Sunday, August 27, 2006

Thorton, Ar. circa 1954

Even at six years old there were a few things that made an impression on me. My dad split Hickory and made axe handles. I remember him using a "draw knife" to shape the handles and smoothed them with pieces of broken coke bottles. He would drag the edge of the broken glass over the handle and small slivers of wood came off until he had them smooth. Sandpaper cost money and this did a better job. He then rubbed them with an oily rag.

My mom moved the dresser with mirror from one side of the room to the other. That night when she came back from using the bathroom she said to my dad, "John, someone was peeking in the window". Dad got up and saw no one and went back to bed. Next night the same thing happened. Dad got up turned on the light and even went outside to check around. He came back in and when he turned off the light to come to bed, he saw his reflexion in the dresser mirror that was now in front of the window my mom thought someone was peeking in. Needless to say, the story was told many times. Not by my dad but by my mom. Dad was the serious type and didn't go in for what he called "foolery".

If you went out our back door and across the yard you would wind up at the back door of Dr. Ryan's office. His office was a small building that resembled a "junked up" store. Tables with stuff piled everywhere, a few chairs toward the back and a small office/examination room. When he finished, no need for a prescription for he just filled your medicine needs from the bottles he had on the tables and in the shelves. What stuck in my mind was that my mom was "an old woman" (born in 1907) and this very doctor "home delivered" her. He doctored into the 1970's. His daughter wrote a book about him that sold well locally because everyone had been his patient at one time or another.

On other thing I remember ( don't forget this is the early 50's in the south ), there was a black man dragged behind a car until he could run no longer run and then dragged to his death. He was the suspect in the rape of a white woman. Very heavy stuff in a small town. Though I was very young I still remember that there was not much interest in finding the one responsible.


Blogger Dee said...

It was a very sad sign of the times for back then. I know it is different now and rightfully so. I think we dwelt so much with how things were in the south at that time we sorta forgot that it could be just as bad in the north. In some ways we are better and in some ways we are not...

11:05 PM  

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