“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” -David Ogden Stiers
**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.
If this is your first Family Friday, you can find part one here.
Family Friday March 8: My Earliest Memories by Alda Bundick (Typed as written)
One day, just a few days after Washington’s birthday, we was eating lunch in the house. Part of the kids was there and had gone outside. The teacher was watching out the window. So her back was to us. The old pot-bellied stove was red hot. We had a tall thin trash can and only had one one or two napkins in it. So I picked up one and put it against the stove to see what would happen.
When it caught fire, I threw it in the trash can. Just as it blazed up, the teacher’s little boy came in and started across to her and saw that and said Mama, lookie! So she grabbed the broom, it would have been out in a minute, but she jabbed it with the broom a time or two and out it went. She asked who did that and no one said anything.
She asked each kid in there then. Did you, did you? And I was the last one in the room so I remembered how honest old Washington was so I didn’t lie either, but it didn’t save my hide a bit. I told her how and she yanked me off that seat, put my head between her legs and started spanking me—I turned my head and bit a hunk outa her leg and she let me go to hold her leg. But she was kicking me to get loose and hit my nose and it bled all over everywhere.
She sent me out to the well to wash my face. We had a hand pump, another girl pumped the water while I washed my face and was gonna run away and Mrs. Ward heard us so she came out there and got on to us. So we didn’t run away, but we sure wanted to. Then when she went after her little boy she told Mama—showed her my teeth prints. It’s 9 wonders Mama didn’t give me another one but she just laughed.
Wayne cried every day he had to go to school and got headaches, toe aches, and belly aches, til Mama let him stay at home most of the time.
***Trigger Warning: Discussing the loss and burial of a baby***
Mr. Kelt’s sister (Mrs. Lane) had 2 little girls younger than me and she had another baby and it wasn’t alive. So Mama made it a dress and Dadie built the casket and Mama lined it with satin and it was all so pretty but so sad. We went in to see her when Mama took the baby in to her all dressed and clean. I remember how she cried and held it and cried til I couldn’t stand it any longer so I left the room.
Later we went to an Easter egg hunt and party at Mrs. Lane’s house. We was getting ready to go and I was scratching my head and Mama told me to take off my hat (she had got me a new hat for Easter) and let her comb my hair. In my hat was a bug, as I held that hat I saw it. So when Mama looked in my hair, there was a bunch of bugs; oh boy did I ever have a sore head. She combed and faunched a while, the we went to the party and come home and she washed my hair in coal oil and combed and picked lice and looked at me every day.
When school was out we moved back to the homestead and she cut my hair as short as the boys. But I know it was the itchiest thing I ever had. I had asked Dadie and Mama both what made my head itch so bad. They always said I don’t know and sent me on.
All together it was a nice winter. We went to Sunday school on Sundays and had a program at Christmas. I was an angel dressed in white and just before it started, I was taking off my coat and stuck my hand against a red hot heater. So I was hurting so bad I didn’t think I could get up there and act like I was supposed to, but they made me anyway. We had a big Christmas tree with gifts all over it; a real doll for one girl. I remember looking at it and hoped it was for me. But it wasn’t but I did get one at home like it.
The program and Sunday school was in a building down toward the center of White Oaks, I guess sorta a Community Center. Everyone in town always came. There was a store there and run by Wayne Vansquit. So when I burned my hand, his boy (which was in high school and went in to Carrizozo to school) he went to the store and got some ungetine to put on my hand. But it sure didn’t quite hurting anyway.
We had snow several times that winter but went on to school anyway. I remember when we got to school one morning, Claude’s hands was froze. The teacher got a pan of snow and rubbed his hands in it. He was crying until she put them in the snow and it felt good to him. So then I always knew what to do when they froze, not stick by the hot stove.
The school was good—I passed to the 3rd grade and I think it turned out in April. We moved back to the homestead. We was all so glad—everybody got to come see us. Norris Wright and his family had moved out there somewhere. They came right after we got moved and Mama cut my hair like a boys and I was so embarrassed cause he had a bunch of boys. But soon after that they moved in the house at White Oaks that we lived in and that’s where they lived when Buck shot himself—cleaning a gun. It was an accident.
That is it for Family Friday March 8. I hope you join me again next Friday for more from my great-grandma.
“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