03. My Mother

03. My Mother

I inherited most of my Mother’s writing. She had done much of her writing on PC’s and DOS on the old five inch floppies. In transferring the files from DOS to Macintosh and from Word to OpenOffice, some of the formatting was lost. Someday, I may go back and edit this further but for now, I am posting as is with the formatting problems intact. 



 This  is  going  to  be  a  very bitter and angry book.  I  don’t  know why anyone would want to read it.  My advice, is to  throw  it  in  the wastebasket.  I have lived for over seventy- five  years,  and each year I have grown more angry, resentful,  hateful.   I can’t imagine why I have such a wonderful husband,  who  never  fails to tell me he loves me each day–usually many  times.   When  I  ask  him  “Why?” as I usually do, he answers,  “Because  you are a sweet little darlin.'”  I always tell him I  am  not  sweet, and he answers that he ought to know because he  has  lived  with me for all these years, (now 28), and he knows  how  generous,  kind,  and   considerate I am.  Of course, that  sounds  great.   He  has always been one to uplift me and build  my  self-esteem.   I  know  he  is  sincere,  but  it is almost  impossible  for  me  to believe that he really can see anything  sweet, kind or generous in me.  I am a very hateful   person. Surely  no  one can be anything other than evil, and be so  full  of  hate  as  I  am.   I  hate everything.  I hate almost  everybody.   I  hate  the  wind.   I hate the cold.  I hate the  heat.   I  hate  the  dust.   I  hate  the insects.  I hate hay  fever.   I  hate  headaches.  I hate to work.  I hate injustice  and  pain, and fear, and heartache, and disappointment, and all  the  things  that make people unhappy.  It’s a screwd-up world.   It’s a mess! (continued below)

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Everybody  other  than  me, is a damn-fool.  Come to think  of  it, I am a damn-fool, too.  That doesn’t make it any easier  to  stand  all  the other damn-fools.  I don’t like anybody.  I  don’t  even  like kids.  I don’t like dogs.  I don’t like cats,  and  I don’t like old people.  No one could possibly be a sweet  darlin’  who  doesn’t  like  kids  and  old  people.   Is there  anything  I do like?  Yes, I like rivers and trees, and horses,  and goats, and deer, and wolves, and birds.  I like good music- -just   the   kind   I   like.    I  like  kindness,  neatness,  consideration,  good  judgment,  intelligence,  information.  I  like  striving  for  excellence–in  others.   I  don’t want to  strive for anything. Maybe  my  liking for kindness was learned from my mother.   I  resent my mother, because she never showed any affection for  me,  or  approval.  I resent that very much.  On the othr hnad,  I  recognize  that  she was a very fine and wise woman.  My dad  was  brilliant–and  crazy–but my mother was wise.  I remember  when  we  lived  at  the  “Green  Place,”  where  there were no  screens  on  the  doors,  how my mother used to hate the flies.   She  would  keep  the doors  closed until she almost roasted in  the  hot  summer time, in order to shut out a few of the flies.   Even  hating  them  so,  she would shudder and remark about how  burning  was  too  bad for any  living thing, when my dad would  get  up  in  the  morning, while the flies were immobilized all  over  the  ceiling,  and take a lighted piece of paper and burn  them.   Also,  even  though  my mother hated ticks to the point  that  she  would  literally  get  sick  when  she saw  one, she  didn’t  want  any  of  us  to  put  them in the fire.  That was  really  the  only  way  we  could  be at all sure they would be  killed, as they are almost impossible to kill any other way. Anyhow,  these things go to show how exceptionally kind my  mother  was.   She  didn’t  want anything, however menacing, or  excecrable,  to  suffer.   I guess I got some of that from her.   I  hate  to  see  anything  suffer.  I guess that’s why I don’t  like  this  world.   It  consists mostly of suffering.  I can’t  understand  why  people  go  on  having  kids.  Seems to me the  worst sin anyone could commit.


