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Dawson, Navarro County, Texas


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THE GOLD WATCH

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 presentation.

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 him.

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.


Copyright 1999
Carl W Matthews
POB 454
Roswell GA  30077


WHY THEY AIN'T NO DOGS IN SPRING HILL, TEXAS

Charles Stewart Matthews
l866-1933

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, that's mine!"

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 wouldn't work.

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 bottles...poured in.

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 thing.

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 every step.

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
Copyright 1994


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 Tales.

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 and 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"
copyright 1994
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, usually, right.

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 philosophical insight...

     "Ace is a ace............. and figure's a figure!
      All fo de white man,,,,,...nuthin' fo de nigga'"

Flookum....was Right....again!

"TEXAS Lies, Legends & aLittle Gospel Truth"  c1997
Carl W. Matthews
POB 454
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 something!

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 afternoon.

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 tornado.

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 to puke!

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 ceremony.

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
POB 454
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 Matthews, Jr.


Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox