Living behind the café in Morton, Texas had its challenges as well as conveniences. Mother Bess did not have to travel that far for work. The kids had a lot more neighbors to play with. Dad even bought a booth from a traveling circus where you could throw baseballs at objects on a shelf about 30 feet away and if one was successful in knocking the object off the shelf a prize was to be awarded.
Dad of course let his two young sons man the booth most of the time. One day two older boys came to the booth and instead of paying the 25 cents for three throws, they just started throwing the balls anyhow. Dad heard the commotion while he was in the café working and came out rapidly and caught the arm of one of the boys while he was winding up to throw. His friend saw that an older person was actually in charge of the place and he came up behind Dad and was about to leap up and grab Dad around the neck when Bob tacked that boy. These rapscallions saw that they were outnumbered and fled the premises.
Another disadvantage was all that extra noise made by traffic around the square and extra peeping toms. I had some beautiful sisters and this fact seemed to attract young male wanders especially at night. There was no air-conditioning in the sleeping quarters so the windows had to be left open for survival. Not a problem on the farm but a hazard in the city. My sisters became quiet adept at using noise and flashlights and rocks to distract the attention these stalkers caused.
One night I awoke from a sound sleep and thought I was witnessing a break-in at my bedroom window. I made a lot of noise and nearly scared “Fluffy” the Persian cat to death. She was climbing through a hole in the screen to get back in the house after doing her prowling. I repaired that screen the next morning and wondered when this hole had been made and who or what had made it.
In 1940 or 1941 a new fellow came to town to open a drycleaners. His name was R. B. Ford. He had a brother who came to help him. This brother’s name was Gilbert Ford. Gilbert and Leola started dating and Mother did not like Gilbert too much. Leola however did like Gilbert and they eventually got married. They were married April 7, 1941. They moved to New Mexico where Gilbert got a job. Out of this marriage came Paul Douglas and Gail Ford.
Bob had a lot of fun with Paul when they came to visit. When Paul was about 2 years of age Bob was trying to train Paul to say “pepper belly” when he saw someone of the Hispanic descent. Bob got thoroughly scolded by Leola when she heard what he was doing. Charles would NEVER have participated in anything like that!!!
Mother had a green thumb deluxe. She planted some morning glories at the back of the café and they were the highlight of the short trip of 10 to 15 feet from the old hotel (our Morton house) and the café. I hated to see fall come and those flowers go to seed. She would always harvest the seed and reuse them. Such a blessing to have Mother the gardener around.