When my brother Joe was born he sure was a big baby. When he was older my Dad built him a pole vaulting area up on the part of the lot where they didn’t raise a garden any longer. Joe would run and jump with his long pole. I remember Mother and Daddy looking out the window and saying, “Isn’t he cute. Isn’t he cute! Look at him. Can’t he jump high?”
One day Joe wanted some candy and Mother told him to go down to the chicken coop and get a couple of eggs. A while later Mother said to me that Joe was slow in coming home and to go see where he was. I told Mother that he was sitting out behind the house. She said, “Is he eating all that candy?” I told her I didn’t know. She then told me to tell him to come in the house. She asked him if he had eaten all the candy. Joe said, “What candy?” Mother said that she told him to take two eggs out of the chicken coop to get some candy. He said, “They told me they were rotten, damn um.” He would always say “damn um.”
I was five years old when Frank was born, I went out to Aunt Mandy’s all day and when I came home Mother had this baby. They were all looking at him and admiring him and calling him sweet little guy. I had my bed right up between the fireplace and the wall so I crawled back under my bed clear in the corner so they couldn’t see me. Finally mother missed me and she said, “Where’s Jessie?” They all said they didn’t know so they all went out and they were calling me and calling me and of course I wouldn’t answer because I was under the bed. Mother started to cry and I couldn’t stand to see her cry so I crawled out and said, “Here I am.”
My brother Paul and I had to take the calves out up along this field and somebody else would drive the cows out over the graveyard hill. Paul and I had to go out to this field. My gosh, I thought we’d never get home. We got up there and the ground was so hot. Paul was barefooted and he’d limp along. I’d go a ways and sit on a rock and say come on. He’d say the ground was hot and I’d tell him to put on his shoes. I waited and waited and it took us I don’t know how long to get home because he had to walk in the hot sun. When we got home he cried because my Dad had gone to the field with the boys and he didn’t get to go with them. So mother told him not to cry and to get a couple of eggs (everything was eggs) and go get some candy and then come home. Paul took some eggs and met Jack Tenney. Jack helped him eat up the candy and then Jack asked him to go up on the hill. Some boys in town had a big bonfire going. The wind was blowing and a tumble weed went on Paul and his shirt caught fire. Paul came running down the street with his shirt and everything blazing. Someone ran out and put a quilt around him and put the fire out. Brother Jarvis was passing just at that time. He could do anything. He was Doctor, watchfixer, anything. So he came in and bound him all up. I just started out to run over the hill, I don’t know why. There was some man on a horse and he asked me where I was going. I said I was running to get the Doctor because my little brother was burned all over his back. He said he was a Doctor and put me on the horse and whipped the horse back and forth. We got there and he put me down. He hadn’t asked how old my brother was. He just went in and gave him something to numb him. Mother always wondered if he gave him too much medicine or if it was just the burns, but Paul died.
To be continued...