“Nothing is better than going home to family and eating good food and relaxing.” -Irina Shayk
“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
“Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.” -Anthony Brandt
“Being part of a family means smiling for photos.” -Harry Morgan
**This “book” was handwritten by my great-grandmother and typed by my grandmother. My grandmother typed this as it was written. It will not be grammatically correct. I am not correcting her writing. I am sharing her words, her exact words, and that makes it even more special.
My Earliest Memories by Alda Bundick (Typed as written)
Uncle Wesley’s oldest girl, Love, was courting Buck Wright (Willie Mae’s brother) but Uncle Wesley would not let him come on the place. So while Uncle Wesley was way over in the field, Buck came down a lane and Love went down and talked to him. Vera and me asked her dumb questions and she said if we’de not tell her daddy, she’de give us some chewing gum. We took good care of our gum and rolled it in the sugar bowl several times a day but it got pretty sticky before the next week when we got some new.
I remember one day Vera and me was out in our room of the barn and she’de fill her mouth full of water and put it in mine. Then I’d put it back in hers till we’de almost gag. Then we’de start all over with fresh water until Dadie told us to stop—that was ugly.
One day we was all in Uncle Ray’s one room. It was big and they was measuring everyone to see who was the tallest. Ray G. was taller than me—I bawled! I was from February to May older than her and was supposed to be the biggest. Someone just measured wrong, that’s all. I remembered that happened while we was at Uncle Wesley’s that fall. Then we moved back to Coyote in the old Lee house again. I guess most of our junk was there. I was only 5 but Claude wouldn’t go to school without me. So they started us both to school in December at Coyote. We had to walk 2 miles. Just a little way from the house you went into a thicket and went single file down a trail for about 3/4 of a mile. Then under a gate into a hay meadow for a mile but it had wagon tracks so we could go side by side thru the meadow which was higher than our heads until they cut and baled it. I always thought it was so pretty. Out of that, under a gate we turned and went west over a rocky hill and down the hill for a good ways—then under a tressel of the railroad and back south to school, a little one room adobe and my teacher was Mrs. Willingham. She had a girl and boy—older than we were. She was a very sweet lady. Sometimes Mama took us to school in the wagon and sometimes she came after groceries and picked us up—was a real treat. In real cold weather or snow to much, we didn’t go that year. Before lunch the first day, I went to sleep. When I woke up I ask the teacher when do we go home? She said we are going to eat dinner in a little while so that helped. I never figured out why I was better than my brother, but I got all the whippings. I guess everybody just picked on me, and made me get in trouble. There was a boy in the 8th grade Pat Fitzpatrick that teased me about getting my lunch. So I hid it in some weeds one day before we got to school and when dinner came I couldn’t find it. So I didn’t have any dinner. I remembered the next day! We always carried out lunch in a syrup bucket. I can’t remember much of what we took except fried chicken sometimes and boiled eggs and fried pies, sometimes just outa cinnamon and sugar. But whatever it was, by time noon came it sure tasted good.
Sometimes if there was hobos that rode the train under the tressel, we’de go up a ways and climb the fences and go across the railroad—thru the pastures but usually went up the road for 2 miles and under the railroad bridge, then back to home, was the long way too. Mary C. and Ray G. rode horses thru the pasture and kept them tied all day to the fence behind the toilets. I felt sorry for the horse but I sure thought that would be nice to ride to school tho we never did.
One Saturday morning we got up and went out to the barn where Mama and Dadie was. Claude asked to ride the horse. I didn’t ask but Dadie put Claude up on old Prince and me on old Snip. Claude was a way out there so old Snip took a short cut to him and went under a limb, left me on the ground. Dadie put me right back up and the same thing happened again. Some kids are hard headed but just took twice for me to know how to pull those reins and go another way.
Every morning we had to shuck corn, then shell a coffee can full and use a brick and hammer and smash it up for the baby chicks and I loved those baby chicks all around me while I did that. That was the ones with a hen. Mama got a little incubator and hatched several. ( I think about 48, looked like a jillion to me then.) One time she set a double yolk and it hatched 2 together all down one side. Guess it was a siamese—only lived about 2 hours tho.
One day Mom and Dad went to haul water, 3 or 4 barrels on the wagon. They’de drive off to the tank and fill the barrels with a bucket and lay the leather to the horses. Anyway, they just went about a mile and got nearly back to the house and the coupling pole broke on the wagon. So they walked in. We was sittin in the door as we was ordered never to leave the house or yard (barbed wire yard fence). The pig which ran loose around the place caught a chicken that was 3 or 4 weeks old and ate it. So we told Mom and Dad and he said catch him. So I ran hard as I could but I let Claude just ahead of me cause I didn’t wanta catch a big anyway. Claude caught him down pretty clost to the wagon of water. Dadie hit him in the head with a hammer and we built a fire, carried water from the wagon, heated it and dipped him in it and we ate pig for a few days.
The next morning Dadie cut a long straight tree down and chopped and hacked all day. But by night he had a new coupling pole and brought the wagon on it.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31