It was Graduation Day 1887 at Vanderbilt Medical College at Nashville Tennessee and
families and friends had come from far and near to share honors to be presented to those
members of the Graduating Class. Harvie Lee Matthews from Spring Hill, Texas was
among those who were to receive the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.
Faculty members had assembled with great pomp and ceremony, speeches had been made, and
the graduates stood to begin receiving their Doctor of Medicine printed on real
sheepskin. There was a break in the routine when the time arrived for Harvie Lee
Matthews to walk to the podium. The President of the Medical School, instead, called
for Dr. Lafayette Matthews to come to the platform. Dr. "Fate" Matthews,
born 1820 and a Great Uncle of Harvie Lee, had graduated from Transylvania Medical School,
had practiced medicine in Maury County throughout his career. He had been recognized
after The Civil War for his service to wounded soldiers from both North and South and was
one of those responsible for the new Medical School.
After his introduction, it was "Uncle Fate" who called out with pride, "Dr.
Harvie Lee Matthews, Spring Hill, Texas." Harvie Lee beamed as he climbed the
platform and made his way to the podium. Uncle Fate expressed how proud he was to
have the honor of presenting the degree to his nephew and gave Harvie Lee a
"Fatherly" hug after the presentation and when Harvie Lee began to leave
the podium announced there was more.
Dr. Fate reached into his seersucker coat pocket, removed a large pocket watch with heavy
gold chain, and announced that he and other members of the Tennessee Matthews Family
wanted to present the "New Doctor" with a real doctors watch. He depressed
the stem and, with great flourish, opened the gold cover richly engraved with the medical
emblem. Then he read the inscription engraved inside, "Harvie Lee Matthews,
M.D. Vanderbilt Medical School, 1887."
The gift was a recent model from Switzerland made especially for physicians.
The face was white porcelain with black Roman numerals and a large second hand to assist
in counting pulse rates. Harvie Lee was thrilled with the gift, something he
needed. He was, especially proud of the fact that his Uncle Fate had made the
He was careful with the watch and after twenty years it continued to keep excellent time.
Patients often commented on the beauty of the time piece and the remarks always pleased
It was in 1907 that he was riding his horse, Old Cream, through Richland Bottom and
noticed an acquaintance having difficulty herding several cows toward Spring Hill.
He nudged Old Cream toward one of the errant cows and the chase led through the woods near
the creek. The cows were gathered and the herd moved toward the Spring Hill store.
As they approached the Spring Hill store the friend inquired as to the time and when
Harvie Lee reached for his watch...it was gone. He remembered checking the time at
his last stop before Richland Creek. Perhaps it lay on the road. He and
several men from the community retraced his route, but the watch was not to be found.
He remembered his race through the woods after the cow. The watch must have
snagged on a sapling and pulled from his pocket. The woods were searched until dark
and Harvie Lee returned the next morning to search more. The watch was gone.
It was 1910 when his son, Carl, now fourteen, and his friend, Lee McCulloch, made their
way at daylight to Richland Creek for a morning of squirrel hunting. Carl sat in the
cold semi- darkness without making a sound...waiting for a squirrel to appear. The
rays of the morning sun were beginning to penetrate the lush foliage when he looked
quietly to the West and noticed something sparkle in one of the small trees. He
blinked his eyes and the sparkle was gone. He looked again...and the sparkle
returned. Squirrel or no squirrel, Carl had to investigate.
He made his way to the small tree, his eyes searching for whatever had created the sparkle
in the sun. There was the watch. It was caught on a small branch and not much
higher than the waist of a man mounted on a horse. He called for his friend,
Lee, to come and, together, they retrieved the gold watch.
The stem was depressed and the gold cover opened. There was the inscription that had
been engraved so many years before. The large second hand was moving just like it
always had and the time showed "ten minutes til eight," exactly what Lee
McCulloch's watch showed.
Carl W Matthews
Roswell GA 30077
WHY THEY AIN'T NO DOGS IN SPRING HILL,
Charles Stewart Matthews
His name was Charles Stewart Matthews, but to everyone I knew...he was just "Uncle
Charlie." He was born in Maury County, Tennessee in 1866, but Spring Hill,
Texas was his home as long as he could remember. His parents were Joseph Calvin and Maggie
Sims Matthews, Scotch-Irish with great faith and Calvanistic theology that knew the
difference between right and wrong, between good and evil. Joseph Calvin served in
the Army of the Confederate States of America and had been wounded at the Battle of
Chickamauga in Georgia.