How  or  why  a  gentle, intelligent woman, like my mother  ever  married,  or  lived  with a man like my dad, I will never  understand.   He  was  mean, ill-tempered, and disageeable.  He  could  be  very  charming,  and  he  seemed to know everything.   That  wasn’t  just  my opinion.  People used to love to come to  our  house  and eat brown beans, and mama’s lightbread, instead  of  the  good food they could have had in their own homes–that  is,  when  we  had  beans  and  the  flour  for  mama  to  make  lightbread.   Many  times  we didn’t.  On the occasions when we  did  have  this  much, people came as often as they could, from  miles  around,  to  eat and listen to my dad.  He could be very  interesting,  and as I said, very charming.  He certainly was a  different  man  when other people were around, than he was when  we  were  alone.  If we ever happened to say anything the least  bit  derogatory  about  him  in  the  presense  of any of these  people,  including  my  sister-in-law,  Annie–Deb’s wife–they  would  insist  that  we were just angry because he wanted us to  “do  right.”   Ha!  Little  he cared what we did, as long as we  kept  out  of his way; didn’t cause him any trouble.  And those  same  people  who  admired him so much and basked in his charm,  would  have  been appalled, probably, if they had known that as  soon  as  they  were  out of our door and on their way home, my  dad  couldn’t vent his contempt for them enough.  They were all  “damn fools.”

Mama,  even  though  she  was  a  gentle  and wise person,   didn’t  seem  to  be  able to stand us kids any better than dad  could.   She  couldn’t  even  stand  to have us in the house to  help  with the constant work of cleaning, mending, washing, and  cooking  when she had anything to cook.  She wanted us to carry  the  water  needed, and she wanted us to carry in wood, and cut  it  too,  when dad wasn’t in the mood.  Occasionally, she would  allow  one  of us to bake a cake, or do some other chore in the  kitchen, if she could be in some other room. She  wanted  us to help with the gardening, when there was  a  garden,  the  harvesting  from  that garden when there was a  garden,  and  the picking of apples while we lived at the Green  place,  where  there  was a scraggly, little, dry-land orchard.   Sometimes,  we  were  wanted  to wash clothes on the board, but  even  that, she usually did herself, rather than have any of us  “in her way.”

 She  wanted  us  to  run  to  the cellar to take the fresh  milk,  when  we had any, or to get the milk and butter, when we  had  any, or to bring potatoes, apples, canned fruit and so on,  when  there  was  any  there.   I guess we had something in the  cellar  about  as  often  as  there  was nothing.  If it didn’t  happen  to  rain enough to raise a garden, or bring some apples  on  the  old apple trees, or if dad had got hungry for beef and  killed  mama’s milk cow or butchered all her laying hens, there  was sometimes something to eat in that cellar. I  don’t  remember  of  my dad’s ever working a day in his  life.   The  older  ones  talked  sometimes,  of  his working a  little  in  the  cotton  fields,  the  butcher-shop,  or in the  woods,  but  even  they  usually  admitted  that  that was very  little.   It  was  up  to  mama  to  keep us alive.  She worked  absolute  miracles  to  do  so.  She never seemed to resent the  fact  that  dad  didn’t  work,  or  even do anything around the  house,  such  as gathering the wood, unless he just happened to  want  to.   She  seemed  to take it for granted that that was a  man’s  prerogative.   The  boys,  when they were home, were not  really  required  to  do  anything,  either.   They  were to be  waited  on.  They were to sit at the table and be served first,  if  there  was any food in the house.  Their clothes were to be  washed,  and  their  beds  to be made, and their food prepared,  and  their  every  need,  insofar as it was possible, was to be  met–just as dad”s was.  

Ole said that she agreed. If  that  is  true, I wonder why Ole seems to be as bitter  as  I  am.   She  doesn’t  express her bitterness as openly and  often,  but  she  certainly is as bitter.  It seemed to me that  everyone  in  the  family,  and  everyone  else she met, always  loved  Ole.   That,  it  seems,  should have given her a lot of  self-esteem,  and  confidence.   It  surely  didn’w  work  that  way.    She  almost  never,  if ever, talks about her hatred or  resentment, as I do, but she shows her anger in other ways. “I  don’t  feel that I have a right to the space I take up  on  this  earth,” is one of the things she says, that shows her  anger.   Another  is  “Why  did  I  have to be the one that was  really  the  damn fool?”  Deb always called everyone other than  himself  a damn fool, no matter how intelligent, well informed,  and  reasonable  any  of  those people were.  I told Ole, and I  sincerely  believe,  that  the  one  that was the damn fool, in  almost  every  case,  was  Deb,  himself.  I believe, that like  dad,  Deb is brilliant.  He has an extraordinary memory, and he  has  always  read  a  great  deal–so he is well informed.  But  information  is  not  all  there  is  to intelligence.  Deb has  absolutely  no  power  to reason.  He has absolutely no “common  sense.”   This  was  true,  too, of dad, Haden, and to a lesser  degree, Ray.

