Moms house here in Fort Worth Texas is about where I think it was from conversations where she said that she would walk over the train bridge. Here the train bridge is to the east. Van Zandt Gunn Park, maybe the one she is talking about. Perhaps wrong and she lived on east annie street. She said her address had three (3) numbers in it. Google maps shows a undeveloped, old looking area. Wow maybe it hasn't changed much in 85 years. Bad part of town, not popular! There is a modern apartment complex to the west.
"Van Zandt elementary is the schoold we all went to." said mom.
I asked mom about her house, still trying to picture it in my head.
"We had electricity. . several big rooms. But no electricity in the bathrooms. We had to take a bath before the sun went down. Damn house, doors wouldn't shut or lock." mom says.
We used lard whipped up with some spices. we would put in on everything, the cornbread and such" said mom.
"the lard was cheaper than butter"? I ask.
"Oh yes much cheaper, pennies only. We had a peach tree. You know dad worked six days for only $15.00. We had a bread truck come by and a ice cream truck. we used to love all the treats in the bread truck." said mom.
"As we got older mom thought we needed butter, to make us strong. So we bought butter as we got older" mom says.
What did you do with the trash?
"you know dad knew everyone, so he would get someone to take it on the way in" she says.
"Yeah you had to make trash, even though you were poor. I mean empty cans and bones and stuff." i say.
"well I didn't do the trash" mom says.
"Dad would get free tickets to the circus. They all knew we had many kids".
Was it a big circus"
"Yeah! he laughed at the clowns, he would laugh! our tickets were not much good." mom says.
"What was wrong with the tickets?
"we were way up in the airline. . .but we could see everything." mom says.
Did you have any animals?
"No we didn't have no animals. But Dad won a chicken, in one of them clubs, like Rotary club. And he loved loved that chicken. That chicken would wait for him." said mom.
Dad would take us to his brothers. His brother was a boot legger, and sometimes he had a car. We never had a car. Most of the time never had a car. Dads brother, he made the booze in his bathroom. His car was not good but it would usually make it up the hills.
Mom, who are your brothers and sisters again?" I ask.
Ruth - oldest sister. Drinked all the time.
Alma - next sister.
Velma - next sister
Tommy, moms closest sister. went to the coast guard and mom rembers her coming home from the coast guard.
James - 3 years old, "He died of cancer. Lived in fort worth".
Then bill was younger than me. He went to the Navy and came back messed up. (he committed suicide).
My mom stops and walks to the bathroom. "Is my mother here or no?" she says.
Me: No, . . .
"Yeah, I thought she passed" mom says.
Do you know how James died, specifically? Did he smoke?
"No, he didn't smoke, not sure. . . James son, during high school, died in mountains. With a friend, they were driving. they drove off a cliff" mom says.
" i remember the ice man coming to the house, with a leather thing on his back to keep the ice from melting. . "
they did that every day?
"yes, about every day. Then I remember my mom making a fire, outside under neath the round tube. then that water was hot she would put our clothes in it and mix it up. to wash. And me and my sister we would play in the water also with the clothes. it was fun. my mom would tell us to walk around. . .we didn't know any different that it was work. it was fun. " mom says.
"Once a week mom would take a hike to the bakery. Once we got there usually a long line. But that was nice. then sometimes I would wet my pants, had to go all the way back soaking wet. in our yucky clothes.
"Do you remember the graduation high school?" I ask
I played Cello, for the graduation. advanced orchestra. I sang a song for graduation, I used my older sisters really nice dress.
Dad would always make sure the house was clean, he would call the house on the phone and talk to mom to get it clean", mom says.
Mom talks about the band.
"dad thought we would go to hollywood. but his dream was broke from the girls not wanting to do it, they wanted to go on dates and such.
Mom, who did you say was an alcoholic?
"Everybody!" my mom says.
Where was the movie theater?" I ask.
"It's on seventh street." mom says.
"Wow you remember the name of the street that the movie theater was on?" I ask.
"Oh yeah I remember" mom says. Recent map of 7th street looks like downtown fort worth, new construction and probably nothing like it was.
"On the curb of the movie theater, there was delicious popcorn. It was sold by my neighbor, an old man."
"It as about a quarter to get into the movie and get popcorn".
"They had people come in an put on a show between the two movies. get a fresh act, that was a treat."
Wow, two movies and a live show, and popcorn, for 25 cents. Pretty good deal." I say.
"heck yeah, all our friends would be there".
"When I got old enouth to work, I worked at the theater. I wore a blue uniform, we had to wear that crazy ugly thing. When I got older I worked there selling popcorn"
"After I was a teenager, here in los angeles. I worked at a theater. After work, it was late, and
On the way home from the theater, a small shack sold chili and hot dogs. I would stop there and you had to walk into it. I hadn't paid for it, one time I sat there eating and then realized I didn't have a quarter!. I asked a stranger, a man, for a quarter.
One time on way back from work a short stranger tried to grab me. . .I screamed and he ran off. he looked like he was in high school. I talked to the police. Police asked how it went down. I told him I spun around and screamed."
I ask mom about the picture of her dad and herself on a bus. Only picture of her dad that I can recall.
"That picture, I was about 20, had been there a few years by then. I think we lived in glendale."
as a kid:
The doctor said he would do the work for free. He said something was wrong with my back, and he removed fluid from my back. He wanted to do surgery on my eyes.
We lived on Dagget Street then, when I went to the doctor for my eyes, and we had a county gym right around the corner.
Dagget looks like more civilized area. about 2 miles north of Annie street (first house).
"We had a bus line, and a gym around the corner" mom says.
"I remember you telling me that crazy story" I said.
And he told me, that soon I would have a really bad pain. And when I got home, for two weeks I stayed in bed, whew. . .I layed there and cried and everything. Mom had to work, so my sister watched me." Mom says.