I'm just going to put down random memories, more for myself than anyone else.My parents moved often when I was growing up. We wandered around Taylor County, Iowa, from one switchboard office to another. I went to Skinner School, a one-room country school. My memories of Iowa are wonderful, but my best memories come from the space of time from 1952 to 1955 when we lived at Eagleville, Missouri.
Thanks to Facebook, I got together today with two people who have also had the "Eagleville experience", although one of them, Joyce, lived there after I was gone; she graduated with my cousin, Carolyn. Judy lived there at the same time as me, and our families attended the same church. Christine, another Facebook friend, had to bear with us; she didn't even know where Eagleville was, but a thread on her Facebook wall led up to the meeting. I had the chance to ask Christine for a little history of the business she runs in her home and how she started it. I'm impressed. Talk about determination, she has it.
So, back to Eagleville. Judy is a year or two younger than I. Her sister, Marla, who lives too far away to have joined us, is my age.
One time I was at their house and their mother, Lois, got a guitar out and sang "Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly". She put the guitar up as soon as she finished the song, with me begging her to sing some more. That's the only time I ever heard her play and sing.
I'm pretty sure that's when I decided I wanted to learn to play the guitar, although I didn't get around to learning chords until I was 18. I never forgot Lois singing that song, and I have been singing it to little kids ever since.
I was the only kid in third grade who didn't know how to tie my shoes. An older girl across the street from us named Sara Kay Skelton taught me after my parents had given up.
Dolphus Holcomb's kids taught me how to ride a bicycle. Their daughter was named Maria Lynn, but I think it was the boys who helped me learn to ride the bike.
Dolphus' wife made fried pies that were to die for.
Dolphus was the preacher where we went to church. I liked him.
I've never been one to have close friends, but a little girl named Helen Davis was the closest thing to "best friend" I remember having. She had an older sister named Shirley. Their mother taught at our school.
Mrs. Skinner lived across the street from us. Her grandson was Sammy Skinner, who was in my class.
My dad's Uncle Bill Cook lived a couple blocks away from us. Sometimes he would pay me to help him plant his garden. I was pretty pathetic help, let me tell you. I've never been "work brittle", as my dad would say. Every time Uncle Bill came to our house, he would have my parents send me outside so he could tell them the latest naughty joke he had heard.
There was an elderly lady up the street who would pay me to come and help her clean out her refrigerator, but we didn't usually get around to that; we did crossword puzzles instead. Then she would pay me my quarter or fifty cents and I would go home. I guess she was lonely.
There were three Johnson girls in school. Marilyn was in my grade. Their mother died at a young age, and my mom was upset because the little girls didn't cry enough at the funeral. I made a vow then and there to never cry at a funeral if people were going to be watching my actions like that. I think I have kept that vow.
I had a teacher named Mrs. Grabill who had taught my mother when she was a kid.
Once a month the Churches of Christ had first-Sunday singings. All the congregations within a forty-mile or so area would meet together. We'd go to church, then have a basket dinner; at 2:30 the singing would start. Every man in the audience who wanted to lead a song did so. I loved singings, and sang at the top of my lungs. The singings lasted until 4, which gave us time to go home and rest for a little bit before Sunday evening church at seven.
I could go on for several entries telling about people and events I remember from Eagleville. It was a great place to live, sheltered in the arms of my relatives as I was. What surprises me is how many names I remember, names of people I never saw after 1955.