 Just  as  dad  was,  all these brothers were exceptionally  charming.   Everyone  seemed  to  think  they  were outstanding  people,  smarter  than  anyone else, more capable and even more  ethical  than  the  average  person.   Ha ha!  Ethics, justice, understanding  of  anyone  who  disagreed with them, was beyond their  ken.   Everyone who disagreed with them was a damn fool, and  that was the end of it.  Deb is the only one of them still  living.   Well informed as he is, you would think he would like  to  converse with other people who were somewhere nearly on the  same  intellectual level.  Not he.  All his friends were picked from  the least informed, the least educated..  In this way, he  could  “lord,”  it  over  all  his friends.  He could make them  believe  that  he  was  the most important, and smartest man on  earth.   He  loved  that feeling of being judged to be up there  somewhere near the gods.

When  he  was  accidently  thrown  with  someone  who  was  educated,  or  well  informed,  he  couldn’t be vehement enough  about  what  a  damn  fool  that  person  was.   If that person  disagreed  with  him,  his  hostility seemed to know no bounds.   He  couldn’t show his contempt enough.  He would not argue with  this  type, however.  He would bide his time, until he was with  his  “inferiors,”  again, and then vent his contempt for anyone  who  dared  not  think as he did.  His “arguments,” were always  toward  those  whom  he  knew he could override, or with those,  like  his  sisters,  and nieces and nephews, whom he knew would  not  dare  contradict  him.   We,  his sisters, had always been  taught  that we did not dispute the word of the older ones.  In  fact,  I  was  scared  to  death  of  all  of  my brothers, and  believed  I  didn’t  have  any  right watsoever to cross any of  them.   All  my  sisters  were  quite  a lot the same way, even  though  some  of them did not, and do not hate Deb as much as I  do–or claim not to.


 I  was  born  near   Tulia,  Texas,  in 1913.  I was, as I  said,  the  eighth  child  of  Mattie  and   Haden Walling.  My  mother  admitted that she never did want any children, and I am  quite  sure my dad never did, either.  He almost always behaved  as  if  he  hated  us.   It is true, I think, that mama and dad  both  enjoyed  their  new  babies after they arrived, until the  next  one  came–then  the older  one was shunted over into the  annoying  “growing  up,”  group  and  the baby was the new pet.   Mama  always  carried  the new baby around on her hip while she  cooked  and  did the other necessary chores.  Dad liked to play  with  the  babies,  like  a  child with a new puppy, until they  cried,  or  needed attention, or until he tired of playing.  If  the  psychologists  are  correct, this is probably the only–or  one  of  the  only  things,  that  prevented  us all from being  completely  ruined  by  the  lack  of love and attention.  That  first  two  years, they say, are formative, and even though the  shock  of suddenly being no longer the pet, was devastating, to  say  the  least,  this  first  two years was probably extremely  beneficial for what mental stability we have. The  fact  that I realize that my brothers and my dad, and  my  mother,  too,  were  certainly  molded by the same kinds of  nonsalubrious  circumstances  I  was, does not make me feel any  more  love  for  them.   Like mama with the flies, and ticks, I  would  not  do  any  of them any harm, if I could.  I wish them  only  the  best,  but  my  hatred  is  not  lessened.  This, of  course,   brings   up  another  psychological  question.   Just  exactly  what  is hate; and what is love.  Can one hate and not  wish  the  object  of  that hate any harm?  Can one deplore the  actions  of  others, and that abject malevolence,  not be hate,  but  be  love,  because  you  do  not  wish  any  harm  to  the  perpetrator  of  pain  and heartache?  I am not sure.  I do not  believe  that anyone could say that I love my dad and brothers,  because   I  would  make  some  sacrifice  to  keep  them  from  heartache or suffering.

