LHS class of ’46, ’47 reunite

Lohn High School’s class of 1947 met Friday, June 1 for their 60th class reunion. There were 17 who graduated that year and two others who were members of the class most of the eleven years. Seven of them met to recall the memories of yesteryear and remember those who could not be with them on this joyous occasion. They visited the store and drove around the country’noting the changes and remembering the places called home. Meeting for lunch at the tabernacle were Samuel and Jane Underwood Robertson of Wimberley, Floyd and Shirley Aven of Whitney, Joe and Eloise Priest of Seagoville, Nelda Moore and Narvel Rogers of Hurst, Harold and Jeanie Necessary of Georgetown, Helen Underwood Deeds of Mercury and Derrell and Irma Duncan of Riverside, Calif. In the evening, the class met again at Barbara’s Party Pantry in Brady. Others joining them for dinner and a short video presentation ‘Class of ’47, 1935’2005,’ were Teresa Rogers Smith, Stanley and Maureen Moore of Brady, Vivian Grantham and Nell Thames of Big Springs, Iris Moore Hayes of Andrews and Charles Moore of Georgetown. On Saturday, some of the group, stayed over to meet with the class of 1946 for number 61. Other classmates who were unable to attend were: Dora Barsch Whiteley, Mata Lou Reed Browning Cherry, Wynnell Bray Upton, Christelle Johnson Taylor, Nick Deck, Betty Lohn and Bill Tedder. Those deceased are Lois Hall, Olen Browning, Harold Dean McShan, Wayne McBee and Talmadge Mitchell. From Nelda Rogers: ‘The class wishes to thank Shirley Fullagar Ellis for opening the L.O. Marshall Store for a tour of memories. Some remembered that most of what they ate and wore came from ‘the’ store; charged until the crops came in. “If you haven’t visited the store lately, you don’t know what you have missed. We also want to thank the Lohn Valley Improvement Association (LVIA) for the continuous improvement to the tabernacle. It is a wonderful place to meet, and we urge everyone to continue to support them. “Our thanks, too, to Eunice Day for keeping us informed. We thank everyone for giving us a wonderful place to come home to.” The years have taken their toll, and attendance at the 1946 class reunion was down this year for the 61st anniversary. Nevertheless, those who were here had a good time visiting and enjoying each others company. Here for the occasion were Billie Jean and John Nicholas from Menard, Nell Thames and Vivian Grantham from Big Spring, Mary Mullins and David Mullins Roberts from Brownwood, Dale Brock from Madisonville, Jarvis Fowler Wood from Coleman, A,C, Snodgrass and JoAnn Turner from Brady. Leroy and Voncille Purcell from Lohn, Clarence and Jane Lohn from Abilene and Houston and Billie Kennedy of Olden. Joining them were Dorothy Purcell Varner from Abilene, from the ’47 class, Nelda and Narvel Rogers, Derrell Duncan, Floyd and Shirley Aven, Harold Gene and Jeannie Necessary. Those unable to attend were Billy Ray Browning, Edna Barsch Kasper, Miers Johnson, Nelda Frost, Johnnie Faye Lawson Harvey, Yvonne Reeves Whitaker, Grace Utsey Langerhan, Twila Deck Odle and Hazel Russell McClure. The class missed these and remembered their deceased classmates, Edrene Crutcher Tucker, Laverne Bray Rudolph, Floyd Gene Reeves, Roy Hilliard, Wayne Bray, Pauline Deering Turner, Lavern Watkins Lewis. As the years pass and classes lose members it seems like a splendid idea to combine reunions with other classes, so next year the 46-47 classes will meet on the 1st Saturday in June. Every class has or should have someone who is the link to other classmates. Billie Jean and Nelda are the ones from their classes who keep every one connected. The 1946 class once again showed their generosity, and Billie Jean asked that I note the amount of their donation of $125 to the LVIA to bring the others up to date. The Hodges family held their annual reunion in Brady June 9. We would be happy to have them come to Lohn giving us an opportunity to visit with them. The Thomas and Cora Lee Hodges family goes back 100 years since their arrival in McCulloch County. One member of that family sure to be remembered at family gatherings was the late Lucille Hodges Frost Jacobson. Born in May 1906, she was an infant when the family first came and about four years old when they settled in Waldrip. Lucille died in June 2004. A few years before her death, she began to write of her memories of life at Waldrip. The few pages are now in the Center for American History in the Archives and Manuscripts Collection, bits and pieces of memories of a childhood in rural Texas, a poignant account of growing up as a farmers daughter, surrounded by a large family, and learning many important lessons along the way. “Childhood Memories” describes a life unknown to the young people today who have never seen people hand-picking cotton or washing on a rub board. Excerpts from her memories read’ “I grew up in a house full of brothers and sisters. We all had chores to do. I churned butter, washed clothes and milked cows. As I grew older, I washed clothes on a rub board, boiled them in a black pot and hung them on a line to dry. “Our dining table was very long with a bench at the back side. We had garden vegetables, farm-raised chicken and pork. We had to be quiet while we ate or our dad would send us from the table. We were always ready to giggle, but when he said, ‘Quiet!’ all were silent for the rest of the meal. “It soon came time for me to go to school. My first day of school was exciting. I was trotting along, trying to keep up with my brothers and hoping my teacher would seat me by my new friend and that they would like my pretty new bonnet. I had practiced smiling, but my front tooth wasn`t pretty, so soon I gave up that idea and decided to keep my mouth closed. I rushed home from school to show my little sister what I had learned and felt almost grown up. “By the time I was eight years old I was picking cotton. I never learned to like field work. I loved music. The Charleston dance was very popular, so I taught myself to dance, most of which I learned on my way to the field. I would stop at washed-out , hard packed places and do a few steps until I had it perfect. “I heard about a contest to be at a small party so I begged to go. I worked until I saved enough to buy material for a dress and a pair of black satin shoes. The dress was very pretty, even though it was only calico. My parents did not like me to dance, but they let me go with my brother. The girl that was good at the Charleston had a beautiful silk dress. I froze when I saw her. I just knew she would win. “Then my memory came to me that pretty isn`t everything, so I was soon on the floor, forgetting about her and everyone else. When they called my name as winner, I realized it was not my looks, it was that hard place in the road that helped me out’and my black satin pumps. I still was not old enough to date boys, but I would play the harp and do the Charleston. “We lived a short distance from the Colorado River, but we girls seldom got to go there. People who went bathing then mostly wore dresses and big bloomers and shirts. Boys and men wore overalls. I never learned to swim and only got to go to the river a few times. My brother, Jack, bought a bathing suit, which few people had. He decided he would put it on after supper and run so he would be stronger. One night, as he was running, two ladies were walking home. When they saw the running man without clothes on they ran very fast to get the word out that a crazy man was running down the road. People came to see, but only saw Jack in a bathing suit. “I wasn`t very old when World War I broke out. During the flu epidemic, my mother and I were the only ones who did not get sick. Eleven children and Father were all in bed. Mother prayed that I would not get sick, as she needed me so badly to help. “I remember looking out the window and seeing a neighbor go by, taking another neighbor to the grave yard. He was driving a hack and later the other two neighbor boys were carried out the same way. Their parents were real sick. My mother had such a hard time milking the cows and caring for all the sick. “My brother, two years older than I, came to pick me up from my older sister’s. He was riding a wild pony. A mile from home the horse bolted and threw us off. We were not hurt badly, but the horse was sold. “A year later, the doctor found a tumor in my side. They took me to Waco to have surgery. It was there where I rode my first elevator. It was something to brag about. My school mates and brothers and sisters seemed a little jealous. “Sometimes I wonder if I really knew my father. To me, he was just a man who had us jump at every command. I never had a conversation with him. The things he would say were, ‘How much cotton did you pick’, ‘Have you finished your lessons’, ‘Go tend to the little ones’ or ‘Pick up chips from the woodpile.’ “Not once did he ever hold me on his knee as a small child. He was angry if we were idle. When I was taken to Waco for the surgery, only he and the doctor went along. I felt very lonely, for I had never talked to him like a father. When I was taken in for the operation I saw the doctor and a very nice nurse. As I was waking up, I was surprised to see my father standing there and more surprised to see that he had tears in his eyes. That was the first time I had ever seen him cry. “I soon got back in the field again and had a boyfriend. My dad still wouldn`t let me go out with him. We just played cards or sat on the porch. As time passed, I was allowed to have dates. We went to ice cream parties, watermelon parties or the picture show. We only had narrow pine benches to sit on. If the boys had money, we would have popcorn. It was a lot of fun. “Sunday we would go to church and almost always go home with a girl friend or she would come home with us. If the preacher came to our house on Sunday, we would work all day Saturday cleaning and baking. Monday we were back in the fields. “When one of my sisters had a baby, I was sent there to wash clothes such as diapers. Even if I did not cook very well they would praise me and pretend it was fine. I couldn`t rejoice when I heard that one of my sisters was expecting, for I knew what I was in for. I think I hurt my mother`s feelings when I said, ‘People shouldn`t have so many children.’ “There were only three or four cars in the community. Others just rode in buggies and bragged about how fast their horses could trot. We had only dirt roads, and when it rained, it was too muddy to drive a car. My dad had never driven a car. He bought one, brought it home, could not stop at the gate and kept going round. My older brother jumped on the running board and stopped it. “Sometimes crops failed and it was hard for all of us, but we had a large garden and raised chickens. It was hard washing for so many brothers and ironing pants and shirts with irons heated over the fire. We had a party line telephone’four long rings for us. We all ran to there first to answer. We could also listen in on others, and everyone knew what was going on in the community.” *** There are more interesting stories of her childhood and a copy of this will be at the L.O.Marshall Store.

Leave a Comment