Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Mrs. Ollie was a neighbor. Everyone loved her. She always had lunch ready by 11:30 a.m. each day. Everyone close by knew when she rang the big dinner bell outside high up on a pole that it was 11:30 and dinner was ready for her menfolks in the field to come in to eat.

But any other time the bell rang meant trouble. Her husband, Mr. Sid, had a heart problem, and this was her signal for help. If the bell rang, all neighbors within a mile or two around could hear, and they all dropped whatever they were doing and ran to her rescue.

Mr. Sid was always disabled ever since I could remember him. He always rode his horse to the grocery store or mailbox, which was with the many others in front of our house. Many times I have met him as I went to the store, and he would give me a nickel or dime to buy some candy.

We were never allowed to ask for money as this was considered begging. But he knew this and just wanted to be nice to us kids. I grew up loving them so much. Even after Mrs. Ollie was gone, I sent him a Christmas card every year as long as he lived. This pleased him very much.

We had a custom of making up nicknames for people. One neighbor's name was Robert. We called him "Hainty," meaning "a haunt." I never knew why. One was named Charlie. We called him "Hawk" Every day he rode on his horse to and from his cattle farm by our house. Sitting sideways, we though he resembled a hawk sailing.

Another neighbor was named Claud. His nickname was "Cudram." I did not know why. He was just an old man living alone in a little log cabin with his cats. He was thought to have special powers to remove warts.

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