I guess I got my fiddle fondness honest, like my love of hats, from my Dad. My Dad was a hard working man, an auto repairman by trade. He was mostly self taught, he was a true repairman not a simple parts replacer. He had a following of people who followed him from dealership to dealership. He also was an accomplished transmission, body and paint man. He even on occasion did some upholstery work. He did recieve some company tranning in later years when specialized componets were introduced. At one time in the mid to later forties the Pontaic company ran yearly training sessions in Kanasa City Mo. for a short spell. He recieved a pin with a small dimaond chip in each corner for each he year attended. I recently gave this pin to my daughter. But as I said he mostly was self taught. He was a poor farm boy who quit school by the third grade to help support his family when his father became too ill to do it himself. I never knew it because he kept it so carefully hidden from us kids , but he could not read. Which explains why he was never promoted to shop foreman. Dad basically supported his mother, two brothers and two sisters for a number of years. I think they never owned any land, just rented and struggled along. My Dad met my mother and they fell in love and eventually married. That is when he started being a mechanic. He started with a pair of brothers who were opening a Pontaic dealership in a small tin shed that grew into a sizable small dealership in a small town. Then I came along, I was the spoiled first boy grandchild. My Dads next younger brother had a daughter twentythree days older than I. I was born in the bedroom of a second story apartment. Of course I do not remember that place. The first house I remember was on Limestone St. It was a small two bedroom house with very small rooms and wood siding. We had a small kitchen and small living room. Our facilities were located outside and a number of steps from the backdoor. I was very young in my first rememberances of this place. I mostly was regulated to little coveralls and bib overalls. I remember the coveralls were blue and white striped. I was a real little shit I guess. I remember I was given a small puppy which did not last long, here today gone tomorrow. I do remember I proudly told my Mom I had thrown it down the outhouse hole. She had to fish it out and clean it up. She tried to raise a brood of baby chicks. I couldn't catch one so I stomped on it. Then there was a cat for a while I tried to catch it and it hid under the wood burning stove which was in use. I crawled under after it and got stuck, my mom tried to pull me out by my heels. I got a burn on the back of my head and I still have a quarter sized scar there sixtyfive years later. Oh yes the Bee and the dandelions. I chased the sucker all over the yard, finally he lit on the little yellow flower. I aimed my rump at it and sat down, not for very long. I was a hand full. I remember one of the first of very few spankings from that also. My dad left the door of the car open while he came home for lunch. I crawled in and turned on the key which were hanging in the ignition. Sliding down below the seat put my foot on the starter pedal on the floorboard. The car growled and jumped forward. Scaring me amd my parents sitting at the table in the house. I was jerked out swatted and deposited in bed. Later I heard Dad bragging about how I knew how to start the car. I did not know how he could be proud and mad at the same time. Later as a parent my self I knew the feeling. I do not know if we lived there before My Mother spent some time in a tuberculosis sanitarium, I was too young to remember that time. I know of it because I have pictures of me visiting her there. We next moved to 1105 Walnut st. the first address I had to learn. Another small wood frame house that I believe my father was buying. At this address we had houses on each side of us and a long lot with a small barn like structure on the alley behind us. This was the first house with an indoor toilet and tub I experenced. My Mothers father stayed with us for a short while, and we shared a bed. Granddad was six foot six and rail thin. He has a pair of mules, one Beige and the other Grey. What I remember most, other than they were gigantic to me, was their long ears. These were the fabled Missouri plow Mules. He had a wagon with a plow and a harrow in the back and he plowed garden plots and hauled trash for a living. Later in life I learned that during the depression, after he and my grandmother had seperated, he worked on ranches in New Mexico and Colorado for a number of years. Any way the girl next door was a little older than I, I being five or so. She kept me pretty much in trouble until I was finally forbidden to play with her. Up by the barn on the alley was an old stove. We found some egg shells and an old pan. Barb got some matches and we tried to cook the eggs. Tiring of that we moved on, so did the fire we had started. Some men coming down the alley saw the flames and managed to put the fire out before the hay for the mules got started good. This was during the war years of WWII. And like every kid of that time we were either soilders or cowboys. My dad had built me a pup tent right behind the bathroom window so my mom could check on me (heck I didn't need supervision). Barbara whispered let's see if you see kay! Now the only Kay I knew lived down the street next door to Elaine, both my age. So I'm looking around for Kay. Barb tries to close off the end of my tent with doll blankets, and proceeds to teach me how to see if you see Kay. mom becomes suspicious and investigates. By this time I have learned that this game entails pulling down both of our underpants. Needless to say this entailed my second memorable spanking and resulted in me losing my tent. I never got another tent until Uncle Sam issued me half of one to carry on my pack in the Marines. I started school in this house and lived there until half way through the second grade. My Mom had to return to the sanitarium where she died in April 1947, during my thirdgrade year. I had been moved in to my Mothers-Mothers house by that time and Dad was in an appartment where I got to spend the night sometimes on a week end.This was my fourth remembered house by the time I was eight. There were many more places and memories before moving to California in 1955. It's late and this windy old man is getting a little weary with all this moving around so am going to call it quits for now and take a break. The train pauses here.
How I came to be ramblingbob