Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Some Kids I Have Known
Fun at Foraker, The Bank

Mattie and Mick played all about the small town of Foraker. Families who lived there had children and all went to school together. Somewhere around the year 1946, Foraker was in decline. Grocery stores had closed, the drugstores were gone, filling stations closed. The bank they walked by daily on their way to the little grocery store was now closed. When Mattie and Mick shuffled through the many papers all about on the ground all at once Mick picked up a five-dollar bill.

"Look! Look! I found five dollars!" Mick could just as well have found a million dollars.

"I think we better tell Mom." "Maybe, it doesn't belong to us!"

Grampa was whittling as in rocked in his chair on the front porch. Their mother was sitting on the edge of the porch watching the baby as the two children came upon the scene. Those were the days when it was said, children were "seen and not heard." In other words, one simply learned to quietly fit into the scene while waiting for an opportunity to express themselves. It wasn't true that they were not heard. Most positively they were, but they just learned to discipline themselves to good manners as to not interrupting.

Mattie slid carefully into a sitting position beside her grandfather's rocker in order to have a place so as not to miss an opportunity to be involved with the little group. She looked up to what her grandfather was whittling. "Are you making anything Grampa?"

"Oh, I don't know, Girl!" "Maybe." "Maybe not."

Mick was kicking at the ground, jerking his pants pockets up and down and was just generally in a state of anxiety for having to wait to speak about the five dollars. Mattie caught his eye and gave him a steely stare with the desired results. He settled down on the other side of their grandfather's rocker.

"I don't know how we are going to provide hay for the cattle this winter." Their mother was very worried about something; Mattie could tell she was. "With the war rationing, and shortages Leon can't find any baling wire, anyplace." "Without baling wire we can't bale our hay to store for the winter." "What do you think, Grampa?"

"If he can't find any after this late in the season, he won't find any." "Should some come up that big Chapman Barnard Ranch will get first shot at it." "They are the real beef producers." " Them or the Olifants, or the Drummonds, and there is A.W. Lohman." "Our place is just a hobby ranch providing beef for us and what little he sells for some extra." "Our acres are nothing compared to the 200,000 of the Chapman Barnard ranch." Joe was modest.

"Tell you what you do." Joe advised. "You tell Leon to go ahead and cut the meadow." "Take that cutting and stack it into hay stacks in different places all over the pastures." "We won't have hay to sell, but the cattle won't go hungry."

"Well! Grampa!" "That is just what he will do!" Their mother was elated. "I just think you are so clever." She was serious.

"Yeah, well, you have to do something when everything in the world is going, "hay wire."

At this, the two of them laughed at his choice of words, and Mattie took advantage of their relaxed attitude to motion to Mick about the five dollars.

"Mom!" "I found five dollars under all those papers at the Bank they closed out." At last Mick was able to satisfy his need to talk about his money. "Must I give it back?"

Their mother looked at their Grandfather, then to their mother and those two both laughed again. "I really don't know who you would give it to."

Grampa squinched his eyes down and looked off to a distance as men who worked the wide areas often did. "Naw, I reckin' whoever owned that money is long gone to greener pastures."

Mattie would remember this moment many times over her life. She thought of it also, during that winter when they drove past the hay stacks her Dad had made. True to her Grampa's advice the cattle were eating the hay. It was strange to her as she could actually see tunnels in the hay stacks where the cattle ate their way through them.

"Will that hay fall in on the cattle?" The curious child wanted to know but didn't ask. "I wonder if they go inside the hay stack to get warm when it is so cold?" She thought. Aloud she said, "Mom how did Grandsir know the cattle would eat that hay from the stacks?"

"Grampa's Dad was a rancher." "They know these things."

So went the winter around the year, 1946, Foraker, Oklahoma. She never worried about baling wire, shortages, the big ranches around and most assuredly not the Chapman Barnard Ranch, or the Bank who closed their doors, other than it had profited her brother by five dollars.

Return to Some Kids I Have Known Index


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus