“When all the dust is settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends.” -Barbara Bush
“In every conceivable manner, the family is a link to our past, bridge to our future.” -Alex Haley
“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights and our comfort when we occasionally falter.” -Brad Henry
**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)
I can’t actually remember a Christmas until now. Mama always ordered a big bucket of mixed candies from Montgomery Wards. I’ve looked holes thru pages drooling over those buckets of candy. Anyway, usually the days she got it, if it was a week before or a day before, Dadie would say (about bedtime) I smell Santa Claus and I know he is around somewhere. We’d all go to hunting and while we was hunting, Mama always got the crinkled edged pie pan that I have now, and put candy in it and put it by the fireplace or somewhere we’d stumble on it. Sometimes Mama had to order candy twice because Dadie smelled Santa Claus so much. The first time I remember that, Grandma Hobbs was there. I was 3 or 4—I think 3 years old.
Then the first year I went to school, we drew names and had a program and Mama came in the wagon. A boy got my name and he couldn’t spell it. So he put Mary A. and they gave my gift which was 3 pencils to Mary C. as they seldom called me Mary A. I bawled again and he told the teacher what happened—but she didn’t make Mary C. give it to me or else she wouldn’t. But anyway when we got home Claude was showing Dadie what he got and Mama put a gift on the tree for Wayne and I was so sad and Mama said go straighten the quilt on the corner of the bed and I did all huffy like. It wouldn’t go down—she said maybe there is something under it. So I raised it up and there was a little sock with dishes in it. Oh boy, that was nicer than anything anybody got. So I was okay until the next year—the same thing happened again. I never did think it was an accident that time and I still don’t.
Along about that time Dadie and Uncle Ray broke horses and they always had one or 2 out in the pasture tied to a big log so they could catch them. They couldn’t run too fast and drag a log and one or 2 horses in the lot. Us kids always got to get on top of the barn and lay on our tummies and be real quiet while they sinched up and turned the horses outa the pen. I remember Dadie riding lots of them. But I don’t remember seeing Uncle Ray on very many. They usually rode him down too. I can’t remember Dadie hitting the dirt but once and they rode some wild ones too. One time we was all on top of the barn in our ringside seat while they pinned and tied up a bull to put salt in his eyes as he had the pink eye. Boy, did he ever have a fit and bellered. We was glad that we was up high. We layed up there so many times and saw they round up and cut out, de-horn, and brand the cows, calves, and etc. Quite often we saw them climb the fence when an old cow downed her head and ran for them.
One day Aunt Mary came to get Mama so they could haul us some water and them some too as Dad and Uncle Ray had gone to get something in our wagon. They was gone about a week and they had to haul water, which wasn’t unusual at all. Well about halfway between the railroad track and our house was a beautiful peach tree. It bloomed every year and was so pretty to all of us. I don’t believe it ever had a peach—but they had put a wire fence around it so the cows couldn’t ruin it. So when Aunt Mary came, she told Mama a big black bear was laying under the tree. So we all had to be real quiet when we passed the tree to go get water, and sure enough he was still there. We had heard lots of bear stories so we was all pretty scared. But he didn’t even move, much less get any of us. The road was real close to the tree.
Nearly every fall from then until I was gone from home, Dadie went to Uncle Jack’s and Uncle Wesley’s and got cabbage, turnips, pumpkins and corn. We kept them in the cellar and enjoyed most all winter, as well as 2 or 3 sacks of dry beans to hold us until the next year. We had to shuck the corn, shell it and take and get it ground, but we had good cornbread long as it lasted.
While we lived there, I remember one day Mama had the house all clean and baked some cookies and had a big plate full on the table and Uncle Red and Aunt Callie, Lee Tee, and Myrtle came. Myrtle was just waddling, I thought she was the cutest thing I ever saw. Her little chubby feet and toes turned up on ends—she was precious to me. Well, I don’t know if Mama knew they were coming or not but I thought it sure was a nice time for them to come. They had been in Texas at Sweetwater and had a baby boy named Dean and he died at birth. Soon as they were able they came back to their homestead, which was a one room adobe. But it was warm, had a fireplace. I think they lived in a cellar till they got it built. Uncle Ray and Aunt Mary did too but they had a board house. Anyway when they left a day or two later, Aunt Callie gave me some rouge and some booties for my doll.
“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