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

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Ditches, Tadpoles & Kid's Fun

     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 Horntown.
     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)

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