The Grahams’ of Cochran County – Chapter 37

This series of pictures shows the group that was very influential in my life.  In the top pictures from left to right you see Barbara Odum, Charles Graham, Wynelle Prather with Charles Abbey, Barbara Odum with Charles Graham.  In the bottom pictures you have Charles Abbey sitting on top of Billy Watts then the right lower picture shows Wynelle Prather with Barbara Odum.

Charles Abbey did not wind up with Wynelle Prather and Charles Graham did not wind up with Barbara Odum.  Billy Watts wound up with Barbara Odum and they later became missionaries to New Zealand.  They did a great service there.  But I digress.

After Barbara dumped me for Billy Watts, I really got interested in going to Freed-Hardeman College in Henderson, Tennessee to become a preacher.  I kept working at that goal thru the rest of the senior year.  The person who planned the baccalaureate service selected me to give the benediction prayer.  The senior trip planning committee had selected Ruidoso, New Mexico to be our destination.  I was thrilled because I planned to go and spend a few days with my mother and dad in Ruidoso but return to Morton to work at a filling station.  I still needed to save money in order to go to Freed-Hardeman.

The senior trip had some challenges but all in all it was a neat trip.  One complication was that “Snooky”  Russell (who later became my brother-in-law) wanted to be around Wynelle Prather and she wanted to avoid him like the plague.  She was still interested in Tommy Abbott.  My aunt Ruby Graham was visiting Ruidoso about that time and she wanted to drive me and some of those that I selected from the group around the mountains.  I selected Wynelle and some others but did not select Snooky because of Wynelle’s insistence.  Snooky went into his Motel Room and pouted the rest of the stay in Ruidoso.

Another complication of the senior trip to Ruidoso was and incident that happened when me and some of the guys were showing off with our throwing technique.  There were a lot of small river rocks around the place and the challenge was to throw the rocks down hill as far as we could.  I was playing around with some left-over rocks and was using my left hand to throw.  BAD!!!  The first left-handed throw hit the neon sign of the Motel we were staying in.  I went in to the manager and admitted my guilt and told him I would pay for the damages.  He said it would take $10.00 to fix the sign.  I then sheepishly went to my parents who were living in another part of Ruidoso and asked for a loan to pay for the damages.

When the main group left to go back to Morton, Texas I went to my parent’s place and stayed a few days.  Ruby Burns who was one of the trips sponsors stayed and helped clean out the Burns Cabin so my parents could take it over.  Her son, Billy Dane Burns had built this cabin but traded it for the café in Morton, Texas so he could produce an income.  A few days later Ruby Burns drove me back to Morton.  There was a move in place for me as well because George and Zylphia wanted to move into Mary and George’s house.

Harvey Hammonds was a young fellow who had graduated a year ahead of me and needed a roommate for a room at Mrs. Smith’s house.  Mrs. Smith’s husband had been killed by some robbers who he had tried to arrest years earlier.  Harvey and I shared the same bed.  I came home from the service station in the evenings where I had been filling the gas tanks for customers and greasing the automobiles on the grease rack and was not careful about bathing.  About two weeks or so into my stay, Harvey discretely pointed out to me how more soiled my side of the bed than his side of the bed.  That permanently changed my habits from weekly bathing to daily bathing.  You live and learn.

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