The World Series each year bring thoughts of my Father. He was a kind and gentle man who loved to watch baseball on television. I always tried to be home for the Series so we could enjoy the games together. This year for the first time, I never saw a game. His team didn’t win anyhow.
My parents were born and raised in the foothills of the Ozarks, some 30 miles east of Springfield, Missouri. For my mother, Ola Jack, it was along Panther Creek in a log cabin built, I suspect, by her father. The foundation still remains and some flowers planted by my grandmother still bloom. At least that was true a few years ago. My father, Newton, was raised across the mountain, also in a log cabin, and they both attended New Hope school. Neither graduated from the tenth grade. I suspect they meet at school.
The closest town was Fordland, some 10 miles away and that is where I was born. My mother left our small log cabin and journeyed into town in a wagon where she stayed with friends until I was born, May 5, 1927. I think the house may still be standing but not sure. I had an older brother, now dead, and I do not know the circumstances of his birth but I suspect they might be similar to mine.
I do remember living in that one room log cabin. There was a loft where my brother and I slept and there was a fireplace. I suspect we were fairly self-sufficient. There were chickens and a cow. The milk was placed in a jug, tied with a rope and placed in a nearby spring. My mother would churn for butter A garden for sure and my father would kill a squirrel each day for meat. He walked 5 miles each day and worked for one dollar. We had a squirrel-dog who accompanied my father and would tree the squirrels so my dad could shoot them. My brother David may still have his twenty-two rifle. My brother Lawrence and I had traps in the winter for whatever we could catch and the hides were then sold for a few pennies. Dad would often find a bee hive in a tree and he could get the honey without any kind of protection and not be stung.
We attended New Hope school, the same as our parents. It was a one-room building, painted white. There was a well for water, but no indoor plumbing. I have no recollection of any teaching or the name of the teacher. My father came once and built a desk for us and, he along with several other men came and cut down a large tree in the school yard. Beyond this, there is little recollection. The location of the school is somehow lost. There is a road named “The New Hope School” but none of the people living along the road knew of the school’s location. It appears to be lost in the hills and trees of the Ozarks.
I didn’t watch the World Series in 2010, but the game sure brought back a lot of memories.