How I Made My First Nickel
I was about five and a half years old. My older brother George had a couple of his school mates visiting us at the little White House near Morton, Texas. Mother Bess mixed up some of her delicious ice cream and put it in the hand cranked ice cream maker. Bob and I were usually selected to sit on the freezer to hold it steady while one of the older siblings would crank the arm. Our weight individually would not hold the thing down when the ice cream became too thick to churn. At that point Bob would get on first and then I would climb in his lap. For some reason, this day, I refused to climb aboard. One of George’s friends offered me a nickel to climb aboard. I still refused.
I think Bob got off the freezer and one of the older siblings got aboard. During this transfer it was noted that the freezer needed more ice. This was added along with some salt. One of George’s friends decided to tease me and he offered me a nickel if I would take a piece of ice in my hand and run around the house. I thought to myself that I could do that in a breeze. I agreed. For good measure he wanted to add a little salt to the ice. He said it would make it easier.
Clinching the ice in my fist I took off in a blast. About half way around the house I thought to myself that this hand is hurting. I sped up the pace. When I got back to the crowd and pried my fingers away from the ice and from my palm there for everyone to see was this huge blister. Instant frostbite. I was crying. Mother Bess was irate. The older boys were rolling in the dirt laughing.
I got a lot of tender loving care from my mother. The boys had their laugh. I learned a valuable lesson (and some chemistry principles). And yes, Mother Bess saw to it that I got my nickel!