October, a favorite month
By Gelene Simpson Corsicana Daily Sun The Corsicana Daily Sun Mon Oct 11, 2010,
09:41 PM CDT
I don’t think that I am the only one who really looks forward to the month of
October. There is just something about the color orange that brings out this
reaction in me. When pumpkins begin to appear in people’s yards and costumes for
Halloween attract the children in the stores, I enjoy some special memories of
my father. He was born on Oct. 1, 1903, in Oklahoma, which was Indian Territory
then. His twin sister Mable married Albert Halbert. Daddy met Mother on the main
street of Blooming Grove, and they married on Sept. 9, 1925, in Cryer Creek. He
died on Jan. 5, 1975, at the old Memorial Hospital in Corsicana and was buried
at Dresden Cemetery, where his
twin and her husband were already buried.
Although Daddy was born in Oklahoma, his people, the Williamses and Duncans,
came from Tennessee around Woodbury and Murfreesboro in Cannon County. His
father’s name was Liberty Stephens Duncan. There was a well-known Confederate
veteran by that name in that part of Tennessee I think my grandfather was
probably named for him.
My daddy liked to whistle, one of his favorite songs being “Blessed Assurance,”
and he carried in his pocket a coin stamped on one side with the words
“Methodist Man.” On the other side was a quotation: “Bring ye all the tithes and
I will pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive
Daddy liked to find rocks and stones with interesting shapes and colors. But he
never seemed to be looking for them. Instead, he always had his eye peeled for
signs of changes in the weather. Every evening, especially in late fall, he
would step outside and scan the sky to divine whether a “blue norther” was
Daddy was fond of tools and tool boxes, but he always had some tools that he
liked to keep handy on top of the kitchen cabinet and under it. He liked to work
with metal pipes and had a pipe threader. He would use vices to hold the pipes
steady while he was working.
In nature, Daddy was very fond of trees — pecan and peach being his favorites.
He also liked birds, but, I’m sorry to say that he did not appreciate the
mockingbird, even though it was the state bird. I never could find out what
caused his dislike.
I liked the song “Listen to the Mockingbird.” He didn’t seem to be bothered by
He enjoyed raising rabbits, and he could rob bees and butcher hogs. When he was
a young man, he liked working with a team of mules Of course, back then, we had
a cow, too.
On Sunday, Daddy would dress up and take us all to Sunday School and church. We
would also go with him to pick up cotton seed meal and hulls for the cow, and
often we would stop by the wholesale house for a case of canned goods or a large
box of candy, especially Three Musketeers, which I assumed where is favorites
because my brother and I liked Snickers best. Of course, all these errands had
to be done on Saturday because businesses were not open on Sunday back then.
Daddy had a long apron with a bib made from cotton mill cloth. He was good at
making breakfast on cold mornings, and he always got up first to light the
One of Daddy’s favorite friends was Lyman Barnes. They were often partners in
visitation for the church. Daddy also was an usher and served as a member of the
Board of Stewards.
Daddy liked to put together jigsaw puzzles and play checkers. He loved to read
the Bible in the evening. He also liked to read poems by Edgar Guest and to
write letters to his family members.
When it came to refreshment, Daddy liked his coffee black and strong and served
in a heavy white mug. He said he liked it “to stain the cup.”
He had a shaving mug and safety razor. But he also had a straight razor which he
kept good and sharp and a razor strap which hung in a very visible spot. People
of my generation know what I mean.
I can remember that long ago when I was a child, he had a tan gabardine suit. It
went well with his auburn hair. When autumn comes and leaves begin to turn gold
and orange and tan, and people put pumpkins in the yard, that’s Daddy’s time of
Gelene Simpson is a Daily Sun columnist. Want to “Soundoff” on this column?
Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas - October 11, 2010
Tommie Able Riggs "Tom" Duncan - OBITUARY
Oct 1, 1903 - Jan 5, 1975
Tom R. Duncan
Funeral services for Tom R. Duncan, 71, who died Sunday at Memorial
Hospital, were held at 2 p.m. Monday at the Corley Funeral Home
Chapel with the Rev. Frank Williams officiating. Burial was in the
A retired employe of Oil City Iron Works, he was a native of
Oklahoma and had lived in Corsicana since 1929. He was a member of
St. Luke Methodist Church.
Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Vera Duncan of Corsicana; one son,
Tommie L. Duncan of Fort Worth; two daughters, Mrs. Gelene Simpson
of Irving and Mrs. Geneva Davis of Frankfurt, Germany; five
grandchildren; two brothers, Lester Duncan of Beaumont and Frank
Duncan of Terrell, Okla.; and three sisters, Mrs. Hattie Langford of
Terrell, Okla.; Mrs. Bessie Ingram of Waureka, Okla.; and Mrs. Nell
McClintock of Waxahachie.
Pallbearers were S. B. Nowell, J. E. Hanson, Marshall Weems, T. J.
Webb, Curtis Williams and H. P. Rumbelow.