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The Grahams’ of Cochran County – Chapter 28

Marguerite was leaving home to go to Arlene’s Beauty School after her graduation from Morton High School in 1937.  She graduated from Arlene’s in 1938 and passed her state board exam.  According to her book “Growing up with Eight Siblings in the Depression” she details her struggle getting through beauty school and a period of depression it caused her to have.  I remember that she got a job in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

We visited her while she was working in Alamogordo and slept in her beauty shop.  We had visited White Sands National Park and played on those sand dunes all day and then had no place to take a bath.  That was indeed a “sandy sleepover”.  I believe that this was the first time I had been out of the state of Texas.  I have wondered what her coworkers thought when they got to work the next day and saw all these sand covered people wandering around in the beauty shop.

Blackie Julian was the owner of that beauty shop and several others and he called her and told her to catch the bus and come home because there was not enough business to keep her and some of the other employees there.  She was very sad but it turned out good for her because the harvesters who were coming into Morton to help with the crops wanted their hair done.  Marguerite went to work at Esther Adam’s Beauty Shop in Morton and writes in her book that she was up until mid-night on some Saturdays giving perms.

One of Marguerite’s customers introduced her to a brother by the name of Cecil McSpadden.  Within six weeks she had married Cecil.  The date of the wedding was September 16, 1940.  Marguerite was the first of the siblings to move out of Cochran County.  She and Cecil started a family that included five daughters:  Amy Helen, Cecelia, Marikay, Barbara and Debra and one son: John.

The siblings remaining at home were George, Leola, Mary, Katie, Bob, Charles and Janie.  Still a house full.  Still a lot of work to perform in the Graham Café.  I was already employed at the Wallace Theatre as a ticket taker and popcorn boy and did not have to wash the dishes.  Leola and mother were having a little conflict at that time and I can remember Leola slapping my mother and stalking out of the restaurant.  I do not know where she went.  I do not remember what the conflict was about but this was unusual to see this type of violence in the house.  Remember that Leola was the one who Dad disciplined with dunking her head in the rain barrel.  She seemed to be pretty stubborn.

I do not remember when my parents discovered Ruidoso, New Mexico.  I recall visiting Ruidoso during this time while Marguerite was still home.  We have a picture with all 8 remaining siblings sitting on top of this big rock or surrounding it in some pose.  It was not many years after Marguerite’s leaving home that Dad purchase 7 lots in the Midway area of Ruidoso.  He had big plans to build on these lots and rent out cabins to the tourists.

One of my biggest surprises in this visit to Ruidoso was seeing a river bed with water in it.  We had the dry gulches around Morton but no flowing water.  This was neat.  The elevation of Ruidoso (7,000 feet) gave it a cool atmosphere.  The wind blowing through the pine trees was an exciting sound.



4 thoughts on “The Grahams’ of Cochran County – Chapter 28

  1. Reblogged this on GAG Newsletter and commented:

    Another blog from the late depression years 1938-1940

  2. You mentioned that you might not write about the scar above your knee if you waited much longer. Surely you are not feeling your age!

    That reminds me, are you planning for anyone to carry on this work later?

    1. I am trying to interest my daughter Dorcas to continue this blog. She is very busy now as a Licensed Professional Counselor so time will tell if she wants the job!

      1. I pray for your daughter to be more than just a little interested.

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