Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Memoirs: Second part of Chapter One

Chapter 1-2

Now my Grandmother King whispered all the time but I was not sure she was talking to spirits or just thinking very hard. I tried to get close to her and hear what she was saying when she was whispering but did not succeed in hearing anything except a name or two. If I had to guess I would say she was thinking out loud rather than talking to the spirits. She just did not seem to have been that bold. If spirits had tried to talk to her I think she would have refused to listen to them, but her sons, especially, had caused her to be very worried most of the time. Hence her constant whispering which sometimes could get so intense it sounded like hissing.
Lord, she must have whispered after Max got killed and Reed was always out in the trees talking to the spirits. She was worried sick. She even came up with a scheme I thought was kind of preposterous but if it gave her any relief everybody was in favor of it. She came to my mother and told her she wanted her to drive my dad on his drinking parties, even though, mind you, my mother hated his drinking. She said she couldn't bear to lose another son, and it would give her peace of mind if she would. Mother agreed I am sure because Daddy went along with the idea.
Daddy was notorious for always giving Mother the slip once he got into town and anywhere near a drinking buddy. Women weren't welcome in the pool hall, so he could always say he was going there to get rid of Mother. I don't know what Mother did once they got to Escalante, she never said, but knowing her, she would have found someone she enjoyed, if it was no more than flirting with someone she liked. She wasn't above flirting with Daddy's buddies. She got so she could tolerate them. Just as long as she was not married to them they could drink and she would laugh and joke with them.
The weekend partying parents would drop Margie and me off to Grandma's and off they would go. Grandma would even give us our weekly baths as they always went on Saturday. Grandma always liked to make sure we did not have an excuse to stay away from Sunday School. I recall a neighbor Alvey Leavitt always visiting around about the time we took a bath once he knew what was going on. I got very indignant as I thought he hoped to catch sight of us naked. It made me mad that a grown man would be so nasty, but I did not put it past Alvey Leavitt the way he leered and peeked around Grandma who would try to direct us in our nakedness away from him. She would tell Alvey to sit down and wait in the kitchen until we were through, but he would still peek.
I am sure he came for some of Grandma's sugar cookies or apple pie, too, as he was 'batching' it with another old man in a ranch house across the way. This other old man would visit Grandma too, but not to try to see two little girls bathing. I remember I thought Grandma was kind of his girlfriend for he was quite a handsome old guy. He would call Grandma to come and help him get back on his horse. Once Grandma boosted him up so far and fast he almost fell off the other side. I thought that was funny.
Grandma did seem to get some comfort from believing she was saving her son Clyde from getting killed from driving drunk, All that happened was that Mother got pregnant with LaRae and that put an end to her going to party with Daddy. When she got big enough so she was not comfortable she stayed home while Daddy continued his partying ways with no let up that I remember.
In the meantime I have those vivid memories of staying with Grandma with me still who was very kind to us. She never saw any need to spank us once. So I was naturally a good deal more fond of her than I was of Mother who believed in whipping children for everything and anything.
My first memory of Mother was waking up to the idea that I did not like her, that I could not remember ever liking her! She had spanked me into a good case of dislike as near as I can tell. She was just too handy with her strong hand. I am sure she could hurt a child like hell, spanking them on their backsides, and hurting their feelings even worse if they did not think they deserved it. It's not as if we were deliberately naughty. Most of the time I thought we accidentally made her mad. And she would grab us and whale away. We would try our best not to do anything that would make her angry, but that was impossible. She seemed to get angry and impatient just because we were children and it was her damned job to take care of us. How could I really like such a person?
Now I better stop before I get depressed with this family history. Tomorrow I will go into how Margie, my younger sister, acted when Mother started spanking her. It was kind of funny if it had not been so alarming.

P.S. Grandpa King dressed in his working garb in top photo. His son Reed King is present. Max King, his son who was killed, on the horse in the background looking like the ghost rider he was to become. Grandma holding Margie when she was a baby in second.

1 comment:

Connie said...

Now them good ole boys look like they be up to sumpin..and grandma looks as gentle as can be...you sure we ain't sisters or maybe your momma and mine were....


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