Joseph Calvin and Maggie had left Maury County, Tennessee in 1869 with several relatives
and friends and headed for Spring Hill, Texas where
members of the Matthews family had begun to settle in the 1840's. The Tennessee
economy was in shambles following the Civil War. Land prices had plummeted, ginned
cotton was not worth what it cost to produce..it was time to move on to anything that held
promise of a better life.
Joseph Calvin purchased two "Farm Lots" at Spring Hill from his Uncle Robert
Harvey, developer of the town and one of the "Original Texas Rangers."
Uncle Harve had come to Texas with his sister and her husband, Francis Slauter, and
settled in Robertson's Colony in 1835. Joseph Calvin opened a "Country Store" in
Spring Hill and his family became one of the most respected in the area.
Charlie Matthews farmed, helped at the store, served on the Spring Hill School Board, and
married Libby Cates. Libby Cates was fourteen when she and Charlie married and she
was one of the pretties girls in the County. Life was good with the Charlie Matthews
family as one child followed
another. A family picture...c. 1900,....reveals Libby, still a beautiful woman..and
Charlie, a handsome man with piercing eyes and a suave mustache.
Daughter Vestal is as pretty as her mother and brother, Wilton, is a fine looking young
man. Libby is holding the new baby, Charles Culous. Libby
Cates Matthews died in 1901 and was buried at Spring Hill.
Despite the heavy responsibilities, Charlie remained active in the community. A
group picture of the Spring Hill School pictures Charlie, still a member of the School
Board, standing next to Teacher O. S. Hellums.
Uncle Charlie died in l933 when I was eight, but I remember him so well. Once, a group of
men gathered to seine portions of Richland Creek which ran near Spring Hill. Most
men were in the water, but Uncle Charlie and I walked the bank "toting" the
"wet towsack" that we hoped to fill with
Catfish. It was exciting to follow Uncle Charlie through the briars and underbrush
on the bank of Richland Creek. He was in his sixties, but moved
like someone half his age.
Now and then the men in the water would discover a really large Catfish attempting to
escape the seine. Uncle Charlie and I would catch a glimpse
of the fins and whiskers and Uncle Charlie would scream out, "That's mine, boys,
Uncle Charlie continued to keep his house at Spring Hill, but he usually had a room in
Dawson. He was usually employed as nightwatchman at one of the Dawson gins. Uncle
Charlie's son, Wilton, whom we called "Chappy," had not married and continued to
occupy the "Old Home Place." Chappy, also, operated the Spring Hill Store
across the street from Uncle Virgil's house. A large "Sodywater" box sat
on the porch of the store and produced the coldest Nehi Orange. Chappy always invited me
to have a Nehi Orange and I always accommodated him.
The real association I had with Uncle Charlie was when he came to supper at our house.
He usually came once a week and I didn't want to be anywhere else on those late
afternoons when he was expected. We didn't have a radio, but Uncle Charlie was
better than any radio could have been. He was funny! He was a story-teller! He could
have been on the stage.
Uncle Charlie always planted a turnip patch down near the gin where he
"nightwatched." Many cold mornings there would be a large sack of turnips
and greens on our back steps. That was the signal that Uncle Charlie would be at our
house for dinner about five o'clock when he was finished sleeping.
There was constant chatter as we devoured the turnips and greens, but the really enjoyable
time was when we had finished "supper" and sat around the table listening to
Uncle Charlie talk. He would always brag on Mother's cooking, "Velma, that was
the best peach cobbler I ever ate." Mother would smile, thank Uncle
Charlie..and feel good.
And he would turn to me and say, "Tubby, have you ever noticed how few dogs there are
out at Spring Hill?" Before I could tell him that I hadn't noticed, he would
begin to tell me why there were no dogs in Spring Hill.
According to Uncle Charlie Matthews...a neighbor of his at Spring Hill "several years
back" had a favorite "Buggy Mare" that had come down with a bad case of the
colic. It was wintertime and heavy rains had flooded Richland Creek to a level
several feet above the bridge. The neighbor had done all he and several of his
friends knew to do, but the mare was getting worse.
The nearest veterinarian was in Corsicana, but there was no way to reach him and no way
for him to get to Spring Hill. Someone suggested that the vet be called on the new
telephone located at the Spring Hill Store, hoping that a diagnosis could be made without
an on the scene examination.
And so...the call was to "Central" in Dawson who contacted "Central"
in Corsicana who, in time, located the vet and put him on the telephone. The
neighbor with the sick mare described the condition as best he could as the vet listened.
