[Feel free to provide me feedback using the comment feature (below). I will consider them for my next draft. Thanks! Bertie.]
Bertha Spear Scott, died when Prudence Estelle Scott (Dugger), my mom, was four years old. Apparently it was some kind of blood poisoning after a miscarriage. She left four young children; Edgar, Ora, Prudence, and Grace. She had met Grandfather, Andrew Scott, at the University of Arkansas where they both were students. She was musical and religious. She played the piano for the Methodist Church and Sunday School.
Grandfather later married Gladys Hamman and they had John, Randolph, Billy Ray, Gene, Jimmy, and Jackie Dean. Plus Mildred, Beulah Lee, and Betty Rea. There was also a set of twins after Betty Rea, who died at birth. Ora died at age 16 of appendicitis. The doctor (They made house calls in those days) put her in the Horse drawn wagon and raced to the hospital, but going over the railroad track her appendix ruptured. No one had ever heard of antibiotics in those days.
We did not see Grandfather Scott very often because he lived so far away. My first memory of him was when he visited us in Pacific Beach. He was there for about three or four days and the whole time the fog never lifted. So he said he was going to go home and tell everyone that the Pacific Ocean was no bigger than the Arkansas River. J
We went to visit him one Christmas when I was about four. I remember being impressed with all the children, who were our aunts and uncles even though some of them were younger than I was. Also the farm house had a wishing well except they used it to draw water and carry it to the house. The privy was on a path outside, the stereotype outhouse. At night they had a big jug or bowl that all the kids peed into and it was emptied the next morning. ( I didn’t like that very much.) The only warm room was the one with the fireplace. When it was bedtime the kids slept crosswise in the double beds, four or five in each. Leaving the warm room to go to bed, I thought I would freeze to death. There were several quilts on the bed but it took a while for us to get the covers warm enough to keep us warm.
Grandfather’s farm was a working farm. They milked around 100 cows by hand. Modern milking machines had not been invented yet. He also grew all of their food plus produce to sell. He had quite a few acres and leased more of what he called “river bottom” land which was rich and fertile and gave good crops. He also had studied Agriculture at the University of Arkansas so I think he knew about as much as anyone about good farming.
When I was around 15 years old and the war was finally over, we went back to the farm again for a Christmas visit. The farm was pretty much the same. Some of the kids had grown up, married, served in the navy or marines. Beulah Lee had two babies, Beverly and Barbara Rozelle. Her husband was still in the military.
I was impressed by the kitchen set up. In the kitchen the women (who still carried in their water from the well), prepared a huge breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, hot biscuits and gravy, sometimes pork chops, oatmeal, potatoes, pancakes, and much more. The next room was long and narrow and held the longest dining table I have ever seen. It was kind of like a picnic table only about four or five times as long, and with benches on each side. They fed not only this large family but the farm hands too. The mornings were crisp and cold, but that kitchen was warm.
On this visit my uncles decided to teach me to milk a cow. So I had the stool and the bucket, but had to work on technique. I wasn’t doing too well and with only around a couple of inches of milk, I gave up. I backed up and turned to speak to someone, and that cow kicked the bucket over. That was the end of my milkmaid career.
I visited my Arkansas relatives again the summer I was 21. I was on my way to Saugatuck, Michigan via Chicago. Grandfather teased me and said I would be married before the summer was over. I said there was no way. However I did meet the love of my life that summer. I stopped back in Arkansas on my way home, unmarried. However not quite a year later when I had graduated from College and Jim had finished his first year of graduate school we did get married. And that summer Jim and I did go to Arkansas to see the relatives.