Memories and Music

I remember the age when a child could sit in the front seat, and do so without a belt or harness. The December of my first-grade was one such time. On this particular day, the presence of snow clouds threw a steel grey over the late afternoon, and I welcomed staying in the warm car while my mom joined other …

The Swinging Sixties

I grew up in the Swinging Sixties on a suspended wooden seat, pumping hard to kick the sky. While adults talked of riots, assassinations, and a war in Vietnam, I thought of playgrounds, Schwinn bikes, and Charles Schultz. I watched black and white episodes of Bonanza, Andy Griffith, and The Lucy Show at home despite major television companies producing them …

Rural Relations and the Crosbyton Review

Our small town newspaper may have been the last of its kind. A main stay in the community, they not only circulated a weekly, rural chronicle, but their front office also sold Big Chief tablets, mod stationery, and mimeograph paper to the local populace. More than a mere publishing company, the Crosbyton Review was a reflection of our region’s three-thousand-residents …

School Bus Number 11

Growing up on the endless, wide spaces of a rural back road, I understood how to sing without knowing a tune, dance without knowing a step, and run without winning a prize. I took for granted the loamy smell of the barnyard floor, the pinkish cast of a dusty salmon sunset and the rugged feel of a jagged horned toad in a …

Needlework, Spelling, and a Sopwith Camel

  It was a glorious book cover. Nothing like the paper ones of purple ink and purposive advertising provided by Crosbyton Elementary.   Mine was of yellow muslin, heavy enough to take a beating, yet delicate enough to take a stitch. Like a personalized badge of honor, my mother made it for a small girl who resolved not to learn …

All I Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Second-Grade

  They say that all you really need to know, you learn in kindergarten. Well, I didn’t go to kindergarten. And since I’m a slow learner, I didn’t get the important stuff till second-grade. And there I learned that you should share everything.   (Except maybe for saliva.)   This was pretty apparent because Mrs. Crouch had stressed this from …

Charles Dickens and Sleepovers

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.” I’m speaking of course about childhood slumber parties. This was indeed the best of times. In our small town, slumber parties were usually celebrating …