Thursday, October 2, 2008
I suppose Old Age motivates Thinking Back, remembering Happy Times and thinking of the many friends that have passed on to the 'Great Beyond'.
Locust Grove Oklahoma in the edge of the Ozark Mountains, my home during High School Days and time of the Great Depression, had a wonderful Natural Spring of Pure Water. Two Springs in fact. One was in town (population 300), the other one half mile East and called 'Pipe Springs'.
A few years of the Great Depression was accompanied by Drouth Years and fortunately the two Springs kept flowing tho did weaken in volume.
The K.O.& G. Railroad (Kansas Oklahoma & Gulf),had tracks thru the downtown two blocks.
During those Depression years a source of income to many was 'hacking ties', ties for Railroads. The ties were 8 feet in length, size 8" by 10".
Ties made of White Oak timber were bringing highest price by the Tie Buyer and stacked in Rows next to the K.O.& G. Rails. Thousands of Ties.
Hacked ties brought one dollar each which was the premium price compared to 'Sawmill' ties that had a rough finish and encouraged dampness. Hacked ties had the very smooth finish produced by the razor sharp blade of the Broadaxe handled by experts. Many of the Experts were Cherokee Indian Men whom enjoyed living in the Forests East of Locust Grove. Their Children were Classmates of mine during High School Days. Times before a Modern School was built. The Student body all twelve grades had 200 students. No Kindergarten.
My High School Graduation year, 1937 was the last year of the using of the outside Toilets way back there in the corners past the ball fields.
Time marched on as it must, World War 2, living among beautiful Beaches in the Southwest Pacific during the War, Marrying a beautiful childhood Schoolmate (Mary Jane), various jobs until settling down to a 32 year career driving buses for Greyhound Lines, retiring in year 1981, moving to Colorado (Canon City).
In the 1970s a younger sister and I decided to attend an all School re-union at Locust Grove after all these years. Arriving there at the re-union was greeted by folks whom had been schoolmates, sometimes taking a little time to recognize because as you know, from slim to overly heavy can have an effect on appearance.
Then 'scouting' around town, where is the Railroad ? No indication there had ever been a Railroad. The 18-wheelers had eliminated the use of small town Rail use.
That wonderful Pipe Spring was still there, as was the friendships of so long ago and the Christian Faiths. We talked about the 'Brush Arbor' Meetings during the Depression years when during Summer Season we need not use the One Room Local School out there in the country, just construct a brush arbor with split logs and hay bales for seats.
Were those the 'Good Old Days' compared to the Traffic Jambs of present day living ? sam