Sunday, February 19, 2012

Part 5 of Papaw's Remembrances

Buddy loved pecans. They had a big orchard on the front lawn. Every year when the pecans fell from the trees, he would pick up sacks of them and sell them on the roadside. One day when he and Lucille were picking up pecans, he stepped on the cover of the septic tank that was buried in the orchard. The boards were rotting, and they broke. He fell into the muck in the septic tank. Lucille ran for help, and he was pulled to safety. What a horrible thing to happen to a child!

Buddy bought his first watch with the money he received from selling produce on the side of the road. Later he also saved money for a trip to California to see Helen after she went there. He finally got settled in school and loved it. He had many fond memories of some of his early teachers and some of the things he did at Sidon school. He had a little girlfriend in the second grade that he took gum to every day.

The Chapmans were not churchgoers, but Buddy loved the chapel meetings that were held at school. The principal would read verses from the Bible, and he would explain it to the children. He told the principal that he wanted to join the church. It was decided that he would do that the following Sunday at the Baptist Church in Sidon. He told his parents, but they didn't or wouldn't take him to the church that day. He joined the Methodist Church many years later when he was forty-five years old.

The school in Sidon was a new school, and it was heated with steam radiators. One day when it was very cold, Buddy bumped against the radiator and a shot of steam came out and burned him on the leg. The heat was so intense that it went through his corduroy knickers and burned his leg badly. He rode the bus to school, so he had to stay at school until it was out for the day so he could go home. The thick corduroy pants made the burn worse because it held the steam in his pants. He had a bad sore leg for a while.

Buddy’s mother loved to play the piano, and this love was passed on to Buddy. He begged his parents for piano lessons, but he never convinced his parents to pay for them. In the fall when he was big enough to pick cotton, he earned enough money to pay for two lessons. He learned to pick out the notes by sound. He loved playing. His mother was going deaf, and she didn't play the piano anymore, so they sold the piano because they needed the money.

Due to the floods and then the drought of the early 1930s, the Chapmans had two bad crops in a row. The farm was mortgaged, and when there was no money to pay off the mortgage, they lost Avie Acre. The family moved into a house near Cruger, and the children went to Cruger schools.

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