I Remember When . . . .
Great Stories about growing up in the Horntown, Oklahoma area!

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After School

     1940 in rural Oklahoma. Finally the school day would be over, the bumpy ride home on the bus and then I'd hit the gate with the leather hinges, into our yard. The routine was, bring in the firewood, heat two big pots of water, get a step stool so I could reach the pans to wash dishes with homemade lye soap. Oh, that soap would take the first layer of skin right off your hands.
     Rinse the dishes, drying them, and put them away. Now the stove was ready for Mother to start our evening meal.
     There was no electricity in the area at that time, so we used kerosene lamps.
     After dinner, we would head to that large wooden box with knobs on the front, and light bulb sized tubes inside the back. It was hooked to a battery some way, but all I ever did to it was practically crawl into the back and make sure all those tubes were in good and tight.
     If it was early enough, I could listen to Sky King. Later we would listen to Fibber McGee and Molly, Lum and Abner at the Jot 'um down store and on that one special night the Grand Ole Opry.
     Sometimes they would allow me to stay the night with Grandma. This was a treat. She could recite the Wreck of the Hesperias, the alphabet backwards and sing songs way into the night.
     Her large bed was wooden framed, with ropes for (springs) support and the mattress was unreal.
     It was made of clean corn shucks, each year, pilled into a large pillow case like fabric. Every time you moved, the whoosh scrunch whoosh noise was loud. I had never slept on such a bed before.
     Next morning, coffee brewing and biscuits in the oven and chocolate gravy. Then out to take care of the cow, chickens and mules. Then off to the creek to catch crawdads. Some folks used bacon stripes to lure them out of their mud huts, but we preferred to chase them down in the water. They would run under rocks and I must admit, sometimes it took intestinal fortitude to stick your hand down under there, not knowing what else might be there. After a couple of hours out there in the heat, you get thirsty, so we find a nice clean spot and cup a few handfuls of water to our mouth. We both went barefoot .She sang or hummed hymns all the time. This lady bore 14 children, of whom 8 lived to adults.
     She had an old dog named Happy, he would run on ahead of us down the trails and more than once killed copperhead snakes before we got there.
     My father worked off the farm when the crops were laid by. Sometimes going to Kansas to harvest wheat, sometimes down near McAlester. We would take him out to the highway, where he would meet a man, who worked at the same place, to ride with him. Most times on these rides to the highway we would see a snake stretched out across the road. Dad would stop quick, jump out, grab the snake by the tail and pop it like a whip, resulting in the head going whizzing off into the oak trees.
     When we needed chicken feed, we would take the Model A Ford for the trip to Horntown. There was a market and a feed store there. Mom would go into the feed store and pick the feed for the patterns on the sacks. Once the feed was gone, we would wash the sack, iron it. When enough material was on hand she would make dresses for us, on the treadle sewing machine.
     I do not remember who ran the store in Horntown, but he said I was his best ice cream customer. Dad always had a nickel for me to get an ice cream.
     So long ago....Lou Anne "Potter" Allen
Lou Anne Allen, Attended Moss Schools from the 3rd. - 6th. Grades.

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