BITS AND PIECES

Our puppy Duke.

You will find this page a mix of several different stories. 

TOOT, TOOT, HERE COMES THE TRAIN

The railroad tracks ran right down the middle of the street on East Tulare in front of my house.  That was always exciting to us kids growning up.  We would run outside to wave to the engineer as the train went past and wait to see if anyone was in the caboose to wave back.  My father used to tease my mother by saying he was going to jump on the train in the next block and ride it down to the house and jump off.  My mother was always worried he might do that, but he was only joking.  I am sure on more that one occasion a train coming down the middle of the street probably scared a drunk in their car coming down the street at the same time.  The house next door to us had become a shop for small boat repair and sales and one evening someone missed the road or was scared by an oncoming train and ran right up into the yard next door hitting one of those boats.

I SHOULDN'T HAVE LISTENED TO CYNTHIA

When I was about 3 years old we got a cute little puppy named Duke.  Enter Cynthia, who told me to go pet Duke while he was eating his food.  Naturally, Duke thought I was after his food and he bit my finger.  It was just a little nip, but my mother had a fit and told my father we couldn't keep the dog.  My father found Duke a good home in the country with some people we knew.

Growing up can be difficult if you have an older sister who coaches you to say bad words and you are too young to know what they mean.  One of the words she learned was "bitch".  I hadn't heard it before and didn't know what it meant.  During one of our days at play she kept urging me to say this word.  Who knew my mother would hear me say the "B" word.  It didn't matter that I didn't know what it meant or that Cynthia told me to say it.  I was the one who was busted!  My mother marched me off to the bathroom, where she immediately washed my mouth out with Lava soap.  Boy, did it taste terrible.  Lava soap is green today, but back when I had my experience with Lava soap it was black in color.  I never got caught again.

THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT

Before we moved into the house on East Tulare with grandma, we lived across the street on Verrue.  My father built a playhouse out of wood in the backyard for Cynthia and me to have a place to play.  It was a very cute playhouse and was still standing in that yard over 60 years later.

THE BROKEN WATER PIPE

In the backyard of our home there was a water faucet sticking up in the middle of the yard.  To me, that was just an accident waiting to happen.......and it did!  One Saturday morning, I was riding the "famous bicycle" in the back yard.  I accidentally hit the waterfaucet with the bicycle and of course it broke and water went gushing everywhere.

Instead of telling my mother what I had done, I sat down on the front porch.  My mother finally saw what was happening in the back yard and asked what had happened.  I explained how I had broken the pipe by hitting it with the bicycle.  Since my father was at work and not available, my mother ran next door to our neighbor, Mr. Owen Clark.  He was a much older gentleman and he started digging in the wrong place and it was a very hot summer day.  He looked worn out in a hurry.  In the meantime, mother was running around frantic and the pool of water was getting deeper and deeper.  Finally, the water shut off valve was located and the water turned off.  My father had to finish making the repair when he arrived home from work.  I'm sure I didn't receive any gold stars in the record books that day from my parents.

THE ILLEGAL ALIENS (NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT THESE DAYS)

When my sister, Cynthia, and I were teenagers, a family of Hispanic heritage moved in next door to us on East Tulare Street.  It was a mother and her two adult sons.

During the hot summer nights, we girls slept with our bedroom window and blinds open.  Our bedroom was on the opposite side of the house from where this family lived.  There was a space between our house and the fence next door of about 10 to 12 feet.  This space was most times covered with tall weeds.  One night we were awakened by a sound outside our bedroom window.  We could never be sure, but we imagined it was those two sons next door, peeking into our bedroom window.  We woke up our parents and daddy went outside to check.  The tall weeds were trampled down outside our window.

My father had an old "bear trap" in the garage and the next day he set it outside our bedroom window.  Mama made him take it away, she said, "what if we have prowlers again and the police come and one of them gets caught in that bear trap".  So daddy put it back in the garage.

My dad was always convinced they were "wetbacks" illegal aliens from Mexico.  Daddy said he had seen a tattoo on the mother's ankle of a duck flying upside down going backwards.  He thought that meant she was an illegal alien.  I have no idea where he came oup with that one and daddy........what were you doing looking at that woman's ankle?

The House That Jack Built.