Sunday, August 28, 2011

Things I've been doing this summer-the toy box!

I've become a blog stalker! My kids tease me about it but it is fun, and they want me to do it as they get revenue from my clicking on their sites. Anyway I've learned so much from my reading online about furniture refinishing and I've wanted to try my hand at it. This toy box I purchased many years ago for $2.00 at a garage sale. Funny how I remember the price I paid. Anyway it has spent about 18 years in the closet full of toys, would get the occasional clean out, and when we put a new bed in Nolan's room, I decided I would spruce it up too.

We cleaned it out, and washed it down. It is a heavy piece that someone built for their kids, and it had paneling for sliding doors.

I gave the doors some coats of chalk board paint that I bought at Ace because they had it in a spray and Lowes only had a gallon in a paint on kind.

Then we gave the box a couple coats of Rustoleum bright red spray paint. Now it looks much nicer in his room than the old tan, don't you think? And it is once again FULL of toys.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jesse Bester Little

J.B. Little was my great grand-father. He was born in New Albany, Union County, Mississippi on February 15, 1873. His father was Jack Little and his mother was Nancy Tucker. His parents died when he was about 5-6 years old. I gathered this information from the 1880 Federal Census from Union Co, Mississippi as he was living with a family named Smith and his occupation was listed as apprentice. His older brother Moses was also living there as an apprentice. He came to Texas with the Smiths, and their daughter married and moved to the Grady area and that is when Grandad got the idea to move to this part of the country. I don't know much about his early childhood but he was a hard worker and must have learned that as an orphan at an early age. He also had a sister named Mattie and another brother named Dan. I have a note that there was another brother named Joseph with a question mark by that. I don't know if that is accurate and would need to verify. Jack and Mattie died in some sort of epidemic. There are still Little's in Union Co, Mississippi and Mother and Daddy have been through there and stopped to visit them. They say they are related to our Littles. J.B. married Gertie Fox around 1893. They had a son named Earl Homer Little, another named Jessie and a baby that died at birth. There are no records of this but from Grandmother Pat. Gertie died, leaving J.B. and Earl. He married again to my great-grandmother in 1901. Her name was Fannie Monroe Long. With her he had seven more children; Bonnie Elizabeth (Willie), Sam Bester, Nancy Edith (Billie), Fannie Mae (Pat) Little, Eula Alma (Dink) Little, Mertie Jake (Babe) Little and Clarabelle Little who died in infancy. Great Grandmother Little died of breast cancer in 1916, when my grandmother was 8 years old, leaving J.B. a widower once again with a large family. He had sold the farm to pay the medical bills for Fannie and then became a tenant farmer who worked in the oil fields and came home every few weeks to buy groceries and check on the kids. I am always amazed at the stories that Grandmother Pat would tell us about going to school, working in the fields and doing chores by themselves. She said that the neighbors came to visit alot, but as an adult she realized the reason they came visiting was to check on all those kids living by themselves. Around 1920 they moved to Lela Lake around Clarendon,Texas and stayed there for a few years, then moved to Hereford, Texas.
This Model A, was always parked in the middle of the equipment lot when I was a kid. Us girls would play in it and wonder at it and ask alot of questions. It was Grandad Little's car. They told us about how he would come barreling around the corner into the driveway at 30 mph. He got this car after his daughter Willie, who was living in Florida at the time, was shot. It had been her car. She had a son named Walter(Sonny) who was about 12 years old and Aunt Dink was also living down there with her. Grandad rode the bus to Tampa and drove the car back to Texas with Sonny and Aunt Dink. He finished raising Sonny until Sonny joined the service. Sonny and his wife, Lillian,had 3 children and they retired from the service in Austin. The old car is still on the place, it belongs to Teresa. She was the oldest grandchild and Grandad Little left the car to her. After Grandad came back with Sonny he built another house north of this one about 1/2 mile and lived there. It is no longer there but the trees are. It is a very pretty homesite.
This is the house that Grandad Little built for his family when they moved to Hereford. He bought this place west of Hereford and broke the land out from sod. Dad tells the story of a prairie fire that Grandad fought, Daddy doesn't remember it but does remember hearing the story. After this summer of fires in Texas it makes it seem all that much more real. This house was only a five room house with no indoor plumbing. That was added at a later time. One day I got to thinking that probably they hadn't had indoor facilities the whole time the house was built and asked Daddy about it and he said around the late 40's they got indoor plumbing and added a lean-to porch on the back for the toilet and bathing. The outhouse was behind the house past the cedars. It is not there any more, nor any sign of it. Grandad lost the farm around 1933-34, it had been bought when land prices were high, $300/acre and he couldn't make the payments. Grandaddy Paul had a great crop of Sudan and was able to buy the note. He stored the seed and the next year the price for it was $9/lb. Grandaddy Paul bought the land back for $12/acre with the profits from the Sudan crop. This was during the dust bowl days of the Great Depression. Paul and Pat and the boys had moved down to Springlake but came back when they bought the farm and then began living in this house. This house was moved around 1950 so they could build the new house in it's place, because of the trees and the well were already in place. They lived in it while building and then it became vacant for a while. Then Mother and Daddy got married and needed a home, so it was fixed up again and became our home. We moved to town in 1971, as we then had four kids in the family and needed a bigger home. Many happy memories in that house. Daddy always said he could hear Grandad Little walking in the house, now whether he really could or only said it to tease us kids, I don't know. I really think he could feel the spirit and the love that Grandad had for his family in that house.
This is picture of Grandad Little in his later years with the surviving children. Grandad Little, with Pat, Dink, Sam and Babe. He is in the living room of the above house and is sitting in a rocking chair that Mother and Daddy still have. After Mother and Daddy got married they needed some household goods, and were invited to go into Grandad Little's house and take what they needed. He had passed away in 1956. They got this rocker, that had been put up on a platform making it easier to get in and out of, a kitchen table and chairs, and an iron skillet. They still cook eggs every morning in the skillet and have the table in the front room. I never knew Grandad Little since he died three years before I was born, but somehow feel that I knew him since he was always referred to in a loving way, and we had so many of his things around our home and his farm became our home too.

This is picture of him when he was younger, I think around the time that he married Fannie Monroe Long. She was a beautiful woman. I will make another post devoted to her. I don't know much about her but know that she loved her family as almost all of her children were named after her side of the family. Grandad must have grieved sorely about losing his two wives and children. Daddy said he was always happy when a baby got old enough to eat off the table because that meant they would probably survive as he didn't need his mama as much after that. Infant death was a real part of people's lives in those days.

I am grateful to have come from a goodly family, love is always there and respect and hard work were taught to me.

Thanks Mom and Dad.