Military information and pictures were shared by Pam
Blount Blaine, daughter of Farest and Geraldine (Billie) Hodge Blount.
Submitted by Jane B. Smith
Farest Blount was the son of T. B. Blount of Rice Texas. Farest attended
Rice High School and married Geraldine (Billie) Hodge, daughter of William
Franklin and Era Myrtle Bell Hodge of Rice, Texas
T/Sgt. FAREST T. BLOUNT
340th Bombardment Squadron United States Army WWII
Date of Enlistment: October 5, 1942
Date of Honorable Discharge: Oct. 13, 1945
Military Occupational Specialty: Airplane Maintenance Technician
Military Qualification: Sharpshooter Rifle, Dec. 6, 1943
Service Schools Attended: Air Mechanic Course
Battles and Campaigns: Rome-Arno, North Apennine, Po Valley, Southern
France, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe, Air Combat
Decorations and Citations: 1 Service Stripe, 3 Overseas Service Bars,
EAME Campaign Ribbon with 9 Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished
Unit Badge GO #3036, Sept. 2, 1944. Lapel Button Issued, ASR Score (2 Sep
1945) – 92
T/Sgt. Farest T. Blount, 340th Bombardment Squadron
United States Army WWII. Chrew Chief of a Liberator bomber "Hell's
FAREST BLOUNT---AS I REMEMBER HIM ---
Memory shared by Jake Oliver (brother-in-law of Farest Blount)
Farest and Billie Hodge Blount and Jake and Marjorie Hodge Oliver
FAREST BLOUNT was one of the best persons I
ever knew. He was born a decade earlier than I. He was born in a small town.
He went to a small country school. He was the son of a farmer, who owned land
near the town. The town was RICE, TX
in NAVARRO COUNTY.
I have been told
that in his youth he was a good baseball player and a very good basketball
player. Country basketball in those days was played outdoors on dirt courts and
mostly day games.
The first time I can remember
seeing Farest was in 1935, he would have been about 25 years old. Those were
the Depression years--times were bad. Few jobs were available, but Farest was
working at a little two-pump service station on Highway US 75. At this time he
acquired a 1935 Plymouth car, one of few new cars in town. He was a good driver
and was always in control, no matter how fast. I don't remember him ever having
an accident. As far as cars were concerned, he knew what made them run and his
car was always in top condition. Ready to go.
At the same time there was a
young lady living in town that Farest had gone to school with. Billie Hodge was
his girl friend. He lived on the North end of the street that passed by the
school, the Methodist Church, the ice house, business district, the Baptist
Church and a little farther down in the opposite end of town was where she
lived. So his Plymouth made several trips a day driving by the Hodge home
looking or being seen. In 1935 they had dated for several years, but marriage
was not an option due to the labor situation.
In the year of 1936 or 1937,
Farest applied for a job with the Texas Company (TEXACO) and went to work at a
new company station in Dallas, the Highland Park Station, in the best part of
town. He was still pumping gas and servicing cars. In those days a stop at a
service station meant just that. Gas was 20 to 25 cents a gallon, but you
received an oil check, a tire check, windows washed, a smile, a 'good-bye', a
'hurry back', especially if you asked for a fill-up.
About the same time, Billie
Hodge moved to Dallas and got a job at a 'five & ten cent store', and for a time
lived at the YWCA. Later she shared an apartment with some other girls from
Rice, on Forest Avenue. I'm sure she and Farest continued to date and it was a
lot more convenient. Not long afterward they were married. I'm not sure of the
date. I think it was in 1937.
Farest did well in his work and
was given a job as a driver of a gas truck that delivered gas from the TEXACO
Bulk Plant to the company stations and dealers in the area. He was as good at
driving a truck as driving his 1935 Plymouth and he was learning the business.
In December of 1939, I,
nineteen year old Jerry (Jake) Oliver married Billie's sister, nineteen year old
Margorie Hodge. Thus Farest Blount and I became brothers-in-law and a part of
the Will and Myrtle Hodge family.
During the next couple of years
Marjorie and I spent many Saturdays and Sundays riding in that 1935 Plymouth.
One of the best ways to pass the time away was driving around town looking at
apartments, most of which we couldn't afford, but we could hope and dream about
We'd picnic at the park on
White Rock Lake. Those big wieners were really good cooked on the open
campfires. Farest had a way of frying potatoes that turned out just wonderful.
One winter Sunday afternoon we drove by White Rock Lake and it was frozen over.
Ice was thick enough that some drove their cars on it. That's the truth.
In August of 1940, we, the four
of us, went on a vacation together, in that 1935 Plymouth. We drove west on US
Hwy. 80, the main highway through Texas at the time. It was all new to us and
we were very excited to see all the sights along the way. And for the first
time for any of us, we drove out of Texas into New Mexico to the Carlsbad
Cavern. The walk through the cavern was something we always shared as a good
memory. Actually this was in the early days of the cavern development. There
was an elevator, but we walked in and walked out. We also saw the bats leave at
sunset. We enjoyed it very much. Though Carlsbad Caverns was the highlight of
our vacation, it was not the only thing we four found to be interesting. From
the cavern we drove through a part of Southwest Texas we had read about but
never dreamed we would ever have a chance to experience. Places like the old
historical town of Fort Stockton, an army town, those stationed there protected
the early settlers of the area from the Indians. And there was the town of
Landry, the home of Judge Roy Bean, who was famous for his quick trials and
swift justice. That part of Texas was known for its many hiding places for
those who were running from the law. If a horse thief was caught and brought
before the Judge, he was usually hanged from the 'hanging tree' just outside the
old Country Supply Store, owned by the Judge. It was known as Frontier Justice
and those who just might be brought before the Judge stayed away from that part
of Texas. From Landry we passed through other towns of Texas early days, like
the old railroad town of Sanderson.
In those days there were not
many hotels or places to spend the night. Besides a small hotel at towns along
the railroad route, there were what was known as Tourist Courts. The owner
usually had a few wood cabins, with a few items of comfort besides a bed that he
rented to travelers who required some rest along their way. Only natural
air-conditioning and wire screened windows, maybe. Usually you stayed long
enough to rest and get some sleep and then we were on the road again. I'm not
sure or don't remember what we ate or where we ate. I'm sure our funds were
limited, but gas was cheap and a cup of coffee was a nickel. Two donuts cost
another nickel. A good hamburger was a dime. I'm sure we managed to eat.
Along the way we made a stop in
Del Rio, Texas, a town with a powerful radio station that we had heard. The
home of the famous Dr. John R. Brinkley, famous for a special operation he
advertised on the radio. From Del Rio we crossed the big Rio Grand River into
Mexico, just to be able to boast of the fact we had been out of our country,
another first for the four of us. From Del Rio we drove through the Valley and
on to San Antonio, where we visited the Alamo, the site of some interesting
Texas history. The year 1936 was Texas' 100 years as a state, so the
celebration was very much still on our mind. But the vacation was not over;
there was one other place we wanted to see. The drive to Galveston was through
a part of Texas we had never seen and we liked it all. At the city of
Galveston, we had our first look at the Gulf of Mexico and the swimming was
good, but we all sunburned and suffered for a few days afterward, but that was
another first for us all. As with everything good, there is always an ending.
This had been a wonderful few days and it was a memory we would share always.
On our arrival in Rice, after our drive from Galveston and Houston on US Highway
75, we were welcomed by the Hodge Family. Ah, those were the days.
Billie and Farest were present
when our daughter, Sharon was born and they were almost as proud of her as we
were. At the time we lived as next door neighbors in apartments on Ross Avenue
I think sometime in 1942 Farest
was drafted into the Army Air Force. He and I never talked much about his
service life. I do know he spent several years in Italy and as I remember he
was responsible for helping in keeping the planes in flying shape. Knowing
Farest, I'm sure he saw to it that they ran as well as that 1935 Plymouth he had
left at home. He returned home in 1945 and after his discharge went back to
work with Texaco. Later he was transferred to Tulsa, Oklahoma. They lived
there for several years and Lynn and Pam were born there. During those years we
visited each other as families, but not often. Later Farest was transferred to
Amarillo, Texas, where the children went to school, grew up and were married.
Farest did well at Texaco, and when he reached the age of 62, he retired.
During these years, Marjorie and I visited them and they visited us. We had
many good visits over the years. Farest liked to work with wood and whatever he
made, it was well done. He still liked to work on cars, same as that 1935
I shall never forget, sometime
in those Tulsa years he owned one of the first Hudsons. It was a beauty and was
a big comfortable ride. He was one who seemed to always have a project to work
on. Like a 1956 Chevy, a restoration to be proud of and it was restored inside
and out. I understand it's still around--what a memory. Farest liked to fish.
He also liked to play golf and he was pretty good for a man of his age.
I think of all the things I
always admired about Farest Blount, I admired most his devotion ands care he
gave Billie those many years she was sick. He had patience beyond words and I
feel his care of her extended her life and gave her a secure feeling to the end.
In the Spring of 1997 Billie
passed on. And after 60 years of marriage, I'm sure he was very lonely.
Marjorie and I visited him in June 1997 and shared a steak dinner with him. He
talked about how he was about to come to grips with his situation in life. On
that evening he was driving his Oldsmobile down the street the same as I
remembered him in that 1935 Plymouth in Rice, Texas, West Texas and Dallas. On
October 26, 1997, Farest went to be with Billie. He was sick a short
time--maybe three weeks. He suffered little--just went to sleep--as I
understand. Marjorie and I were on a vacation trip. We were returning from Las
Vegas and on October 26, 1997, three days after Farest was laid in the vault
with Billie, we spent the night in Amarillo, not knowing of the event. We were
tired from travel and we thought of calling, but didn't. We had seen him in
June and as we passed the cemetery on the east side of town, we almost stopped
to see where Billie lay. I suppose it was good we didn't. It would have been
hard on us to find Farest was there too and not knowing the circumstances. Some
time later, we did visit the site.
We will always be glad we had
that good visit in June, when we told him how wonderful his care of Billie was
and that we loved him. Our last visit in this life. He was our good friend and
11/2/1997 JLOJ - Jake Oliver