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

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I Love Nuts

     I like nuts. The good native pecans we picked up across the road where I grew up, raw or roasted peanuts and I guess every kind. But mostly I like people who can be really congenial nuts. Once, at Moss we had a principal named Mr. Wolf. He had a daughter about my age, a pretty girl whom everyone liked. One day a state school official of some kind came there.. Several of us kids were hanging around in the school yard and the man asked where he might find a Mr. ---------uh---Wolf? The manner in which he said it wasn't lost on a couple of these alert boys. A couple of them led him on like a team of mules. J. W. Dickens said "you mean Mr. Fox?" He swallowed the bait and answered, "Yes I think that's it", and then they told him where the principal could be found. I have no idea what Mr. Wolf {or Fox] said then and we never heard any more about it. I'm sure the man was embarrassed and that Mr. wolf never knew why he had been called Mr. Fox.
    Like the time Dale Hall and his younger brother came to school after a night of skunk hunting. Those two didn't believe in wasting anything. They even saved the musk and brought it to school and put it in the basement coal bin. I was outside when it happened. All of a sudden all doors burst open and kids were coming out of all the doors and windows too. The kids knew who did it, but no one else ever found out. When we had substitute teachers, they would call the roll each day, actually so they could learn each pupil's name. But we had a habit of answering to someone else's name and a different name each succeeding day. They never could learn anyone's real name. That may be why the mental institutions are still crowded: because of the class of '43.
    Guy Weber taught math and algebra. He was superintendent and wasn't too interested in teaching a class. Most of the kids despised those subjects-----except two very intelligent girls, Wilma Hawthorne and Patricia Lucas. At test time Mr. Weber would write the test questions on the board and leave the room and leave a bunch of dishonorable kids to answer them using the honor system. When the time was almost over, he would come to the door and clear his throat, as only Mr. Weber could, then he would open the door, come in and take up the our test papers. Erstwhile the most of us had copied our answers from Pat and Wilma. Loved those helpful girls.
     One day Mr. Weber asked one of the students to write her problem and answer on the blackboard and as any dutiful student would do, she marched right up there and correctly wrote on the board. Then Mr. Weber asked her to explain it. Wups! I give the girl credit for trying, but she really made a mess of the explanation. Mr. Weber advised her of her errant ways and she said, well how do you get it then? His  answer  was " I assumed you did." We were really pretty good kids, but loved being a little ornery at times too.
     My sister, Katy had a little ornery streak in her at times. Now, I know I didn't ask for this. Or very possibly I did. You see, I was the little brother. Yuk, had to live with that all my life. But Yi' know Katy called me the other day and she called me big brother. Must want something. However, one night I had gotten ready for bed and when I crawled in between the nice cool sheets my leg slid along something cold and slimy. This could be nothing but a snake that had made it's way through the cracks in the house and into my bed. Believe me, I lost no time in vacating the premises. Pretty soon I noticed that the only shaking that Katy was doing was from laughter. She had slipped a banana peel in my bed. I thought, boy, now that wasn't funny.
     Remember how those flocks of blackbirds, who felt it was their job to eat all our grain in the fields, would fly and change directions in midair all at the same time exactly, as if they were each a component of one brain? Well, I was out in the pasture one day with my borrowed long tom shotgun and a big bunch of these birds decided to change locations. I shot into the middle of them and picked up some of them I had shot and headed for home. I talked mom into frying some if I would dress them. She did, and while I was eating them, which weren't bad, by the way, Katy came in and asked what I was eating. With a dry face, I said, quail. Want some? She decided to try one and admitted that they weren't too bad. Then I told her they were blackbirds. She went YUK!!! and went outside and promptly lost it. Katy was my buddy and I had a lot of good buddies at Moss too.
     Hope I will be able to see some of them at the next reunion. But, I seem to be getting older. Don't want to quit having birthdays though. Yes it's true, I remember playing up and down the Nile with Moses. Or something like that.         
Harry Shumard, Class of '43

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