Thursday, July 15, 2010

Piggy Tales: 4th Grade Moonshine, Gardens, and Uncle Zeb

  I'm so glad you came back for the 6th of 15 stories of my Piggy Tales, which focuses on 4th grade.  I'm glad you came back!  
We were blessed to have family lived close by and having the cousins come to visit was a treat!  We would often spend our time playing in the barn, monopoly on the side porch, mud clot fights in the playhouse, match box cars building roadways, climbing trees, playing in the ditch, and more.  Family times meant everyone was coming over to help plant gardes (we're talking 1/4 of a block of everything you can imagine, shucking sweet corn, snapping green beans, shelling peas, okra, cucumbers, squash, and then we had to can all of it!  To this day, I don't like okra or squash, but the thought of sweet corn fresh from the garden makes my mouth water! We always had a batch of ice cream made from the cream of Pansy - the little kids all had to take turns sitting on the wooden ice cream make while the adults took turns turning the handle.

MoonShine - Uncle George and Aunt Neta had a house outside of town, down a long dusty road, that Uncle Jim and Aunt Dorothy used to live in.  Playing in their barn and cornfield was the best! He had coon dogs and a real coon he used to train them, and made his own moonshine and bottled it in old Mountain Dew bottles. I remember the day I grabbed a glass bottle out of their old fridge, anticipating a nice ice cold Mt. Dew. It tasted AWFUL!  I had no idea it wasn't Mt. Dew and still can't understand why someone would drink that stuff!
Grandma's house was still pretty special.  She had a fantastic yard for hiding Easter Eggs.  Each Thanksgiving, the family gathered at her house she prepared turkey, and somehow always burned the apple, mincemeat, and pumpkin pies and she always served meals on her fine china.  "What good is it, if you don't use it!". I now have that China and have used it a few times - kinda afraid to.  At Christmas, we always had Duck to eat. The cousins always exchanged gifts and the adults did so as well. We always hung up socks on the couch and she always hung out a pair of panty hose for Santa to fill - and fill it he always did!  It was always a fantastically fun time for the kids.  All of the adults gave each other gifts and us cousins exchanged gifts.  Want to know a secret?  She loved watching WWF (World Wresting Federation) and used to laugh because she said they had to all be good friends!
School:  I was anticipating 4th grade to be a big change from the previous year.  New teacher, new school supplies... I remember the notebooks we could get had these scratch and smell things on the front - my favorite one was pizza.  It was a strange year for school.  We got several new students to add to our mix  and many of them stayed all the way through graduation.  Before we even started the school year, our teacher quit, then we got Ms. Dubberstein - she seemed really nice, but it wasn't long before she told us she was getting married and moving away.  I later found out she was fired because she couldn't handle our class.  Yes, to say that we were a little rough was an understatement!  We finally ended up with Mrs. Stewart and I'm sure we were not any easier on her than the others.  I remember that learning fractions was terribly hard and frustrating.  I found ways to hide my inadequacies in the area of math, but excelled at reading.At that time, the school could discipline students by spanking, and believe me, there was a whole lot of spanking going on in 4th grade that year! Recess comprised of jump rope, tether ball, kick ball, or standing on the wall if you were in trouble.
Church:  I think everyone attended Niotaze Christian Church and it was, in every sense, a little country church. I remember an older gentleman, from Scotland - when he sang "It is Well", I always wanted to stand near him - he had a wonderful voice. Christmas and Easter services were always special. We always had this HUGE Christmas tree in the corner and the always had a gift under it. Sometimes we would have favorite song nights in the evenings and I always requested my favorite on page 222 (my mom still has a song book from there).  Our minister was Vern Wilkerson, with wife Grace and two kids. They always had the nicest smiles and made us feel like they were glad to see us.  I later caught up with them in Dallas, TX of all places, while visiting Honey's brother, at a church service downtown... Saw them from the back and it all came back to me.  Called their names and they turned... They still looked the same - their smile, their genuine love. It had been more than 30 years since I'd seen them! 
The evenings found us listening to The Shadow on the radio,  watching MASH and Hee Haw, The Waltons, Mary Tyler Moore, Hawaii Five-0, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and Big Valley... Sunday evenings we all gathered around the TV to watch Disney Sunday Night Movies and Wild Kingdom - that was when we had to get up to change the channel on the TV and only got 5 stations at the most. I remember a few times that Mom and a few aunts took the Cousins to be on a TV show Uncle Zeb's Cartoon Camp show on KTUL in Tulsa. Once they had a huge python in a bag behind my mom's chair and she didn't know it or she WOULD NOT have sat there!  

So, these are the memories of the days of my life of my 4th grade year.  What memories do you have that you can share with your family?   If you would like to read more Piggy Tales from other ladies, hope on Over to Mommy's Piggy Tales.  If for some reason you missed any of my previous posts, you can find them here 
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KellyW said...

I love how vivid your memories are! Great job and I can't wait for next week!

Anonymous said...

I love your story. I can see your childhood so clearly through your writing. Sounds like a fun, family-filled childhood, which is in my opinion - AWESOME!

Unknown said...

i love this idea.. of grandma's and church... and all the subject headings...vivid and fun memories.

Denise said...

I really like how you broke your story down into sections. I think we watched most of those same shows when I was a kid.

LOL about your grandmother liking WWF, she was probably right about them all being friends.

Janna said...

Enjoyable as always! Yucky moonshine:)