As I recall I left off with my mother returning to the hospital when I was in the second grade. I know she was there when I was younger because I have photos of her and other patients in their robes on the front steps, with me wearing what looks to be a snow suit and a little billed cap with ear flaps. I look to be about 18 months at the time. Of course I don't remember this at all, I have very early memories but not that far back. In the second grade I must have been seven. I was left with my maternal grandmother. She lived at 1505 Sophia St. at that time. She and my grandfather, the one with the Mules, had seperated many years before. She had lived with a man named Loren who always treated me like his own. He had died a few years before I was moved in. My mothers youngest brother was living with my grandmother at that time. He had served with the Marines in WWII, and had a purple heart earned on Iwo Jima. He had brought home a Japanese rifle and a samarai and some kind of a smaller curved sword that fascinated me to no end. I had four uncles serve in the war but that is for another time. I am very proud to claim them all. They never talked of it until they neared their eighties. Grandma had a little black pekeneese dog named Rusty who was delighted to have a little boy move in with him. He was always waiting at the front screen waiting for me to show up from the long walk from school, about five really long blocks. Of course when it snowed those blocks were extra long. She always had several cats and had a chicken house with layers and fryers and a mean old rooster. This was another city house with an outside out house (well hell I guess it wouldn't be outside if it was inside would it?). This was also a woodframe house with a kitchen, dining room, living room and one bedroom. It had a full front porch that had a waist high wall all around. Loren had enclosed the rest of the wall with isen glass, which is kinda like fiberglass reinforced with a woven screen-like mesh in it. I slept out there with my uncle. This is where I was living when my mother died in my third grade year. My mother had been mover farther away to Mount Vernon hospital, sixtyfive miles further away near Springfield Missouri. I remained with My grandmother until I overheard my uncle and her talking about my Dad after he had started seeing the woman who would become my step mother. They were angry that he was seeing someone so soon. This was in my fourth grade year. Some of the things they said disturbed me and confused me also. I asked my Dad what they were talking about and repeated some the statements I had heard. The result was I was taken over to my Dad's brother, with the cousin that was twentythree days older. My Dad's mother lived with him also. Their house was much larger but I do not believe it had ever had a coat of paint on it – I could never see any place that showed any traces. It came to mind when I read John Ghrishman's "The PaintedHouse". A alley ran next to it and in the house on the other side lived a old man who would sit on his front step with an undershirt on and we could see all his many tattoo's. He was a gruff looking old codger and he had a heavy, squat old Bull Dog who looked just like him. We were afraid of them both just by their looks, as far as I know he never gave us cause to be afraid. My uncle had a baby daughter by that time just begining to walk. I finished my fourth grade year there. I was by this time a poor student, When my mother was alive and home she tutored me and I did great but when she left for some reason I lost my drive I guess. Granny started giving me a nickle every time I got an E on my spelling test. She would give me the nickle on Friday. She always put it on top of the Ice box too high for me to reach to save it for me. It took me a long time to figure out she was giving me the same nickle each week. By the way this was a true ice box, made of Oak and lined with galvinized tin. The iceman would bring a big block of ice twice a week and put it in for the women. The ice went into the top compartment and the cold air would fall off the melting ice to cool the lower areas. This place also had an outhouse , but it had a flush comode in it. It was all the way down on the edge of the property line. On reflection today I think it might have been shared with the house next door. My father remarried the end of 1947, and I wound up with a three year old sister. It was kind of a rough transition having to share my Dad for awhile, because I had not got to spend a lot of time in the last two years with him. There are more stories there but will skip them for now. Anyway I believe Dad had sold the house on Wall nut St. and bought the one on Sophia because grandma moved out of it and the new family moved in. I did the fifth grade year there and then in the middle of the sixth we moved to the country about six miles from town. Someone Dad knew owned a house on a small hill on the old highway to Joplin. As part of his property he had an old resturant building. It was located next to a fast flowing river with a steel tressel bridge over it. The new high way had killed all the business on the old road, so he rented the resturant to dad for a very reasonable price. Dad built a partition in the main dinng room to make a living room and a main bed room. My sister shared a smaller room at the back. This place had indoor plumbing and a shower as well. This was the first shower I had ever seen or used, it seemed like heaven. Baths were no longer just a Saturday night dip in a galvanized tub in the kitchen, however it did not last long. At the end of the sixth grade we moved again. To another place closer to the new highway, we called this place Old Lady Haines place. This one had no plumbing at all – It had a cistern beside the house with a hand pump in the kitchen. But the water was not fit to drink or cook with we boiled it to cook with and wash. Dad hauled water in a ten gallon steel milk can from an uncles house for drinking. This house was located within hollering distance from the uncle where Dad had got the top blown out of his hat. I forgot to mention my second sister was born while we lived in the old resturant. While living at the Haines place this little shit developed a game called bonk brother on the head. She would stand in her crib and cry, My mother would tell me to get her bottle for her. I could never find it and would say so. Mom would tell me to look for it I would eventually get on my knees to look under the crib and the little shit would grab it from where she had hit it and bean me with it. There are other stories about her for later right now I'm talking houses and moves. I did my seventh grade and part of the eight here. A note about these schools the sixth grade school was a two room school . Grades one thru four in one room and five thru eight in the other. In the second there was three class rooms one and two, three and four, five to eight. This school was called Plesant Valley, and had a basement dining room and kitchen. With volunteer mothers as cooks on a rotating basis. My oldest sister started school here. We moved back to town in the middle of my eight grade year. It was my first exposure to the rotating class room, we had three or four teacher for the seventh and eight grade classes , one taught English, another Math, and the others something else. The movement from one class to the next was a new concept to me and confused me greatly at first. This house was on Fulton street just four blocks from where I was born. I entered high school from this house, Back to indoor plumbing with a real bath tub, but the water was rusty when you first ran it for a while. I usually took my bath first I guess my mother thought the rust would not hurt me. My third sister was born here . We stayed there until later in my sophmore year. Then back to the country into a two story house in the middle of a wheat field. We stayed there untill after my junior year then moved to Califorina June 1955. We lived in two different houses until I joined the Marine Corps in 1956. My parents and sisters lived in two more houses in the South Bay area, before moving to Oxnard and then living in three houses up there. After all the girls had married they bought a single wide trailer, the first residence they really owned. After a few years they sold and bought a double wide in Camarillo, where they live until they died. After my release from the Marines I lived in six different apartments of houses before I married. After marriage my wife and I rented two houses before moving in with my mother in law for the short time then we bought this house and have been here for thirty-three years. So I recon I can claim the title of ramblingbob honestly. My Dad always moved around from dealership to dealership looking for a better deal and trying to find a better place to live. I worked for my employer for 43 1/2 years before disability from Diabetis forced me to quit. My Father was very impressed that I had remained on one job for so long. In the later years he used to introduce me as "This is my boy he has worked the same job twenty-five years." and he was more proud when we bought this house than we were. Well ramblingbob is going to attempt to spell check this thing and publish it. Some times the spell check says no misspelled words found when I know damn well it is wrong but I just publish it any. Granny should not have tricked me with that damn nickle so long.
How I came to ramble chapter 2