"Yep, sounded just like the colic." The vet then inquired if some
liniment was available at Spring Hill and the neighbor responded that he could see several
bottles on the shelf at the store. The vet then instructed that two bottles of the
liniment be poured down the mare's rear end and if that didn't clear up the problem
quickly to call him back.
Well....the man and his neighbors lost no time picking up the two bottles of liniment at
the store and getting to the barn where the mare stood in her misery. The mare's
owner, had opened one of the bottles of liniment, but, in his haste, had neglected to
consider just how he was going to get the liniment down the mare's rear end. Now,
that was a pretty serious consideration and the man's wife, who had come to barn,
suggested the use of the small funnel which she used to pour "coal oil" in the
lamps. The little funnel was tried, but it was immediately apparent that it just
One of the neighbors mentioned that he had a large brass foxhorn that just might work and
he was immediately dispatched to secure the foxhorn. Presently he returned with the
shiny brass horn used to call dogs for local fox hunts.
Uncle Charlie described...in detail...how one neighbor smeared axel grease over the horn's
mouthpiece and over the long brass pipe of the horn. Then the horn...mouthpiece
first...was carefully inserted into the mare's rear as far as the horn would go. The
bell of the foxhorn was turned upward to receive the liniment and the liniment...both
By this time the neighbor's barn was as crowded as a "Baptist Brush Arbor
Meetin'" in August. Everyone was hoping for a miracle and they were not to be
disappointed. It was quickly evident that the liniment was working...just like the
vet had said. That mare began to relax, some said they perceived a faint smile on
that mare's face. The watchful crowd cheered and began to praise the veterinarian
and relate other stories of how he had worked similar wonders with their animals.
Everyone was so happy with the results of the effort that no one thought of removing that
foxhorn. Problem was...the vet didn't tell the neighbor that the liniment would
create a considerable amount gas in that mare. It always happened, but it was no big
Well...in a few minutes that liniment began to mix with whatever it was that caused that
colic and the gas began to build up in that mare's stomach and began to make its way to
the "expellin' point," which was the foxhorn. "I want to tell
you, Tubby, that horn blew! It blew like it had never been blown before!"
Now the noise of that "blowin' horn" scared that mare somethin' awful and she
jumped a good ten feet on the "first toot." And on the "second toot"
that mare cleared the barn door and the blame fox horn was "a tootin'" with
I want you to know....THAT MARE WAS SOME SCARED! And by this time, the
liniment was beginning to burn in that mare's belly and she needed some relief...quick!
And she headed for The Blue Hole on Richland Creek...the closest water available.
And there was no catchin that mare. That mare was "a runnin' and that
dang foxhorn was "a tootin'" and every dog in Spring Hill began to yelp and
holler and head for the sound of that horn.
Bud Cottengame was sittin' on the porch of the Spring Hill Store when the mare passed
there and Bud said there was upwards of forty dogs "follerin'" that mare...and
more were "a comin'." Folks at the Spring Hill Store said it was the
strangest sight they ever did see...Mare runnin'...Foxhorn "a tootin'"...dogs
yelping! Most excitin' parade in the history of Spring Hill.
Well...I want you to know..that mare ran all the way to Richland Creek...plunged into that
cold water with that horn still "a tootin'" and them dogs still
a'follerin'...and when them dogs hit that cold, swift water it was too much for them.
Every dang dog drowned.
And..that's why they ain't no dogs...in Spring Hill, Texas..today!
From....TEXAS LIES, LEGENDS, & A LITTLE GOSPEL TRUTH
BICYCLE'S RIDE FROM RODNEY
The summertime heat in Dawson had begun to take its toll and the crowd of individuals who
had nothing to do had gathered under the shade of the awning that covered the sidewalk in
front of J M Beasley's Dry Goods Store. Some were "whittlers." Some
were "Spitters. Some wafted with an aroma that indicated that they had not
entered Richland Creek since the previous summer. Some were "Tellers of Tall
Fifty years would pass before television would be
seen and heard in Dawson and radios were scarce in those days of The Great Depression.
The Beasley Corner was the next best thing to Television and little boys sat in
silence....listening intensely for those "dirty jokes" and community
gossip that found its way into the conversations among the gallery. What was said
was, usually, far from wholesome, but something was better than nothing.
The Beasley Corner crowd talked about a variety of subjects. The repeated the
stories told on the Ice House steps. They commented on the arrival of the train at
the depot. A town death could take up forty minutes or an hour. Reports on
Revival Meetings at the local churches could take upwards of a half day depending on what
happened and who was involved. Election time always brought intensive debate over
which candidate had the worst credentials.
