From the files––My Banner Mountain
Today’s Date is February 15, 2012. I’m posting this page at the beginning of my Blogging Days, to tell you more about myself by sharing my journal notes. So this is a sneak peek into my files.
From the files: A few years ago, my friend, Inez, and my brother, Bill, and I sat on the porch and talked of “old times” at Banner Mountain. How we rode on my Dad’s truck to the “picture show” on Saturday nights.
Inez told of learning how to drive. How the car died and she got out and slammed the car door catching her finger in it. She ran home. She cried terribly as the feeling returned to her finger.
There are many stories to write about the way of life at Banner when I was growing up. My files are full of notes for story ideas.
Names of our cows: Clementine, her calf, Ricky. Ole Jerse. Ole Hawkins.
Mules: Kate, Shorty.
Dogs: Rusty, Wimp, Curly, Jack.
Kittens: Peter and Polly
Rag Dolls: Susie (Yvonne’s doll) Sally (Freeda’s doll)
Doll that Daddy brought from Pine Bluff when he worked on construction of the arsenal during WWII. I named my doll after Daddy, Walter, my brother, Dean, and my brother-in-law, Kelley. Walter Phillip Kelley Dean. Phillip is what I called the doll, and now I have a grand-son-in-law, named Philip. Spelled like in the Bible.
On our hillside farm, we raised pigs, sheep, roosters, hens, ducks, geese. The old blue goose is the one my brothers took to the peddler but wouldn’t sell her and brought her back home. And Mama let her stay on at the barnyard. I wrote a story about that one and it became my first published feature.
We saw many wild animals, squirrels, rabbits, deer, and birds of all kinds, owls, hawks, hummingbirds. When snows came, we tracked the rabbits in the snow. There were stories of wolves, panthers, and bobcats in the woods. Snakes, too.
As my folks and I were walking home one day, a little lamb came to meet us and Mama said it had soot on its head from rubbing against the wash kettle and Mama told me that I went up to it and said, “You’ve got “back” on you.” I don’t remember the incident and I cherish the memory of my mother telling me about it.
The names of my teachers: Lurleen, Winona, Miss Willie, Loren, Clara, Tom, and my sister, Emma. I eagerly absorbed their teachings, sitting at a desk in the Banner Schoolhouse, a beautiful, white two-room structure, built especially for learning. On Sundays, it was where the church folks met for worship. Where the Golden Rule was heard and understood.
It was a different way of life–– back then––when I was a child. The pace was slow and people seemed happy. I know I was.
c Copyright, 2012 by Freeda Baker Nichols