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Earl came home from work every day with his hair white with dust. He worked in a place that made golf clubs for a man named Bart Darby. One day, my cousin Cecil told Earl and I about a brand new duplex about a mile away and asked us to move there with them. We went to Haverty's Furniture and bought a bedroom suite for $69, a couch and chair, a tiered table and a Queen Anne table for $12 and a 6'x9' rug. It was all so pretty. I have refinished the Queen Anne several times and it's still my favorite piece. The tables are still in my living room today. My Daddy gave us an apple green breakfast room suite and we were uptown in our own place. Our little baby girl was born there. She was so beautiful and weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, had black hair, and looked perfect...but something was wrong. She would drink and it would spew right out. She had surgery but that didn't fix it. She died of starvation when she was 3 months old. She was buried on her Daddy's 21st birthday, in 1934. We were so dumb. My Daddy bought the little tiny casket and she was buried in Memorial Park Cemetery. Daddy took care of it all, I probably didn't have sense enough to thank him. I'll do that first thing when I get to heaven.
We moved again after that (the Lord only knows why). We found a big house on North Decatur. Cecil and Buna had three rooms downstairs, Cootie (Cecil's sister) and her husband lived upstairs and Earl and I had a living room and kitchen downstairs, and a bedroom and bath upstairs. We moved so many times it's unreal. First with the family, then with Cecil, then the Hardwicks, then the Ogdens, then by ourselves. We lived on Decatur 5 separate times. Then we moved to a little shotgun house on Leon and Decatur and lived there a long time(at least a year). This house had no bathroom - we washed in a washtub and the toilet was on the back porch. Earl had to go with me at night and would lean against the doorway and wait for me to get through. Earl had a new job at Firestone and we were rich. He was making $12.50 a week. Helen and Woody lived a couple of blocks from us and as soon as the boys left for work, we did our little housework and headed to the tennis court down the street, where we played all day. We got home just in time to fix supper before the guys got home. Helen and I played Bunco also.
The Tennis Girls
We had lived there about a year when Earl was fired for smoking. Our landlady was so sweet to us until we couldn't pay the rent and then she called the law and had us thrown out. Her name was Mrs. Karnowsky (ugly name for a ugly woman). There happened to be a house around the corner and we moved in. It had a bathroom inside. We got by somehow and then Earl got a job at Ford Motor Company. We had not told Daddy and Mama that we were having a hard time. We were learning to stand on our own two (or four) feet. When they came to visit, they always brought us stuff from the garden and it sure helped us. Earl took his lunch to work everyday, a fried egg on two biscuits. It was better than nothing.
While we lived there, Nolen, who was in the Navy, came home on a visit. He brought a girl with him that he had married in New York. When he left, he left her with Daddy and Mama. She came out and stayed with Earl and me. It was a real cold night and the heat was from a potbellied stove in our bedroom. Mildred got cold, (or so she said) and came and got in our bed. I was in the middle and I woke up to find her reaching over me to where Earl was. It didn't take Daddy long to ship her back to where she came from. That was Nolen's first marriage but he married 4 more times. He never got it right until Kat. She was 14 years younger than him but she was the love of his life and it lasted until she died of cancer in 1987. After she died, he went down real fast. He was put in a nursing home and died 2 yrs later.
Cecil and Bernie and Kat and Nolen at their wedding
After working at Ford for a while there was a layoff and Earl got a job at Liberty #3 Grocery. Woody was a butcher there and we all moved in together. We lived together a couple of times through the years. About this time, Daddy got a itch to move to the country. Maude and Eulon had a place there and Daddy bought 14 acres next to them. He loved it. Daddy, Walter, Gene and Eulon built the house. It had a living room, dining room, kitchen and two bedrooms downstairs and a big room upstairs were Gene slept. The outhouse was out the back door and down the path and the water pump was in the well in the backyard. Back to the baths in the tub behind the stove. I was there a couple of years ago and it still looks the same but where there used to be all fields, its now subdivisions and golf courses. We went up to the little house and the nice people let us come in to look. They said they had tried to keep it the way it was and Mama's hooks were still in the ceiling where the quilt frames hung.
After they moved to the country, Gladys, George and Carolyn moved into one side of Daddy's old house and Earl and I the other side. I was pregnant and Patty was born there. Mary Carolyn had a bad habit of biting people. She bit me once and I bit her back. It made Gladys really mad, but it sure cured Carolyn of biting. I sewed a lot and made Carolyn many pretty dresses. Patty was about 6 months old when Daddy decided to sell the house, so we had to move again. We found some people name Hardstell who wanted to rent out one side of their house, so we moved in. We had three rooms and shared a bath. They seemed like nice people and loved Patty. Patty was about seven months old when Pearl Harbor was bombed and I remember thats where I heard the news come on our first T.V.. Mrs. Hardstell made Patty's first birthday cake, which she stuck her hands all in. One night, we went to a movie and left Patty with a sitter and when we got back she said that the landlords had made so much noise that it woke Patty up and I got mad and said so. She said "It's my house and I'll do as I please.” Well, the next morning I got the paper and started looking for a house.
Please continue to Chapter Seven
© 2000 Patty Garrison
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