 I  can  remember  some  of  the things that happened in my  life  before  we left Texas.  I was not yet three when we left.   I  remember of sitting on the dresser, which was in the living- room.   I remember mama sitting in a rocking-chair, holding the  baby.   That  baby  had to be Billie, of course.  I remember of  sensing  somehow,  that  mama  was  worried  that I would knock  something  off  the dresser top, or get the mirror, where I was  looking  at myself, soiled.  The Molotte girls were combing my  hair  and  making a fuss over me.  They were close to Flo’s and  Hank’s  ages.  I  was loving the attention.  I didn’t want mama  to  be  worried,  but  I  didn’t  want  the girls to stop their  attentions, either.  I honestly believe that from that day on– and  maybe  even  before–I  never had another day without some  guilt  or  feeling  of  failing in my obligations, and what was  expected of me.

 When  the girls decided it was time for them to go home, I  remember  of  them taking the little, dusty path that led under  the  wire  fence.   Flo and Hank were running up that path with  them.   I  was behind.  I ran as far as the fence.  I can still  see  Flo  and  Hank  crawling under that fence in the dust, but  couldn’t get under it.  That is as far as I can remember, too. The  next  memories  I  have  are of arriving at Grandma’s  house  in  New  Mexico.   We arrived in a wagon.  Aunt Mary and  Lou  came running out, in their long dresses, to meet us.  They  helped  us  down, and there again, we were treated like someone  could  care  about  us.   They  were  genuinely glad to see us

 They  hugged  us and led us into the house.  That is almost all  I  remember  about  that  occasion.  One other thing, is that I  remember  of  looking into the bright blue eyes of someone–the  others  disagree  on who it was–who picked me up by the ankles  and  saying  “Hold  your  back  tip,”  brought me in an upright  position, as I held my back stiff, to be even with his eyes. We  were really on our way to Montana, where dad and Haden  had  already gone.  We had come from Texas in the wagon, but we  were  to  go  the  rest  of the way by train.  When Billie, who  couldn’t  have  been  more  than eighteen months old, heard the  plans  to  go  on  the  train,  she said, “I can’t go.  I can’t  straddle the train!”

  I  don’t  remember  anything  about  that trip.  I do know  that  all  of  us  kids got sick, with measles, I think it was,  and  that  mama  had  to  take us off the train and remain in a  hotel  somewhere  until  we were released from quarantine.  How  she  paid  for  this,  I  have  no idea.  We never did have any  money.   I  wouldn’t  be surprised to know that she had to wire  some  of  her  relatives for enough to bail us out.  That would  have  been  very  difficult  for mama.  She had a great deal of  pride.   She  never did ask anyone for anything, excepting in a  very few cases of absolute necessity.

 I  don’t  remember  about arriving in Montana.  I remember  of  hearing  the  others  talk  about  it.   They  said dad was  working  in  a butcher-shop.  In fact, I think he owned a half- interest  in  it.  He was a good butcher.  Dad  could do almost  anything.   He could have made a good living as a carpenter, or  cabinet  maker,  or  probably  even  building furniture, or any  one  of  many  other things.  He just didn’t want to work.  Who  am  I to judge him.  I didn’t want to work, either.  I know and  can  explain  why  I didn’t want to work but I can’t understand  why he didn’t.

As  always,  we  moved  every few months, in Montana.  Dad  always   saw  “greener  pastures,”  somewhere  else…anywhere,  other  than  where  he  was.  He had dragged mama, and whatever  children  they had at the time, around with him ever since they  were married.

 Of  course  almost  all  the  work and worry of moving was  mama’s.   Dad  never  did  much of anything he didn’t just want  to.   Mama  was an exceptionally clean and sanitary woman.  She  never  moved  into  a  place  without  cleaning, scrubbing, and  making  the  place as neat as possible.  She never moved out of  a  place  without  leaving  it  sparkling  clean, too.  Well, I  shouldn’t  use  the  word  “sparkling.”   None of the places we  ever  lived  could  have been said to sparkle under the best of  circumstances.