Once the subject of riding bicycles emerged. Preferences for various makes and
models were expressed. Individuals commented on where they had ridden bicycles.
Bicycles with "balloon" tires had just been introduced and some said they
would never replace the "high pressure" tires that were on all the bicycles in
town. The subject of bicycle speed was introduced and the feats accomplished grew
One man, probably in his thirties, was still riding his bicycle and had been given the
nickname of "Bicycle." He was determine to top all stories of outstanding
bicycle ride and related how he had live at Rodney, a community ten miles southeast of
Dawson, and had once ridden his bicycle from Rodney to Dawson in just fourteen minutes.
The Beasley Crowd was silent as they looked with unbelief and raised eyebrows. Most
believed that a fourteen minute ride from Rodney to Dawson was impossible.
The silence was broken by Elmer Black...himself a former resident of Rodney.
Elmer was seated on the curb...his back leaning against a post set in the concrete
sidewalk. Elmer had been "whittling," but he had been listening.
Elmer said, "Fellows, you all think that's another dang lie, but I'm here to
tell you that what "Bicycle" said is the Gospel Truth if I ever heard it.
He did ride to Dawson from Rodney in fourteen minutes. I ought to
know...I was behind him all the way...riding my little scooter."
"TEXAS Lies, Legends, and a Little Gospel Truth"
Carl W Matthews POB 454 Roswell GA 30077
404 587 4350
THURMAN "FLOOKEM" DICKSON
Dawson's Resident Philosopher
Flookem was an institution in Dawson for many years and he was admired by citizens of the
town..both white and black. He was thin and tall...and he had an infectious smile
punctuated with several gold teeth. And Flookem....could laugh! Flukem
enjoyed a good story and he would laugh a laugh that could be heard a "Country
Mile," his every tooth was exposed, and he would "slap" his knee and
shake his head.
Flookem never worked in the fields as did most black people in Dawson. Flookem was
a"Town Man." He wore an apron with his huge smile and he
always had a hearty "Hello" for anyone who happened by as he swept the sidewalk
in front of "Boots" Garner's White Front Grocery. Everyone liked Flookem
and Flookem liked everyone.
And Flookem was a philosopher of sorts. Flookem had life "sorted out," and
he knew much about the workings of society...the rights and wrong of life....human
nature..and such. He was never at a loss for words on any subject...and...he was,
Summertime had come to Dawson one year...long before air-conditioning had arrived...and
Flookem, as usual, was enjoying the paddle fan that twirled over the meat block in the
market at Boots Garner's store. Two men were standing in the back corner of the
store..near the door that led to the alley and the wagon yard. One was black...the
other was one of the prominent white resident farmers...well known for his personal
concern for saving every penny possible. It was apparent the two were engaged in a
spirited conversation about some subject that affected both.
The white man had his pencil in hand and was making marks in a little book...talking all
the while. The black man was attempting to make a point, but without any apparent
success. The black man would shake his head and the local "Tight Wad"
would talk faster and point to the notations in the little book.
Flookem observed the scene for some time and when his analytical mind had computerized
what was happening, he uttered his "Oracle like" findings.
"Mr. Carl, you see them two back there in the corner?" "You
know whats goin' on?" "No, Flookum....what IS goin' on?"
It wasn't Hegel or Kierkegaard or Einstein....it was Flookem who uttered sage words of
"Ace is a ace............. and figure's a figure!
All fo de white man,,,,,...nuthin' fo de nigga'"
"TEXAS Lies, Legends & aLittle Gospel Truth" c1997
Carl W. Matthews
Roswell GA 30077
770 587 3450
THE BIRTHING OF "SISTER"
It happened in Dawson
Jean LaMerle Matthews fell into my life on March 21, 1929. She was delivered to my
Mother via a World War I biplane, and, apparently, dropped as the plane flew low over our
house. I was four and one-half.
It was a sunny day and I had been sent down the street to play with my distant cousins,
Edith Marie, Anna Jo, and Dorothy Matthews, children of Leroy Matthews, and
grandchildren of Cousin Will Matthews. I had been upset with the girls because
they would not let me into the "three holer" outhouse with them, but Edith
Marie, the oldest and, probably, responsible for me, told one of her sisters to give her a
minute and I could join them. When the door opened Edith Marie was seated on the
center hole with her dress skirt modestly flowing around her and announced that I could
join the party.
