Kids growing up in the 40s in
Hughes county knew how to entertain themselves. To really enjoy something,
you must first be deprived. To truly enjoy a day off, you must first pick
cotton six days a week for several weeks before a rainy day gives you a
break. Life was such around Hickory Grove, a small community southwest of
We had no computers nor electronic games. Not even
electricity. But after a rain, there was always ditches. Ditches with
water and frogs and crawdads and tadpoles. Tadpoles were a fascinating
thing. We called them Pollywogs back then. A kid could pass away hours in
that little world. First you made sure there were no water moccasins or
copperheads in the ditch. But there was lots of good stuff. We would roll
up our pant legs, get in the ditch and start exploring. Pollywogs came in
all types and sizes. There were the tiny little black specks with tails,
swimming hard in all directions. We scooped up handfuls of them. Then
there were larger ones, even the giant sized brownish-green ones with
immature legs and bulging eyes. We would catch one of those, watch him try
to swim out of our hands before turning him loose and looking for another
one. Before long, we would be sitting or dog paddling in the ditch, no
longer concerned about staying dry or clean.
If we grew tired of this, there was always exploring,
swinging on grapevines or climbing trees. The woods were full of things to
do. Kids don't entertain themselves anymore. Neither do adults. Our
parents could sit on the porch all Sunday afternoon, visiting with the
neighbors. Now adults sue each other if the mower throws lawn clippings
across the property line. Nowadays, community leaders vie for power,
politicians abuse their office and corporate leaders manipulate their
companies for personal gain.
The world is searching for answers. No one seems to
know exactly what went wrong. But they've been asking the wrong people.
Anyone who grew up in the forties around Horntown knows, it's because kids
don't play with pollywogs anymore.
Clayton Adair, Class of 1954 (Clayton attended Moss 1942-53 and
graduated from Holdenville - 1954)