Wednesday, October 29, 2014

PEARL (GRIFFIN) DIGBY: Recollections of childhood and Family's History

Recollections of childhood and Family History

Pearl and Billy Blair were driving through the area where she grew up (east of Salado, Texas in Bell county).  This is a transcription from a cassette tape I had recording in the car at the time). 1979.

(We began the journey driving east from Stagecoach Inn in Salado, taking the back, country roads).
(Side 1 of the cassette tape):

(Still needs to be transcribed).

(Side 2 of the cassette tape):
"John House was a farmer.  They lived over at Little River/ Academy.  One time, a long time ago, they lived down at Val Verde, but that was beyond my (Pearl Digby) memory.  

When I was a child, in the Fall they would have the fields plowed.  The Griffins planted corn and cotton and they had bigger furrows than now.  On one side of the Griffin place, there was a family with four girls.  On the other side of us was a family who had several boys (I think there were two girls, but the boys were our age).  They would all come over to our house and we would play 'Hide & Seek' at night out in the plowed field.  My daddy played with us.  We really had some good times - no money, no picture shows, no parties.  It was a good, clean fun.

Daddy (G.W. Griffin) liked to hunt - squirrels, rabbits.  He used to let us go with him to the river bottom when he was hunting.  I remember in Spring time he would take his shotgun and push away the leaves to show us the first violets coming up.  Some kids don't remember little things like that, but I think they mean a lot.

G.W. Griffin had sandy red hair.  Bettie Griffin's hair was black; at her death, it still had a lot of black.

My older sister Rena had beautiful auburn hair (like Arla Herrington's hair, except darker).  I always admired people with distinct color in their hair; mine was always 'mousey'.  
(Note: On the tape, we discuss directions going toward Holland on the way to Belton).

"My grandmother told me that Joseph Griffin came home from the Civil War with corn shucks tied to his feet for shoes.  His feet were bleeding.
(Talk to Elsie Coles ... was Elsie McQueen.  The aunt that Pearl lived with daughter).  (The landscape has changed).

An old couple used to live in this area that bought cars from Mart Digby for years and years. They came to his funeral.  I was bothered because at the cemetery they stood way off from the crowd by themselves.  They were a black couple.  They were as good a friends as grandaddy ever had - I wish they hadn't segregated like that.
(We are now in Holland, Texas).

Mart and I married in December and then I taught school until the school term was out.  This was the muddiest, black road you ever saw in your life.  He had an old Chevrolet roadster that hugged the ground then.  Every time he came down here, he would get that thing stuck and couldn't get it out.  One time, he just had to leave it and get our old Model T to come back home.  He would come down on Friday and I'd go to Belton on the weekend.  There were a few times when the weather was so bad, that if he got down here, he stayed.  These roads were really something!

There used to be a country school right there - Cybert.
They had to have schools close together you know, because kids had to walk.  Roads were impassable - sometimes it wasn't even easy to walk".
(Note: We saw 4 deer during the trip).

Note: This is the end of the cassette tape).