We had exited the outhouse and were playing in the back yard when an airplane flew low
over the house. Now, airplanes were not often seen in the skies above Dawson,
Texas and none had ever flown so low. That plane received our full attention.
We raced into the dirt street to better see the phenomenon as it glided low
over our house and prepared to land in an open field several hundred yards north.
Our group now included Sambo Akers, my best friend who lived across the street, and we all
raced north to see where the plane had landed. When we approached our house I
could see that Dr. Worsham's car was parked in our driveway and Beulah Hopkins, who came
to cook and clean house from time to time, was racing out the front door. As
we passed our house Beulah called out, "Junior, come in an see yo baby sister."
I called back that I didn't have time, that I wanted to see that
airplane. Baby Sisters didn't hold a candle to a World War One Biplane.
When I returned to our house Dr. Worsham had gone and Beulah introduced me to my new Baby
Sister. Most babies in Dawson were delivered by "The Stork," but my Baby
Sister had been delivered the modern way. An Airplane had dropped her.
It wasn't a "Big Deal." She was tiny...couldn't talk...and didn't do
anything but sleep. I wanted a sister like Sambo...full grown...worth
When Mr. & Mrs. Winefred Berry, good friends who lived down the street, came to see
the new baby, Jean LaMerle appeared to have some worth after all. It
seemed that Mr. Berry was interested in her and wanted to know if I would be interested in
trading her for his RED mule. I was seriously considering the offering when my
Mother informed me that we were going to keep the new Baby Sister.
Jean LaMerle must have been a real oddity for it seemed that everybody who lived in Dawson
and within thirty miles had to come see her. If I had thought to charge
admission I would have been rich. There weren't that many people who had
paid to see "Ada, The Snake Eater" at the carnival that had set up near Uncle
Fred's house the previous Fall.
I suppose that I should have been jealous, but that never entered my mind. Most of
the visitors made on over me like I was something special to have a Baby Sister dropped
out of a World War One Biplane. Besides, Beulah Hopkins was giving me her almost
undivided attention and there was an "amplecy" of Zwibac toast that came
in boxes and there was always an open can of Eagle Brand Milk within easy reach in the ice
box just waiting for dirty little fingers to dip up a stolen portions of what went into
Baby Sister's formula.
Grandaddy and Grandmother Coleman arrived later that first day. Grandmother
was "ooing and cooing" over Jean LaMerle and Grandaddy was drinking
to her good health. That was the time when we heard Grandmother Coleman scream
from inside and, very quickly thereafter....outside the outhouse. She was
comfortably seated when she looked up and noticed a large black snake on the wooden
sill above the door. Daddy said it was a harmless "Chicken Snake," but
Grandmother said that no snake was harmless.
It was that summer that Mother and Daddy took Jean LaMerle "On Tour."
It must have been that somebody in Texas had not yet seen the Baby Sister
that was dropped from a World War One Biplane. Our long blue Caddilac with the
cloth top was well on its way to Houston when my eyes opened after sleeping on the back
seat. The sun was shining. Mother and Daddy were in the front seat and Mother was
holding Jean La Merle. We stopped for a lunch of Mother's fried chicken, stuffed
eggs, etc. and arrived at the Houston home of Aunt Kitty, Daddy's sister late in the
Aunt Kitty, Uncle Mike, Mickey, and Betty lived in a duplex and it was "Party
Time" while we were there. The family that occupied the other side of the
duplex had an ice box on the common back porch and had a half watermelon on a low
shelf. It was a very good watermelon.
A day or two later our family went to Galveston. Uncle Tony and Aunt Lula Mae lived
there and they had a new baby boy, Timmy. We spent time on the beach, but
everyone was concerned that the Baby Sister would get sunburned. Mother
remained on the beach, being careful to keep Baby Sister well covered. Daddy
and I played in the water where I found a wooden clothes pin which I treasured for days.
Daddy and Uncle Tony were stopped when the police noticed that Daddy was wearing his
bathing suit while riding in the car. It appeared that the City of Galveston had an
ordinance prohibiting wearing bathing suits except on the beach.
The next year we had moved nearer to downtown Dawson, across a small branch from the
Tabernacle. Mother began weaning Jean LaMerle on March 21, 1930. Rain
came down all day and Jean LaMerle screamed all day. There was no place
in that house where I could escape the screaming and I couldn't go outside. It
was day of deep emotional stress.
