Mom was always particularly proud of coming from a large family. Tell anyone how big and they would always gasp. She actually started a few of her stories laying that right out, that she was the 13th of 14 kids.
She does that with this story, one she wrote longhand in June 2011. It's a story that concerns a passer by offering Mom a dog. The story ends before Mom writes whether she actually got to keep the dog. The photo is of Mom, left, in what appears to be her wagon.
I was born into a huge farm family. I was number 13 of 14 children. I am sure I was welcome, but I don't know what they thought when they looked at me and my deformed feet. I am sure I had plenty of people to hold me. Toots has said that she raised the three of us at the bottom.
Mickey came next. She also was born with a deformed hand, but managed quite well. We were together a lot. Karon was often with us. Mom tried to find a doctor for me. There wasn't much out there.
Most of the time I crawled inside and used a trick (with a wagon) by pushing it with the back wheel. It worked real well until late summer when the chickens were out. Then of course the wheels would get rather dirty. It didn't smell too good either, if you know what I mean.
The country was just coming out of the depression. Our farm was on the main highway so we had several people stop for handouts. They tell me that Gypsies camped in the grove for a time. I don't remember that. I guess Mom warned us not to go down there. I guess she thought they would kidnap us.
From what I was told, Mom fed a lot of the extra people during that time. She never turned anyone down. Gas for their cars was also asked for. I do remember the girls told me that she was really concerned about parents driving with a tiny baby and no way to keep milk. Somehow she wrapped one bottle in newspaper and gave them another to feed the baby now.
Another time we were playing in the grove, we were coming back when we saw Mom talking to a strange man. She saw us and called Karon up there.
I said to Mickey, "I bet he wants gas." Mom asked Karon to run down and ask Terry to help this man with some gas. By this time, Mickey and I got there. I spied a little terrier puppy in the car on a blanket.
"Is that your puppy?" I said.
"Yes, someone gave her to me for some work," he said. "Do you have a dog?"
"Not one for me, I have had cats, but they are usually outside," I said as I was petting the puppy.
"What is your name?" he said.
"My name is Connie," I said.
"Would you like one?" he said, "I better go in to ask your mom."
By this time, Terry has put the gas into the car and wanted to know where he went.
"He went into the house to talk to Mom," I said.
"I will go in and tell her I am finished putting gas in," said Terry.
Terry was also so handsome and helped with us a lot, even playing with us. Those boys were so good to us. One summer he gave us a ride down to the pasture to make sure the cattle had water.
Connie, June 25, 2011