The Grahams’ of Cochran County – Chapter 5

During the stay on this farm near Morton, I started remembering things.  I was about 1 year old and at age 2 or 3 there were things that happened to me that cause a vague recollection.  Some of this no doubt is hand me down retelling of the story by others but some of it is real.  The vague stuff is about me falling into a wash pot out in the yard.  Mother (Bessie) would wash clothes in wash pot in the yard.  She would build a fire under the first two and put the lye soap in the first one and use heated rinse water in the second one.  Two more were usually set up to do cold rinsing.

I was playing near one of the pots and dropped a toy of some type in the water.  In bending over to retrieve this toy I toppled into the pot and started making bubbling sounds.  One of my alert siblings heard this sound and rushed over and pulled me out.  What I remember about this incident is the embarrassment I felt when they put me in a dress and put me in one of the school buses that Dad drove.  I sure got a lot of attention that day because I guess they were not willing for me to depart this earth so early.

Something that I heard a lot about was an incident when I was a baby, my mother was changing my diaper and I started crying violently.  She noted that I had a tender abdomen that was swollen.  She had no vehicle available so she got me ready to hitch hike to Leveland to the doctor.  She instructed the older kids to take care of the younger ones and let Andrew know where she had gone.  She got a ride with some nice people and they took us to the doctor in Leveland.  He noted that I had a bowel movement that looked like currant jelly.  This was a textbook case of intussusception.  That condition occurs when the large intestines starts to swallow up the small intestines.  Sometimes it requires surgery to correct but fortunately my large intestines decided it was not hungry enough for that meal and allowed things to return to normal.  The glob of purple jelly was the diagnostic sign that stuff was starting to return to normal.  We left the doctors office and went to stay with Sam and Belle Graham, Dad’s mother and dad until he could come and pick us up.  Sam and Belle had moved to Leveland from Monroe (New Deal) when he stopped farming.

Let me tell you this, I sure do remember the time the doctor came to the house when I got to where I couldn’t pee.  I was developing a phimosis.  That is where the urine is supposed to exit the body and it gets stopped up.  This requires and emergency circumcision.  I guess the doctor used a little deadening on the area but it did not feel like it too me.  I do not want to go through that again.  I was about 4 years old then.

Janie was our youngest then and mother had a little trouble in weaning her.  I can remember mother’s technique to wean us and she used it on Janie.  Mother would take some of the soot from the stove chimney and blacken her breast and then offer it to the unsuspecting child.  We siblings were the audience and Janie was the victim.  One look at her feeding spot and Janie was convinced that she was through with that area.  I don’t recall if we applauded or not but mother shooed the observers away so it would not embarrass Janie.

There was a depression going on and there was a glut of cattle.  Roosevelt gave the orders to thin the herd.  The government would give the farmer penny’s on the dollar and come in a shoot the cattle and bury them on a big hole.  Did not make sense then and does not make sense to me now.  We were left with a few.  Marguerite in her book indicates that she did not have to milk so many cows any more before catching the bus to school.

Andrew got into politics and decided to run for County Judge.  This was 1934.  He won the election and took office in 1935.  We moved from the Morton Farm to the outskirts of Morton.  George had to get on the old grey mare and drive the cows to the new place.  He came down with rheumatic fever which affected him the rest of his life.

 

 

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