For A Hill Country Christmas, each author has been sharing “stuff” about ourselves on our new FB page, Hope for Hardscrabble Times
In search of brilliant things to write, I came upon this tidbit from a rural 1960’s newspaper:
If you’re from the midwest, I imagine this won’t seem peculiar. But for my author friend out in Connecticut, it does. She marvels at the “stuff” written about friends and family, right in the weekly local newspaper.
The marked names (in yellow) are my cousin’s doing–she has the patience to find and send these remnants of the past my way, and I’m sograteful. In this instance, the farmer who lost his pinky finger in an accident played a huge role in my childhood, and reading about his accident tweaked one of my most vivid memories–the day he got tangled up in the corn picker.
It’s the only Thanksgiving I recall, at Grandpa and Grandma’s, eating turkey with all of the cousins, crammed into a plain small farmhouse. On warmer holidays we ran around outside, chased chickens, swung from the gate–figured out something to pass the time.
But late November in Iowa turns nasty cold, so we most likely sat around…maybe played cards or something. Lots of younger cousins kept me busy, and my aunts Donna and Shirley Donna and Shirley, mentioned in this issue, too, took an interest in us kids.
Then the phone rang. Dad had gotten hurt, so an uncle and Mom took off to drive him to the hospital. And we waited. My tendency for catastrophic thinking had a heyday…one of our uncles lost his entire arm in his corn picker and wore an interesting but kind of scary metal hook. Surely Dad would come home minus an arm, too.
Of course, it took forever to hear an update, so this scenes became stuck in time. I remember Aunt Shirley trying to comfort me, “Now, Gail. It’s probably just the very tip of his finger.”
In the end, “it” wasn’t as bad as I imagined–only a forfeited pinky finger. Dad had been through WWII, driven a truck across North Africa, watched a B47 fully loaded with soldiers returning home blow up on the tarmac.
That Thanksgiving day when I was about ten or eleven, he drove himself back to our house to clean up before going to the hospital. And he wore his lost pinky with pride, I might add.
Interesting how a few lines in a newspaper can make the memories flow!
If you like this step back into history, you’ll LOVE our FB page…HOPE FOR HARDSCRABBLE TIMES! Please give us a LIKE and a Follow.