May 25, 2016

Some Childhood Memories

Pin It             Some Childhood Memories                                                                  

The house where we lived was on the edge of a barrio. It was technically on a corner lot. The street in front was gravel. Every so often Mama and another mother down the street whose child had asthma would collect money from everyone on the street and have the road oiled. The side street was a dirt street and every time it rained Daddy had to use the Model A to pull people out of the mud. They insisted on going through the mud.

I was named after my Aunt Oakie, Daddy's sister whose official name was Hazel Oak Wood. Bobby Joe was named after Daddy's uncle, Joe Young. Daddy always called Bobby Joe "Joe" and me "Pat" because my feet went "pitty-pat" across the floor when I was little, and so everyone in the neighborhood called me "Patty." One family across the street changed it and called me "Betty."

In addition to collecting ladybugs, I collected horned toads. Daddy called them horny lizards, and he said as a small child I called them horny gizzards.

When we had fried chicken for dinner, I ate the gizzard and the legs. Grandma got the chicken wings, especially after her brother got married a second time late in life. He brought his wife to visit, and she and Grandma argued over the chicken wings. Grandma got them, so I thought grandmas always got the wings.

May 22, 2016

Goats in the backyard

Goats in the back yard, a roadster in the entryway, and trumpets in the bathtub

I was born in October of 1942 in San Antonio, Texas. This was one of the best places and times to grow up. A military town in post World War II times, we grew up calling it and thinking of it as "THE war." It was the war we knew. All the boys at school drew pictures of airplanes all the time and every girl drew and thought of pretty ladies and what they would become.  It was the very heart of our homes and our community. Our boys, our dads, our brothers.

Growing up, we went to Messiah Lutheran School until the sixth grade and then we went to Harlandale Junior High, which was two miles from our house. It was just me (Hazel Jane) and my little brother, Bobby Joe Wood. Mama took us to school or we rode the city bus for a nickel. If you rode the regular bus it took forever because you had to ride downtown before it would bring you home. One time I got detention for talking in class and it took forever till I finally got home.  

My daddy raised rabbits for meat and to show. They won a lot, and he and my Aunt Oakie were real involved in the rabbit club. We rented our house, and all the houses had a rent cap so our landlord rented us the house for one price and our lot (where we played baseball) for another price. Daddy accepted the house over the phone because he was afraid the house would be taken before he would get there. Houses were in short supply with everyone coming to town for the war. My uncle lived down the street and he told Daddy it was available. I spent hours looking for ladybugs on the sunflowers near our house. 

One time, we went to visit my Daddy's cousins in the Hill Country north of town and we brought home a goat. Those cousins raised angora goats for the wool and the meat. We went to visit Uncle Thomas and Uncle Malcolm and Aunt Elma. Daddy, Bobby Joe, Aunt Oakie, Mama, and I went. We spent the night and had a good barbecued goat supper with the folks, and the mule pulled us around in the cart .One of the baby goats was an orphan and the mama wouldn't take it, so we decided to take it home. Aunt Oakie thought it would be a good pet and Mama agreed, and Daddy didn't care one way or the other, so home it came. It lived in the backyard with the rabbits and our collie dog named Ring Tip. He had a ring around his neck and a white tip on his tail. The goat was the funniest little thing. It would get on the back porch and bounce up and down! It was funny until it got big enough to eat Mama's potted plants. Then it was decided that it would go in the deep freeze or go back to the country. Enough is enough. When we took it back, it lived with the cows. The goats never would take an orphan, even after it was bigger.