 Dad  sold  his  half-interest  in  the butcher-shop and we  moved.   Dad  had a falling-out with the man we rented our next  place  from,  and  wouldn’t  stay there.  Haden and Ray went to  work  in  the  harvest  field.  Haden was young and strong.  He  had  to be about sixteen then.  Ray was a scrawnie kid, so thin  one  would wonder how his back held his body  up.   They worked  twelve  hours  a day out in that hot sun and dust, seven days a  week.   I  think  that  some  of  the  older ones said that dad  worked part of the time, too.

 I  still  have  a  letter  Ray wrote to me.  He told about  dad’s  going  to  their  boss and collecting their wages at the  end  of the week.  He took the money and went into town and got  drunk.   He  also  had  always  to  have  his  tobacco, and his  coffee,  whether  there  was  anything  to eat in the house, or  not.   More than likely he bought a few groceries too, with the  boys’ money.

I  can  remember quite a few incidents that happened after  we  moved into what was called the “Fred Lowe” place.  Mama and  Bert  had  managed  to acquire a couple of nice milk cows and a  couple  of  heifer  calves.    It was wonderful to have all the  milk,  cottage  cheese,  cream  and butter we wanted.  Bert was  alway  a  “tomboy.”  She and mama had problems over this.  Mama  wanted  her  girls  to be “little ladies.”  Bert didn’t want to  be  a  lady.  She refused.  I think it was probably a very good  thing  she didn’t want to be a lady, because the things she had  to  do,  most young ladies would resent a lot.  She always took  care  of  the  cows  and  calves.  She took care of the horses,  too,  when  we  had  them.   She loved horses more than she did  anything else in the world, I think. 

Anyway,  when  I was about five, Bert began taking me with  her  to get the cows.  I loved pattering along after her in the  dusty  trails.   I,  like  she, enjoyed being outside more than  inside  the  house.  I spent every minute I could with Bert.  I  think  to  this  day,  I  have to give Bert a lot of credit for  saving  my  sanity.   She  seemed  to enjoy my company, and she  took  good  care of me.  When we found the cows each night, she  would  lift  me up onto Old Pale’s back, and I would ride home.   It  was a joyful experience.  Just being with Bert was a joyful  experience.   She  liked to talk.  She was very intelligent and   creative.   She taught me many things.  She didn’t know she was  teaching  me–there  was nothing pedagogic about her.  She just  talked  to  me about things that interested her.  Mostly how to  care for the animals.

 When  we  got  back  to the barn with the cows, Bert would  send  me  to the house to get the milk-bucket.  Mama always put  some  hot  water  from  the teakettle in it, so that Bert could  rince  the  pail out before milking.  Bert usually sat me up in  the  manger  while  she milked.  I was afraid of the long horns  the  cows  tossed around.  Quite often, Bert would have to send  me  back  to  the house to get a five pound lard pail, in which  to  finish  the  milking.   When  the weather permitted it, she  milked  outside.   Even though there were times in my life when  Bert  got  irritated  with me, and one time she slapped me very  hard  for  I  know not what even to this day, I still feel that  Bert  simply  was  not  on  the  same level with other mortals.   

Well,  actually  she  wasn’t.   She  was  more intelligent than  most,  and  far  more talented than anyone else ever realilzed.   She  never  had  any  idea, I believe, herself how talented she  was.   She  used  up her life and wasted her talent working for  wages–to  support  a worthless son and his children.  The only  other  person  who  realized her full potential for art, was my  son,  Jim Tarbert.  He remembers and often talks about the fact  that  she could draw animals with a few scribbles of the pen or  pencil.   They  were  as  uniform as any picture could possibly  be.   It didn’t matter what position the animal she was drawing  was  in–a  horse  bucking, a dog jumping, a rooster crowing, a  man  falling  from  a  saddle,  or anything else, it was all in  proportion,  each  joint  just  as  it  would  be  if it were a  photograph.