That was, also, near the time when a vicious tornado almost destroyed Frost, Texas, a
neighboring community across Richland Creek and where Daddy had many friends.
The following Sunday we piled into the topless Model T and drove to Frost. The
Caddilac would have never driven over the muddy and rutted roads. We could not get
across Richland Creek and took a route through Hubbard and Mertens. I was wide-eyed
as I viewed the devastation and as Daddy pointed out the unbelievable results of the
We moved the following year to a house next door to Miss Katheen Edwards and that was
where Baby Marilyn was born. I was at Grandmother Coleman's when she arrived.
Probably dropped from another World War One Biplane.
Jean LaMerle, meanwhile, was growing into a cute and chubby little girl and curious about
everything in life. Daddy was triming his toenails one day, and carefully
placed each trimmed portion in a neat pile. Jean LaMerle wanted to know what
Daddy was going to do with those trimmings, and, he, jokingly told her that he was going
to make some "Toenail Soup." She was crying when she reach the kitchen and
announced to Mother that she didn't want any of that "Toenail Soup."
We had a reel lawn mower and Jean LaMerle and Jack Lawrence were playing with it.
Jack was the Grandson of Mr. Garner who lived in the house south of where we lived.
Somehow, Jean LaMerle placed her fingers on the cutting edge and when Jack pulled the
blade her finger were cut. She was crying and bleeding when Beulah reached her and
Beulah screamed for Mother to call the doctor. Dr. Worsham came, examine her,
and announced that no bones were broken, but she did have a bad cut.
Jean LaMerle was blossoming into a cute little girl. Mother dressed her in
pretty clothes and kept her hair well groomed and people were constantly saying,
"Jean LaMerle, you are sooooo pretty!" And she would
respond, "I know it!" I was seven or eight and heard it so much I wanted
And Jean LaMerle loved to sing. We went to church every Sunday and she had
memorized many of the hymns. At home she would find a book and sing.....
"Bringing in the cheese, bringing in the cheese....
"We shall come rejoicing.....bringing...in...The Cheese!"
She was six when she and I went to the circus in Corsicana. We went with
teacher Hoyt Harris and his wife in their Model A Coupe. It was in the midst
of the depression and we had free passes and Daddy had given us a dollar to spend.
We attended the side show and then the circus. And she was always so
naive. She loved jokes, but sometimes didn't fully understand them. Jokes like,
"What did the mayonnaise in the refrigerator say to the little boy? Close that
door, can't you see I'm dressing," were going around. She was in the fourth
grade and we had moved to Hubbard. Children came home from school for lunch and
Daddy came home from the store. We were having lunch one day when Jean
LaMerle announced that she had a new joke. Yes? "Do you know what
one skirt said to the other skirt? No. Love Lifted Me!" I had
a mouth full of food and it spewed over the table. Daddy and Mother had a "What
do we do now" look. I had to get back to school...in a hurry.
Jean LaMerle was eleven when I joined the Marine
Corps. She was still a little girl when I came home in the Fall of 1942 and we went
to the circus in Waco.
When I was discharged I returned home and began to finish high school and Jean LaMerle and
I took plane geometry together. I enjoyed working problems with her and we
doubled dated several times. She had changed from that cute and pretty little girl
into a beautiful young lady. She was leader in the Hubbard High School
"Pep Squad." She was a Beauty Queen at Hubbard High School. And she
was Valedictorian of her graduating class. She finished college and taught school at
Pine Bluff, Arkansas. When she married I had the honor of performing the
I was proud when her first child was born. Times had changed and Karen
wasn't dropped from the World War One Biplane. Then Mike arrived. He
loved strawberries! And he carried on the tradition of repeating stories that he
didn't understand. Like the story of Lyndon Johnson sleeping on his
stomach. And there was Karen's story about the "ulcerated"
horse that was for sale.
I was present when she and her husband, Buddy, were honored for their seventy-two years of
service to Bryan Public Schools. I was proud of her that day....but I have
always been proud of my Baby Sister.
Besides...that White Mule is, probably, dead by now.
Carl W. "Tubby" Matthews
Roswell GA 30077
PS I was told that Mother had met a relative of the Akers family whose
maiden name was Prince and who had married a Mr. Steen of Coolidge, Texas.
Mrs. Steen had a new baby whose name was Merle LaBeth and Mother thought that to be a
pretty name. I am not sure where the Jean originated. Perhaps, from
Grandmother's Coleman's sister, Jean. I happened to date Merle LaBeth briefly,
in 1945, but did not know the story at that time.
Submitted by Carl W