Baker, Carl King, Lee and Holland Davenport and others. How thrilling it was to attend the old time singing conventions and hear the low bass notes Ray could muster and the high pitch of the tenors Lee and Carl could sing. Holland, Ancil and Guy could lead a group of singers with the most enthusiasm and their way of 'a leader of song' is something to remember. All of these fine men are "Gone but not forgotten."
August 29, 2002: Top of Page
At the start of another school year, how can I ever forget those early school days of mine and I am sure a lot of your readers have experienced some thoughts of the same. As I return to once upon a time, I can fancy I see all my cousins and neighbor friends at the one room school at Mull. How lovely it was to be with them, but how sad it was for this little girl to leave home and mother for a whole day at school. I was just "pure old" sad from the bottom of my heart. How good it was to get home and mother have cream tomato soup with a big pan of hot, home baked light-bread rolls to serve with the soup. Or perhaps, she may have cooked a pot of white northern beans and even fried chicken, especially, if one of us was having a birthday.
I was told I made some mistakes, etc in my news last week. Glad to know it was read, but don't you know by now the story by heart about my Aunt Jule whom I must have taken my abilities to spell after to just put it down? In case you have had a 'senior moment' and forgotten, let me see if I remember. Once upon a time so very many years ago, may of our ancestors did not have the opportunity to learn the skill to read and write, but they still had desire to send messages to their dear ones. So was the case with Aunt Jule. She asked one of her nieces to please writer to her kin in 'Cal-e-fornie.' They happily obliged her. As she dictated her message, she as all the old-timers, took pride in their gardens and said, Now, tell them about my 'on-yens' (onions). With a puzzled look the niece asked, "Aunt Jule, now do you spell onions?" With no too concerned or puzzled look, she replied, "Why, honey, God bless your soul, don't spell it, just put it down." So you know now my philosophy and 'now you know the rest." Ain't life grand anyhow?
Sept 5, 2002: Top of Page
Once upon a time, I was told by one of my uncles, Wilburn Hiser, who worked with the Dillards and Davenports in timber, etc., that one of the Dillards told him, "Mom and Dad used to keep their milk and butter in the Roaring Spring River." It made me wonder when and where, but since Grandpa "Doc" and Nancy Smith Dillard were married in Berry County, it must have been their son, Arthur, giving him the information. Leon, my husband, took me to Berry County's seat, Cassville's Courthouse to get a copy of their marriage license. That was in 1988 on my birthday making it one of the nicest gifts I ever received. Grandpa and Grandma had been married 100 years when I obtained it. So, you see, my mind wanders when I am in that part of the country.
Dec 20, 2002: Top of Page
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Two or three weeks ago, I wrote an article about Lee's experience his 92 years. Janice, his daughter, had written it down for him some time back, and Janice told me her dad had asked her if she had read the Echo, that it had quite a lot about him. She was thankful for that, because it gave him pleasure. Lee, like his brothers and sisters, was a wonderful singer. His voice has rung out many, many times in church at Mull.
In times past, he has taught classes to children and always could give some good comments in Bible studies. He has been a faithful person for years, but you know, he had someone who cared for him and always by his side too. Never in a million years could Lee have found a more precious wife, It makes me sad to see her with the hurt she is going through. She is strong though and I know she will get through this trial. As a little remember is a song that "once upon a time" Heather sang at Christmas and it is so true.
Song (Read As A Poem)
The Secret Of Christmas
It's not the glow you feel -- when snow;
Not the Christmas card you've sent;
Not the joyful sound when sleigh bells ring;
Or the merry songs children sing;
The little gift you send on Christmas day;
Will not bring back the friend you've turned away;
So may I suggest---The secret of Christmas is not the things you do at CHRISTMAS TIME.
But - - - - The Christmas thing you do all year through!
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Linda Haas Davenport