 I  don’t think most people, even most artists, realize how  hard  that  is  to  do.   Even  Leonardo  Da Vinci, had to make  several  marks  with  the pencil, from which he then chose that  which  looked  most  right.   That  is  the  way  he taught his  students  to  do.   Bert never erased a mark, nor had to choose  among  them.   When she made one, it was already right–always.   What  wouldn’t  I give for a smidgeon of that talent.  Millions  of  other  people  would  give  a  great deal to have that much  talent,   too–but   few,  if  any  anywhere,  were  ever  that  talented.  What a waste!

 All  of  us  were  talented.   Any  of the boys could play  almost  any  musical  instrument  they picked up.  They all had  wonderful  voices, too.  Ray had the best.  His voice and dad’s  were  capable  of  raising emotions one hadn’t previously known  one  had.   Ray could make you cry or laugh, or want to do both  at  the  same  time.   He could make you feel that you had been  carried  away out of your own body and existed without body–or  that  your  body had been reincarnated into anotherr completely  different.   Actually,  no  one could describe what he could do  with his singing voice–so I don’t know why I am trying… How  hard  to  believe that a man gifted with such unusual  qualities,  along  with  his great charm, handsome countenance,  good  body,  beautiful  eyes,  strong,  white teeth, could be a  molester  of  children.   What  made  him  so  unhappy.  People  adored  him,  men,  women  and  children.   He  could have done  anything  with  his  life  he  chose.   He  could  have  become  president  of  the  United  States.   People swarmed around him  like  flies after honey.  There would have been a lot of energy  thrown  behind  anything  he  wanted to do, as all these people  would have backed him to the Nth degree.   He  died  a miserable drunk, without ever realizing any of  his  potential–without,  indeed, ever even knowing he had that  potential.   He  was  always  unhappy and depressed.  He had no  self-esteem,  no  confidence  in  himself  or  his ability.  He  never  got  to  enjoy all the gifts he had been handed.  what a  waste.

 Who  knows  what  drove  him  to  molest  little girls.  I  believe  that  there  is  something in the lives of people like  him,  that  causes them to be perverted.  I have read that some  large  per  cent  of  all  sexual  molesters  of children, were  sexually  molested  when  they  were  children.   I  don’t know  whether  anything  like  this ever happened to him, or not.  It  certainly could have.

 It  makes me wonder about myself too, when I think that he  came  within  a  hair’s breadth raping my daughter when she was  only  about twelve, and that I can still feel more love for him  than  I  do  for Haden, Deb, or my dad.  While I do not believe  there  is  a  more  heinous  crime than child abuse, especially  sexual  abuse,  I  supose  the fact that Ray treated me with so  much  more  respect than the others did, that my feelings about  him  were not so twisted.  While I do not believe that Haden or  Deb  or  my  dad  would have sexually abused a child, certainly  they  abused  me,  and all the other children in the family who  were  young  enough that they could manhandle them, or maneuver  them,  or  control  them.   Maybe  that is part of the reason I  don’t  feel  even as much hatred toward Ray, even though I feel  more hatred for his crimes.

 When  we  had  to  leave the Fred Lowe place, Dad sold all  our  cows.  They wee Red and Pale, with cales, Sunshine, nearly  ready  to  calve  and  and  Tulip,  a  young heifer.  Tulip was  red,with  little  freckles  on her hooves.  Bert led me over to  her  and  stooping  down,  pointed  to one of tose freckles and  said,  “See  that little freckle?  Don’t ever forget it as long as you live.

