Remembrances part 1

[This is another in a series of first person histories, in this case, a series of memories recorded by Myra Jackson Cram.]

I didn’t realize I was the oldest Grandchild, until Val reminded me.

I remember mostly, Grandma Jackson was a stately lady, and her house always had a good smell to it and was very clean all the time.

They didn’t always have a furnace. They had a big pot-bellied stove in the corner of the dining room. Before they built the furnace room.

I remember when Laree had rheumatic fever and Grandma Jackson came down to help swab her throat with soda.

Grandma Jackson always wore a tan sweater around the house to keep warm.

She told me they lived in the little red wash house when Earl (Dad) was born. They were getting ready to go down to Grandma Pratt’s for dinner and she got Earl all cleaned up and told Grandpa to watch him while she got ready. Grandpa let him get in the dirt and she was upset at him. So she got clean clothes for Earl and she threw them at Grandpa to put on Earl. They lit it in the bathtub where she had bathed. It was the last clean ones Earl had.

Grandpa Jackson used to walk down to check on us. I remember him playing with Delma and her doll. He would sing with Delma and rock her in the chair with the doll. When Grandpa died Delma buried her doll with him.

I rode in Grandpa Jackson’s car. I think Uncle Harold was driving. Anyway, Uncle Asa always had a lot of cows in the street by his corral and the road was slick. We were going slow and hit a calf. We dragged it clear to Pop wash before we realized we were dragging it.

When Grandma Jackson got older, Aunt Leone came down every week and went through the house to keep it clean. I remember going over to Grandma Pratt’s for butter and milk when our cows were dry. Grandpa Pratt would meet us at the door and kiss us hello. Then he’d play “Silver Threads Among the Gold” on the piano and kiss us good-by. He had a broom stick mustache. He had a new green Chevrolet car he would drive in low gear all the way to Kanab.

When Grandpa Jackson died, I don’t know who, but someone, got to the sheep camp to take word of his death. When Earl (Dad) got home he was almost frozen. I remember he had frost in his ears. We all rubbed his feet and hands to get the circulation going. He rode an old mule to town. He said the snow was so deep the mule would get stuck and he would have to get off and tromp the snow down to get the mule out. I think that was the winter that someone’s team dropped into one of those old blow holes out there. They had to haul water and feed to them until they could get them out.

When Grandma Jackson was sick, Grandpa Jackson mopped the floor, on his hands and knees, for her.

Grandma Jackson told me Lindy got a BB gun for Christmas. Carol Jean had a little friend come to play and Lindy shot them with his BB gun. Grandma said she went out, got that BB gun and wrapped it around a tree.

After we moved back from Phoenix, I went up each week and did Grandma’s hair for Sunday. One week she had a little package for my birthday. She said Cecil’s Dad (Alexander Cram) gave it to her and Grandpa for a wedding present. It was a little pitcher minus the handle. She said it was a bread and milk  set. It had a dish with it when it was new. But it was minus the dish when I got it. It is a beautiful little pitcher.

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We got to eat red mush (cereal) at the sheep herd. Dad always got his water from the reservoir. There was so much red sand in it that it turned the mush red.

There was only one ointment at the sheep herd. Dad put Vicks on you, no matter what the ailment. One time I got sore from riding a horse bareback all day. Out came the Vicks. It didn’t feel very good. Another time Dad gave Gwen his pocketknife to use and told me not to use the big butcher knife. Of course I did anyway. I cut right down through my thumbnail. Dad put Vicks on it and wrapped it up. Boy did I bawl.

Dad and Mother took Eris, Duard and I to Kane Ranch in House Rock, about 60 miles from Fredonia. The car we were in looked like a race car. It had only one seat and was pointed at the front and the back. Since there was no rumble seat, Dad put me on the back to ride. He tied me on so I wouldn’t fall off. I guess Eris and Duard rode up front with Mom and Dad, I don’t remember. The car had more power in reverse, so every time we came to a steep hill, Dad would have to back up all the way to the top.

On our way home from church, Mother and I saw Cleon and Matlan drilling a well. They had a pipe attached to a board. The board went through the fence for leverage. They would push down on the board to raise the pipe. They let go and the pipe would hit the ground, making a hole. When they raised the pipe, I leaned down to peer in the hole. They let go of the pipe. It split my nose and I got blood all over my Sunday dress, made from tan pongee. I was six years old at the time.

One time, I put Norma down for a nap while we at Mother’s. When I went in to check on her, she was gone. We searched everywhere. When we finally found her, she was several blocks away, in the church, sitting on the front row, cracking and eating pine nuts, listening to the speaker. I had to go in, get her and haul her out.

I learned to drive in a Model T Ford. Dad would let me take it out past Fannie Ellis’ and to the cemetery. There were no fences, so I could drive all over the hills and not get into too much trouble.

We did have a few mishaps with the car. Matlan and Cleon took the old V8 Ford while Mother was in Church. They were just going to go to Red Point and back. They rolled it and Cleon broke his leg. When they took him up to Old Doc Norris to have it set, he told Mother she should be able to set bones without him. Her family had enough of them. Matlan broke both arms one time, then broke one of them again later. I was washing windows on the outside of Mom’s and Dad’s house. As I didn’t have a ladder, I was standing on the ledge in the siding. When I finished, I jumped down and broke my arm. I wasn’t very old.

I was coming home from play practice once in the V8 Ford when I passed out and hit a light pole on Main Street, just west of our house. I was coming down with the measles, or chicken pox, or something. Anyway, I wasn’t feeling too well.

I was backing the same V8 Ford out of the garage and knocked the door off. I opened the door to look behind me so I wouldn’t hit anything. The door got caught on the door jam and came right off.

Matlan and Cleon fought all the time. They enjoyed fighting and wrestling with each other. Matlan bought a pair of boxing gloves for them to use. Cleon enjoyed singing. I wish I had a tape of him yodeling. He sang all the time. Matlan and Cleon were sleeping in the old blue three-quarter bed in the living room. Mom, Gwen and I were up late, sitting at the dining room table, making flowers for Memorial Day. All at once, Cleon sat up in bed and started singing. Then Matlan got out of bed and started shadow boxing. Just as suddenly, Cleon stopped singing, and then Matlan went back to bed, and everything was quiet again. Neither one remembered anything about it the next morning. They accused us of telling stories.

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