Monday, February 20, 2012

Part 6 of Papaw's Remembrances

Florence and Lucille were in high school then, and they were pretty and popular. It was their time to be young and wild. Florence and Henry Pike fell in love, and when they found out that she was pregnant, they got married. Soon after that Lucille and Hoss Simon found out that she was pregnant. They got married but only stayed married until their little girl was born. Lucille went to live with Evelyn and Bob in Shreveport. She went to beauty school and became a beautician. Her pretty little girl, Evelyn Ann, was raised and loved by all the family.

Buddy started to school in Cruger when he was fourteen years old. He joined the football team. He was a good football player and was proud to be part of the team. He loved going to school there and had many friends. He was very upset when the family decided to move from Mississippi to Helena, Arkansas. They packed their things and moved in the middle of the night. This was planned so they could move some of the animals and farm equipment that were on the mortgage papers. This was illegal, but so what, it wasn't the first time they had done something illegal. The bootlegging and gambling in the shed at Avie Acre were also outside the law. This move was very upsetting to Buddy. He had a girlfriend named Mildred that he was very fond of. He didn't want to move away from her. He missed her very much and wrote her letters, but then they grew apart and went their separate ways.

The family moved to an old house on Perry Street in Helena until they could find a house in the country. Buddy started to school at Helena High School. When his family found a nice house in the country in West Helena, they moved there. Now they had a place for their cows and chickens. Buddy had to change schools again, but he had learned to drive the car and was allowed to drive to school. He didn't like to go to this school. He had to make new friends again.

Mr. Chapman had become sick, Lucille had moved back home with little Evelyn Ann, and Tommy had moved to Russellville and was working with James in the lumber business. It was a hard time for Buddy and his mother. His father had a liver disease from drinking heavily of alcohol all these years. He was still a young man, but he had abused his body. When Buddy was seventeen, his father was very ill one night. His father was bleeding and the water pipes were frozen, and they couldn't get water. Buddy had to go to the stockyard and break the ice on the watering trough so he could get water to stop the bleeding. Other times he would have to run to the neighbors to call the doctor, because they didn't have a telephone. His father died on Christmas Eve in 1940. He was buried on Christmas Day at Helena Cemetery.

Mr. Chapman had some insurance, but when he got sick they had to borrow money against it. When he died it left the family very little money to live on. The house they lived in was rented. It was a nice house with a nice yard. They had a garden to raise vegetables, and they had chickens and cows. They were able to raise most of their food.

Buddy said there was a blood spot on the floor of one of the rooms when they moved there. The neighbor, Mrs. Mullen, told them that there had been a murder in the house, so it was haunted. The bloodstain couldn't be washed up. She said chains would rattle at night. This story scared the Chapman kids because they believed this story. When Brooks Jr. came to visit, the kids would put him in the basement and lock the door. Then they would tell him that the ghost was going to get him. He was so mischievous that they were trying to get even with him.

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