When  I  was a a child, I had terrible nightmares.  I feel  sure  in light of the psychological books I have read that they  were  a result of my fear and hatred of my brother Haden and my  dad.   Haden  hated  me,  and  he never lost any chance to make  that  known  to  me.   Mama  said that when  I was about a year  old,  Haden came home, after being away for several months.  He  came  over  and  picked  me  up and I squalled.  Haden was like  dad.   He  liked  kids  as  long  as  they  didn’t give him any  trouble,  and  were  fun to play with.  He couldn’t stand a kid  that  “squalled.”  Ever since that day he hated me.  He kept me  in misery any time he was near, for the rest of my life. Haden  liked  Flo  and  Ole  and Billie.  They hadn’t ever  squalled  when  he  wanted to play with them, I guess.  Flo was  the  most  daring  one  of  the  girls.  She defied him now and  then,  and  he  liked  her  “spunk.”  Ole was so quiet that she  never  caused  anyone  any trouble of any kind.  Billie was the  baby,  and  she  too,  showed her spunk.  One time when we were  all  on  the train, Ole and Billie were riding in the seat with  Haden.   Billie stood up and when Haden started to make her sit down,  she said, “I’ll spit in your eye!”  Haden laughed and no  one  in  the  family  ever  forgot that.  If I had ever had any  spunk it had all been taken out of me long before that. I  may  never have had any, but I am inclined to believe I  had  had.   I  was  always called “feisty.”  I was the one that  always  fought back, other than to Haden.  I don’t know whether  the  family  disliked  me  because  I  was  feisty–that caused  “trouble”–or  whether I got feisty from knowing that I was not  capable of achieving approval.

 In  one  of the homes we lived in in Montana, we girls all  slept  upstairs.   I  was  scared to death.  When we moved into  that  house, we were told that it was”haunted.”  There were big  stains  on  the  stairsteps,  and  we were told that they  were  blood  stains;  that  a  man had been murdered there–or that a  man had murdered his wife.  Of course we kids believed it. Anyway,  by  this  time,  I was having terrible nightmares  every  nitht,  which  helped  further  to take all that “spunk”  Haden  admired,  out  of me.  I discovered later, that Hank had  nightmares, too, which kept her in a constant  nervous state. I  don’t  remember  whether it was before we lived in that  house  or  after,  that  we were all out playing one night.  We  had  some  company,  but  I don’t remember who the company was.   anyway,  we  were all running and having quite a good time.  It  began  to  get dark.  All the company left.  Somehow, Haden got 

 Hank  and  me over to an old abandoned cellar and down into it.   I  think  we  must  have all gone into it at first.  Anyhow, he  got  everyone  out excepting Hank and me, and then put the door  down.   It  was very dark, damp, spider-filled, and smelly.  Of  course  Hank  and  I  became  hysterical.   We could hear Haden  laughing  up  above.   I  don’t  remember how we got out, but I  expect  Flo  induced him to open the door.  Incidents like this  certainly didn’t add to our showing any “spunk” He  hated  Hank,  too,  and treated her in the same way he  treated  me.   He  caused  her to have a nervous breakdown.  We  didn’t   know  what  a  nervous breakdown was at that time, but  after  I  learned  what they are like, it was easy to know that  was  what  she  suffered.  She  couldn’t  ever  relax.  She had  nightmares,  too, and had “trembling” spells.  One time she was  looking  down  over  the  banister  and  saw Bert.  She started  screaming.   She  was  so  frightened  she  almost fainted just  ecause  she  hadn’t expected to see Bert there at that time.  I  don’t  know  what  all  he  did  to make Hank so nervous, but I  expect  that  he  started  in  on  her  years before he started  torturing me.  She is five years older than I.

Continue on for photos, video, audio files and my Mother’s books. 

Some time in the 70’s, my sister Darlene asked my mom to make some audio recordings about her life. They were made on a cassette recorder and I ended up with those recordings and have digitized them and uploaded. For convenience, I have broken up the recordings into 37 tracks and numbered them in the order they were recorded but the first 9 files are hosted on youtube. Click the “Playlist Mom’s Audio” to hear those.

First 9 on youtube






















































































































































































































For a hard copy, Click for More Information

My Mother was a writer most of her life. She wrote her own life story and several novels. When she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I made digital copies of as many as I could at the time. “Forbidden Dreams of Love” was the first in a trilogy of books she wrote. After she had passed away, I went through it and did what editing I could do and published with iUniverse. Later, I would also publish on the “CreateSpace” website. Hard copies can still be ordered on either one.

Here is a digital copy for those that are visiting my “Live Stories Network.” Please enjoy it and make comments. 

Click link to read: Forbidden_Dreams_of_Love.pdf

This is the second book in a trilogy of civil war love novels my mother wrote. It had taken quite a bit of time to go through the first book in the trilogy. I have never gone through Flames but here is what I have in a PDF format.


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