Sunday, June 30, 2013

This is Home, Part 18 - The double cousins, fun with Bea, Bea and I ride Tony, with an unexpected audience, Bea visits a saloon, Bea wins at hide and seek

This is part 18 of my mother's book about her life, written in 2004. In the "Bea and I ride Tony..." story, where her father and Charley were coming back with the wagon and Frankie, Frankie was a dog, a fox terrier.

The double cousins

There is something I almost forgot. Jean and I had something special -- something that most people don't have. We had three double cousins. Daddy and Uncle Doc's younger brother Elliot married Mom's younger sister Edith. The children they had -- Mary Ellen, Lola Bea, and Katie Jane -- were our double cousins. We all had brown eyes and brown hair. Mary Ellen was the oldest, about nine years older then I was, Bea was six years older than I was, and Katie was about a month younger than Jean.

Fun with Bea

Mary Ellen and Bea used to come and stay for awhile with Mom, Daddy, and Uncle Doc before I was born. One time, when they were small, she left them with Uncle Doc while she went to town after something.

When she got back, Uncle Doc was sitting grimly reading the paper and Mary Ellen met her with eyes "as big as saucers." Mom said, "Where is Bea?" and Mary Ellen whispered "She stropped Uncle Doc." She pointed to where Bea was hiding under something. Mom thought it was funny. Sounds like she was the only one.

Bea was so much fun. I used to love for her to come. She would stay for weeks at a time.

She was the one who climbed up the ladder in the manger and got the baby kittens down from the loft so we could play with them.

She was also the one who went walking with me in the sheep pasture, stepped into a ditch, and sprained her ankle. She climbed on the stile over the fence and went to the mailbox with me.

Bea and I ride Tony, with an unexpected audience

One time when she was there I decided it would be fun if we rode Tony. The men were in the field. At least Daddy and Charley were. Anyway, I put a rope or halter on Tony and led him to the road beside the car house. I got him to put his front feet in the ditch and I climbed up the embankment above him. I got the bridle on him and the other off. I couldn't begin to lift the saddle, so I just left his back bare.

Bea and I had rolled our hair with metal curlers, which is what they had then. We decided no one would see us anyway.

Bea thought it might be fun to ride him, so we took off down the road. On our way back we suddenly saw Daddy and Charley driving back down the road with the wagon and Frankie. We were being smart and just as we were passing them we kicked Tony and took off at a gallop toward the house. When we got there, the farm insurance agent was talking to Uncle Doc. We couldn't get Tony to stop, he ran around the house a couple of times.

Uncle Doc and the agent ran and waved their hats in front of him and yelled "Whoa." They were going around the house on different sides. Tony stopped all at once and we fell off. We only sustained a little damage -- Bea got some curlers bent. She was mortified because she fell off in front of the insurance agent. She said later that she thought Daddy knew and had put the bridle on for us. Mom said "Maudie, what makes you act like that?"

Bea visits a saloon

One time when Bea was there we went to Moberly. Bea was a teenager. Mom bought her a pair of white high heels and a white purse.

We decided to get some ice cream. The ice cream parlor was on that street. Bea was trying to go in and pushed the wrong door, the saloon door. There was a bar with nothing but a row of men sitting, drinking. When the door opened, every single one of them looked our way. Bea was so upset that she hurriedly backed out, caught her purse on the door, and tore the handle. Nice women didn't go in saloons.

Bea wins at hide and seek

One summer evening, Bea, Mary Ellen and Lawrence, the boy who lived on the farm next to them, came over to see us. Lawrence was good looking, had sort of gold blond hair and was Mary Ellen's boyfriend. Bea had a best friend at school; I don't know if she was there. I can't remember if it was during the long twilight we had back there or during one of the bright moonlight nights, but anyway, we decided to play hide and seek. One time Bea hid so well she couldn't be found. Whoever was 'it' couldn't find her and the rest of us were trying to figure out where she was.

We only had the front yard to hide in, and she wasn't anywhere. Finally, the person who was it gave up and we heard a laugh. Bea was up in the oak tree by the garage. It had limbs that were high off the ground and very rough bark. I don't know what kind of oak it was; Missouri has several different kinds.

Anyway, she had climbed on top of their car and climbed up into the tree from there.

Bea was less than five feet tall, very slender, had light brown, wind blown hair, brown eyes and a mouth that turned up at the corners. She had a lot of energy and was always hungry. When her family brought her over, the first thing she did was raid the table and cook stove. And she never gained an ounce -- the rat.

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